March 31, 2010
Kari Cruz is sort of a young renaissance woman when it comes to dabbling in the entertainment industry. Here she tells Converse.com how she broke into the cutthroat world of television, and stayed there.
Music Television consumed a major part of my youth (you know, when people actually played music videos). It feels like such a long time ago. That is, the pre-reality TV and video streaming era or anything before 1997. A time when having cable television was a luxury that very few had. I personally didn’t have cable for a long time, so we’d all gather at the neighbor’s house in anticipation of the next great music video. We would congregate around the TV and stare at the celebrity fashions and within seconds of viewing the videos, we’d try to recreate entire dance routines. Even the VJ’s would fascinate me! How did they manage to get such awesome jobs and work with celebrities? Something about it all just seemed so unique and glamorous.
Well, the allure never escaped me. It started with the childhood days of singing in the mirror, then a number of dance classes and eventually theatre in Middle School. I think it was High School when I finally admitted that I’d never be a singer and that I couldn’t make it very far on Broadway without some vocal prowess. But, there was still the gift of gab and I sure do love talking! So, what could I do that gave me the thrill of performing without necessarily having to sing and dance all the time? College was creeping up on me and I knew that I would never be happy as a lawyer or doctor. It helped that my parents never pressured me into a career either. But, I wasn’t sure what I could do that catered to both my passion and personality.
It was in college that I finally remembered where it all started, television! From production to development, the possibilities were endless. So I quickly pursued a gig in Music Television. It wasn’t looking like I’d be a VJ anytime soon, so I managed to score an in-house gig with fuse TV’s Public Relations team. But somehow, my seating arrangements had me placed in the production pit!
Madness does not even describe the experience; there were footballs flying above my desk on the first day and I was still hung up on having a TV on my desk. I was also sitting amongst some of the funniest television producers and writers in the business. Let me tell you, writers are a different breed. Imagine having to be a guinea pig for jokes and creativity all day every day. However, amongst the chaos was this charming world of ‘Behind The Scenes’ television that I quickly fell in love with. It was a creative space where the most insane ideas and stunts had the potential of becoming skits on a show and a place where creativity and wit was always encouraged (if not mandatory). Never dull, the studios beamed with raw and explosive talent daily. And although I had once wanted to be in front of the camera, this new world was becoming even more appealing.
Just think, you have the ability to influence millions of people with words. Your creative direction can shape the format of a television program. You have an ability to create content that will in turn, entertain (or in fuse’s case, often disgust) millions. And while not everything was that deep or symbolic, that was the personal journey Fuse took me on. It also didn’t hurt that I got to see all my favorite celebrity crushes up close and personal!
Check out Kari’s musings and thoughts at her blog