#ShoutOutTuesday: Robyn Coffin

It’s #ShoutOutTuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

Today’s Shout Out: Robyn Coffin

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The year was 2011. It had been less than a year since I moved to Chicago. I found myself cast in a play about baseball called “Black and Blue” by Factory Theatre.  I was thrilled. Though I had no clue this would be more than just a credit on my resume.

Not only was there a solid cast of cool artists,  the company members were often present and incredibly friendly. This community was just what I needed, having not made many friends. After this experience, I’m happy to say I made many. One of said friends includes Robyn.

At the time Robyn was an actress who was also waiting tables. Today? Admittedly I haven’t asked her how she pays the bulk of her bills. But I’m pretty sure serving isn’t in the picture.

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Many know Robyn for playing Cindy Herrmann on the hit NBC show Chicago Fire.  Some also know her as an acting instructor at Vagabond School of the Arts. Or if you’re friends with her on facebook, you know her from these gigs, her frequent bookings, but above all – her friendship.

Robyn gets a shout out not because of her resume (though it’s pretty spiffy too). She gets a shout out because of who she is with that resume. Anytime she enters a room, she gets everyone either smiling or laughing. Often laughing. Please, someone tell me of a time where Robyn Coffin’s wicked sense of humor didn’t make you laugh!

So if you haven’t familiarized yourself with Robyn, now’s the time 🙂 Check out her IMDB page (above) or her private coaching and classes she offers. Or, if you’re like me and enjoy podcasts, give this a listen.

 

Robyn, you’re a great example of what Chicago is all about: A great person, does what she loves, and adds value to others through your work friendship.

Keep going, my friend. We’re all rooting for you 🙂
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Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

#ShoutOutTuesday: Jonathan Broeker

It’s #ShoutOutTuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

Today’s Shout Out: Jonathan Broeker
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Photo: Stolen lovingly from polymyth.com/about/

 

Disclaimer: I met the writer/filmmaker/guy-who-does-marketing-and-communications at Polymyth last night.

I was attending the Chicago Acting in Film Meetup. The topic was networking. If your name is Tony Rossi, you may find yourself with some thoughts regarding networking and an evening towards it…

-I already know how to network

-Is this going to be a discussion on how to dress and behave? I really don’t want to buy more clothes…

-Is this going to be one of those things that’s better for other people, but not me?

-Are people going to notice my hair today? I think it looks pretty good…

Since I (ahem) didn’t get permission to share his thoughts, plus want to respect our rule of “what’s said in the meetup stays at the meetup,” I’ll refrain from sharing the pages of copious notes I took.

Needless to say, I had some different insights leaving last night…

-This guy is good

-This guy is really good

-I already knew somethings about networking. But not the way he describes it.

-He was on set how long today? How is his hair better than mine?

Jonathan isn’t just good at what he does – he’s a good person who cares about helping others.

I will share this: That was a big theme of his talk last night. Networking isn’t about selling yourself. It’s about helping others. I believe if more of us can grasp this concept, we can approach networking events and enjoy them more! If no one is selling and everyone is helping, what’s not to like?

 

Thanks for your insights last night, Jonathan 🙂

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Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? There’s a lovely “Follow” button in your bottom right corner. 

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

#ShoutOutTuesday: Nate McNiff

It’s #ShoutOutTuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

This week’s shout out: Nate McNiff*

*Includes the man, the voice, and the beard. 

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“Nathan is at the top of my list for voice over work. He has excellent range, he understands his audience, and there is so much character in his voice….I recommend Nathan for any job!” –Mary Bloand, CEO, Anchor Hitch Media (Stolen lovingly from Nate’s Website)

He’s a friendly guy, a positive thinker, and someone who appreciates all things Salem, Massachusetts. This gives him over a hundred Tony-points right off the bat, so the guy has an unfair advantage. But did you see him when he grew that epic beard?

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Yup. It was real. Just ask the talented Nicole Beauchaine (left) if you don’t believe me

Nate and I were buddies having worked the New England Pirate Museum together. We’ve reconnected more recently while bonding over chat about positive mindset and thinking big.

You know I like thinking big.

I’ll let Nate’s work on his website do the talking. He’s a creative artist who has found a knack for voice over work. Give him a quick listen if you have a minute and ten seconds.

