Upon arriving at my fancy corporate office at the record label BMG one morning in 2004, I realized I was losing my mind and miserable, so began planning my escape.
Family, friends, and colleagues thought I was crazy as I had the perfect job -- a 6-figure International Vice President title in the music business, expense account, business class travel, free concerts and CDs, getting to hang with musicians like Etta James, Ziggy Marley, James Galway, The Chieftains, Rachael Yamagata, and Cesaria Evora, and blast loud music or watch TV in my office while chilling on the couch wearing jeans.
The reality though was that a long and amazing 20-ish year career in entertainment marketing and PR had sucked the life out of me. My job was always to help others achieve their goals and dreams, but I lost myself in the mix. That morning in 2004, I asked myself, ‘What about my dreams and goals?’
Coming from a family of artists and entrepreneurs, following convention was not part of my upbringing. So, I did what was most logical to me… got a buy-out of my contract that gave me 5 months pay, unemployment, and cobra health insurance, and decided to go as far away as possible -- to Africa.
I went to Ghana for 2 months to reconnect with myself, recharge, and gain clarity about my life as I did my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training program over there. Without warning though, on day 9 of my journey, I almost died from severe malaria. Minutes from dead, my life was saved by an amazing Ayurvedic African doctor, and it forever changed me.
My experiences in Ghana brought me clarity: I’m a storyteller and giving voice to things that matter is what lights my fire.
I realized that on both a personal level or for a brand there are some necessary basics…clarity, knowing your big ‘why,’ what makes you different, and identifying and owning your voice and truth. Without any of these, forward movement isn’t possible.
Over the years, this took the form via writing, producing awareness-building experiential, out-of-the-box events and campaigns, or coming up with unique marketing, branding, or communications strategies for an eclectic mix of clients in the US, Africa, Haiti, and Europe.
Since childhood, traveling has fed my spirit and creativity. I prefer off-the-beaten-path places where a passport is involved.
In addition to personal world travels, I've had unique international work experience. In Haiti, I consulted with the Ministries of Tourism and the Environment and brokered commodities deals within the private sector. In Angola, I produced a multi-media awareness-building campaign introducing Western audiences to Angolan Kuduro music and dance, which included live events in Luanda, Angola, throughout Europe, and the U.S.
I'm an author and passionate storyteller. I contributed a chapter to "Pain, Purpose, Passion: That Was Then, This is Now," and have a book publishing deal with The Round House Press. My writing has been published in several magazines and I'm a contributing Huffington Post blogger, and guest blogger for Thrive Global, Identity Magazine, and Yogic Living.
Prior to launching BlueZan Consulting in 2005, in addition to serving as Vice President, Worldwide Publicity for RCA Victor Group, at BMG, at Sony Classical with the same title, I orchestrated campaigns including for Yo-Yo Ma, The Three Tenors, Joshua Bell, and Joe Jackson. I co-founded, and for seven years managed Kahn & Jacobs, a leading entertainment marketing and public relations agency in New York and was named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s 26 “Power Players” of the New York film industry.
During my early career, I created and implemented national marketing and communications campaigns for major independent film distributors, television networks, and film festivals. A small sampling of the amazing films I helped launch include Sling Blade, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Trip to Bountiful, Dirty Dancing, Sid and Nancy, Paris is Burning, Brother's Keeper, Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It, Jim Jarmusch’s Down by Law, and David Byrne’s True Stories.
Holistic healing has been part of my life since being a teenager. I’m a certified Kundalini yoga teacher, certified Pilates teacher and Shiatsu massage therapist.
Salsa dancing is my passion and when I'm not working or writing you can find me shaking my booty on the dance floor!
"You should make yourself so happy that by looking at you other people become happy." Yogi Bhajan