“All I need is my foot in the door and I’m confident that everything will flow from there,” said Simone Williams, a senior journalism major at Florida A&M.
Many journalism students share the same sentiment, longing for an opportunity to push-start their career. Williams was recently afforded the opportunity to attend the 2019 Lee Daniels Entertainment Workshop.
She was one of three creatives hand-selected, given an all-expense paid trip to Hollywood and inside access to the entertainment industry.
Williams has long dreamed of becoming a writer and making her own dent in Hollywood.
“My ultimate career goal is to be a writer and showrunner for my own TV shows,” she said.
Her fight to tell stories highlighting the underrepresented and inaccurate representations of people in the film industry is what lights her fuel to make authentic stories.
Williams sees this workshop opportunity as a way to get her foot in the door and make her mark in the industry she has always dreamed of.
Jazmin Johnson, a close friend and supporter, said, “I saw this opportunity on Instagram and instantly thought this will be great for Simone. I’m happy she applied and was accepted, she’s going to take so much from this experience.”
Williams and Johnson applied for the workshops together, where they were both required to submit creative videos to enter the contest.
Williams said that she actually liked Johnson’s video better and Johnson demonstrated genuine love and support for her accomplishment.
All in all, she still enjoyed the process because she had the opportunity to work behind the scenes and do what she loves with a concept for a video she created.
“I’m so happy for Simone,” said Dekorey Hobbs, a junior videographer. “Every time we’ve worked on a project together, she took it seriously and made our work spark.”
Williams is most excited about the networking experience she will gain and the chance to actually meet Lee Daniels.
Daniels has served as an inspiration to Williams growing up and she is certain that she will take away a lot from the workshops.
As she packs her bags for her trip to Hollywood, she has also packed a sound mind and a clear view of where she wants to go.
To her, this is more than a trip or an experience. It’s a safe place for her to be surrounded by her passion. This will contribute to her resume and serve as a realization that her dreams and aspirations are more attainable than she once thought.