Paige is a Floridian. She has worked as a television producer, director, script writer, on camera host and voice over talent in Miami. She graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Advertising and second minor in Global Communication. She studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, England and has an extensive theatre background. Currently, she is a freelance producer and writer for independent films in her home town of Jacksonville. Learn more about Paige on www.paigejohnsen.com and her Facebook page.
I have been involved in theatre my entire life, so naturally I thought I would major in theatre when I went to college. I helped direct, produce and act in most of the plays at my high school. I had an undeniable passion for theatre and I poured my heart and soul into every production.
I auditioned for the Florida International Theatre Program and was accepted. I respectfully declined after my parents suggested I should major in something that will better benefit my future. Even though it was my decision in the end, I was bitter about it for years later. I received a Bachelor of Arts in English, minor in Advertising and a second minor in Global Communications. I will be honest, I really enjoyed reading and discussing literature in high school and college, but I missed theatre. I was focused on finishing school and working as a nanny, so I didn’t have any time to do community theatre. I was fortunate enough to find a study abroad program that combined the English and Theatre department. We traveled to Stratford, England and studied with the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was the most inspirational time of my life. I stayed at a bed and breakfast in Shakespeare’s home town, toured his birthplace and saw several plays by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Before and after the plays we discussed the readings and performances with actors in the Royal Shakespeare Company. We also traveled to London and toured all the major landmarks. When I got back to the states, I realize I didn’t have to major in theatre for it to be part of my life.
During my senior year, I worked as a Social Media Marketing Manager, which was great experience. I graduated from college and began my post graduate job search. I realized I could find a writing job, but I knew it wouldn’t satisfy me. I was too young to settle for a job that didn’t utilize my creativity and passion for directing, producing and performing. I finally found my dream job and it was not at a theatre.
I began working as a production assistant for a local television production company. I quickly worked my way up as a producer and on camera host. After a few months, I was hosting the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim for the Beach Channel, produced a commercial for a college in south Florida and an entire season of a reality show on the Velocity channel. I transferred all my skills and experience in theatre to producing and hosting commercials and shows. At times, I wish I knew more of the technical aspects of production, but I didn’t have to major in television production to be successful in the business. Success also comes from the confidence you hold within yourself and what you take from real world experience. Your college major does not choose your career industry or path. Build your own path.