The year 2010 was larger than life. It kept me on the go – but that’s really an understatement; I was non-stop. At points it felt like I was booked for life.
It was marked by achievements, celebrity happenings, scholarship rewards, massive networking, ups & downs & left and rights. Here’s a look back at what happened in 2010.
In January, I had the fortune of going to the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim. I was surrounded by music industry giants, hung out with my favorite bands, and made tons of connections. You can read all about my NAMM adventure here. At the end of January, I had a mini-gig at the Recreational Music Center.
In February, I was assiduously preparing for the madness that March would bring forth. I was part of the fundraising committee for S.A.F.E., a charitable organization devoted to helping members of the media when they go through life crises. I was working hard on gathering goods to auction off at the annual fundraising gala. To learn more about S.A.F.E., click here. Later on that month, I attended the SDSU Leadership Summit. Click here to read about it.
March was complete and utter madness. I got first dibs on Bonamassa’s new record, Black Rock, and wrote a review on it; I worked on business proposals; I was interviewed by The Southwestern Sun newspaper; I went to the Joe Bonamassa concert on March 17 in Riverside, Calif. (there I met Joe Bonamassa, Glenn Hughes, Derek Sherinian and Jason Bonham); I played at the Latina Aztec Power Lunch; I attended the S.A.F.E. fundraising gala (I won a much-deserved $100 spa certificate!); I treated myself to a one-week getaway to San Francisco where I had tweetups with my favorite people, @mlaffs and @hansongchua, and I also got to visit the world famous Guitar Solo store. Oh, and should I mention I juggled the aforementioned activities while going full-time to school, holding two part-time jobs, sustaining my barely active social life, playing tons of guitar, writing blog content and uploading guitar videos? Yes, I know… CRAZY.
April brought much tranquility my way – a little too much. I had surgery at the beginning of the month and was bed-ridden, on crutches and wearing a boot for four weeks. I nearly lost my sanity, but made it through the month due to the tremendous downpour of love and support on behalf of my lovely family and friends. Once I made it back to school, I ran for an SDSU PRSSA executive position and lost by ONE VOTE! But that’s okay because, unbeknown to me, in May I’d be appointed as the Public Relations Chair for the Association for Hispanic Media Professionals. Toward the end of the month I was interviewed by HAPPO, Help a PR Pro Out. Click here to see the video interview.
May was characterized by finals at SDSU (yes, joyful times). I was interviewed by La Voz de San Diego; I was selected to appear in Maroon 5’s music video and ended up NOT going. I didn’t go because I felt sick like a dog and was in no shape to drive up to L.A. to shoot a music video. There will be more opportunities to shoot videos; of this I am certain. I went to RAIN – The Beatles Tribute Show and sang/screamed/yelled/clapped/danced to my heart’s content.
June is usually summertime break, but in my book there’s apparently no such thing. I voluntarily signed up for summer school, and took the best course one could ever possibly get credit for: The History of Rock & Roll. Wait, it gets better. My teacher was Bill Yeager, a true gem for the SDSU music department. He’s played trombone for Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, etc. I had never been so excited to go to summer school! I also took an oceanography class, but that was only fun because I had the best and most qualified tutor by my side, Phil Farquharson. Phil is an extremely adept geologist and a member of the San Diego Association of Geologists. Yes, I am hooked up.
July – oh me oh my! I held an internship as a public relations assistant for the National Guitar Workshop from January till June 2010 (yes, on top of everything else I was doing). Aside from getting a 2010 Winter NAMM pass and tons of experience, I was given the opportunity to attend a weeklong guitar boot-camp in Los Angeles worth over $1500. I had THE time of my life, grew a lot as a musician and met tons of people who later became key components of my life. Here’s the photo gallery from NGW in Los Angeles. I was supposed to fly out to their Connecticut campus to be a guitar teacher intern for two weeks, but life’s stress caught up on me and I was unable to fly out after becoming ill.
Happy birthday to me! August was, without doubt, an exhilarating month for me. I traveled to New York City for a larger-than-life trip and spent my birthday with my dear friend, Ariel Hyatt, who runs her music PR agency in the Big Apple. This trip changed my outlook on life and made me reflect a lot on who I am as a person and professional. It also made me realize that traveling alone is one of the most rewarding experiences ever! I wrapped up the end of the month by attending a PR mixer hosted by the San Diego/Imperial Counties PRSA chapter with Gayle Falkenthal as the guest speaker. The highlights of this month were definitely personal and spiritual development and growth.
September didn’t bring much slowing down. I ventured off to Hollywood to cover the King of the Blues guitar competition for Guitar Edge Magazine. I met the nation’s top blues guitarists, and the one and only Derek Trucks. Around midmonth, I was invited to play guitar for Congressman Bob Filner, SDSU President Stephen Weber and a ton of amazing public figures at a Hispanic Association for Colleges and Universities event held at SDSU. And there’s no better way to wrap up the month than treating myself to a Muse concert!
October glowed with professional development events. I was awarded a scholarship by the Hispanic Public Relations Association and attended the scholarship gala in the lavish Millennium Biltmore hotel. I met with the nation’s most reputable and accomplished public relations practitioners, including the PRSA Chair-Elect, Rosanna Fiske and HPRA founder, John Echeveste. I came out on TV, too! Click below:
A few days later, I ventured down to Tijuana to a technology speech given by Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, at the Tijuana Innovadora conference. I was videotaped asking Biz Stone a question during the Q&A session. Shortly after, I received a notification from NAMM telling me that I was awarded the 2011 NAMM President’s Innovation Award. To wrap October up, I went to (W)right On Communications to get a Taste of PR because I was selected by the San Diego PRSA New Pros to be a PR pro for a day. All this going on while I was in school. Nuts!
Then November came along and brought forth more accomplishments. I played a gig for Consul General Elin Suleymanov of Azerbaijan early in the month. As the PR chair for the Association for Hispanic Media Professionals at SDSU, I recruited a very special public relations practitioner, Marisa Vallbona, to be our guest speaker. What a treat! Toward the end of the month, I did my first media deliveries and went to KUSI and Channel 6 to deliver news on a major client. The story was aired THREE times! And then… a major development: I moved!
December – After enduring the pain and torture that finals brought my way, December was all about of holiday parties. I went up to Los Angeles to celebrate Christmas with my Los Angeles PRSA and HPRA colleagues at their annual Christmas mixer. The next day I got a private tour of Cision’s office in Hollywood. Cision is an indispensable tool for PR practitioners and I was thrilled to get a one-on-one tutorial on how to use the program. I rang in the holidays in style by spending an unforgettable Christmas in Las Vegas, and then mellowed down a bit by ringing in the New Year at home with the biggest loves of my life, my mom and guitars.
I can only speculate what 2011 will bring my way. As I engage in conjectural thoughts, all that comes to mind is that it’s going to be a heck of an awesome, busy and productive year! God is good, very good!
Along the way, I’ll stop and smell the roses… come and smell them with me 🙂
P.S. It helps that I love, love, love what I do!