And so it begins…

I don’ t just enjoy the movie and story of Julie and Julia because it’s my name. I like the idea of someone embarking on a journey and sharing the travels. Too often, successful CEOs, entrepreneurs, writers, actors, leaders and others are asked to speak retrospectively about how they got where they’ve landed. I think the better story is the tale of how you’re getting where you’re going.

And we are going places.

I know Ann-Elizabeth from my first foray into environmental theater and an attempt to bring my fantasy, sci-fi, gaming life full circle by performing as a cast member at a Renaissance Faire. A-E was my coach, mentor and inspiration for engaging audience members (regular people) with wit, interest, listening and passion. It’s a contagious way to view the world and my behavior, my goals and my path have changed significantly after a summer in heavy, tight clothing simply talking to people in a moderately understandable accent.

She’s well versed in life, in general. She’s infectious and more full of knowledge on all topics than the Library of Congress. She, too, is a writer.

Tricia and I met Ann-Elizabeth without knowing we’d met her. Tricia, a friend who has survived the test of time and stayed with me well past our Eastern Illinois University roots, met me in her Chicago hometown for a day’s snooping around at Re-Enactorfest in the suburbs. Characters and costumes of multiple eras and genres interplayed and Tricia asked the most important question of all–where’s race? How is it these historians and actors are all white? History involves characters of all walks of life, ways of being and races…why is only one subset represented? Her mission was to find out if her theater skills, her leadership and teaching experience might lead to answer this very important question. While we analyzed the situation one Jane the Phoole meandered through the crowd. I didn’t know her then, but Ann-Elizabeth in her alter ego impressed both Tricia and I for her performance, costuming, character and liveliness. Our paths crossed… it was only the first time.

Tricia is an entrepreneur as well. Innovative in how she marries teaching, learning and poetry, she’s branching out creatively every day. A master of the micro-blog, Tricia’s Twitter (@ladyterror) is the standard for how to joke and engage, critique and persuade. She calls out her famous critical questions to a crowd of cyber conversants and keeps topics afloat.

These two women and I are tethered by a few threads… more appropriately–ropes (enough to hang ourselves with? I hope not.)

We’re all writers and have been, always.

We’re all creative and have boundless interests and energy.

We’re all hustlers–full of part-time jobs, side jobs and careers we try to reshape to meet our needs.

Speaking is easy for us. Performing is natural.

What is monumental here is that we three women together are all so adept at finding the minutiae of people that make them irresistible. We listen. We laugh. We want to know more.

That skill is something we hope to share. Business and customer service has shifted. Creative opportunities and liberal arts education are changing.

But they’re all essential and we’re bringing them back (and to you) in ways that haven’t been seen before.

Follow our journey in this blog–with entries from all of us–as we write about what it’s like to wake up with an idea, share it…and keep going.

Welcome to our ride. Be brave.

Julie

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