DERRICK Interview with Blind Filmmaker Michael Schwartz

November 11, 2016

michaelschwartzEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Michael Schwartz who is a legally blind filmmaker and owner of Trailhead Productions brings fifteen years of experience in television news and production to the table, and you’ll see what that means all along the way. An award winning reporter, Michael knows television and works for you with the same dedication and ideals valued by the best in the business.   “We’re the storytellers, not the story.”  That means that at Trailhead, we never forget that you and your dreams are the stars of the show.

D is for Dream. What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

I’m a big believer in breaking through boundaries. Although I’ve been gradually losing my eyesight since I was thirteen years old, my dream was to pursue a career in visual storytelling, and I’ve never taken “no” for an answer. Through a career as a broadcast reporter and photographer, and now as a documentary filmmaker, I’ve seen firsthand that it’s possible to merge the worlds of visual storytelling and visual impairment. From my first job all the way through my current film. Following my own passions, though, cannot and should not be the end of the story. My dream is to change perceptions, raise expectations and make a difference in the world of inclusion for people with disabilities.

E is for Education. What is your educational background and how do you use it daily?

I went to the University of Missouri School of Journalism. What I loved so much about my education there is that no matter what your specific goals were, you had to learn everything about the business. It wasn’t good enough to want to be just an anchor, or a reporter, or a photographer, or any of the other jobs in journalism. You had to learn it all, and I had so many opportunities to learn skills that have benefited me throughout my career as a storyteller. Understanding what makes up a good picture, learning how to tell a concise story, understanding how to combine dozens of stories to build a newscast that makes sense… it’s all about crafting stories that make a difference.

R is for Resource. What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

The first resource actually doesn’t have anything to do with tools of the trade. It has to do with drive and resilience. The fact of the matter is that if you’re going to be a visual storyteller who’s visually impaired, there has to be an inner belief in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, nothing else matters.

I also rely on the twin pillars of of communication and partnership. While it’s easy to talk about the mechanics of how I do my job – working with the spatial and acoustic dynamics of an environment or a set to frame a shot, or shooting on a 4K camera to edit in a 1080 timeline, or not thinking of color itself as much as color profiles to use waveforms and vectorscopes to craft the mood and design of a shot, these are all just that” mechanics. They explain how do my job, but not why I do my job. I do my job because I get to work with a team of creative professions who share a creative vision. It’s what gets me up every morning in search of great stories to tell.

R is for Ready. When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I think the key to realizing your dreams is that you shouldn’t wait until you feel you’re 100% ready. The truth is that day may never come. There will always be at least one unanswered question, one skill you could hone a little more, one step you may feel you’re not ready to take yet. Life is about leaps of faith. When I set out to start my own business, one based on a risky proposition and an uncertain outcome – staring a video production company even though I’m visually impaired – the one thing I had was a belief that I could succeed. Yes, you start a venture with as many resources as you can muster and your prepare as much as you can, but success is based on action, and action requires at least a certain amount of faith in yourself. Really, I knew I was ready because I believed in myself.

I is for Individual. Name at least one individual in your network that others should learn more about and why?

I can’t speak highly enough of my colleague and friend Maxwell Ivey. Max calls himself the Blind Blogger, but his life is about so much more than his blindness. It’s about always seeking self-improvement, expanding horizons and making a difference. Max knows how to start with a dream, use the resources he’s developed over the course of a lifetime of finding unique solutions to difficult challenges, learning new skills to help him achieve his goals and always looking to the future.

C is for Challenges. What challenges have you had to overcome?

I believe that the challenge anyone with a dream has to overcome is facing down low expectations. What I’ve found is that people tend to rise to the expectations we set for them. As a creative artist – a filmmaker – who is visually impaired, I work every day not only to coordinate a creative vision with my team, but also to lead others to a world where there is no barrier to achievement. I direct and even shoot documentaries, and will continue to do this throughout and beyond the process of losing my eyesight. This is because there is a certain truism that we all have to come to accept, that pursuing one’s passion is the best starting point, because there are no barriers to accomplishment.

