Failure To Launch: The Second Attempt 

“If growth comes from failure, surely by now I am a giant.”

I have attempted to launch the idea behind The Experiential GOAT several times before, each time ending in failure. But each failure taught an important lesson. Here is the story of the second attempt.

The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 stopped the world, including the first attempt at The Experiential GOAT. I went from preparing a campaign for “PromoLife” to sitting at home watching the live events industry crash and burn. I used the time to explore various controversial topics and create a rap mixtape. For one year, I was finding different creative outlets in order to get past the anxiety of not knowing what was coming next in my life. I wasn't even thinking about my career because at that point I was sure I was completely done with experiential marketing. How were large events with large crowds going to work once the world was able to re-open?

By the time March 2021 rolls around, the cabin fever was too much for me to bear and I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I decided to start with some movie background work in Atlanta just to get used to being around people other than my family. I was able to land a few background roles in Atlanta, including one on the Marvel series She Hulk.

Despite that, I was still not considering coming back to experiential marketing. I had more confidence that movie and TV show productions would have rigid COVID-19 protocols that many marketing agencies would not try to adopt for cost reasons. Having kept an idea on job boards and experiential platforms throughout the shutdown, I could see that there was a lot of uncertainty across then board. With experts divided on the best way to go about events post-pandemic, I was quite content to stay in the artistic sphere of entertainment.

In May 2021, I got asked if I could be the team lead for a NASCAR unveiling event in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. Since this was one of my favorite agencies to work for, I decided that I would give it a shot. The event was small and while there were no testing or vaccine protocols in place at that point, it felt good to be back working a live event. I still was not considering coming back entirely until July 2021 when I made the decision to drive cross country from North Carolina to California in the PromoMobile.

I started booking events as I was coming across the country, using every resource that I had at my disposal to be able to stay consistently booked while having to driving long distances. From July 2021 until November 2021, I had worked everything from a monster truck show in Cleveland to driving Corvettes at the Texas State Fair to the Los Angeles Auto Show. I was having the time of my life and recording it every step of the way.

When I arrived in Los Angeles in November 2021, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to reconnect with people I had met when I had first started out in the industry. Being able to reconnect with that community was incredibly beneficial since it allowed me to work for the LA Rams during their playoff run and the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show.

By February 2022, I had completed the most incredible job run of my entire career: not only had I been able to work the LA Rams playoff games, I was able to work for one of the main Super Bowl sponsors, Visa, be on the field during the halftime show, and work the victory parade after the LA Rams won Super Bowl LVI.

I was very quickly becoming a go-to person for how to find great gigs in the live events industry and how to keep up with all of it. After a while, I was getting the same questions so much and so often, that I began to realize there was a need for this information. I began pitching the idea of a website that has all the information that would be necessary to be successful in this industry to a group of friends that I was working with pretty consistently in experiential marketing.

I started updating all the information from “PromoLife” and getting in touch with other heavy hitters in experiential marketing such as Jae Davis Media and Trusted Herd about putting together a resources platform. The premise was meant to be extremely simple: the website would be a collection of all the various tools that I and the community had used to be able to book great gigs, financial resources that are unique to those working events, and how to avoid staffing scams. I set to work rebranding “PromoLife” to

The Experiential GOAT.

Over the next year, I was trying to keep up the momentum in my personal career while trying to adjust to life in Los Angeles while putting together this platform. I was flying around the country working and trying to put together a platform for the community of people that were so instrumental to me living some of the most incredible moments of my life.

So what went wrong?

The Failure: Burnout

While I was blessed to be able to book the most exclusive gigs for some of the biggest brands in the nation while being based out of the entertainment capital of the world, the reality was that I was burning the candle at both ends in order to keep up with the demand. Where I had been able to schedule in off days when I was driving across the country to get to Los Angeles, I suddenly found that I no longer had any time to myself. My off days were suddenly split between trying to find an apartment in LA and trying to build the website, with the occasional friend outing in order to stay up on everything happening in the entertainment and experiential industry.

After a while, I was starting to feel the same burnout that had caused me to move back to home in 2017 and decided to reduce the amount of experiential marketing gigs in favor of working more as a studio vocalist. As cliche as it sounds, music allows me the freedom to express myself in ways that may not be acceptable in other environments. I was suddenly able to express all the negative emotions that I had been bottling up in order to be at all these different events and the conflicting emotions that often arise but that no one wants to talk about.

At first, this was what allowed me to keep my head in the game and stay focused. If something happened at an event that I was not able to react to honestly, I would just put it in a song and record it when I got to the PromoMobile so that it was out of my system. Then I would work on the next thing for The Experiential GOAT and prepare for the next work event and so on and so forth. Being able to sing the negative emotions was cathartic and helped to resolved a lot of the conflicted emotions that can happen when working major events.

