Remembering the Who & When

April 11, 2012

by Katrice


As I sat editing a story for AT this morning   out of the blue, I thought about my first paid magazine piece. It was an article on the objectification of black female bodies in urban music videos for Urban Teen Scene magazine. I'm almost afraid to look back at my writing from that time in 2004, but I digress. I discovered the publication in the salon where my mom was a stylist, read it while getting my hair done, and went home directly after to call the editor in chief — Susan Dorsainville. Thank God for their publishing the number to the mag's editorial office in each issue and for the individual who answered and transferred me to Ms. Dorsainville's office though I'm sure my voice was almost too trembly to understand what I was saying. When she answered, I almost hung up! This was my habit; running towards challenges that frightened me and wondering what I was thinking as I got closer. But, I introduced myself. She didn't interrupt. After like 6 seconds of silence, I realized my foot was in the door. I told her that I had just read an issue of the magazine and would love to be a contributor. I ran down my few years of newspaper reporting and that I had completed a magazine internship while in college. Thinking back, I'm glad I didn't have to go straight on the job in Urban Teen Scene's offices because, seeing things from this side of the business, I had learned almost nothing in my internship. Nevertheless, to my surprise  she said I could do a trial piece on whatever I chose, but that it should fit the editorial scope of the mag. You can imagine my elation. The bonus, I would be paid for it.

I'm thinking about Ms. Dorsainville today because her giving me that assignment allowed me a starting point in this direction. Thinking back, I fully realize that she could have cut that conversation short without having lost anything. And while I only contributed two articles to the magazine, never met Susan in person and had just a few brief exchanges with her as my editor, I am so grateful to have received the opportunity. She took a chance on me — neither of us realizing that it would be a stepping stone that led to this point. So, this morning, I thought — I should locate her to say thank you. I never want to forget to remember the "who" and "when," especially when the who is someone that understood that lighting my candle wouldn't snuff out their flame.

Thanks, Susan, for everything.

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7 comments

  1. I recently been thinking about the people who have pushed me along the way. Along with the people who gave me my first chance. We don't need a specific reason to show our appreciation or say thanks. Be grateful for them everyday

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  2. Nice post...love the line about running toward things that frighten you :)

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  3. I loved reading this story! I remember when I did my first printed article my best friend referred me to the owner of a magazine she interned at a long time ago. Months went by and he called me to interview Kelly Price and I never interviewed anyone in my life, let alone a celebrity. As nerve wracking as that entire process was it was so awesome to have that opportunity (along with a few more after that) What you say is so true - you have to do those things that scare you the most to get over those fears. :)

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  4. I love this and your fearlessness! But you're right, there definitely are people that should be thanked for the role they play(ed) in our lives. I'm going to send some thank-yous out this weekend :)

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  5. Thoughtful post! I means a lot to thank those who have motivated and encouraged us in one way or the other. I have a few of them and I am ever so grateful! I agree- overcome your fears!

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  6. Great post! It sounds very intimidating to put yourself out there like that, but that's what you have to do to get where you want to go and be the person you want to be. It's very inspiring to hear this since I was thinking about doing the same thing :)

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  7. This really inspires me to take a chance and pitch the publications that I thought I couldn't get into. Thanks Katrice!

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