Second Shift: How facing a fear can lead to new opportunities - Metro US

Second Shift: How facing a fear can lead to new opportunities

Damon Gonzalez
Johnny Rodriguez

Our Second Shift series features people working more than one job and finding creative ways to make money. This week, meet someone who took a chance doing improv, which led him to discover a whole new passion. Want to be featured? Email Emily.Laurence@metro.us.

Name: Damon Gonzalez
Age: 35
Residency: Brooklyn Heights
Lives: Alone
Number of jobs: 2

Your primary job is as a business manager in advertising at a magazine. What exactly do you do?

I work with the advertising team to figure out ways to sell editorial content to their advertisers and figure out where we can place the ads in the magazine. I’m in charge of putting the layout together and working with editorial to make sure the magazine looks aestheticallypleasing, marring the ads with the editorial content.

You are also a commentator for TMZ Live on the side and go to an acting class once a week. How did you get into performing?

I was always curious about acting but was never really comfortable performing. One day, my work sent out an email to my department asking people to do improv. It was like my worst fear coming true. But I took a chance and did it, and people said I was really good at it. Sometimes when you confront a fear, you end up learning something good about yourself. So I started taking acting classes to pursue it more.

Does your acting class impact your day job?

No. The classes are Mondays from 7:15 p.m. to 9 p.m., so i’m usually done work by then and have time to get there.

How did you get involved with TMZ Live?

I have a blog and when Joan Rivers died, I wrote about how much she meant to me. TMZ tweeted me asking if I wanted to come on TMZ Live to talk about it, and it was such a crazy opportunity that I had to say yes. I guess I did OK, because they continued to ask me to be a commentator, which I do about every two weeks.

How does it work exactly?

They send me a message on Skype asking me if I’m free that day and what they’re talking about. If it’s something I’m interested in, I say yes.

And you owe it all to Joan Rivers.

She’s very special to me. I used to watch her talk show when I was a kid. My mom took me to go see it a few times. And later, as an adult, I had a friend who worked at Court TV and I did a segment called “Hollywood Heat” with her. So I actually got to work with her once.

Where do you hope your acting career goes?

For now, I want to get better at the craft. There’s so much to learn. I want to get really good at it and be ready for whatever happens, like if my career takes me to a place where I need to be on TV or in front of the media. But I’d be happy to get a TV commercial or work as an extra, too. I just want to have fun.

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