Last week, a number of University of Central Florida students anxiously sat at their computers awaiting Facebook announcements of this year’s Face of Fox competition winner. No, it wasn’t exactly a national news story. It wasn’t even brought to us by local Fox stations. This competition to find a new correspondent for a Fox program was held in Albuquerque...yeah, New Mexico. The outcome’s relevance to Knights lied with the participation of new New Mexican and former Mr. UCF: Michael Newman.
Kind of random, right? Despite being called “The Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico is not the first place I would think of going to pursue my own similar career aspirations. I don’t even speak Spanish, let alone New Spanish. Then again, Michael and I did dance at my sorority formal once, do a commercial for Universal Studios together, and he also totally high-fived me after a dance performance for which he was Master of Ceremonies. Hello!?! That’s basically an invitation to come ride on his coat tails out West, booty-dancing at fiestas and living happily ever after. Eh, I guess I am more drawn to The Big Apple, and if Michael is any indication, I should probably go with that instinct and just put his name on reference letters or something. After all, he packed up and headed to New Mexico–with no job and little living establishment–based on a hunch.
When I try to go with my gut feelings, it usually ends with me peering into a refrigerator. Michael, on the other hand, ended up with his dream job and another sweet title from his alma mater – the second Campus Celebrity Eligible Bachelor! Yes, he won the Face of Fox competition, which had nothing to do with him resembling an adorable forest creature or even being attractive (though he is) like I thought it did upon first reading it. During a preliminary trip to the state to lay a foundation for his big move, a friend took him by the Fox station he used to work at, and Michael found out about the competition. Promptly seeing his golden opportunity, Michael made an audition tape that day. Talk about not procrastinating.
Though it was clearly the right decision, Michael’s uprooting was not without obstacles. “I mentally and spiritually had to surrender to whatever...was going to happen, including sleeping on a friend’s couch...and not having a job for a month,” he admits. “Having to live with bare necessities has been a very humbling experience for me...understanding what you need and what is luxury.” To me, that part sounded like half of college. Still, being the new guy in town and up against some native New Mexicans for a local news channel was challenging. In hindsight, Michael believes his lack of knowledge about the state empowered him to be even more passionate in learning and exploring the region, giving him a truly fresh face for Fox – which is exactly what the network channel had in mind.
Despite being a blank canvas on which New Mexico could splash its enchantment, Michael was no stranger to being a spokesperson. After winning Mr. UCF, Michael had numerous opportunities to MC events and went on to host the local show Orlando Live. In these endeavors, he realized his affinity for connecting to people on camera and gained the experience necessary to be comfortable doing so. Good thing he was more than just a pretty face, too. After winning the competition, Michael was immediately thrust into life as a broadcast journalist. He has already been on air multiple times, even covering live events.
So follow your heart! Live your dreams! Blech! It all sounds so cliché. Still, that’s exactly what Michael Newman did, and his elation radiates in a way that can’t go missed, which we can now observe for ourselves (without being totally creepy) despite being across the country because he is on television. While studies now show that going with your instincts on something like a multiple choice answer is actually not a statistically good test-taking skill, people with the spiritual attentiveness of Michael Newman continue to take faith to fruition. Though he obviously has support, drive, and maybe even a little bit of “crazy” (as artists usually do), Michael gives a surprising credit for his success to a dream board he made right before all of this awesomeness ensued. “I am a very spiritual person and I believe that energy follows intention. What I mean by that is, what you focus your mind and intention upon, energy will follow. The more energy that goes in, the faster it will manifest,” he shares. Whoa, deep. He adds, “Literally 85 percent of my dream board has come true, including small things that I forgot about.” Ok, let’s start with the dream board part then.
As we continue to work toward our own dreams, let us look at Michael Newman for some inspiration. You can keep up with his adventures as the Face of Fox, and add his Facebook fanpage for some motivation. Michael Newman is committed to fulfilling his duties as the Face of Fox for the upcoming year while taking full advantage of New Mexico’s beauty, culture, and spirit while continuing a path to hosting his own show, which he hopes will bring more positivity to the television medium.