My Career Change: How Spencer Paysinger’s Passion Has Led to a Film Production Career

When a professional athlete’s playing days are over, many do not realize that athlete’s career in another field is often just beginning. As part of VIKTRE’s dedication to not only drive interaction between athletes and their fans, but also provide other athletes with inspiration on their own career transition, our Career team made it a priority to show how successful many athletes have been since their playing days ended in a feature called “My Career Change.”

In this installment of “My Career Change,” we interviewed former NFL linebacker, Spencer Paysinger.

An undrafted free agent, Paysinger signed with the New York Giants in 2011 after a collegiate career at the University of Oregon. After participating in the 2011 BCS National Championship Game (a loss against Auburn), Paysinger found title game redemption as a member of the Super Bowl XLVI-winning New York Giants. After four years in New York, Paysinger signed with the Miami Dolphins in 2015. The seven-year NFL veteran has racked up 224 career tackles in 91 games.

Although currently a free agent, Paysinger has been preparing for a life after football based on his passion –
film and TV production. As you will read in the interview, Paysinger’s second career is off to a promising start and he has some big plans in the works.

What sport do you play?

NFL Football

What teams did you play for?

University of Oregon Ducks (2006-11)
New York Giants (2011-15)
Miami Dolphins (2015-17)

What industry did you change careers to?

Film/TV Production and Angel Investing

How did you get into your new career?

I always loved film. When I was younger, my uncle would take my brothers and I to the movies every Friday night. During my time in the NFL, I would see a movie every off day – it didn’t matter the genre. I started reading the PDF scripts from my favorite movies and realized I wanted to try my hand at telling stories I’d want to see on screen.

What was the biggest challenge you faced making your career change?

The NFL has great resources for almost any career after football, but my biggest obstacle was getting people to understand that I did not want to just tell sports-based stories. When an NFL player is in your office speaking about a story based on teens and drug addiction, I can imagine it will throw anyone for a loop.

What has been your biggest accomplishment so far in your new career?

I can’t speak too much about it yet, but I’ve recently sold a show to a major network. We’re currently developing the pilot.

What advice do you have for athletes making their career change?

My advice would be to reach out to alumni from your respective schools. Use the NFL’s resources. In business,
most can’t resist opening a cold email from a NFL player. Work with your team’s Player Engagement Personnel. Those guys are like the gatekeepers of transitioning out [of the league].

How can other athletes learn more about your business or your career change?

Though I can’t say much about the show yet, my website is where I practice writing out various ideas of mine in script form. Check it out, read a few posts and comment; constructive criticism is always welcomed. You can also follow Spencer on Twitter @PYSNGR.

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