But after a while, I felt that I was being confined to a space that I no longer belonged. I had always expressed the desire to work in production, but I had seemed to hit a wall when it came to getting production companies to even give me an interview, let alone an actual job. I wasn't sure if my reputation as being hard working, but incredibly outspoken was working against me or if I was becoming more outspoken because I was becoming so disillusioned with the industry.

The final straw for working activations was the 2023 College Football Championship in Los Angeles. I was the team lead for a major brand that had the team handing things to fans so that they could win prizes. Since the activation was at the convention center, I asked the tour manager from the production company for water and hand sanitizer for the team. The conversation got heated when they more or less tried to refuse and I could no longer contain my deep frustration that I was having to tell the person in charge that water and hand sanitizer was necessary for handing items to strangers all day. That was the day I knew that I could not work events AND advocate on behalf of workers simultaneously.

To add to it, the PromoMobile died the day I was supposed to leave for Super Bowl LVII, forcing me to drop all the plans that I had for The Experiential GOAT in Phoneix, AZ. After working Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show, I officially “retired” from working activations in experiential marketing. The Experiential GOAT was shelved yet again, with my music and artistic pursuits being able to take center stage.

Beyonce's birthday concert in Los Angeles during her Renaissance Tour would change my perception of what experiential marketing could be. And the ill-fated survey would reveal sides of the industry I had never imagined.

Failure To Launch: The First Attempt 

“If growth comes from failure, surely by now I am a giant.”

I have attempted to launch the idea behind The Experiential GOAT several times before, each time ending in failure. But each failure taught an important lesson. Here is the story of the first attempt.

I got into experiential marketing entirely by happenstance in April 2013. By that time, I was tying up the loose ends on my scientific career and preparing to move to Los Angeles fresh off the release of my very first studio album, Inception. Even though I was able to work a few more events before my move in May 2013, Los Angeles was a massive culture shock. While there were a plethora of jobs at any given time, getting an agency to take a chance on you required sheer luck. Even once you got your foot in the door, staying consistently booked is a job in and of itself. There was no online guide to the industry at that point and most of booking gigs was through word of mouth at other gigs. So through a lot of trial and error, I finally was able to develop a system that allowed me to be able to book consistently while having full control over my schedule so that I could book the events I WANTED to work, not the ones I had to for the money.

My system was so incredibly efficient and I was booked so consistently (not just with live events, either. Working on movie sets, audience coordinator for major shows, studio vocalist) that I was started to show signs of extreme exhaustion by March 2017. In June 2017, I made the extremely difficult decision to move back to North Carolina for the sake of my physical health and family. I took some months to rest, but after a while I was ready to go back to work. I started working the system that I had developed in Los Angeles in Charlotte and was greeted by the shock that the markets varied GREATLY.

I was able to adjust and figure out how to evolve the system on the East Coast. So I was able to start being booked consistently in Charlotte and then expand out once I got the infamous PromoMobile.

Now, the entire time that I was doing all of this, the one question that I got asked EVERY SINGLE TIME I told anyone what my job description was (which would also have to include pulling up pictures and videos of myself at events to prove that I wasn't making it all up):

“When are you going to get a REAL job?”

My friends and family would ask me this all the time. Random strangers standing in line waiting to do the activity at an activation would say that to me. I got the question much more on the East Coast than the West Coast and I realized that most people have absolutely no concept of this industry despite participating in it on some level at some point in time. Conversations with my fellow experiential peers revealed that they got the same questions all the time too and the general mood is always amusement: the perks of the job definitely outweigh the downsides (at least they did then).

Then there were the people that wanted to figure out how to do what I was doing but wanted me to hand-walk them through it. The number of “friends” that I tried to refer to agencies that would refuse to do it because it wasn't “sustainable” or that would actually book the gig but complain about the conditions is ridiculous. I got to the point that I refused to refer anyone to agencies that I had a good thing going with and would instead send to agencies that were just looking for a body (cause those were agencies I only work for once). I am extremely meticulous about data collection and when I would meet up with other event professionals, I always tried to incorporate their perspectives into my notes. Hearing about Trusted Herd was a God-send because it meant that someone recognized the issues that plagued the industry and was creating a community to share that information. But the one thing that was missing were in-person educational courses on what it would take to be a great experiential professional. The idea was simple: create a series of in-person classes that would allow live event workers to learn about the different tools and resources available.

So in September 2019, a friend and I started researching the experiential marketing industry with the goal of creating short workshops for those in Charlotte that wanted to learn more about live events. The idea was that there would be a series of in person classes that would be tailored for specific audiences: brands wanting to do live events but not knowing where to start, people looking to get into working in the industry but not having any idea where to start, and current professionals looking to take the next step in their career. Everything was going along perfectly well and we had set a date to begin the first class in May 2020, with an advertising campaign starting in April 2020 under the banner of


So what went wrong?

