I was working in the OU Nightly audio booth when my professor Bob Dickey asked me to try out for the anchor desk. From there, I walked onto the set and put the mic on for the first time. Then I continued to study video production and completed coursework in field production, set production, live multi-cam production, single camera production, and reporting.
I was born in a Fort Worth hospital and raised in Arlington, and from my teenage years on was interested in photography. It started with my father, who took landscape photography as a very serious hobby. Our family vacations included regular trips to St. Elmo, Colorado, where we would spend the week capturing images of the landscape and wildlife.
Toward the end of my time at the University of Oklahoma, I decided to spend the last semester of school abroad. With just a few elective courses left on the graduation checklist, I moved out of the fraternity house and hopped on an airplane for Seoul, where I studied at Seoul National University for four months. During my time there, I took introductory courses in Korean language, history and literature, and also trained for several months at a Tae Kwon Do school in Itaewon. The window of my room in Mullae-dong faced north toward the National Assembly Hall, and I shared the apartment with twenty-somethings from South Korea, Japan, the United States and Germany.
After my time at Seoul National University, I began my gap. From Seoul, I traveled through Hong Kong and Macau and Bangkok, then settled on the island of Koh Phangan for three months as a bartender and guest administrator for a backpacking hostel. The location played host to international foot traffic from six continents, and I took pictures of hostel events as guests prepared for the island's famous but excessive Half Moon and Full Moon parties. My images helped surge the hostel into the island's top spot on Trip Advisor.
The gap continued back home to Arlington, where I picked up work as a sales associate with Mountain Sports again. I sold specialty camping gear, including internal frame backpacks, sleep systems and cold weather gear, and also helped receive inventory. When vendors did not have product images, I would set up a make shift studio in the shipping room and take them for our website. I also created instructional and product review videos for the company's YouTube channel. Then after five months on the sales floor, I stepped onto the Appalachian Trail to pursue a thru hike.
My time on the Appalachian Trail was not what I envisioned. It was a cold, often wet, hike through the end of spring and into the beginning of summer. My dad joined me for the first 100 miles out of Harper's Ferry, WV, then hopped off when he realized his body couldn't handle the pressure of 12+ mile days over the mountains. We had rented a car and skipped forward to the New York / Connecticut state line, and continued to the middle of the state when he made the decision. I hopped off 250 miles further north in Rutland, Vermont after spending a full week in a Bennington motel room nursing ligament injuries.
In my current role at KLTV, I work in a mix of production and presentation. As a multimedia journalist, I produce, film, write, track, cut and submit a project every day. Since I began a year ago, I have filed more than 400 reports for the organization. My reports range from traditional 90-second hard news stories to short 20-second VO anchor hits to long form continued coverage in the aftermath of severe weather.
In my spare time, I hoard books at a much faster pace than I can read them. I pitch a photo onto Instagram occasionally. I play with the poem. In a not too distant past, I made Vines. Before the app went offline, I had gone from 0 to 24,000 followers producing satire and music loops. My six-second videos, in total, have been watched nearly 27 million times.