K is for Key. What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

There is really one key to success. Set the bar high for yourself and for those who share your passions. This doesn’t mean you’ll never make a mistake. As they say, that’s why pencils have erasers. High expectations push you to challenge yourself, and it motivates you to constantly question your own assumptions… even the ones you don’t know you have. Expecting the highest level of performance from everyone you work with encourages you to pursue nothing short of excellence.

Michael is a friend of mine, and I want to encourage you to support his new documentary series, “The Palette Project: Losing Sight, Maintaining A Vision.” He’s made it really easy to pledge with a micropayment of just $1 for the videos he’s posting on his Patreon feed. This is a great way to show your support, and you can make a difference by helping him make a difference. Plus, you get to see some pretty amazing videos of some pretty amazing people, and learn what it’s like to be a visually impaired filmmaker. – Maxwell Ivey

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The DAILY Message for Friday June 12th, 2015

June 12, 2015

“If you don’t want it there is no GUARANTEE” (Get Up And Rinse Away Negativity To Embrace Empowerment)

Guarantee

Derrick Hayes is known as the “Encouragement Speaker” and is available for speaking engagements and Derricknym signings at meetings, conferences, and events. Please visit http://www.DerrickHayes.com email info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662 to book Derrick Hayes now.


Words Of Encouragement for the Christian Student

January 19, 2014

BreaJamesBy Brea James

College may seem like a new world to you, it opens up a new door of “freedom”. You are no longer chained by your parents’ commands and you now are responsible for making your own decisions. This could be very new to some of you. Temptations will be knocking at your door like never before. Your peers may pressure you to drink, smoke, party, have sex etc. I am here to tell you that you do NOT have to give into those temptations. You do not have to compromise your anointing to fit in with a crowd that you were made to stand out from.

Being drunk may be fun while you’re tipsy but the next day you’re having a hangover. Having sex may bring you a moment of pleasure but it can also bring you lifetime consequences.

I understand that you may want to experience college life and have fun in the process and it is possible. It is possible to have fun in college and maintain an outstanding GPA as well. Being a Christian does not mean you don’t have fun. You’re just enjoying a different type of fun, a joy that cannot be explained. See the joy you find in Jesus is permanent; with him you find everlasting life. The devil dresses up the world’s type of fun and makes it look appealing, but it’s only temporary.

Through God, hard work and dedication you will be able to succeed in college. Whenever you feel like you are not able to keep going just call on the Lord and ask him to see you through. With God there is nothing that you will not be able to handle.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. And yes this does include finals week!

Seek God first and all things will be given to you…this includes your degree.

Brea James is a junior mass communications major at Winthrop University a who also has a blog called Stepping Into Purpose which is designed to share inspiration,motivation and encouraging words to help other students find their purpose and to get closer to God.


DERRICK Interview with Luke McGowan the Small Business Advocate at Thumbtack

August 26, 2013

ThumbtackEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Luke McGowan the Small Business Advocate at Thumbtack and represents the company and the answers in this DERRICK Interview are through the voice of Thumbtack.

DOur dream here at Thumbtack is to help service professionals find new customers for less than the price of lunch. We’ve made a lot of progress -250,000 service pros are using Thumbtack to find new customers, but we still have a lot of work to do.

EThe Thumbtack team comes from many different educational backgrounds. Big colleges and small colleges. Universities on the east coast, west coast, midwest, and abroad. Law degrees, engineering degrees, business degrees, you name it. We put all of our educations to use helping service pros grow their business.

RThumbtack has a team of online marketing experts who know how to create advertising campaigns that connect with customers. We have a team of designers and engineers who have created a simple, easy to use product that is always being improved. We can leverage the strength of our community of pros in a way that smaller companies couldn’t.

RWe realized we were ready when we started seeing our local service pros double or even triple the size of their businesses using Thumbtack. When we realized we could do that, we knew we could help 1,000s more pros.

