I grew up with this father of mine who did what he loved every, single day. As a filmmaker, he'd dream up an idea and toy around with it for a while until it was something he could sell as a documentary or feature film. When he wasn't dreaming up movie ideas, he was dreaming up new ways to remodel our house so that it was perpetually under construction my entire childhood.
I think when you grow up with someone who lives his dreams you either embrace that way of being and pursue your own creative pursuits with relentless zeal... or you know the dark side of it too well and instead play it safe.
As a teenager I won merit scholarships at Art Center College of Design where I studied graphic design and industrial design on Saturdays. I edited my high school paper and spent a summer at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism. And then I went off to Berkeley and crafted my own major built around all the themes in American culture I was most drawn to, namely media (film and journalism), American literature and American history.
But when I graduated in 1994, there were no entry-level media jobs in San Francisco.
And I needed to pay my rent so I did what I needed to do which was temp work: answering phones, filing, making coffee.
And then somewhere along the way between answering phones and making coffee, I fell into advertising, and with that my bigger dreams of being a magazine editor or film producer fell away too.
I've interviewed my dad, Richard Soto, for the Talk to Me Series because between the two of us, you get two very different takes on following a passion.
For him, it was making documentaries.
When I was your age there was no side passion, there was just making movies 24/7, 110%, loved it. -Richard Soto
For me, it's been actually finding my way back to having a passion again, and then figuring out how to follow it while I solo parent a teenager in the crazy expensive San Francisco Bay Area.
We hope you get something out of this conversation that we enjoyed having so much!
In the video we talk about The Side Passion Project. Stories of everyday people, the passion projects and business they're doing on the side, their journeys to where they are today, and how they make it work day-to-day.
If you or someone you know is pursing something on the side, please share a bit about it. I would love to feature your story for the upcoming podcast!