Change of Scenery: the Michael Wicks Story By Michael Wicks
By Michael Wicks
I Have A Career In The Magazine Industry
If you had asked me at the beginning of the year what I would be doing today, you may have gotten answers such as: playing video games, reading old books, making music, entertaining multiple women, etc. If you would have told me that I would have a career in the magazine industry, in Lake Charles of all places, I would have laughed right in your face and slapped the taco out of your hands. I assume most people reading this don’t know me, but for the first half of this year, I had been looking for a tech job in Austin. I had interviews with video game companies, like Bioware, to be a QA consultant for their products, and really had my sights set on moving. It wasn’t until I met an old friend at the 2015 Cyphacon, that I realized I would be staying in Lake Charles, hopefully, for a long time.
"I Want To Frame This"
Danny Fuselier, one of our writers and all-around great guy, told me about Exposure Magazine for the first time at the convention. He mentioned he was writing for them and gave me the run down about the magazine; a local based, national publication, which was striving to enrich the community by bringing the local talent to the forefront of the town’s attention. Now there are other publications in town, but none had gained my attention for very long, I like to read horror and religious books mainly. Fast forward a week, and there I was, sitting in the Exposure office in a suit while Warren looked over my resume and writing submission. “I want to frame this,” Warren told me bluntly, apparently I was the first person to formally submit a resume to the fledgling business. While they couldn’t bring me on right away, they told me to submit some articles about science, or something that interested me, and like that, I was published for the first time outside of the Sulphur press releases I had written for Sasol during my internship. It’s hard to pinpoint, but if I remember correctly, I was sitting at my computer playing Lisa: The Painful RPG and drinking beer when I got a call from a “Calvin Hobbes”, he told me to come back in to talk about a job opportunity. Now at that time I still had Austin in my head, and I was just writing articles for some chump change to kill my time, but that was about to all change.
There Is Quality Here
When I got to the office, I sat down with Calvin Tyler, Exposure’s publisher, who explained to me what his mission was with the magazine he was running. He envisioned something that would help the community grow, not just culturally, but mentally. There is a lingering mentality amongst Lake Charles residents that dictates, if you want to be an artist or creative type, move to a big city and get it done. As Mr. R.B. Smith from the seed center told me, “There is quality here, real talent. We just need to find a way to make it stay here.” I realized I was trapped in this way of thought without even knowing it. Instead of trying to make my hometown, the place where I’ve spent my whole life, a better place for the people around me, I opted to run away to a big city where opportunity is more readily available, when I should have been going into Hulkamania mode and creating my own opportunity, like a real American would.
Climbing The Corporate Ladder
He offered me a job in sales, something I hadn’t really dabbled in since my bartending days, but this was a different head of the hydra that needed to be slain. So I ostentatiously stepped up, and began to start selling, and today, after working hard for a few months, I’m the sales director for the magazine. It’s a weird thing to go from having no money at all, to actually being able to take care of yourself, which I am proudly starting to do. You can thank Calvin and Warren for my change in opinion about Lake Charles, and I hope that you can change the way you think about this great town too. So please, if you are thinking about moving to Houston or Austin, reconsider your choice, and think about how you can help our developing community turn into something great.
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