In FSBlog’s Just Launched feature, we talk to brand new Full Sail grads, right out the door from graduation, about what’s next for them as they head out into the workforce. This month’s Just Launched graduate is Rogelio Griffith.
Name: Rogelio Griffith
Degree Program: Entertainment Business
Graduation Date: June 26, 2015
Childhood: I was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1986. My mother sent me to live with my grandmother in Panama at age two, and I didn’t come back to the U.S. until age 12. When my mother came to bring me back to the U.S., that’s when I found out I was an American – surprise! Even though I am an American by birth, my first language is Spanish. It’s weird, I came to my “home country” where I didn’t speak the language and didn’t understand the 4th of July or any American holiday, for that matter.
First Job: I started working in a studio in New York when I was 16. I would book studio time for artists, pick them up at the airport, book them hotels, that sort of thing. The guy who owned the place was running a record label, yet he didn’t sing or rap or play anything. I started wondering how he made money. That was an important moment for me.
Chasing Your Dreams: I’ve always been interested in music, but I always got intimidated. I didn’t know how to mix and master and run equipment. I tried to do production, I tried to do engineering, but it was difficult for me. I started realizing my weaknesses, and my weaknesses cost me a lot of money. But I finally realized, wait, I don’t belong doing the technical part. I can be behind the scenes running the whole show, like the guy in New York.
Military Service: I served in the Marines from November 28, 2005 until 2009. During that time, I served two tours in Iraq as an infantryman. While I was serving and deployed to Iraq I managed to go to college between combat missions. In other words, I’d get a task to clear a road for explosives, and when I was done, I would write a college paper. I didn’t look at it as anything special at the time, but when I look back at it now, it’s kind of insane. But I was able to do it because I found everything I was studying really interesting. You have to be really dedicated to what you want to do.
Down the Road: My goal is to open an audio production facility in Orlando. I don’t want to call it a studio, because I’m not just a fan of music. I’m a fan of audio as a whole. I’d like to create sound for movies, video games, lectures, audiobooks … I just love the concept that someone can say something, and you can help relate it in a way that helps other people actually grasp it.
I also hope it can give other people opportunities to do what they want to do. There’s plenty that I don’t know, so I’ll need help from other people. Sort of like washing each other’s hands, if you want to call it that. I’m really big into keeping dreams alive. I went too long in my life dodging mine, and at 27, I finally figured it out.
Making it Happen: I’m working overseas right now to raise funds for the facility. I do diplomatic security at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. Since the attack on Benghazi, the U.S. has taken security overseas a little more seriously. There are multiple embassies overseas that fall under “high threat,” and the embassy in Afghanistan falls under that category. I just do security around the embassy, and escort the Ambassador when he goes out for a meeting. I’ve been able to raise some of the funds for the facility overseas, but I’m also working on launching a Kickstarter to raise the rest. My goal is to open later this year.
Advice for Other Full Sailors: Use Full Sail for all of its resources. Everything you need, in order to go into the entertainment business, you can find here. Students are very helpful, and the instructors are helpful too. Just pick their brains. It will make everything much easier.
I got my degree online, but whenever I was in Orlando, I used to come on campus just to mingle with the students. I like to think of Full Sail as a place full of a bunch of crazies, but in a good way. I guess we remind each other that we’re not really crazy.