We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Kaleh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brian, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
That’s the question isn’t it? Work-life balance, what even does that mean in todays world. Having graduated from UT in 2010, leaving for NY to work in film while my fiancee at the time was attending NYU for her Masters, to moving back to Austin and finding myself in TV, then to go into Advertising, to then start my own business with my wife, after we had our first child, and soon after getting hit with the first wave of Covid, and finally finding myself in a position to return to UT as an employee, balance is something I think I’m still chasing.
Life is literally like a river, it is in constant motion, and to try and fight that is an exhausting endeavor that will only lead you to a place of frustration and mental distress. Over the last ten years I have learned to lean into the current and try to constantly focus on growth and taking opportunities that align with where I want to be in another 10 years.
Kids change how you view Life-balance as well. All of sudden priorities shift and working late feels like time taken away from you to be with this wonderful part of you that you want to help foster and grow into a better person than yourself. I think as a creative you’re always searching for that fuel that keeps you pushing the envelope and making things that make you proud. Those things are also in constant change based on where you are in life, I think about balance often and know that another year from now my opinion might yet change again, I do have another kid on the way! For now though I’ll keep riding that current and see where it takes me next.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been creating for as long as I can remember, or at least consuming copious amounts of creative. I have an immense passion for storytelling that led me down a very unexpected path due to just how much I love movies and video games. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have been able to be apart of multiple different aspects of video. When I graduated I moved to NY and was a PA for awhile, a video editor for a show that was in language I didn’t even understand! Yet somehow I was able to cut there 200 hours of footage into a manageable amount of time and still tell a story even with the language barrier. I worked nights checking on-demand video for discrepancies, and more. To say the least my time at NY was never dull. Then life happened and we found ourselves moving back to Austin, with no idea what I would do next I found my way into the local CBS affiliate as a night time news editor. Being in TV during the Bastrop fires and working as an editor was a memorable experience and I learned a-lot, enough to find myself promoted to being the Promotions Producer working on the advertisements for upcoming news stories. All of that led me into Advertising where I started looking beyond just editing and helped create and internal video department for two different agencies in Austin. The next 7 years were incredible! I went from just being a video editor video to all of sudden, filming, directing, creating motion gfx, and crafting stories from start to finish. All of this led to my wife and I starting our own business soon after we had our first child, Kaleh Media. The idea was to take everything we had learned and put that into local companies in Austin and help them craft meaningful stories that did more than just sell a product, but sell who you are and why you do what you do. We were lucky enough to work with local non-profits, and others for a short time before Covid. As with many Covid changed a-lot of what we had planned and right when I was thinking about what would be next, an opportunity arose to return to The University of Texas. As an avid Longhorn it was something I could not pass up and one year later I am thrilled with my decision to join The University of Texas at Austin. We still have Kaleh Media and the passion to tell those stories as well, so who knows what the future holds. For now though we are awaiting our second little girl and are grateful for everything we have in this life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Best spot in the city, well that’s a tough one and I would say it’s outside the city. I would recommend taking a drive through the hill country and enjoying the incredible vineyards down 71 and in dripping springs. Texas wine is only growing and with more vineyards than one can visit in a day, there really isn’t a better way to spend a day with friends. Plus loads of photo opportunities and people to meet!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it wasn’t for my wife, Stacey. Her drive and opportunistic look at life is both beautiful and inspiring. I have and continue to be pushed to strive to be better and take time to enjoy the little things throughout the day thanks to her.
Stacey Kaleh (Wife), Summer Kaleh (daughter)