But as far as his mindset goes – it doesn’t get much better than Nate’s. He’s positive, friendly, and can turn your day around in a hurry. (He gives good hugs, too).

I hope all of you get a chance to experience Nate’s friendship. Very grateful for you, buddy.

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

#ShoutOutTuesday: Kyle Gregory

It’s #ShoutOutTuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

Today’s shout out: Kyle Gregory

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I mean, look at that face? What’s not to like. This picture from his facebook page currently has over 400 likes! 

If you’ve been following my blog, have known me for a while, or have seen one of my hundreds of “I love New England” facebook statuses, you know that there will always be a special place in my heart for my home. In particular, there’s a special place for my alma mater: Salem State University.

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The wonderful thing I’ve found since moving is that I don’t just have old friends to visit. I have new friends that I’ve made in the area since relocating. One of those friends is Kyle.

We met almost five years ago. Over the past year, we found ourselves crossing paths more frequently. Since then, he’s done a lot: He’s written a play (or five, for all I know). He’s gotten accepted into grad school. And most recently, he’s written a children’s story.

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Photo stolen lovingly from Kyle’s friend Kerri Turmenne

From Kyle’s facebook page:

Last year my mom approached me and asked “Why don’t you ever do any plays that Alexa can watch?” After thinking about this for a few weeks the idea of writing a children’s book had entered my mind. It might not be a play but I can finally announce that a children’s book for my niece is finally done. Although she will be getting the very first copy I decided that I might as well just make it available for everyone. Here it is…”Nimbly Wimbly and the Great Dry Drought.” A book written by me and Illustrated by my good friend Dan Carroll!” 

The beautiful thing about setting goals that benefit others is it gives us a push that we otherwise lack. When goals only benefit ourselves, we’re more prone to procrastination or waiting for the “perfect time to start.”

Let this serve as an example to include others in your goals. Even things such as career or health and well-being can help in different ways. Being the happiest, healthiest version of yourself makes you a better friend, family member, and person for your significant other.

Thanks for this reminder Kyle 🙂

For inquiries on how to get your hands on a copy, shoot me an email and I’ll notify you as it becomes available online. Additionally, you may visit the Salem Arts Festival in downtown Salem, MA on Saturday June 5th to buy one in person and meet the author himself!

UPDATE: You can also attend the “Nimbly Wimbly” LAUNCH PARTY!

Saturday July 9th at 1pm

King Phillip Yacht Club 

1 Club Street, Fall River, MA 02721

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

#ShoutOutTuesday: Layne Marie Williams

It’s #ShoutOutTuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

Today’s shout out: Layne Marie Williams

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About a year ago, I attended the Chicago Acting and Film Meetup’s “Summer Social” – a night to network, drink and raise some funds for a great group. I was about to order a drink when a girl approached me and introduced herself. If your name is Tony Rossi, you often have moments of, “Wait, a girl is introducing herself to me? Clearly she’s digging my (insert something that I thought was cool about me that day)…”

While there’s no doubt that I had a sweet haircut or new shirt that day, I’m willing to bet she introduced herself to a lot of people that night. I’m willing to bet any of you reading this also had an encounter with Layne Marie Williams at a different networking event. She might be new(ish) to the city (at that point she had just arrived). But she doesn’t sit around and wait for opportunity. She’s too busy making her own opportunities. As if that’s not enough, this girl radiates positivity on social media. She writes about Chicago, art, and the beauty of being alive.

Sound corny? Now you know why I like her.

You should too. Check these out.

-Check out her website

-Check out her WOMEN’S FILM FESTIVAL THAT SHE STARTED ON HER OWN 

-Are you following her on facebook? 

If none of that is appealing, why not go to her Dollface World Premiere premier? (Oh yeah. She’s already made her own film in Chicago.)

Holiday Hoorah

This was about six months later at the “Holiday Hurrah” for the Chicago Acting in Film Meetup! That Steve Bayorgeon (right) is a pretty cool guy too.

That’s for being an inspiration to the rest of us, my friend. This world could use some more positive creatives like yourself. Keep it up. 

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

 

#ShoutOutTuesday: DaJuan Johnson

It’s #ShoutOutTuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

This week’s Shout Out: DaJuan Johnson.

