The Urban Web Link: Hi Marcia, thank you for taking time to let The Urban Web Link interview you tonight. How are you?
Marcia A. Wade: I'm great!
UWL: I'd like you to share with our readers a little bit about the interesting things you are doing… you are a photographer, a journalist, and also a magazine editor!
Marcia: I praise dance also
UWL: That's right! I'll have to ask you about that too! Tell us how did each of those things come about. Were they all interests of yours? Let's start with photography.
Marcia: Well, photography literally runs through my blood. My great Uncle Jesse, was a photographer. He had his own photography studio called Boston & Boston. I think my Dad first put a camera in my hands when I was about 4 or 5 years old. It became a constant hobby. If you ask any of my old friends from high school they will tell you that I always kept a camera nearby. On the last day of Senior year, I tried to take a photo of every one in my class (approx. 100 people).
But my friends will also tell you that I'm horrible at sharing photos. I would always forget to get them developed (laugh). Shooting is thrilling to me. I like to capture moments.
UWL: Did you ever have any formal photography training?
Marcia: I went back to school to get a Master's of Science in Journalism and the director of the program suggested I take a photography class. I hadn't planned on doing that and I thought it would be a waste of time BUT I LOVED IT. I learned how to shoot and develop black and white film. Our teacher Mike Ensdorf was great. I asked my Great Uncle if I could borrow one of his many cameras for the class. Not only did he let me borrow it for the semester, but he gave it to me. It is one of my most prized material possessions.
I'm notthe best photographer, but I do okay. I really do it for me, which is why I don't necessarily share photos. Its something that lifts my spirits. I haven't been in a dark room, since I graduated, but it is such a calming experience. Shooting gives me a lot of confidence also. To be a good photographer, when you see a good shot, you have to go after it no matter what other people think of you.
UWL: Were you tempted to change your major from journalism to photography?
Marcia: No I did not think about changing majors to photography because my goal was to learn how to publish a magazine. I wanted to know the ins and outs of layout design, writing and editing. I went back to school because God blessed me with the idea to launch a Christian magazine for innercity Black teenagers. I've since changed that to young adults.
UWL: Tell us more about this vision of launching a Christian magazine for young adults.
Marcia: The name of the magazine is BrandNEW Magazine, and it's an urban Christian magazine for young adults who are experiencing a relationship with God for the first time as an adult. The magazine is purposed to provide answers for individuals who have decided to make Jesus Christ Lord of their life. BrandNEW will be different from other Christian Magazines in that it will be relate more to newly saved Christians and Christians whose faith is not steeped in tradition but rather the word of God. BrandNEW will target subject areas like romantic relationships, politics, career and financial advice, and family issues from a Biblical perspective.
UWL: What gave you the vision or idea to begin BrandNEW?
Marcia: It is my dream that for growing Christians, BrandNEW magazine will be an example of how to be in the world, but not of the world and how to be salt and light. II Corinthians 5:17 is the Bible verse that guides the magazine. That and also Ephesians 4:22. The name of the magazine comes from those two verses.
Nowadays, Christians are a dime a dozen. Some have been in church every Sunday for the past 25 years, but they haven't allowed God to change them. They haven't put away the things that keep them from effectively leading others to Christ.
I personally want to know from God, what Brand of Christian he needs me to be. I've been struggling with getting the magazine off the ground lately. But I believe that God is teaching me about me–who I am and who he needs me to be.
I became very intimidated about the project because I thought,
"Lord, who am I to guide someone to being a better Christian? I have too many questions myself."
I believe the answer that God gave me was this: it is exactly because I have questions that I am the right person to ask them. And everyone else has the same questions.
UWL: It's funny… you sharing what God is showing you through your struggles with starting the magazine reminds me of something I recently read on Phil Vischer's website, the original owner/CEO of Big Ideas, the company that distributes Veggie Tales. Right after the company went bankrupt, he realized that he was trying to be Walt Disney but God just wanted Phil to be Phil. Then he asked God who is Phil, and God said, "I'll show you." It seems God works in us as much or more than the work He is doing through us to reach others. What are the plans for BrandNEW in 2006?
Marcia: With Faith, hard work and God's grace and mercy, BrandNEW magazine will publish its first issue, early in 2006. It will not be for national distribution, but rather for marketing purposes.
UWL: Did you always enjoy writing? How did you end up as a freelance journalist?
Marcia: I enrolled at Roosevelt University where I got my Master's in Journalsim. and right before graduation, a friend of an old boyfriend suggested I apply for an internship at Black Enterprise Magazine. Even though I applied at the last possible moment, I was picked out of more than 600 applicants for the internship. At graduation, the president of the University singled me out with five other students in his commencement address to talk about my accomplishments. I'm not telling you all of this to brag. I'm saying it because I would have never accomplished any of this on my own. I wouldn't have even known to ask or pray for some of the blessings in my life recently. I owe it all to Him and I believe he is blessing me because I am being faithful to His Will.
And the very first assignment I received at BE was write a feature article about "How to Launch a Magazine." My editor didn't even know that was my plan. That was God.
WE GOTTA FINISH OUR INTERVIEW ONE OF THESE DAYS SOON! :)