Or, “How I learned to do IMPOSSIBLE things …”
(Okay, you’re absolutely going to think I’m making all of this up. But I swear, every word of it is 100% true.)
I grew up surrounded by a host of colorful characters.
I spent my childhood on county fair midways and race tracks all across the Midwest (my family business was racing horses). My mentors were carnies, pitchmen, gamblers, grifters, magicians, and fortune-tellers. I learned amazing things from ALL of them.
On top of that …
My mom was a psychic and spirit medium.
No … really.
We’re talking old-school psychic here, not New-Age-900-number psychic. She taught me techniques and traditions going back hundreds of years … REALLY cool stuff.
That’s why …
You’ll see things in my programs you WON’T see anywhere else!
It was definitely a one-of-a-kind childhood.
I was also born with a disability …
Cerebral Palsy. My mother was told I wouldn’t survive. (Spoiler: I did.)
Later, She was told I would never walk (I did that too … but I do have a pretty noticeable limp).
But because I grew up with a disability …
People have always tried to tell me what THEY thought I couldn’t do.
I’m sure most of them meant well. They wanted to spare me the pain of what they saw as inevitable failure.
I realized pretty quickly I could do one of two things:
- I could listen to them and live in a very small world, or
- I could risk failure and maybe live in a much larger one.
So I stopped listening to them.
And I failed … a LOT … but not always. As a result I’ve done things many other people only dream of doing.
And I learned an important lesson.
Whenever someone says, “that’s impossible,” what they’re really saying is they don’t know how to do something … and since they are the smartest person they know, there’s no way you could know how to do it, right?
That’s just a lack of imagination.
As I got older I realized I wasn’t the only person being told, “you can’t do that!”
But this was different.
These people were being told what they could or couldn’t do because they were a different color … because of their gender … or because they chose to see their world differently.
Seeing that made me sad … and angry.
So I got involved in diversity and advocacy efforts.
- I served on state boards and commissions.
- And I coordinated State Government efforts to fight employment discrimination against women, minorities and persons with disabilities.
- Later I moved on to work as an advocate with a Federal program to help parents of children with disabilities in public schools.
I did a lot of good work and I helped a lot of people.
But over time I got burned out.
Because, you can only beat your head against The System for so long. And on top of that, parts of The System are just plain broken.
I was miserable.
The question was, what was I going to do now?
I had a truly unique skill set (not to mention a pretty fluid definition of “impossible”). But I also didn’t want to abandon my advocacy work.
What I was doing wasn’t working, so turned everything on it’s head.
I went back to my first love … performance and theatre.
In other words, I turned my hobby into my job and my job into my passion.
Now I get to use everything I’ve learned.
Not only do I get to do really cool, impossible things for people … and get paid for it.
But I’m also free to do advocacy outside The System (and the bureaucracy),
which means I also get to show people how they can do impossible things too.
Best. Job. Ever.