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Being someone who constantly promotes positive thinking, I can get pretty down on myself when those negative thoughts come in:

What’s wrong with me? Why am I thinking this way? Shouldn’t I know better by now?

Fortunately, I’m a member of the Thriving Artist Circle run by Dallas Travers. In addition to getting insight from Dallas, we get insights from mentors such as DaJuan Johnson. He’s a life coach for actors – and an actor himself. Having limited exposure to him until recently, I decided to check out the recording of his “Ask Me Anything” call that I had previously missed

To say I was impressed was an understatement. I had to keep pausing the recording so I could take notes! Here are three of my favorite takeaways from the call. (These are extremely paraphrased):

-Your thinking, feeling, and doing all have to be in alignment. If you’re not happy, it’s going to affect your actions.

-With survival jobs: Avoid putting a deadline on when you’re going to quit by. Instead, focus in visualizing what it’s going to feel like when you’re done. How will you feel? What will the money you’re making now help you to achieve

And here’s my favorite:

-You’re not responsible for that first (negative) thought that pops into your head. You are responsible for that second and third thought that follows.

BOOM!

Suddenly, I didn’t have to kick myself anymore for that initial negative thought (or five) that flooded into my brain each time I was in a bad mood. Instead, I just had to think about how to go from there. If you caught my weekly Sunday night periscope last weekend, you know it was all on this topic.

…you are following me on periscope, yes? 

How can you get to know DaJuan yourself?

-Check out his life coaching at “Think Bigger Coaching” and see what he has to offer

-Become a Thriving Artist Circle member run by Dallas Travers and have access to mentors like DaJuan.

-Or just follow him on twitter and get to know him.

Many thanks for the work you’re doing, DaJuan. We’re getting a lot of value from you. And for that, I’m very grateful.

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

#ShoutOutTuesday: Kaitlin Eggers

It’s #ShoutOut Tuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

Today’s Shout Out: Kaitlin Eggers

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I have full permission to use this photo…..I just didn’t ask or see if Kaitlin would approve. But can we just address how wonderful the picture is?? 

My old friend from college is about to make the move to Chicago, IL. From New England. So we have a few things in common.

I did a “Surprise Scope” today where I shared exactly why she’s getting a shout out. But let’s pretend you don’t want to watch the scope and want a reason right here: Kaitlin is taking a risk. She’s making a big leap, moving out of her comfort zone, doing something she’s never done. Most of us don’t do this. I share more in the periscope the importance of why we need to take more risks like this – whether it’s moving, or something different related to your goals.

Regardless, the point is to live our happiest lives. That’s what these blogs, videos, and periscopes are all about. When we take risks, we’re taking action towards being happier. Even if the answer is an “Oh well. It didn’t work…” it’s never as bad than the “What if? What if I had done that? Would I be happier?”

I can’t wait to see what this move brings for you, Kaitlin. Way to inspire the rest of us.

You can watch the periscope HERE! 

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

#ShoutOutTuesday: SSU’s BFA Theatre Performance Class of 2016

It’s #ShoutOut Tuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing work that I think others should know about.

This week’s Shoutout: The BFA Theatre Performance class of 2016 at Salem State University

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Snapped this rehearsal photo last week….totally didn’t tell them either

Yup. We got more than one person this week. The graduating class includes Tina Barry, Alex Deroo, Jimmy Flaherty, Morgan Flynn, Amanda Gaspari, Caitlyn Jones, Sam Lewis, David Meredith, and Danielle Woods.

I often share how that negative critic chimes in from time to time. He’s fantastic at pointing out everything that could go wrong with my life.

I learned last week he does this when I’m visiting my alma mater. He’ll make comments about me being the “old guy” visiting campus, trying to fit in with the cool kids. Or sometimes he’ll say it’s weird that I spend so much time visiting professors at a school that I’ve been away from for a while.

He can talk all he wants. The truth is, I’m inspired every time I’m back. It’s less about reliving memories (which are awesome) and more about being inspired at the work happening in the theatre department at Salem State.

Last week I paid a visit to campus. After having lunch with my former college adviser, David Allen George, I asked how open he’d be to letting me sit and be a fly on the wall for his class. The BFA seniors would be working on their final performance piece for their upcoming recital. Not only did he accept, but he also allowed me to speak to the students for a bit.

….and you guys know how much I love talking (I swear I didn’t know the picture was there until today).

