Main. Character. Energy. Yes, I know it’s not a term of endearment. But I wear the badge with pride. I am the main character of my life story, and I have been since I was a child with aspirations of being a star. I’m not sure what being a star actually meant to me at that time, but I know that if there was a camera or a microphone involved, I was interested. To prepare for my inevitable stardom, I devoured popular culture from a young age. The “Today” show, the local news, People Magazine, reality TV – those were my education, inspiration and priority.
Following that dream of stardom took me from my hometown of Alexandria, Virginia to the University of Missouri (#glamorous), where I majored in broadcast journalism. My hopes of being some type of entertainment reporter would have to wait as my first and only offer to be on TV came from the local CBS affiliate in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It turned out that I loved local news reporting – informing a community about what’s happening and how it affects them, holding powerful people accountable and highlighting stories of people that don’t have a voice.
Even when my time in local news came to an end (a decision I made reporting live from my second hurricane in two years), I still wanted to tell stories and make a difference in my community. So when life took me to Colorado, I found a role doing just that at Denver Zoo. Advocating for the people that work there, and for the animals in their care, and the ones in the wild that need our help. And after years of moving around, I was thrilled to build a life and find my community here in Denver.
For the last ten years, my identity has been so closely tied to my career. Being on TV and creating fun animal content (yes, I’ve pet a rhino and fed a lion) was amazing, but so was saying I did those things. Now that I’m part of the wonderful group at Barefoot PR, I want *why* I do my job to be that primary part of my identity. Because I care about mission-based organizations, because I believe giving underrepresented voices a platform, because I love having an idea and seeing it come to life. Purpose first. It’s one of Barefoot PR’s values and only one of the many reasons I’m so honored to be on the team. I am excited to use the power of that Main Character Energy to elevate our clients’ work.
Written by Carlie McGuire, Senior PR Associate at Barefoot PR