Tag Archives: dreams

Making Beethoven Proud

PLAYING PIANO 1

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

There are those who scoff at the notion of “having a dream;” at the idea of following your passion. They say it is a foolish waste of time. They are the ones who follow the safe path. And I am very sorry for those people; because a life worth living is so much more than taking the cautious route and steering clear of daring choices. It is challenging yourself to try new things and when people smirk and ask, “What makes you think you can do these things?” you simply answer, “What makes you think I can’t?”

My son, Brian, has had a dream since he was a kid to become a filmmaker. He made movies on a $25 Digital Blue video camera we bought him for Christmas one year. He and his younger brother, Peter, and their friend, Alex, would post signs around the neighborhood announcing casting auditions for their upcoming projects. These signs also promised concessions which Alex’s mother learned while driving down the street one day, catching sight of one of the signs. We laughed when she informed me about the concessions and wondered if they were just planning on raiding our pantries for half-empty boxes of stale crackers and a few rogue pieces of old Easter candy hidden behind cans of tomato sauce. There was never a real need to worry, though, because no one ever showed up for their auditions. Ever. That didn’t deter them, though. The boys just ended up playing several parts. Or twins – that option was always on the table. And I believe that someday, those kids from long ago who laughed at ours for thinking they could be anything special will regret not having been a part of those early dreams.

Brian did pursue his dream. He is a filmmaker. And an award-winning one at that. He is now in the process of shooting his thesis film for his MFA degree and this short film will blow you away. It is a story of perseverance. It is a story of overcoming adversity. And it is a story of choosing to see the beauty in our world when only darkness surrounds you. It is the story of a young music prodigy who must come to terms with a devastating loss suffered following a brutal assault. It is a story of the power of the human spirit to rise and conquer.

I am immensely proud of him and his beautiful talent. His short film, Making Beethoven Proud, is making this mama very proud. 😌

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

 

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One Day At A Time…

being-strong

Faith is taking the first step when you don’t see the whole staircase.  -Martin Luther King, Jr

This is a story about faith. It is a story about hope. And more than anything, it is a story about love; the deeply profound love of a mother for her child. Beverley Jean Blanc was born in Lousiville, Kentucky in 1971 and moved to Moline, IL as a young child. She lived the typical life of most kids, going to school and working as a teenager at the local Hy-Vee grocery store. After high school graduation, she had an exciting opportunity to travel to Europe to perform with her choir. Life was good for the young girl. Beverley attended Blackhawk College in Moline for two years when she married Adam. After the wedding, the newlyweds moved to Macomb, IL when he became a student at Western Illinois University.

During this time, she worked two jobs while he went to school. Upon learning that she was pregnant, what should have been a cause to rejoice, was met with the news that he wanted to leave her. They agreed to counseling in hopes of saving their marriage. And things did seem to look up. Bev continued working and taking care of the new life growing inside her. At twelve weeks, during a routine prenatal visit, she was told that her baby had stopped developing at around seven or eight weeks.  The child had died. Completely devasted with this news, Bev and her husband moved back to Moline where Adam had secured a job with the Rock Island, IL Police Department. Soon after his return from the Police Academy, Bev suffered a second miscarriage. Her third pregnancy would prove the charm, however, and, while frightened at the very real prospect of losing another child, she was also extremely happy that this pregnancy seemed to be a healthy one. After all, Bev deserved some happiness. Her euphoria was short-lived, though, when one morning, Adam simply announced that he didn’t love her anymore. Bev was five months pregnant.She found herself back at her parents’ house, regrouping. But not for long. Adam got the shock of his life, I’m sure, when Bev returned to their home, woke him out of a peaceful slumber and said, “You’re leaving me and your unborn child. Get your shit and get out.” Beverley Jean Blanc was a new person from that day forward.

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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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Livin’ The Dream Or Certifiable Nutjob? You Be The Judge…

funny music prof picWell, it’s been a while since I’ve written on this subject. Mainly because I kind of thought I was done with it. I don’t know why I thought that. We all knew from day one, when our son chose music as his college major (or, more accurately, music chose him), that this was an all or nothing academic endeavor. That is, he went in knowing that he would need, at the very least, a Master’s degree, or more likely, a Doctorate, in order to be able to create a fulfilling life in music. People ask me all the time what his plans are when they hear he is a Percussion Performance major. And truthfully, I answer that we’re not one hundred percent sure right now. With an advanced degree, more doors are opened to him. If I tell them what I really think he could do, I get frightened looks from people who have suddenly come to the realization that they are speaking with a deranged, or at least, delusional person. You know the types who are convinced that their high school football playing son is destined for the NFL and you’re thinking to yourself, “Yeah…he’s probably not, so…” Continue reading

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Dream A Little Dream…

thCABEB98MHmmm….where to begin… First of all, let me wish all of my BWB friends a Happy New Year.  Now, on to the important matters of, umm, me.  Yes, I’ve been giving the year 2013 a lot of thought and, basically, here’s the deal:  I’ve already decided that it’s gonna’ be a good one.  Mike will make his first million in the world of high finance, prompting him to turn his good fortune into a better fortune by producing Brian’s first blockbuster film, which will be the buzz of Hollywood with Oscar talk for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing (Best Screen Play?  I’m not sure what that one’s called.  I’m still learning, so cut me some slack) and, of course, (Pete, I haven’t forgotten you), Best Film Score.  Little sister, Mary Kate, will be proudly standing by her brothers as an assistant something or other.  Kidding, MK.  Everyone knows you’re already being projected to be a better musician than that other kid in the family, so, of course, you’ll be probably still an assistant something because, well, let’s be realistic, you’re only eighteen years old.   Let’s graduate high school first.  I mean, come on.  Anyway, back to me.  My children have been carefully groomed in the art of a great acceptance speech by Yours Truly: keep it short and sweet and, whatever you do, do NOT forget to thank Mom and Dad. 

So, there you have it:  my 2013 in a nutshell.  Not bad, really.  I mean, it could happen.  Mike does work in the world of finance.  Brian is getting his Master’s degree in digital film/screen directing.  Pete is an accomplished musician, loves composition and has collaborated with Brian during the early film years and Mary Kate is eighteen years old. 

It’s fun to dream, anyway.  And that’s what the New Year represents to us all, doesn’t it?  Dreams.  A new slate.  New possibilities.  Ooohhh, and a new dress for the after-Oscar parties.  I should probably start looking now.  Maybe once I get my balances down at Carson’s or Von Maur, that is…

P.S. May all of your wildest dreams come true

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