Translation was a start-up by definition. I mailed my own FedEx and assembled boxes but I also chatted on the phone with super senior executives at some of the top brands in the country.

It was my second job and it was a whirlwind of crazy hours, lots of travel, staying all night to get ready for pitches, going out too much, big expense accounts and client schmoozing. Hershey’s was one of my clients. I can still smell the chocolate in the air from when we stayed in Hershey to go to their offices. It was warm breezes of chocolate wafting outside your hotel window. It was incredible. We were working on a HUGE piece of business for Hershey’s and got tossed a side project— the launch of a new candy bar, The Reese’s Crispy Crunchy. Our creative team worked tirelessly on the go-to-market plan and while the client loved most of it they weren’t sold on the TV which was the biggest production piece. I didn’t know that this wasn’t normal at the time, but once their ideas got shot down, we all started writing TV scripts. Account peeps, strategy peeps, everyone wrote a TV script for client review. While my script didn’t get selected, we did get one approved and then the project got tossed to me.

I worked tirelessly with a 3-D production studio on the lower east side, on production, renderings, food photography, food modeling, project timelines, client reviews, original music scores and post-production finishing. I planned and placed media buys based off of our target demographics and sent the tapes out to the networks (do they still do that? tapes? in the Mail?) for live dates. I watched the spot on TV and called my parents to tell them to do the same.

It wasn’t until I saw the final spot credits that listed my name as the Producer, or when I opened a seriously overpriced gift basket full of champagne with names I’d never heard of, that I realized I had produced my very first commercial. That was the bonus of working at a start-up as a get-shit-donner. I just did what had to be done. I didn’t know I was doing the job of a media planner or buyer, or that I was PRODUCING A SPOT FOR TV FOR HERSHEY’S!!— I was just doing ‘my job’.