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Living the dream work

Creativity, a penchant for artistic pursuits and a steadfast determination to always venture outside of his comfort zone landed Joey a career at DreamWorks Animation — working in the world of entertainment on some of the biggest shows in the business.

  • Major BFA, Music Theatre
  • Work history TV Marketing Asset Coordinator at DreamWorks Animation
  • Hometown Brighton, CO
  • How would you describe CMU? Challenging, Rewarding, Personalized, Fun

Dream work

Joey has the kind of job people dream about. He watches TV — professionally. He works at the heart of the shows and stories that fill our lives (and our streaming services). And he is responsible for hand-selecting and sharing the most pivotal on-screen moments; the ones that make us laugh, cry and feel connected.

While Joey admits it wasn’t originally his dream to work in TV, he’s had an undeniable draw towards entertainment and talent for the arts since he was young. With a desire to pave his own path without having to leave his home state, Joey discovered the theatre department at CMU and realized the program was anything but “cookie cutter.” He knew the hands-on approach and unique emphasis on personal development would allow him the space to grow as an individual, while still being supported by a strong campus community. 

CMU has this grasp on who their students are — they see you as the individual you are and they want to help you grow and foster your individualistic talents. It just gives you so many tools for the future post-college. CMU nails it.

What CMU taught me

  1. Measuring personal growth is more important than comparing yourself to others

  2. The value of human relationships and making personal connections

  3. How to hustle, grind and negotiate for what you deserve; to never sell yourself short

  4. Your greatest challenges are often your most rewarding experiences

My Advice

Don’t be scared. Everyone around you is also shaking in their boots. Everyone is in the same boat. Remember there is no ‘right’ way because everyone’s path is different.

His big break

When we caught up with Joey, who now lives in Los Angeles, he reminisced on the people he met and relationships he built during his time at CMU. It turns out, his college connections were his catalyst for taking the leap and moving to LA, where he put a whole lot of time and hard work into breaking into the entertainment industry. Joey hustled to juggle acting classes, auditions, studio interviews and a slew of production assistant jobs before getting his big break at DreamWorks. 

As the asset coordinator on the Creative Marketing team for the animation company, he watches all of the studio’s TV shows and pulls the clips and stills to be used across marketing and social campaigns. The iconic moments Joey identifies are used to tease and promote the shows nationally — and he loves every aspect of it. We could hear true, palpable excitement in his voice when he talked about his work and his role that, as chance would have it, combines his childhood love for cartoons, passion for animation and experience in the performing arts.

Joey isn’t working directly in the musical theater field he earned his degree in, and he’s perfectly happy about it. By venturing over the Rocky Mountains and off the beaten path, Joey gained practical knowledge and transferable skills at CMU that prepared him to always pursue his dream, even as it grows and changes. He knows he’s right where he’s meant to be, and he’s grateful to CMU for helping him get there. 

Article published January 2023

I don’t think I would have had the same hands-on experience and growth that I got from CMU had I gone to one of the other Colorado universities. It exceeded my expectations.

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