The “Game Behind the Game” career forum, hosted by Boost Mobile, gave both college and high school students a glimpse into the world of music and entertainment through the eyes of leading industry professionals.
The forum, a part of Boost Mobile’s “Stomping on the Yard” National Step Show Tour, made a stop here last Wednesday
and Thursday. More than 100 students, including juniors and seniors from William Penn High School, attended the event. Chris Crawford, a 2001 Temple alum and Chief Executive Officer of Dyalect, a youth marketing company, created the advertising campaign for the event.
The panel included Sony Urban Music recording artist Fonzworth Bentley, founder and Chief Executive Officer of FUBU clothing brand Daymond John, Web editor of the online edition of “King” magazine Jozen Cummings and local ABC 6 anchor Tamala Edwards.
Erica Kane, radio DJ from Power 99 moderated the discussion. She began by asking the panel for its advice on breaking
into the entertainment industry. Bentley said students must market themselves as a brand when entering the industry.
“There are 100,000 people that want to do exactly what you want to do,” he said.
John agreed, adding that the interview process is an opportune time for job seekers to market their qualifications.
“You are solely a brand from the minute you walk in to when you walk out,” John said.
Edwards said students should also be mindful that there will always be some level of sacrifice necessary for success.
“It can be really hard when you first get out,” Edwards said. “You have to truly within yourself make up your mind of what you want.” For Cummings, his sacrifice was money.
“In journalism … you don’t make a lot when you get in the game,” he said.
Junior BTMM major Gianni Lee said he is willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve his goal of becoming a producer for a television network.
“It might be a struggle. I don’t necessarily have to be broke, so I’m trying to be an entrepreneur as best as I can,” he said. For Lee, achieving his success in the industry has already begun. He designs and manages his own urban fashion clothing
line called Babylon Cartel.
“I’m making sure I have more than one stream of income,” Lee said. “I’m doing what I can to make myself comfortable.”
Lee was awarded with a Boost Mobile cell phone and $500 Boost Bucks minutes during a contest, which gave three Temple students a 30-second spot to describe why they should be a part of the entertainment industry.
Bentley also urged students to familiarize themselves with the business of the industry.
“With the playing field leveled out, if you’re an artist and you don’t know someone who’s studying to be a director, you’re playing yourself,” he said.
William Penn High School senior Joy Hoyle also won a Boost Mobile cell phone and $500 in Boost Bucks minutes in a similar contest for all of the high school attendees.
With dreams of serving in the U.S. Air Force and owning her own performing arts theater, Hoyle won the contest by keeping her pitch to 30 seconds.
“I’ve been networking with a lot of people that I have met at these events and they’ve been giving me their business cards, telling me to call them,” Hoyle said.
Hoyle said she plans to attend college while serving in the Air Force. She wants to major in theater arts and minor in business administration.
Tyrone Keller, a guidance counselor at Hoyle’s school, said the discussion exposed his students to different career options and the trials of achieving success after graduation.
“The students are real excited whenever they go to a college. They get a chance to express what they want to do in life and how they want to pursue a career,” Keller said.
Senior marketing major Mecca Lewis, who is also featured in an ongoing employment series in “The Temple News”, said the event was highly beneficial to her career aspirations.
“I’m interested in knowing about what [the panel] have to say, because Temple doesn’t really do stuff like this,” Lewis said. “For them to have people from the entertainment industry, I’m really interested to see what angle they’re coming from.”
Cummings said he gives credit to students who have begun advancing themselves to the next level in life.
“I think that it takes guts for anybody to go out there and decide at a young age what they want to do and pursue it,” Cummings said.
Brittany Diggs can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.