Our Stories

Mike

I had no work history my whole life. I knew about rough times, about gangs on the street and about foster care. I never knew how to live a productive life. I just never saw it. 

ManifestWorks changed everything for me. Mostly, it was my sense of what I could be. But there also were some helpful things I learned—and I'm still working on going over my emails!—just being really professional with everything I do. But I couldn’t say what the best part of ManifestWorks is. The best part is everything. Not only do I look forward to seeing others from my class on set, but when I see anyone of my brothers and sisters from the program and watch them kill it, I get a feeling that I can’t explain. I am so proud of all of us. 

Everything has changed for me. I get a regular pay check. I spend money smartly because I worked hard for it. I have a new car, my own place, and I'm happy. 

And I am gonna keep this going. Soon, I am going to have my own production company. NO LINES PRODUCTION! 


Sonia

ManifestWorks was the opportunity to make my dreams of becoming a director come true. One of the helpful things I learned in this program was to have the courage to pursue what truly makes me happy and to not be afraid to be judged by others. Everybody makes mistakes and no matter where I'm coming from, I deserve to be happy. Of course, nothing comes easy, I have to work very hard to prove to myself and everyone else that I have what it takes.

One of the hardest things for me was trusting myself. It's really up to me if I want to work the next week.

Still, I feel supported. The best part of this program is definitely the connections you make and friendships/mentors you walk away with.

After this program, I felt ready to take control of my life and do something meaningful with it. I want the world to know about this program because it completely changed my life. Now, when I wake up in the mornings, it feels different, because I'm waking up to a new world. I have worked in commercials, TV shows, short films, and I work as an assistant to a director who now is one of my mentors. ManifestWorks has not only prepared me to work professionally in the industry, but has given me the confidence I needed. This program is nothing but blessings. Without it, none of this would’ve happened. 

One of my future plans is to thank ManifestWorks when receiving my first Academy Award winning prize for Best Director! That's a promise.


Josh

At 16 year old, I had summer job at a Rec center, but after that, I had never had real job. 

When I got onto set, I knew I had to work hard. That was easy. You have to be professional, you have to figure out to make yourself indispensable. But I also knew I had to get to the point for them to like me—and hire me. The networking thing was really new for me. 

I am now self-sufficient. I make a pretty good living. I am saving all my money. My family got used to me being gone and now they see me working in Hollywood, meeting movie stars, living life. 

Yesterday, I was on the first ever live Super Bowl commercial. It was amazing. I never know what I am going to be doing. I love the variety.

Sometimes, I still get stressed about the freelance nature of work, but I have been working all the time. Pretty much everyone I have worked with has reached out to me, which is pretty great. 

I never would have thought I would get to be doing this with my life.