I am lucky enough to be surrounded by extremely creative people. For example, my husband is a creative and ingenious home beer brewer. We talk about some of our favorite qualities of beers we enjoy, and then he’s off to the races, tweaking recipes for all kinds of wonderful concoctions. And the names he comes up with – okay, I give him a lot of grief for some the names, but they are really fun and fitting to the styles of beers we make. Of course, the most fun is having friends over for beer tastings. A tough job, but hey, it has to be done in the name of quality control!
Another example of creativity in action would be a group of my friends who are talented filmmakers and screenwriters. I am in awe of their skills and determination to get their vision to the screen. Most people think filmmaking is all glamorous premieres and actors sitting around in their expensive trailers, but the reality of filmmaking is far from that vision.
This past summer I spent a week in beautiful Boston with two great friends, one who is a filmmaker and the other, a screenwriter (although it doesn’t seem fair to categorize them with just these titles). We were attending a conference together and both of them had just come from a rigorous film shoot. It was so much fun to talk with them about their experiences and see their creative processes in full swing. It was also fun to eat seafood with them every night and visit many, many, many Italian bakeries in the North End of Boston where we were staying. But I digress.
The point is, I’ve been thinking long and hard about my creative outlet lately. It seems like everyone out there has a special skill or hobby that really adds zest to their lives, but what have I been doing? I know that a lot of you know that I was a cabaret singer and actress for years and year, and while I miss elements of that I knew I was looking for something a bit different.
Enter “The Next Food Network Star” on Food Network. My husband and I have watched it faithfully for three years. We get a kick out of the all the different personalities and love seeing what they come up with on the food challenges. It is actually the only “reality” show that we watch. Last year, about halfway through the season I thought (like many people probably) I could do that! They are looking for someone with food chops and thanks to Mom and Grandma Philomena I got ’em. More importantly, they are looking for personality – and I’ve got that to burn baby! Oh, and the fact that I have no fear of getting up in front of people or a camera and making a fool of myself doesn’t hurt either!
So, a couple of weeks ago I enlisted the help of some friends to make my audition tape for the NFNS (Next Food Network Star for those of you who don’t know the lingo). I made my favorite dish – Braciole. Flank steak stuffed with all good things that would make a vegetarian jump ship and join all of us carnivores. My friends shot the demo. We all ate. Win-win! And you know what? The audition turned out GREAT!
No I wasn’t saying “Whazz ammatta you?” I was saying “Buona, buona!”
During this entire process I’ve had one motto in my head, “If not now…when?” It is from the book “Queen of Your Own Life” by Kathy Kinney and Cindy Ratzlaff. The book is about finding your voice and realizing your dreams for the second (and best) part of your life. I’ve decided to live that motto.
Wish me luck!