Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Proceed with Caution - Enthusiasm is Contagious

I recently met young Michael Fontaine, age 20, who has been interested in special effects makeup since he was three years old. He cites the movie "The Exorcist" as the impetus behind his great love of special effects. Michael is both creative and articulate, so his stories of past makeup, drawing, and sculpture projects are completely captivating.

Being around someone like Michael, who expresses excitement and enthusiasm about his work, requires the audience (in this case, me) to see the work through his eyes. While this young man animatedly explained several projects in which he has participated I was thinking how amazing it is that this kid latched onto his chosen career at age three, did the work, made the connections and is now being recommended and mentored by the biggest names in the Hollywood special effects makeup industry. And he continues to do the work (with relish!) to master new skills, as the technology continues to evolve.

You may be working on something completely different, but the energy generated within you by simply listening to a happy and enthusiastic person can carry over into your day, if you're open to that. I know it works for me, even subconsciously. Imagine how a deliberate effort will work - when harnessed properly, another's enthusiasm can power us to focus and be more productive, enjoy the task at hand. That's my plan for tomorrow...

Artwork and photo credits: Michael Fontaine

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Van Burens Get Ready

If you know me, you already know that two of these handsome Van Burens (a Canton-based band) in the photograph are my sons. Sears was kind and marketing-savvy enough to sponsor a few groups over the summer for a nifty travel opportunity - a video presentation was required to enter the contest - and The Van Burens were chosen by Sears to receive a travel stipend toward their trip, plus some work on "Ruby Pearl" their trusty band van by the Sears Blue Automotive Crew, as well as a new video camera. Since the VBs are on the road on a regular basis, this is a perfect opportunity for them to work their craft, meet new friends, and hone their video production skills on Sears' dime.

Here for your viewing enjoyment is The Van Burens Get Ready, the band's first video-post of their week-long Sears Exploring My America Road Trip, which takes them through a portion of the Appalachian Trail between Gorham, NH, and Gettysburg, PA.

Stay tuned for new posts each day this week. These guys are a talented bunch, and ensuing videos promise to be filled with their particular brand of off-beat humor, with music and history woven throughout.

Be sure to visit Sears Exploring My America or The Van Burens daily to vote and help the VBs win the Sears contest (and a daily chance for you to win a $100 Amex gift card).
Bon Voyage!

Photo credit Chris Bernstein

Friday, August 20, 2010

The (MacBook Pro) Honeymoon Is Over

I love my MacBook Pro, don't get me wrong. It's just that I'm no longer infatuated with it. You know that first blush of attraction you get for a new electronic gadget? It's gone, kaput, fizzled. My MacBook Pro (affiliate link) is reliable, smart, and gets things done on time and under budget, but I no longer snuggle into bed with it each night to chat on Facebook or Twitter, or watch my favorite shows on Hulu. For months after I purchased my MacBook Pro I would have separation anxiety each time I left the house. It would wait patiently in its neon pink zippered scuba-gear sleeve and I would long for the moment I could return to power it up and label my photographs, download music, or see who had posted new grandchildren pics on Facebook.

The Mac software, like Garage Band, iPhoto, iTunes and iWeb is used daily. I'm learning something new every month or so with my One to One or Workshop sessions at my favorite Apple Store (Derby Street in Hingham, - hi, Steve and Andy!).

The honeymoon is over, but the comfort level is high. My MacBook and I are together for the long-term.