“It’s not about how hard you can hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward.”

  • Rocky Balboa/Sylvester Stallone

Rocky Balboa is the ultimate underdog. A working-class man from Philadelphia, Rocky Balboa had the opportunity to fight undefeated world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed in a point of his boxing career where many would have already had hung up their gloves. During the fight, Balboa was clearly outclassed by the technically-sound and veteran in big fights Creed. He was getting worked by Creed for the first half of the fight, but Balboa never gave up. He rallied back during the second fight, bringing the fight to Creed until the very last bell. Rocky fought his heart out, but unfortunately lost to Creed in a decision. Still, Balboa proved to himself and the world that he still belonged in the ring.

Sport movies are never actually about the sport itself; boxing in this case serves as a metaphor for Balboa trying to overcome all real-life challenges that have come his way. Everyone has had an opponent like Creed, something that feels undefeated and that you’ll never actually be able to overcome. But like Balboa, no matter how hard Creed or life hits you, you just have to keep going. For me, work, school, or life can be a little overwhelming sometimes; that’s just how it goes. But the most important thing to remember is to keep moving forward.

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog”

  • Mark Twain

As someone who is only 5’4, this quote touches me personally. I specifically remember hearing this quote from my wrestling coach back in high school. In a sport full of tall, muscular alpha males, I definitely felt tiny. My coach still believed in me, even when I didn’t. I didn’t pay much mind to this quote until after I left high school though. I was already short, but mentally and emotionally I also had to grow up. Getting into college was a huge achievement but also the biggest challenge I’ve even taken. I also didn’t have any to turn to for advice; I am a first-generation college student. It was time to put my big-boy pants on and figure everything out myself. I struggled the first couple of weeks, but I fought back against this dog that I or anyone I knew had never seen before. Even these days, I feel out of my depth working shows in the entertainment tech department here at City Tech, but nothing feels better than knowing that you did your very best out there, and that all anyone can really do.

“Stay far from timid, only make moves when your heart’s in it, and live the phrase ‘Sky’s the Limit’ … see you chumps on top”

  • The Notorious B.I.G

Probably my favorite rapper of all time, the Notorious B.I.G, or Biggie Smalls, grew up in the mean streets of Brooklyn. He dropped out of high school, sold drugs on the streets, and was arrested as a 17-year-old. He soon became one of the most iconic rappers not just in the east coast, but in the country and world. He always rapped about his upbringing; how difficult it was for him and his mother, and selling drugs in the streets to take care for his daughter. That’s why I love “Sky’s the Limit” from Life After Death, his last album before he passed. Biggie never let his past determine his future. He had a successful music career. Even though his life and career were tragically cut short, he remains an icon for hip-hops fans and New Yorkers. Biggie Smalls was very successful, but he also never forgot where he came from; something that I want to be. I stayed out of trouble, but living in the seedier neighborhoods in Brooklyn, you’ll always be exposed to some things you shouldn’t. Biggie not only witnessed, but also lived through the shadier side of Brooklyn. Even then, he was able to make something out of himself. I think that what many New Yorkers, including myself, want for themselves.

“Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.”

  • Christopher Earl

Currently, I’ve never felt better. Recently, I was able to work on AJ Silver: Cowboy from the Bronx in the Voorhees Theatre as a sound mixer. It’s my first credit ever and I’ve been itching to work on a live show ever since I switched to majoring Entertainment Technology back in 2020. I also hosted two episodes of our talk show Tech Production Talks! That’s also a great experience and something I would love to do next semester if given the chance. And, I’m having lots of fun being able to come in-person to school and socialize with everyone. It’s easier to be friends with people than it is with black boxes on Zoom! I think it’s safe to say that I’m enjoying lots of success right now. That being said, I know to always be humble. Something Mom and Dad always made sure I knew is humility, which I’m very grateful for. I also know that great times like these don’t last. Something will always come that will suck the energy or happiness out of me. And that’s OK. That’s also something that just happens. What’s important is to keep calm, collected, and to never let frustrations out to people. Be kind and respectful even in your worst moments. The storm will pass, so make sure to keep yourself.