Thursday, April 7, 2011

Insipration Heading Your Way

Hey folks, its Week 6. I received two donations in the mail this week, which put me at $1,500 after 6 weeks. Thank you for your support in helping me raise money for Pyramid Atlantic’s programs that serve artists, youth and community.

Like I said at the beginning I am committed to raising $3,000 for Pyramic and sending you, my friends, a message of inspiration every week for 16 weeks so that you may be inspired to help me reach my goal.

So week 6: What inspires me? Luck. I am talking about those things in my life that have just happened to me. I have had no control over making them happen. I was just lucky they did.

Like where I was born. I was born in Miami in 1970. In the late 70’s and 80’s it was a place unlike many other cities in the United States because of its large Cuban community. There were Cuban police officers, businessmen & business women, bus drivers, teachers, doctors, lawyers. You name it. In Miami, when you spoke Spanish in public, no one corrected and told you to speak English. Hundreds of restaurants served Latin food, Spanish music played on the radio and you would go to parties and dance Salsa and Merengue. Everyone hugged and kissed each other to say hello. Men AND Women. I hugged and kissed my dad even when I was 32 and he was 64. Miami was a great place to grow up.

This is me at age 5 graduating from kindergarten

Or like where I went to college. In 1988 (a terrible time for fashion) I was graduating from high school. Southern Methodist University came to my high school to hold auditions for their Theatre program. I did not want to go to SMU because it was in Texas and I did not know much about the South, but what I knew, I didn’t like. I wanted to go to college in Chicago at DePaul University (but could not afford it). My drama teacher recommended I audition for SMU, just to practice. I did and was accepted to SMU in as an alternate. Being an alternate meant that the only way I was going to go, was if somebody who got in, turned them down. Well, that was never going to happen right? Well, Melissa Brown was accepted into Julliard in NYC so I was accepted into SMU and received a full scholarship for 4 years. At SMU, I met a Dance student named Lisa Shriver who 4 years later would introduce me to her friend in DC, Lisa Waldman, who I would marry.

This is my friend Lisa Shriver who introduced me to my wife, Lisa.

Or how I got my job at Pyramid. About 3 and a half years ago, I mentioned to one of my mentors, Alec Simpson, that I was looking for a job. He said, “you know, there is this place, Pyramid Atlantic, that is looking for an Executive Director.” He suggested I submit my resume. What’s Pyramid Atlantic, I asked him? What do they do there? I said sure, why not. I didn’t know Pyramid Atlantic, but figured, I had nothing to lose.

This is my mentor Alec Simpson who suggested I apply for the job of Executive Director at a place called Pyramid Atlantic.

I am very lucky. I happened to be born at a time and in a place where I learned at an early age that I had the potential for great things. I happened to go to a high school where there was a teacher in who encouraged me to audition for a school that I didn’t know anything about and what I did, I didn’t like. I happened to call my mentor when I was feeling stuck and he urged to apply for a job at a place that I had never heard of until that very day.

Everybody doesn’t get this lucky. But I did. I am grateful everyday for my good fortune and the opportunities and challenges that I have been presented with. There are smarter people, people who are more talented than me, and people who work harder than I do and many never got the breaks that I did. I know that. I am the lucky one. I had nothing to do with a lot of it, but here I am the beneficiary and I will not let this good fortune, go to waste.

I hope I inspired you this week and you will make a contribution, in any amount to my Pyramid Atlantic fundraising campaign by clicking here. Everything helps.

Thanks for listening and please share with a friend who you might want to inspire today.


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