IWe can do better than just a single individual…here’s 7 pros who have used Thumbtack to achieve success in their businesses – http://www.thumbtack.com/pros/stories

CWe have had to lift ourselves up and be scrappy – like many of our service pros, we are still a small business ourselves. Fixing the market for services so that customers and service pros are satisfied is no easy task – but we love big problems!

KThere are many keys to success, but we would say that working hard is one of the biggest. Our team is working around the clock, and a huge reason for our success is the energy we’re able to put towards moving forward. We also make an effort to surround ourselves with quality people, both here at HQ and in our network of pros.

Visit Thumbtack for more information.


The DAILY (Derricknyms, Apps and Ideas to Lift You) Message for Friday

August 23, 2013

Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes brings you The DAILY Message on Friday August 23rd, 2013 to empower and inspire you to your next level.

(Please read and Like, Share, Retweet or Reblog The DAILY Message)

In This Issue:

1. The Daily Derricknym is WORLD. Take A Trip Around The WORLD (Work On Receiving Life’s Dreams).

2. Today’s word is Test. In greatest you have great and test. Champions find opportunities by overcoming obstacles. Once Ali beat Liston they listened when he said, “I’m the greatest of all time. This is brought to you by Motivation Your Mobile and you can download Today’s word to your Android or I Phone.

3. Idea for today is to enjoy your moment.

Derrick Hayes, an alumnus of Tennessee State University provides you with The DAILY Message and is  available for small and large meetings, church events, academic speaking engagements and workshops. Please visit Derrick’s website at http://www.DerrickHayes.com  and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662.


The DAILY (Derricknyms, Apps and Ideas to Lift You) Message for Thursday

June 20, 2013

Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes brings you The DAILY Message on Thursday June 20th, 2013 to empower and inspire you to your next level.

(Please read and Like, Share, Retweet or Reblog The DAILY Message)

In This Issue:

1. Daily Derricknym is MENTAL. Is Your Edge  MENTAL (Make Every New Though Achieve Longevity) ? Now you can also order your name as a Personalized Derricknym.

2. Today’s word is Commit. Put your all into it and don’t quit. Wake up in the morning with the attitude that you will give everything you have before you fall asleep. When you stay the course your desire will inspire. This is brought to you by Motivation To Your Mobile and you can download Today’s word to your Android or I Phone.

3. Idea for today is to reach out and be relevant.

Derrick Hayes, an alumnus of Tennessee State University is available for small and large meetings, church events, academic speaking engagements and workshops. Please visit Derrick’s website at http://www.DerrickHayes.com  and to book him for a speaking engagement or media event, send an email to info@DerrickHayes.com  or call (706) 615-1662.


DERRICK Interview with D 30 Marketing and Promotions CEO Kirsten King

March 8, 2013

KirstenKingEncouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes gives a DERRICK Interview by asking 7 questions through each letter of his first name to give you an insightful perspective from other experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities and up and coming super stars.

Today’s DERRICK Interview is with Kirsten King who was born in the small town of Geneva, Georgia. At an early age she wanted to be a teacher and demonstrated a passion, and love for people always wanting to be around people and music which Ms. King would later find out that her father was a popular DJ in South Georgia.  She was a good student and often helped organize events to raise funds for school projects, and also was a member of the dance line and flag teams.

After graduating from high school she began working for a Poultry Processing plant, and upon the encouragement of an older co-worker who told her “Baby you’re too young to be in this chicken plant, u need to go to college and get what you can while you’re young,” she decided to further education enrolling at Cols Technical College where she earned certification for Customer Service Specialist in 2000.

Kirsten became a mother in 2001 giving birth to her first child, a daughter. She was subsequently let go from her job due to the pregnancy.  She learned the difference between circumstances and choices and successfully navigated through being a single mother, having to single handedly take care of 2 children, her first born Jakedrea a daughter, and son Jakeveon.  She loved being a mother; however the trials & tribulations of having to provide for her children would test her foundation of humility.

