Monthly Archives: May 2015

What Goes Up…

 

ELEVATOR

 

Today, I am so excited to share with you my son, Brian’s, super-exciting project. As many of you already know, Brian is nearing the end of his Master’s Degree program in Cinema Directing at DePaul University. DePaul’s Cinema program has skyrocketed  in national rankings of film schools and is regularly ranked one of the top schools in the nation. Not bad for a program that is less than ten years old. The city of Chicago has become a film-set mecca and the huge Cinescape Soundstage is ground zero for most Chicago-based film and television productions.

As his final class project, Brian is directing a short film entitled, What Goes Up. It is a dark, atmospheric look at how one man’s choices in life affect his final moments. Brian is very proud of this film and made a decision to treat it as a serious, independent film, rather than just a class project. This decision has been as terrifying for him as it has been exhilarating because of the risks he is taking to make his concept a reality. He told me that when others heard his idea, they thought his vision would be impossible for a student to capture onscreen. Among other obstacles, it required outdoor filming on a rooftop with a gun, which, in turn required insurance, a permit, and Chicago police presence. He also needed to figure out how to create an elevator for a major part of the film. Brian was fortunate enough to find a Producer and Director of Photography who believed in his vision and made the impossible possible. They were able to rent the elevator set from the set of “Chicago PD” at Cinescape Soundstage. The finished product will be entered in film festivals from coast to coast and promises to be fantastic. And creepy. I am confident it will receive a lot of well-deserved recognition.

When this film is completed, What Goes Up, will represent the  physical embodiment of what started out as a simple idea he and a fellow student had when they put the pen to paper almost a year ago. This is what dreams are all about and you, dear readers, have the power to help this dream happen. I am calling out to my readers to check out Brian’s Kickstarter page and think about donating to his campaign. Even a donation as small as $5 is an option, and one he would be thrilled to receive. The following is his public appeal:

“We’ve been lucky enough to gain access to several beautiful filming locations, as well as find a talented and experienced crew. A film doesn’t come without its costs, so it’d be greatly appreciated if you would donate to our kick-starter campaign and help us cover rental, food, production design, and transportation costs. Please like and share this with your friends! Thank you!”

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/320657146/what-goes-up

And remember…

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.  – Walt Disney

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.  – Colin Powell

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. – Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

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The Fast Track To Becoming Mom’s Favorite Kid

Living The Dream Book CoverLooking for a fast, easy gift for Mom that will bring a smile to her face? How ’bout the gift of reading about other harried mothers and the craziness of family life in general? Believe me, every mother wants reassurance that she is not navigating the looney waters of parenthood alone. Yes, there ARE others who feel her pain and laugh their way through it. For a mere $2.99, you can give her just that. And she’ll love you for it. Probably even more than your siblings…

Just a simple click on this link & you’re almost there. The book is downloadable on Kindle or ANY device with the FREE Kindle app. It seriously could not be any easier. So, get moving already. Click on the link and be prepared to move up the favorite child ladder. You’re welcome. 🙂

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006EU1SP6

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Mistaeks Happen…

BIG BROTHER SUPER HERO 2What perfect timing. In my almost twenty-nine years of mothering, I have joked more times than I can count about the role my children have played in my financial and emotional  ruin. Without kids, I’m sure I would have been a millionaire several times over by now. That was the plan, after all. I would have been living a life of ease, free from the stress of homework, finals, report cards, working concessions, fighting over practicing the piano, keeping track of schedules for football, track, baseball, basketball, volleyball, various summer camps, drum lessons, dreaded piano lessons, school plays, ACTs, college applications, the constant need for hair color, etc, etc. I can actually feel a headache coming on as I stroll down memory lane. But, of course the truth is that, as I’ve also said (maybe not as many times, admittedly), my kids are the best thing that ever happened to me. Yes, every heartache, every tear, every worry and fear, but also every belly laugh and every moment of beaming pride.

So here’s where the perfect timing comes in. As many of you know, my two youngest, Peter and Mary Kate, are both studying percussion performance in school. Peter paved the way in the Percussion Studio at the University of Iowa, and his little sister happily followed in his footsteps three years later. The one year they were together in Iowa City marked the first time siblings had ever studied and performed together in the studio. The head of the Percussion Department had some hesitation about the possible head-butting, rivalry and competition that could arise as a result of admitting siblings and during her audition, questioned Mary Kate about just how solid the relationship with her brother was. Her response was that they were very close and shared a love for music. Peter was her role model. He has since gone on to pursue his Master’s Degree in Percussion Performance at the University of Tennessee, but returned to Iowa City this weekend to perform in the Last Chance Percussion Ensemble Concert (so named because it is the last chance music students have to earn concert attendance credit before the end of the semester). This final concert of the year is open to interested alumni of the studio to perform alongside current members, including You-Know-Who (Baby Sister).

I texted Mary Kate last night to ask how the concert had gone and the following was our exchange that took place:

MK: I just played really bad at Last Chance. It took all my willpower not to cry afterwards. It was really only one mistake, but it was super noticeable and I was especially upset because I wanted to play well for Peter.

ME: Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry 😦  Did anyone say anything about it? Maybe it wasn’t really that bad.

MK: Everyone just said good job. I talked to Ben (her TA) and he said it was only one mistake and the rest was really good. He said I shouldn’t be upset. Pete thought it sounded good, so that makes me happy.

I then texted Peter to let him know how much his presence and kind words meant to her and this was our exchange:

PETE: Honestly, she played really well. Mistakes are much more noticeable when you’re the one playing. She shouldn’t get hung up on it. It was a good performance.

ME: Your approval means a lot to her. She wants you to be proud of her.

PETE: I am!! I thought she did a great job. And I saw her recital (which had been streamed live, two weeks ago) and she was awesome!

I thought Mary Kate’s desire to perform well for her brother was so sweet and his response that he is proud of her, even better. Both conversations were great, but ya know what the best part was? Peter’s response that it was just a mistake and usually the mistake is only noticeable to the one making it. And most importantly…that she shouldn’t get hung up on it. I mean…right??? A great piece of advice for us all.

So, nodding off to sleep last night, I felt pretty good. Life throws a heck of a lot of curve-balls your way. Things often don’t go as planned (my life as a millionaire, for example). But we can’t get hung up on it. You pick up where you left off and move on, and maybe no one will notice the mistakes.

Happy Mother’s Day and remember…don’t get hung up on the mistakes – on the ones we make as we muddle through parenting or on the ones our kids are bound to make as they struggle to make their way in life.

PS: The text messages above were edited for punctuation and spelling, in case anyone was wondering…

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