It All Starts Somewhere…
No one just wakes up one day and says, “I think I’m going to bid on government contracts.” And for that matter, we can go a few steps back, I didn’t just wake up and fall into a career as a successful, professional voiceover actor. I had to work hard to follow my dreams, build a solid broadcast ready recording studio, and then solicit and maintain a client base. But, from there, what gave me the gumption to pursue the government realm? I think it’s from being surrounded by self-starters who are intelligent, ambitious, and successful
From Fix-a-Flat to Windshield Wipers to Real Estate
My Poppop Albert, my maternal grandfather, was truly amazing and was quite a role model for us. As the son of immigrants born in a house in Philadelphia, he came into this world with nothing and was given nothing, only the free education of the public school system. He served in the Navy in World War II and was stationed in the South Pacific. The Navy wanted him to play as a pitcher on their baseball team, but he said no as he wanted to be in active duty. He did play minor league ball for the Holmesburg Ramblers! Anyway, when he and my grandmother married they had a children’s clothing store in the town where we grew up. When my mom was 12 he decided to go into automotive chemicals. He knew it was time for a change. He and his partners created Fix-a Flat! From there they worked on other successful products and launched a wonderful business. My grandfather embodied the American dream, with hard work and ambition he built a life for himself and his family. He always helped those around him and he continued to work like a dog. He went from one business to the next and he invested n windshield wipers that he thought were different from anything else on the market. When he was over 80, in his retirement, he took the real estate exam and became a realtor in Pennsylvania and worked for years! My Poppop had a “Can DO” spirit that I see in myself, my sister, my cousins, and my children. He was a delight and even though he worked hard and his life was not easy he was kind to everyone.
A Unique Law Practice
Like my grandfather, my father also works extremely hard. Like my grandfather, aside from his education, which went through law school, he was not given anything. He had to work from the time he was very young and nothing came easily to him. My father was always extremely ambitious and very bright. When I was in twelfth grade, he made the bold decision to leave the law firm he had been with for 20 years, since law school, and start his own practice. Even though this was extremely stressful, my father planned and successfully created his own practice. Since 1975, my dad has defended public schools across the state of Pennsylvania. He travels all over and works long hours to provide for us. When he went out on his own, his firm grew and grew but it was because my father worked so hard and has always worked every single day, even on holidays. He takes client calls no matter where we are in the world and he has had some extremely important cases, included recent groundbreaking cases protecting the rights of the LGBTQ community. I am very proud of my dad and I have learned so much from him.
Finding Our Roots
My sister Julie, like our dad, is also an attorney. The apple does not fall far from the tree and Julie has both drive, motivation, and intelligence. After years of working for our father, Julie has decided to pursue her passion and start a business doing forensic genealogy! Julie also has an advanced degree in tax ( an LLM for tax, trusts, and estates) and this kind of work is extremely useful in estate planning. Julie’s meticulous nature and attentive manner make her the ideal business owner as she takes every project so seriously. This very week she is doing special research at the New York Historical Society. Julie is, however, doing what I did in the sense that she is pursuing her passion.
For me, my biggest motivation to succeed is my children. I very much want to be able to have me career while being available to them. If I am not able to be here for my twins then it is a non starter. Ultimately, what gave me the courage to transition from teaching to voiceover was the knowledge that this plan made logical sense for my family.