Wednesday, April 11, 2007

NSAI Toronto meets an Alien

Tonight was a very cool experience: I was a guest speaker!

One of the hardest parts of getting my American work visa was just getting the correct information on the process. When I got my visa in January, I offered to speak about my experience to the NSAI group in Toronto. Tonight was my night...

I knew there was some interest in the topic, and we packed the meeting room with over 30 people, which is great for this group. I was also joined by Erica L. James, my immigration lawyer.

It was great to do the presentation together because Erica could provide proper legal info, and I could talk about the human experience, including some of the quirky parts of the process. For example, each of my letters of reference required a resume from the writer, but some of the artists didn't have resumes! So, I spent hours googling names and searching websites, building resumes for people! Crazy, but it worked.

We'd planned on speaking for an hour, but there were so many questions that we ended up speaking for over 2 hours. The feedback after was tremendous, and Gerald and I received many great words of support for following our dream.

I really just wanted to make it easier for other people. I spent the first 4 months of the process just trying to find out how to get the visa. If I can save someone that time, I think that's a great thing. After all, what's the point of having "extraordinary ability" if you can't spread it around?

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