Howdy, I’m Ricardo Guerrero!
I’m a CMT Major (Communication, Theatre and Media) at Northeastern Illinois University.
I’m creating this GoFundMe account due to recent unexpected and unforeseen events. I am a Senior and I am on my final semester at Northeastern Illinois University. Due to COVID-19 I lost my job (and can’t find work.) and my family is also tight on money due to the pandemic, which means I don’t have a way to finish paying for my last semester.
Ever since I started at NEIU, it’s been one big up hill battle. However, it’s been one of the most amazing, rewarding, and interesting experiences I have ever had! Going back to school as a 29-year-old and being away from school for about 8 years was incredibly difficult. Especially with my previous track record in school with being a “C” student, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to make though my first semester.
Now, when I was a kid, I found out that I have a learning disability. Which revolves around my memory and my ability to maintain and recall information whenever I needed it. This causes me to struggle with remembering things I have learned both inside and outside of school. So, this makes me incredibly forgetful. This affects me both in my school life, but also my personal life. I bring this up not for pity or anything, I’ve actually learned to embrace and accept my learning disability a long time ago. But I bring it up to explain what I have been going through during my time at NEIU. Due to financial struggles, I was not able to get a reevaluation that I need for NEIU, which causes me to not have any of the accommodations I’ve had accessed to since elementary school all the way up to community college.
So, for the last four semesters (Fall of ‘19, Spring, Summer and Fall of ‘20I) I have worked so hard from being a “C” student, to being a “Straight A” student since attending NEIU. Not only have I gotten great grades, I’ve also been fortunate to be nominated for 2 scholarships since starting. Both being Northeaster’s “CMT Talent/Special Skills Scholarship,” which allows me to work and gain experience on a live theatre production. The first time, I was the Props Master for our production of “Native Gardens,” where I was not only in charge of what props would be used in the show, but I also assisted in the construction of the set. (Hopefully I’ll have pictures of the production up there).
Now the second scholarship, I was selected to be the Sound Engineer of our production. While attending NEIU, I’ve realized audio production is one of the main areas that I have not only been interested in, but also have had the most success in. I have 5 audio pieces I’m incredibly proud of, which range from a hybrid story/interview about test anxiety, to a fictional story about a cooking show that revolves around a witch making Ice Cream, and a fictional story about a boy who writes scary stories, to my final interview piece that was about memories and machismo within my Mexican American Family. All these pieces incorporate different techniques I’ve learned at my time at NEIU, but also include things I’ve learned on my own. From cleaning up audio tracks, to importance of music choices and awareness on copyrighted music, Foley recording, sound effects and voice effect and much more. I’ll try to link 4 of the 5 projects I’ve made for you all. The fifth is being sent to NPR/Code Switch and other radio shows and it needs to not be aired anywhere.
The reason this is so important to me is because growing up as a kid with a learning disability, I've been told by countless teacher that I would grow up to be nobody and that I was a waste of space. Here at NEIU, I've learned so much about myself and what I am capable of doing. To be a student who struggled with the simplest of things such as reading and writing. I'm now here with Straight A's, having a great relationship with the majority of my professors and a drive to prove to those who have told me that i wouldn't amount to anything. That they were wrong. To show those who don't think they can be anything because they have a learning disability, that they can be. That all they really need is support, the opportunity and the drive to do so. Here is my one opportunity and I don't want to waste or miss it.
Hopefully, with this fundraiser I’ll be able to finish my final semester at Northeastern Illinois University and continue my journey into the audio world. Being the first generation within my immediate family to get a bachelor’s degree is not only something I’m incredibly proud of, to live the American dream. But it’s also very stressful, due to me not wanting to let my family down. Anything donated past the goal will help me with school supplies and the rest will be used for getting better sound equipment such as field recorder, acoustic panels, sound mixer, battery distribution system, high-quality microphones (Shotgun mics., wireless mics, in house mics, etc.), accessories (Wind Muff, headphones, boompoles etc.) and software such as Adobe Audition and any music license websites. These remanding funds will help continue to keep producing projects. From interview, to stories, to experimental that will range from fictional to nonfictional. I want to produce stories of my own, but also stories of those who do not have a voice or platform. Telling the stories that need to be told and heard by the world. I’ll provide links to future works if things go to plan.
I figured since it’s the holiday season, I would give this a try and see what will happen. Thank you all for your time, happy holidays and stay safe.
Notes – I am not an expert in writing and voice acting but due to Covid-19, I was not able to collaborate with those who specialize in those area, but I’m still proud of my work I’ve done, and I would like to show you what I’ve done thus far.
Intro to Audio (Fall ’19) – Test Anxiety (Hybrid Interview/Story)
This was my first audio project I worked on. I was just starting to learn the basics and I’m proud of the end results. It’s about test anxiety and how students feel about test/exams. And I give my experience of what its like to take a test/exam.
Multimedia Storytelling (Summer ’20) – “Pantry Podcast” (Fictional Story)
This was my second audio project where I focused on music, sound effects and a narrative. This is a “fictional cooking tutorial” about a witch teaching you how to make rainbow sherbet.
Independent Study – Audio (Fall ’20) – “The Run” (Experimental Story)
This was my third project, where I am tasked with telling a story with only sounds. Here I tell a story about running and how I feel when I run on a treadmill which makes me feel alone and the outdoors where I feel a connection to man and nature. It was way out of my comfort zone but I learned so much about abstract sounds and foley here.
Independent Study – Audio (Fall ’20) – “The Boy Writes Scary Stories” (Fictional Story)
This was my fourth project, where I was starting to play with voice pitch. Now I play 8 characters within the story and this was when I had Covid-19, I was sick and still attending class (online of course.) I was focused on doing as good as possibly can and I’m incredibly proud of it.
While at NEIU I've gain skills in many areas thanks to their Communication, Theatre and Media Major. Where I quickly learned how all 3 disciplines are intertwin with one another.
-Light Design (Which I learned on my own due to the pandemic.)
-Film Appreciation within the Horror Genre
(Here's some of my work from my first scholarship)
- Jason Westgate
- Elizabeth Villa
- William Scullin
- K. Donato
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