ODU Alumnus Offers 'Dream Job' Advice in Maxim Magazine
That's Old Dominion University alumnus Keith Fenimore featured in a photo collage and article - "How to Land Your Dream Job" - in the September issue of Maxim magazine.
Fenimore, a producer and writer for Howard Stern's television show, has also gotten lots of media attention in the past few years because of a publicity experiment he has conducted to try to make his face the most recognized in America. A story about him and his publicity schemes was in the spring 2011 issue of ODU's Monarch magazine.
The 40-year-old show business veteran has worked behind the scenes his entire professional career - including stints in producing and marketing for A&E Network, VH-1, Fox Reality and TV Guide Channel. The publicity campaign he has crafted for himself has been a sideline.
Fenimore also is the co-author of the book "Hire Me, Hollywood!: Your Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Most Exciting - and Unexpected - Jobs in Show Business" (2011, Adams Media). It was while he was promoting the book that he made a call on Maxim.
"I pitched an idea where, in the spirit of my book, I could do a column in the magazine from time to time helping people with career advice," Fenimore said. "After multiple conversations, that idea turned into the magazine doing a profile on cool careers. I was able to write my own story about how I created a successful and unique career path for myself in Hollywood."
In the Maxim article, Fenimore offers advice for would-be Hollywood careerists under three headings: "Shut Your Grill and Get on With It," "Diversify" and "Break and Enter." The gist of his message: Be willing to work a wide variety of menial jobs and be daring with your tactics in order to place yourself in the running for a "cool" job in show business.
Fenimore, a 1993 graduate of ODU, said in the Monarch magazine article that the university's willingness to let him pursue his own independent studies major in marketing and communication has contributed to his career success. "I was very thankful I had the opportunity to craft a degree," he told Monarch. "It was like I had a book of pre-existing majors to choose from and I said, 'No, none of these are right for me. I'm going to make my own.' And I did. ODU afforded me that. Now as a professional - and as a person - I tend to stick to my way as opposed to the predetermined cookie-cutter route or path."
He said it was creative urge that led to the book, "Hire Me, Hollywood," and to the Maxim article.
His plan for the book was simple, he said. "I contacted people and said, 'I admire you and what you have done in your career. I want to dedicate an entire chapter in my new book to you in hopes that your story will inspire, entertain and educate people who are looking to break into the business and are fans of Hollywood.' Not to take anything away from my pitch, but it sort of sold itself. From comic book guru Stan Lee to Kevin Clash (the creator and voice of Elmo) to 'Entertainment Tonight' film critic Leonard Maltin to the star of 'True Blood' on HBO, Sam Trammell, they were lining up!"
Fenimore said he developed the idea for the book with a friend, and eventual co-author, Mark Scherzer, who is also a writer and producer. "Instead of pontificating about should we or could we, we just did! The reason I am so aggressive about doing, is because I realize the absolute worst outcome would be getting a 'no' and not selling the book. I know from experience that there has never been a 'no' I have not been able to get over and, at the very least, the process would broaden my repertoire and expand my professional experiences."
Fenimore is also proud of the magazine feature because it is evidence of his pluck. "Like a lot of other things in my career, Maxim didn't come knocking on my door, I wanted it, so I went to them and made it happen. Also, the fact that I could be in this magazine and not have to wear a thong was a big plus!"