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Meet Patience Owusu-Ofori

Today we’d like to introduce you to Patience Owusu-Ofori.

Patience, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Right now, I am a photographer by day and a video editor and podcaster all day. The plan for my future did not start off that way. I was on a path to do something in science. I am a first-generation Ghanaian-American. Like most first-generation Americans, my parents instilled in my siblings and I, from a very young age, that our career path should be in math, science, or something government-related. Any other career will give you a life filled with struggles.

So I graduate with a BS in Nutrition with a concentration in Science. However, my last year of school I was a credit short to be considered a full-time student for the fall semester and I decided to take an easy course. Something I would wholeheartedly enjoy and not feel the least bit stressed about. So I thought to myself, I love movies, I’ll take a film appreciation course. But they were all filled up. Having little hope that I would find an easy class, I kept searching. And there it was, “Introduction to Media Production for Non-majors.” And it was only half-filled. The class was intended to walk students through the process of creating short films from a script to casting, filming, and editing.

After a few weeks in that class, I researched careers in the film industry. And to my surprise, the salary for most positions I was interested in would equate to the pay I would receive in my current science profession. I looked up the salaries because if I were to convince my parents of this real interest in the arts, I better have the facts and numbers to back it up.

One day after the production class, I was walking with some classmates and one of them said and I am paraphrasing, “So glad to be out of there. The teacher and that class is so boring.” Right then and there, it hit me. I didn’t feel that way and in fact, I feel the complete opposite. I actually wanted to discuss the lecture we just had. But I completely understood her feelings because I had similar feelings with my science classes. I would be interested in two to three chapters out of an entire textbook for every course. But for this production class every chapter and subchapter would have me wanting more.

After graduation, I knew my plan. I would move to Los Angeles, the film capital of the world, and add to that world! First, I would live at home for a year and work to save money. Next, I would try and squeeze everything a college graduate of media studies would know and learn that within that year. In addition, I would have a top-notch portfolio to showcase to top executives once I arrived in Los Angeles. I want to pause my story here to say two quotes that explain the rest of my journey.

“We plan, God laughs”
– Old Yiddish proverb

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years”
– Bill Gates

When I arrived in L.A. 75% of my finances were gone due to car trouble and rent. Gig after gig, I would realize how much more there was to learn about this profession and that I would need way more than a year for my skill level to be aligned with my passionate level. Needless to say, I created and completed over 100 projects within two years in my portfolio, but finding my niche and a specialty can only happen with experience and time. Some things in life can only be “solved” with time. I still haven’t met any executives but I’m ok with that.

I am going on five years living and growing in Los Angeles. I have faced dramatic rent increase, sketchy gigs, life-changing gigs, mundane gigs, partnerships, familial issues, parking tickets, car troubles, a pandemic, beautiful friendships, not so good friendships, completing a marathon, and of course the infamous traffic. Throughout this chapter, one particular theme that I am passionate about keeps occurring. The education system. I decided to start a podcast about just that. The podcast “Now College” is about me interviewing individuals who attended college and how most of them graduated college. In addition to storytelling through the lens, I needed to create something with my actual voice.

I want my Podcasts to not only be a way to debrief for my guest (because they probably never talked about it and I know some sort of transformation happened during that time) but also for that person who is thinking about going to college to hear all the stories to know whenever that trial or struggle occurs it’s ok and you’re not alone.

My personal college story can be heard on the season finale of “Now College” Season 1 which is on all major streaming podcasts platforms.

Season 2 is coming soon!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
If anyone’s road has been smooth, I dare say they’re not dreaming big enough. Of course, there have been struggles. There have been plenty of struggles. But when I look over the major ones, it comes down to one recurring theme. To trust my gut. If an opportunity or a person seems shifty or does not settle well in your gut, soul, energy, vibe, whatever you want to call it, trust it! And if something seems like a great opportunity or a cool person comes into your life trust that! Every scenario, whether positive experience or a negative experience has a lesson in it, and it is imperative to reflect on those moments in order to move forward. If not, the same struggle will most likely continue to happen until we stop and assess.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a storyteller. I tell these stories through film as a video editor and audio as a podcaster. I edit videos for musicians, vloggers, podcasters, concerts, festivals, and interviews. I am most proud of my new podcast called Now College. This podcast highlights the personal experience of each guest through their college experience. This podcast is almost therapeutic for me because for an American, school is about a quarter of one’s life and a third of one’s day within that time frame. This podcast explores and reflects on our educational career and to spread knowledge about how to navigate through these times to others coming up through the system. In some way, the school system has shaped us all and how we maneuver in life. Just as we give a spotlight to romantic relationships and how not observing that past relationship could affect the new one, the same could be said for our time as students. What patterns are we still acting out in our daily lives? What are we doing with our lives? Did school, or the lack of it, change your trajectory in your career? Take a listen to my guest and how they navigated through the system and how it plays a role in their lives today.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts or blogs that help you do your best?
Absolutely! I am the ultimate consumer when it comes to content. You know when they say people are addicted to social media; I am that way about media. I find we are living in a very special time where I can view or listen to every and anything we are interested in. And I think it is pretty remarkable that I have been able to listen to famous celebrity content as well as a newcomer all on the same platform! From Oprah’s Master Class Podcast to How I Built This to Earn Your Leisure to The Healing Circle Podcast all on the same platform. It is truly amazing.

Since my junior year of college, I have had a reading list of books and to this day my top two books are “The Alchemist and Seat of the Soul.” These two books really impacted my life. I love a good hero’s journey tale and so far “The Alchemist” is the G.O.A.T! “The Seat of the Soul” gave me an idea of perspective and completely changed the way my brain operates. That the way we see life is not necessarily how others see life and vice versa. And that isn’t a bad thing.

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Image Credits
Mario Fierro (picture 2) Ehcrama Marche (picture 3)

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