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How 4 Days in Indianapolis Made a Dream Come True

BY MORGAN LANDES | Ball State Sports Link

Sunday July 23, 2017

My phone started vibrating and as usual, I did not think anything of it. However, when I looked down, I realized the number shown was “Unknown” and from New Jersey. My first thoughts were not to answer it because it would just be a scam or salesman trying to get me into something. All jokes aside, I had also been thinking about freelancing and how jobs were picking up again.

I decided to answer, and of course after I said “hello?” no one replied. Normally I would have hung up, but for some reason my mind was telling me not to. So again I said, “hello?” Finally, a voice on the other end of the line spoke. She began by explaining that there was a job available in Indianapolis over Labor Day weekend. She later explains that the job is a local runner position for the NHRA and Fox Sports working the drag races at the Lucas Oil Raceway. Lets just say racing, especially drag, is parallel to a foreign language to me. I know very little racing terminology and racing strategy but it still sparked an interest.

I said yes and took the job anyway. I have quickly learned that saying yes when you feel uneasy and uncomfortable is the best way to figure out what you want to do with your career. You never know until you try, right? So why pass up an opportunity to meet people and make connections even if the sport isn’t your forte… Just say yes.

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Saturday September 2, 2017

Day three rolls around and connections are made. Everything within the company is running smoothly. My sister turns 18 today, however when you’re in this industry the reality is, you miss those things sometimes and hope that the ones you’re closest to in your family understands.

Kerry, another freelancer for this event, asked me what I wanted to do for a career. “Replay. Replay. Replay.” Little did I know, I was talking to the EVS operator (EVS is a brand of replay machines found in production trucks). He offered to teach me EVS right there on the spot. Once again, the feeling of uneasiness came over me simply because I had never had any experience running any replay system. However, the feelings of excitement and eagerness came right along with it.

Here is where I begin chasing a life long dream of learning replay…

I get into the truck, sit next to Kerry and observe everything I possibly can. He set up a machine in front of me to have the hands on experience and help clip interviews for the show. In one ear I hear Kerry and his explanations. In the other I hear the director, Kimberly, a Ball State alum. The coolest part? Knowing that I clipped an interview that was used for the broadcast on the first day I had ever learned EVS.

The feeling of spinning the wheel, putting videos into slow motion, and creating a highlight package for a replay on a live broadcast was something I have honestly never felt before. There is something that clicks when you finally learn and comprehend what you want to do in life. Something that internally tells you this is where you belong, and that feeling is incredible, let me tell you.

Sunday September 3, 2017

Crew call is at 9am, breakfast at 10am, and live at 11:30am. As the entire crew is circled around tables eating their breakfast, Kerry stops me. As he stops me, my heart stops with him. He proceeds to say, “You can run replay today if you want to, we have an extra seat in the truck.”

Needless to say, my heart was in my shoes yet again. I ran replay for the national drag racing championships, something I never thought I’d do.

As I was standing on the track after the long weekend was coming to an end, the sunset became a calming, symbolic factor in my mind. The sunset was going below the horizon, but it always comes back up the next day. It made me think about how my replay experience for this particular job had come to an end, but the next opportunity I get to run replay, you better believe I’ll be there to operate that machine. Running through the motions and getting a day over with is one thing, but really standing there, thinking, and taking in the experiences you have learned is another story.

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About morganlandes (5 Articles)
Born and raised in Anderson, IN. Junior at Ball State University and studying Digital Sports Production. Member of Ball State Sports Link. Favorite Quote: "We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."

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