The real fun came from watching them work. They performed a scene from Tracy Lett’s “August Osage County.” They tweaked the scene under direction from student Sam Lewis. Once again, I left feeling inspired. Good people doing work that fulfills them. That’s what we all should strive for.

Clearly by now you want to check this out for yourself. Here are the deets: (Lovingly stolen from their facebook event page)

Where: Callan Studio Theatre at Salem State University

When: Saturday, May 14th 7:00pm; Sunday, May 15th 2:00pm

What to expect: Recital will feature scenes from August Osage County, The Field, God of Carnage, Richard III, A Long Day’s Journey into Night, Nocturama, Pillowman, No Exit, Doubt, Random Black Girl, and MORE!

Please contact apreston@salemstate.edu to reserve tickets. Admission is FREE!

Thanks for the inspiration, guys 🙂 Hope you’re remembering to find the joy in all the madness that comes with graduation.

Go get ‘em.

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

#ShoutOut Tuesday: Darryn Glass

It’s #ShoutOut Tuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing cool work that I think others should know about.

Today’s Shout Out: Darryn Glass

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Have you watched any of the Chicago televisions shows? Caught a show at Steppenwolf? Seen an advertisement for some of your favorite national brands?

Darryn wasn’t in those. Not yet 😉 The guy is 48 years old and just getting started. He shared on a recent call with the “My Big Year” group run by Courtney Rioux that he “finally decided to pursue a dream.”

It breaks my heart seeing and hearing others who don’t go after what they want. Whether it’s age, location, experience, or job limitations, the excuses are abundant. Many people don’t have the mindset Darryn does when it comes to living a live we love. We settle for what we have and spend more than half our week somewhere we don’t want to be.

I’m not just giving him a shout out because I like him (though he scores Tony points when he shares my posts and tweets). I’m doing it to encourage YOU. Take a look at your list of reasons of why you can’t start pursuing your dream. You know, that dream that you’ve had sitting on your desk, under a pile of papers, for the past few years. The only thing stopping you from going after them is you.

Need more inspiration? Talk to Darryn. He’ll set you straight. Follow him on twitter or check out his website. Or go see him onstage. (Especially if you like baseball).  Or just come back to my page in the near future to read my, “I TOLD YOU SO” post when we’re sharing more of his accomplishments and resume credits.

Proud of you, Darryn. Thanks for being an inspiration to others.

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂 

 

#ShoutOutTuesday: Shoebocks, Pinch Spice Market

It’s #ShoutOutTuesday!

I’m on a mission to be my most positive, healthy, and creative self.

I’ve decided to expand on this mission by shouting out cool people I connect with. These are people who are doing something with their lives who not only inspire me to be my best, but are doing cool work that I think others should know about.

Today’s Shout Out: Shoebocks, founder of Pinch Spice Market

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“I started Pinch simply because of my love of sharing food with people.  It is amazing to think that it has been 5 years since this journey started.

I love every aspect of it, and wake up everyday excited to help my customers cook awesome meals.

My focus is on finding the highest quality spices and using them to create amazing blends and rubs. Anytime I make a blend, I do it right. I don’t cut corners add filler, or anything artificial like large spice brands.  I take pride in making everything by hand in small batches.”

(Quote credit: “About Us,” pinchspicemarket.com)

I met Shoebocks this past weekend at Williams-Sonoma in Lincoln Park. He was sampling some vegetarian chili seasoned with his delicious chili powder. He had a full set up with some other tasty spices.

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I admire anyone who starts their own business. What I particularly like about Shoebocks is that he discovered the traditional route of working a “dependable” job also has its flaws. And so, he took the entrepreneur plunge. Love it.

He also shared with me how he started out with a traditional shop. Later on, he discovered his product attracted a specific demographic. Today he bounces in and out of local farmer’s markets and events. In my opinion, there are more“dependable” companies who could learn from this marketing strategy.

Check him out!

Website

Facebook

Wanna order some? (free shipping over $40)

 

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Have a friend who deserves a shout out? Shoot me an email at tony.rossi@gmail.com with the subject “Shout Out Tuesday” and let me know!

Want an update each time there’s a positive post up here? Subscribe!

Be happy. That thing you’re worried about? Future-you isn’t even thinking about it right now 🙂