The Failure: COVID-19

This is probably the only attempt that does not make me sad or upset in any way because the circumstances were just so far out of everyone's control. The shutdown started in March 2020 and by the time May 2020 rolled around, it was clear that in-person anything was not going to happen. Trying to translate it to an online class was not feasible at the time because almost all the data that we had been gathering and carefully organizing into presentations became obsolete almost overnight. Without being able to know when the industry was coming back and what it would look like, there was no way to make a pivot to salvage this attempt.

So I shelved all the information and went on with my life. It would be March 2022 before I revisited the idea again.

What Even Is The Point of The Experiential GOAT?!? 

I KNOW that somewhere out there is a person that sees my posts and goes

“OMG, Girl AGAIN?!?!? What you going on about THIS time?!? 🙄”

Listen, I get it. It feels like I just show up, cause a bunch of trouble, and then leave just as suddenly. 😂

It doesn’t help that I have tried to launch this not once but TWICE already. Or that my current attempt is an epic flop (to put it politely).

I’m sure from the outside looking in it seems like I have WAY too much going on at any given time: an album/movie thing, a random rap mixtape, always showing off my tattoos, popping up at things rather willy nilly, living in NDA land….trust me, I COMPLETELY understand why folks are probably over me. 🤷🏾‍♀️

So WHY try to bring The Experiential GOAT back AGAIN and why now?

Because experiential marketing is an inescapable aspect of every day for everyone.

It doesn’t matter what field you are in or why, as long as capitalism exists, there will always be a brand trying to show you why their products will enhance your overall lifestyle. The advent of social media and the advancements in AI are only enhancing marketing more towards a full sensory experience instead of more traditional techniques.

But that also means that there are more scams than ever within the live event industry. Regardless of what your position is in the industry, there is a scam tailored for it and there are not always places that can warn people ahead of time. Whether you are brand  looking to hire a staffing agency or a brand ambassador looking to be hired through a staffing agency on behalf of a brand, the ever changing landscape of the industry can make it difficult to keep up.

That is where The Experiential GOAT comes in.

By compiling all of the notes into a central space and fostering a community of collaboration to drive competition, the point of The Experiential GOAT is to serve as an industry resource to be able to enhance the overall quality of live events on ALL levels.

The Experiential GOAT takes abstract ideas and turns them into tangible realities for ALL to enjoy.

Going from the thought on paper to an actual live event is not as simple as people make it seem. It requires teamwork and collaboration, but also a firm knowledge of the many moving parts to keep everything moving smoothly. By crowd sourcing knowledge from those with experience working with the public, the industry is enhanced from the inside out to create unforgettable, once in a lifetime experiences.

So, in short, I’m back at it again because there is no escaping it.

I am a GOAT.🐐


Hopefully, this time around, other GOATS will find the courage to climb with me. 😘

How I Got Started In Experiential Marketing 

So, once upon a time, I was a scientist.

I graduated from THE Fisk University in Nashville, TN with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC with a Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Chemistry and Cancer Biology. 

In other words, I am a HUGE nerd that loves learning about science and how the world around us works.

I ALSO love music, dance, and fashion. And while being a scientist was literally paying the bills, I had to find another way to fund my extracurricular habits. Furthermore, as long as I was a paid grad student, I was not allowed to take on another job meaning that I had to find something that was paying money but not considered to be a “real job”.

I have dabbled in music performance and modeling almost all of my life because I have a deep love and affinity for it so I decided to Google “Promo Modeling” and do some research about independent modeling from there. One of the first sites that popped up was ATN Modeling. I signed up and created a profile on their site as well as a few others. There were not really a lot of events in NC so I figured it was that avenue was a bust and got into studio vocalist recording.

One day, I get an email from ATN asking if I would be available for team lead for an event in Greensboro, NC for March Madness. It was paying $18 an hour for 6 hours…..and I didn't even read the rest of the email after that because that was all I needed to see. I agreed and get the booking confirmation and everything.

The day of the event, I am looking at the instructions of what I needed to do and that is when it crossed my mind that it was a scam. I was basically watching people play a college drinking game at Hooters for the chance to fly to New York and play the same game on a late night talk show all in the name of March Madness. My brain couldn't wrap my head around the fact that they would pay me more than TWICE the state minimum wage (which in 2013, was $7.50 and in 2024 is $7.50) when I was making way less than that per hour while researching and creating cancer drugs (in 2013, I was being paid $2400 a month as a graduate student).

I go to the event, everything goes smoothly, and I have a lot of fun. I absolutely love it….and that is when I was SURE I had just been scammed. It was all so easy and while I knew this was a major brand, not understanding the point of the entire thing made me feel like I had just been had.

Then the check showed up. And CLEARED.

That was when I knew this was REAL and started applying to work more events. And thus starts my career as an experiential brand ambassador.