Mrs. Damer’s Journey in the TV World


“Cue talent!” Two words that Mrs. Damer is very familiar with. She’s the Television Production teacher at Wayne Valley High School and produces The V, the school’s youtube show!  However, Damer was not always a teacher. While she loves teaching now, she began her career in the television industry.  

Damer’s jobs included editing, audio editing, writing, producing, and shooting stories–which are all skills she teaches in her classes.  From starting as an intern at Shadow Broadcast Services, to working as a supervisor for the radio network at CBS News, to eventually becoming a producer and news writer at Bloomberg News.  Damer has managed to work a lot of different jobs all at once: “I became a producer at Bloomberg News, where I would write stories, produce them, go out with the camera and shoot stuff, edit it all together.  And then also I was news writing for Bloomberg News at the same time, where I would kind of news gather, and then you kind of paraphrase, and then you would write that, and then you would give that to your client.  That’s like the short, very short version of what I was doing.”

Clearly, Damer has come a long way from where she began.  Somehow she ended up at Wayne Valley teaching students what she loves most, hoping they would take an interest as she did.  She first discovered her love for the industry around the age of ten.  She explains, “I took some weird [like] broadcasting camp thing at Montclair State when I think I was in [like] fifth grade.  And we got to use a video switcher, we got to use the cameras, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is really cool how this works.’”  Since that moment, the television industry has always been in the back of Damer’s mind.

While Damer might have been set on the industry at an early age, she struggled to decide exactly what she wanted to pursue.  Damer claims, “Originally, I actually had goals to be an actress, but I kind of realized that maybe that wasn’t the most realistic goal.”  From there, she figured that becoming a news anchor was her next best option.  She entered college with the goal of becoming a news anchor; however, because that job would not provide the family time that Damer wanted, she instead aimed to become a news writer or producer.

Aside from producing, Damer always thought that teaching is a good idea and possibly something she’s good at.  “I thought about maybe going back to get my master’s in English.  Then I was thinking I could be an English teacher, and then maybe I could teach drama and do the school plays,” she explains, “I didn’t really know this was an option, teaching tv.” Luckily, she looked into it.

Damer enjoys her job now more than any she’s had previously.  When asked if she sees her career as successful, she replied, “Yes, I think that this is the apex of my career. I can’t imagine that I could do any better than I am doing.  I love my job, love coming in here, I go home, I have plenty of free time, I’m off during the summer, but I still get to do this.  I still get to make videos.  I feel like this is like a home run.”  

Damer had many reasons for leaving the television industry, the main being long hours and having to work in New York City.  She describes her work as being, “grueling, and stressful, and thankless.”  She claims to have no chances of re-entering the industry:  “I thought I liked [the jobs] until I stopped doing them,” she explains.

After her experience out in the world, and a slight change in careers, Damer offers some advice: “You never know what’s out there, not until you take a risk.”