Blind Risks – Worry + Work x Love + Fun = A Pretty Good Life



Andy James (Alton), MEDC 2012

You might have known him as Andy Alton.  He studied Film Production and Media Communications.  Minored in Theatre.  Graduated in May of last year.  Today, he is known as Andy James, agented Screen Actor’s Guild-American Federation Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) member, and producer and distributor of a weekly comedic podcast called “Daddio Patio.”  He is also a Whiskey Bootlegger on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire. You might have also seen him in the Jason Robert Brown musical, The Last Five Years.  Or you might have seen him in any number of things, as he’s been taking on extra roles and doing stand-in gigs, photo doubling, featured spots, and principal roles.  You will soon see him as a stockbroker in the Martin Scorsese film The Wolf of Wall Street, to be released in November.  As if that’s not enough, in his free time, Andy says he’s been dabbling in stand-up comedy and improv.  How does he do it all?  If you ask him, it’s not a complicated equation. Continue reading

St. Louis Welcomes Back TV Producer and SOC Alum

Janaye Williams, Broadcast Journalism ’10, is on her way back to St. Louis to join KSDK, where she will be a producer on weekend nights.  Prior to that, Janaye was working as a producer at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has worked at KMOV and interned at KTVI as well.


Janaye Williams, Broadcast Journalism, BA, 2010

Janaye tells us she always knew she wanted to be a TV producer, and over the past two years she’s adopted the personal motto, “Expect the Unexpected.”

“As you can imagine, each day is filled with a new developing story,” she says.  “There’s no such thing as a ‘typical day.” Continue reading

New Mentoring Program Up and Running

In addition to our own School of Communications GURU program, you may now participate in a university-wide mentoring program, which pairs alumni mentors with current students. The six-month program provides students with a mentor’s practical career knowledge and guidance while providing mentors with the opportunity to use their expertise to help lead a student to success. During their time together, the student and mentor connect in positive one-on-one planned interactions to assure a meaningful experience for both.

For more information and to apply, go to

Applications are due September 30th.

Michael Kera, Video Production, ’11: On Turning an Internship into a Career

During the semester before graduation, Michael Kera interned with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.  He now has a career as an Associate Producer – at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis!


Michael Kera (Video Production, 2011) with one million dollars

 How Did That Transpire?

We asked Michael how he got from here to there.  Michael says he’d known he wanted to work in corporate video after doing some freelance work for an insurance agency after high school.  “[So] everything I did from the time I got to Webster led me to that goal.  I didn’t know which company I’d end up working for, or if companies were even hiring internal video production people, so my backup plan was to work for a production house that worked with corporations.” Continue reading

Amy Spalding, ’04, on Managing Dual Careers


Amy Spalding, Advertising & Marketing, ’04

Amy Spalding graduated in December 2004 with a B.A. in Advertising & Marketing Communications.

Today, she is a Digital Media Planner at S. Callan Advertising in Los Angeles, California.  She is also the author of The Reece Malcolm List (Entangled Teen, 2013) and the forthcoming Ink is Thicker Than Water (Entangled Teen, 2013).  Plus—as if having two careers isn’t impressive enough—in her free time, Amy performs improv around Los Angeles, at UCBTLA, iO West, and in multiple indie shows. Continue reading

Freelance Filmmaker, Maximilian Reid ’11, On Creativity and the Benefits of Living a Full, Fascinating Life

Maximilian Reid is an LA-based filmmaker.  He is also an intellectual—a multifaceted, creative thinker, a man of many skills, and an all-around remarkable person.


Maximilian Reid, Film Production ’11

A year and a half ago, a recently graduated Max moved to LA, where he says he was happy to work on set for free in order to begin gaining experience and building his résumé. Now, Max says the tricky part, “is knowing when to say, ‘No thank you.’”

Max advises anyone interested in a similar career path to “Spend your time deliberately and your money wisely.”  In the film industry, the route to success often starts as a production assistant.  “And for most people that’s the right path, “ he says. “It’s where I started.  But I’ve found that progress depends on luck, ingenuity, and personality.”

Continue reading