Hesitation was my first thought when Shakeea asked who would want to do outreach at a panel for a fellowship fair. Then came a flood of all of my insecurities. These insecurities dimmed my usual spirit of adventure. What do I wear? What do I say? Do I even have anything important to say? Before I let them get the best of me, I convinced myself to volunteer.
Despite overthinking every aspect of this opportunity, I still had no idea what to expect. I mean, I’ve never spoken on a panel. When I arrived, you would think I had composed myself enough to eradicate my anxiety. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Thanks to my cool demeanor, though unbeknownst to my colleagues, it was actually running rampant. I sat on the stage with the other esteemed guests who were invited to share their experiences. I listened as they talked about the experiences that led them to where they are currently. I was indubitably impressed by their grand stories, however it made me notice how different my experience was compared to those of these incredible people. It seemed as if they were destined to be where they are now while I was randomly dropped where I am. That was until it was my turn to speak and I saw the audience’s reaction.
The audience’s reactions to my story told me that I was exactly what some of them needed to see. A young man who was not trained in this field and, quite nervous about the next steps, but instead of succumbing to indecision, I was deciding to take a risk and of choose a specific route. I felt empowered. Talking to the youth face-to-face and seeing their eyes brighten with thoughts of endless opportunities made me overjoyed. In that moment, I knew that this is what I want to do in some capacity. I want to help in directing people towards what resonates with them. This experience confirmed that for me. Of course, empowerment is not a magical drug; my anxiety didn’t suddenly vanish. What I did gain was purpose, which leads to strength, which permeates my thoughts and defogs the vision I have of myself. This amazing panel experience has been one of many and certainly not the last, but its impact will be long lasting.
-Cameron McGowan, Development Intern Concert Career Pathways 2018-19
Cameron McGowan aka JusDizz is a rapper from Oakland, California. Cameron has been performing and writing his own music for 10 years. It has shaped him to be very comfortable with public speaking. Through using this position he wants to impact the world to change. Cameron believes the ability to market is highly necessary to achieve this and feels that his participation in the Concert Career Pathways program will help him hone his skills to become a force in the industry.