In December 2012, I would have lost my brother, Yama. 2013 preceded to be one of the worst years of my life. It was full of letdowns, depression, and learning some hard truths about life. In January of 2013, I declared Communication as my college major. After two years of talking to advisors, family, and friends, I decided to choose what I wanted to do. Communication studies had a good combination of writing and performance. It was all aspects of communication. I loved my speech class and I decided to go for it. I was tired of this internal battle and just decided to go with what I liked. Before communications, I strongly looked into history, nutrition, health, political science, film, theater, and English, and I am sure I am forgetting some others. I have always been an indecisive person and I guess I never really trust myself to make the best choice for me. My advisor let me know that I would still be able to pursue film with any degree. It didn’t matter. For the last two years of college, I dived into my major and advanced to store manager at the toy store. I was promoted back in 2012 and I was working six days out of the week. During the holidays, I was working seven days out of the week for almost twelve hours and I was a full-time student. That was my life for a while. I let my job and my education consume me completely. 2013 was almost a year for me in terms of creativity like I said, I was depressed, grieving, healing, and just trying to survive. In 2014, I realized that I would be done with school in just a year and a half. I knew I needed to start interning at some point so I started applying to a bunch of places. I contacted an old instructor from ICF, Eric. Eric was the sound teacher for ICF. He was kind and genuine and fun. I felt comfortable reaching out. So I check my old emails and found this very emotional email from back in 2014.

Here is the original email:

Hello Eric!

My name is Frshtal! You were my sound teacher at ICF in 2011. I am not sure if you remember me but I wanted to reach out to you. I remember you told us if we need anything to always keep in touch. I hpe your doing well as well as your family.

Currently, I am still going to school in a pursuit to get my bachelors degree in communications. I have about one more year to go. I cant catch a break though. I cant get an internship. I work as the store manager at Karen’s Toys and I feel like I am going to be there forever because I cant get my foot in the door. I would even be an assistant if I could. I just need something that pays so I can get by. Therefore, I wanted to as you if you can help. Please. I haven’t even landed an internship.

I attached a picture to help you remember me. My short film was called The Toy Store. Even if you cant help. Thank you anyways. 



When I went back to look at these emails, I felt so embarrassed. In my emails to Eric, I had typos and just horrible grammar. I sounded desperate and I guess I was desperate. I can feel the lack of confidence and the need to be heard. Eric was just something else. He was so patient with my million emails. I would send them anytime I had a thought. Not a good thing. He let me know gently that my grammar and typos need to be worked on. I can’t even explain how lucky I was that Eric was in my life. He gave me hope that I could make it in this industry. He mentored me. We would have phone conversations, and we met up a couple of times too. He looked past all my shortcomings. He always kept me in mind and almost always replied back to my way too many emails. I am literally sobbing right now thinking about this man. Eric set me up to meet with a person that he knew at DreamWorks Animation. Her name was Angelique. I remember being so nervous. It was my first big meet and greet. I changed my outfit five times before I decided on a striped black and white midi dress with stockings and heels. I showed up prepared and not wanting to let Eric down. Angelique and I had lunch at DreamWorks. I couldn’t eat. Back then, I would be so nervous. I thought it went well and she said she would keep me in mind. It is so hard for me to be myself in these types of situations. I just want the person to like me so much that I forget to just be myself. I kept in touch with Angelique for a couple years but nothing came out of it. That’s okay. It was still cool to meet her. I don’t blame her for not getting me a gig. I was honestly a mess and I knew Eric knew that but he saw past it.

Eric stayed in my life for many years. He actually got me my first job.

Stay tuned.



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