COA is a nonprofit working to protect waterways using science, law, research, education, and citizen action. Their goal is to improve the degraded water quality of the marine waters off the NJ/NY coast.
What Not To Wear is an internationally aired, award-winning reality makeover television series.
This parody of Bruckheimer films PEARL HARBOR and ARMAGEDDON, played at festivals around the world, winning numerous awards.
When I was younger, I wanted to be the first woman to win an Academy Award for directing. I even had those words taped on my computer. A do-or-die mentality. All or nothing. The pressure I put on myself was immense.
Spielberg just recently gave advice to a young filmmaker on SGN, “Be in service of your dream, everything else will fall in place as long as you just serve the dream.” After years of inner struggle and strife to “make it big,” his conjecture brought me a sigh of overwhelming relief. Just serve and stop obsessing about the results. But could I really do that?
I’ve had a love affair with film and TV from the womb. I always kicked mom when “I Love Lucy” came on. At age six, I snuck behind the couch to watch Johnny Carson. At nine I was caught on occasion directing an invisible Howard Cosell.
When I landed my first PA job on Nickelodeon’s “Kids’ Choice Awards,” I knew I was on my way. For the next five years I worked my butt off PAing, running locations, directing second unit on low budget films and directing my own shorts. Executive Producer Sean McNamara saw my drive and passion and fought for me to direct his hit series “Even Stevens” at a time when women accounted for only 7% of directors being hired in television. Boom, dream come true. DGA Director! Yes! He saw I had the talent to support my intense work ethic. I went on to direct many episodes on that series as well as his other shows such as Disney Channel’s “That’s So Raven,” and Whoopi Goldberg’s Nickelodeon show “Just for Kicks.” Sean also granted me access into the mind of an executive producer and the challenges they face. This learning experience taught me empathy and respect. I have never gone over budget on any of my shows or with my clients. Never. I believe in throwing creativity at a problem, not money.
My diligence to succeed earned me the opportunity to shadow MartyScorsese on the set of “The Departed.” I expected to take a deeper dive into the craft of filmmaking and learn from the best. Which I did, yet by observing him I walked away with a much more valuable life lesson. We are all vulnerable, we are all equal. I was blown away by arguably the best filmmaker of our time wearing his vulnerability on his sleeve. Marty wasn’t a dictator barking at his crew and actors, but this kind and humble human who created and asked for approval from all of his collaborators. Leadership at its finest. His set was filled with respect for everyone, and egos were checked at the stage door.
I later expanded my skill set by jumping the line over to reality and magazine style shows like “What Not to Wear” which landed me my first pilot. It was another milestone in my career. I have fond memories of being stuffed in a trunk of a car feeding our actors their lines while almost passing out from car sickness! But well worth it. Our “Making Over America” pilot was picked up by CBS, and our goal was accomplished.
My only regret in life is that I didn’t work on “The Amazing Race” sooner when I had the opportunity. The crew was at the top of their game. It was a life changing experience, and I was honored to be among them. I worked in production all over the world. I learned how to work with diverse groups of people and was moved by the human condition and how we are all so different yet the same. I applaud the producers who entrusted me with executing on a massive budget episode with water work, stunts and wild animals. The show pushed me to my limits creatively, strategically and physically. I know now that I can direct anything that is thrown at me while being able to make split second decisions in any circumstance. “The Amazing Race” was not a show for the weak…or pregnant.
Yep, my time at “The Amazing Race” was cut short too soon. I was pregnant. And on a plane home.