What does it take to be at the center of a viral story these days? Just ask Chris Sumlin. The 24-year-old graduate student at Boston University is sharing headlines with Kim Kardashian for the second time after revealing the reality star helped him secure three job interviews with a simple tweet.
It all started one year ago when Sumlin, a twice-published author and aspiring television writer, shared a grad paper he wrote on Kardashian on Twitter. Kanye West’s wife caught wind of it and called it “so cool!!!”
So, Sumlin recently added the anecdote to his résumé under the accomplishments section.
And Kardashian replied Tuesday wishing him good luck.
“I’ve been working hard and it’s good to see a little bit of the fruits of the labor, but I’m just trying to get an opportunity, you know what I mean? Make something happen out of this,” Sumlin tells Yahoo Entertainment. “I’m really trying to be a television producer and writer, so all of this cool stuff is me trying to find an agent. That’s what I’m really trying to make happen.”
Sumlin, who is currently interning for Legendary Entertainment in Burbank, Calif., was given advice to try and work at a talent agency, like CAA or ICM, to make his dream a reality.
“I literally just started sending out my résumé last week and I’ve already gotten four phone calls and three interviews,” he shares. “I do think it’s because my résumé does look good and stacked, but I also am very aware because I used to work in talent acquisitions, that recruiters don’t have a lot of time to look at résumés. … Having that word ‘Kardashian’ on my résumé, it makes [recruiters] give it a second look.”
Sumlin, who is pursuing an M.S. in television production and management and will graduate next month, added, “It creates opportunities, which is what I think I’m experiencing right now.”
Sumlin’s first interaction with Kardashian came in November 2017 after he wrote a paper on the reality star for a course called “Media Money Trail.”
“In the class, we had to do a final paper on a brand, a product, or a service and the history of that brand, the consumer relation. … I decided to do mine on Kim Kardashian because I’ve always been a fan,” he explains. “It’s kind of comedic that I’m this black scholar that reads all these books, but am also keeping up with the Kardashians literally. I killed it — I talked about the sex tape, I talked about the reality show and, of course, I talked about the video game, and I got a good grade on the paper. So, I screenshotted it and put it on Twitter and was like, ‘Shout out to Kim Kardashian for helping me ace my first graduate school paper.’”
His tweet and Kardashian’s response got picked up by various national news outlets — but that wasn’t Sumlin’s focus at the time. He took a break from applying to jobs to finish his second self-help book and figure out what to do next.
“I’m trying to be a television producer, I want to create a comedy show. I already have the budget, the logistics, the script, all of those components, because I’m a scholar of television — that’s what I’ve been studying. I’ve been asking all of my professors, ‘How do I get this made?’ All of them said I need to get an agent,” he revealed. “So then I’m like, How do I get a television literary agent?’ All of them said I just need to do something cool.”
He continued, “I’ve been moving through this semester with the intention of creating a cool moment that will catch somebody’s attention where a journalist from Yahoo, like you, will call and say, ‘Hey, I want to hear your story and we’re going to share that.’ It’s working!”
Sumlin, a longtime fan of the whole Kardashian-Jenner gang, never underestimated the power of Kim.
He says, “Kim has always said in her interviews, you know, Beyoncé has to do music, Cardi B has to rap, Will Smith has to make movies — Kim Kardashian just gets to be Kim Kardashian. When other people have to go on shows to promote their album, Kim Kardashian is talking about what it’s like changing [daughter Chicago’s] diapers and her baby shower plan. That’s very cool and that’s very phenomenal that her work is herself. I love that and it’s so fascinating.”
Although Kardashian’s social media influence may have sparked Sumlin’s latest viral moment, we have a feeling he can take it from here.
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