Thursday, April 22, 2010


In 2000, John and I moved into our first apartment together. We were pretty excited to be out from under our parents and together on our own for the first time.
At the time, I had almost paid myself out of debt and it was a pretty fresh start. My kids were starting at a new school and both of us were working full time. We kind of ruled the Loop from end to end.
I was a manager at Cicero's and he was a manager at Blueberry Hill. There were lots of things I liked about my job but it wasn't really a calling for me. There is a huge difference between things I am good at and things I should be doing. For example, I'm quite good at math- but I don't like it, have never had a passion for it and have no use for it except to count my money with.
So, I was pretty good at being a waitress, a bartender, running a restaurant and managing people, writing a schedule and being a boss. I was pretty good at smoothing over pissed off customers, hiring people, firing people- relating to my employees and doing all of the things that were necessary in my job.
But I was pretty miserable most of the time. Some days I would go in to work and feel as if the essence of my soul were being sucked out of me. I felt trapped, depressed and in some way resigned. I was a little like a caged animal some nights. Generally, things began slipping as the motivation to do the job started to dissipate. I need a challenge, I need something different. I need to do something bigger than me.
I began to feel as if there was no way out for me, but being who I am, I began to plot my escape from prison. I knew close to the end when I was nothing but whiny- it had to be over soon.
I remember deciding I was going to open my own live theater. I went out and bought business planning software for my new computer and I designed a logo and a whole ad campaign for my new business. I called it "Inspiration Theater" and it made me happy just to dream about it. I made business cards and everything.
I suppose everyone at work thought I was a bit nuts but I set my mind on it and I was going to find a way to do it.
Now that I had the dream, the goal, I decided that I had to find out everything I could about running a theater company so I began from the ground up.
I think I dreamed my way into this happening for me. It was all I thought about, all I talked about and when one of my regular customers asked me to be his Assistant Director, I could not believe some of this was beginning to become reality.
OKAY- the reality of this is that it takes a lot to run a theater company- I knew from my first experience, I was going to need a lot more experience, but I was ready to learn it ground up and I did. A lot of people took me in and taught me so much.
Life does funny things to you. It all seems so impulsive looking back now- maybe it was. Maybe I just envisioned this until it came true- I don't know. I was driving one day- cannot remember where I was going but I turned the car around and I literally decided on a whim to go by Webster University and the next thing I know, I had signed up for classes and re-enrolled as a degree seeking student. I hadn't planned to do it that day, I just did it (I am so glad I did it)
I went home and told John who was shocked and a little pissed off. "you could have discussed this with me before you did it."
I told him I didn't have to discuss anything with him, this was my life and I was going back to school. I don't think he meant it in a mean way or anything but I couldn't handle anyone saying that was a bad decision.
So, nine years later, I had a lot of experience but still no theater company and of course, I had dived full force into film as well. Last Spring, I decided to produce my own short film. I knew I was going to need a name for my production company. I didn't have to sweat over it, I knew exactly what I would name it, I simply worried it was already taken- but luck was with me-
Inspired Productions was not taken. That's the name of my LLC- and I made sure and included the future possibility of a theater company with that name when I registered it, I put down the company was for film and theater. Dream it. Be it. Live it. I still can't believe my own determination took me here.


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Vanessa. I'm so very proud of you!

Contra Yogini said...

Congratulations, Madam :)