From childhood dreams of being a professional baseball player to working for Warner Bros. Studio, Blaise Dolcemaschio is doing big things in one of the most notoriously difficult places to succeed.
When Blaise Dolcemaschio was a kid, he and his brother would play one-on-one baseball in their backyard, using flour and sugar to mark which areas were out of bounds. Flash forward years later, and Dolcemaschio is wrapping up the final year of his baseball career at Oberlin (only this time there are no pantry supplies marking the field). The same sheer grit he used as a catcher would soon land him scores of production assistant gigs after earning a degree in cinema studies at Oberlin.
While Dolcemaschio’s resume is chock-full of production assistant stints—he’s worked everywhere from E! News, Discovery Channel, HBO, to Fox Sports—nothing about his career has been a result of luck. He says that his time as a student athlete at Oberlin prepared him to work efficiently and fight through difficulties.
“It took a lot of time to adjust to life after Oberlin. That’s when I realized how being a student athlete has given me the determination to engage with the highs and lows of adulthood, instead of fighting them.”
Dolcemaschio recalls how his time studying abroad at the Prague Film School allowed him to not only travel the globe, but to immerse himself in a rigorous learning environment. By the time he reached Prague, he already had several years of experience in the industry under his belt and could focus on refining his existing repertoire of skills.
In Prague, Dolcemaschio says, “It was incredible hearing from people who lived halfway across the world and had the same passions for film as I do. Making these global connections, in essence, is the core of the Oberlin cinema studies education I received.”
While he knows that he could be working a stable nine to five somewhere, Dolcemaschio says he’s wired for a cutthroat career. When asked why he gets up every morning to do this work, his answer is simple: competition.
“It’s an extremely volatile industry and that is what I am most attracted to. Those who know me best know that I loathe redundancies.”
Hollywood adages have time again painted Tinseltown as a bastion of fierce competition and dreams cut short. But Dolcemaschio is neither unprepared nor naive.
“I now live by what I learned from one of my industry mentors: ‘Learn what not to become,’” he says.
Since production assistant gigs often last only a month, it makes sense that when Dolcemaschio was a senior, he didn’t know where he would be in the next five years. But what isn’t surprising is that he’s remained true to the foundation he built at Oberlin.
Dolcemaschio’s ability to think outside of the box as a student has shepherded him to a daily grind that often includes more than fluorescent lighting and mounds of perpetual paperwork. A typical day in his life might have MTV sets and stunt doubles built in, but his core principles have remained immutable.
“Every baseball game, every hour in the classroom and Mudd, every single professor and coach in their own way have contributed to the success I’ve had thus far in the industry. All of them conditioned me to manage time and power through fatigue, but most of all, they helped me believe in my ability to succeed.”