In 2005, she began working as a Human Resources assistant in Fort Benning, GA for 6 years. During her employment in Fort Benning, Ms. King decided to further her education while simultaneously interning for a promotion team learning the fundamentals of marketing. In 2009, Kirsten and 3 other friends established D30 Entertainment, where Kirsten excelled in her passion for promotions and marketing. After the former members went their separate ways, Kirsten became the sole owner and changed her business name to D30 Marketing & Promotions, all while earning her BS in Business Management.

Excited and motivated about her degree & moving forward with D30, Kirsten implemented various public service projects: Easter Kuts & Ponytails, #D30Cares, and also participating in political forums that bring awareness to the community such as the Why Note Vote Campaign.  In addition to serving her community, Kirsten has a list of clients to include YNCK whom she provided publicist services & created the 706 to 106 Campaign & helped raise over $1,000 in cash & sponsorships to provide travel accommodations to and from 106 & Park in New York, NY. Kirsten also added Diva TV, Georgia Record Pool, Vision Pr & Marketing and Davis Broadcasting/ Foxie 105 Radio Personality to the D30 Empire and her list of occupations.  These acts contributed to her receiving several awards: 2 Firm Grip Grammys as Promotions & Marketing Team of the year for 2011 & 2012, Foxie 105 promotions team of the year, Mary Cason Foundation Woman of Power in Media & Marketing, Woman of Wonder in community service/entertainment sector.

Kirsten has big plans for D30 Marketing and Promotions, has been very busy and is definitely not finished…Her motto is “With God first, I will not fail”!!

What is your dream, goals or what have you achieved?

My dream is to build a solid foundation for my kids, so that when they become young adults they wont encounter some of the struggles I did as a young adult. Some of the goals that I’ve achieved is maintaining as a single mother, providing for my kids as if they were in a 2 parent home. I successfully started my own business, creating a totally different, unique vibe and remaining #1 in the entertainment industry in Columbus, Ga .

What encourages you?

Jakedrea Niyhae Morgan & Jakeveon Markese Upshaw…my kids encourage me to go above & beyond even when I don’t want to.

What resources do you bring to the table that makes you unique or stand out?

I’ve worked within the entertainment industry for 7 plus years starting out as an assistant,….meeting new people, networking & building relationships. My abilities to conform to any environment are what definitely make me unique. People normally cling to me because I’m a giver, a great listener, & I will make sure whatever mission is set before me, I put forth 100% into completing it.

When did you realize you were ready for what you are doing now?

I realized I was ready for what I’m doing now, when I began to see how easy it was to make things happen. The relationships were built, 4years of free hard work was put in, my part time consumed most of my full time ..i knew it was then that all I had to do was walk in my purpose & have faith that God had me.

Name at least one person that you know that you feel others should learn about and why?

For me, it’s a personal acquaintance and that’s my brother James Johnson, he taught me the business & gave me an opportunity to learn all that I could. Jb was very influential in the starting of my own business and till this day he pours into me & is kind of like a mentor. If there’s ever a situation or business deal that doesn’t feel right, he’s the first one I call. It’s because of him, many have respect for me in this industry, if you’ve worked under Jb it’s kind of hard for anyone to manipulate you. So to anyone thinking about the entertainment industry he would be an excellent mentor to seek guidance from.

When you fail, things look bleak or are not optimistic what makes you want to continue?

When I fail or things or not looking so well, I always look at what I put into it and what I could’ve done differently and every time it makes me go harder the next time. I look at life like everything happens for a reason & we must learn from our mistakes & move forward!

What keys to success can you leave for upcoming entrepreneurs and leaders?

The keys to success that I can leave for upcoming entrepreneurs are 1.Keep God first 2. Find your niche & Do you! 3. Never waste time worrying about what others are doing; you then lose sight on what you’re doing! 4. Create your lane and ride in it. 5. There will be hard times, heartaches, failures, & disappointments, but if you hang in there, it will build a bigger, better, stronger YOU!

Visit Kirsten King for more information.