I stared at a blank page on the computer screen. I didn’t know where to start. All I knew was that I was going to finally start my new story. I had been putting it off for months.
When I got my job just five months earlier, all my focus was on that. It wasn’t a job that I went to school for. I was a Video Production major and I wanted to make films. My life’s dream was to become a director and make movies. After college, I thought I was going to get a nice internship in New York or Los Angeles. It never happened. I got a part-time job working the graveyard shift as a front desk clerk. My new job was at least full-time with benefits. It wasn’t video, but it was a job. My dream of directing and writing never took a back seat.
After work, I would spend hours brainstorming story ideas. To me, if I could finish a novel or a screenplay, it could be my ticket out. But I was suffering from a serious case of writer’s block. I had a notebook of ideas and character names, but I never put them to good use.
August 2, 2007 was no different. There I was, waiting and staring at my computer screen. Nothing. I laid down on my bed and stared some more at the ceiling. I knew I was creative enough to write something. What was wrong with me? Just then, my phone rang. It was someone I least expected. I picked up the phone and she was on the other line.
I hadn’t seen her since college almost a year-a-half earlier. She was in my Video Production classes and we connected professionally and personally. We spent time with different groups, but our shared interest in directing made us the best of partners. She was one of the best video editors I knew and she taught me a lot.
Over the phone, she told me she needed help editing some of her videos and wanted to know if I would assist her after work a few days of the week. Without hesitation, I agreed. Unlike me, she was able to get a video editing job right out of college. She was doing what she loved. I asked her why she called me when there were probably a handful of more qualified former classmates who could have helped. She told me that I was the most creative person she knew in college. If there was one person who could make something stand out, it was me. I am not used to compliments, so at first, I thought she was joking with me. She told me she wasn’t. I was beyond flattered and I told her that she was the real talent.
After we made plans to meet up, I hung up my phone. I actually had a smile on my face. The possibilities of what could be excited me. I was getting back to Video Production again and doing it with someone I respected and admired since college.
I stared at the computer screen once again, but this time I began to type, and I continued for the next few hours.
Calvin Cajigal lives in Maryland. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University and Frostburg State University. He has a degree in Mass Communications from Frostburg State University. He currently works in Washington D.C.
Calvin wants you to support Turnaround Arts. It is a program sponsored by The Kennedy Center that brings arts education resources into priority and focus schools as a strategic tool for targeting larger school challenges and opportunities. For more information, visit their website at turnaroundarts.kennedy-center.org.