Thanksgiving Edition: A small update, list of thanks, a short story, and more talk about my future. 

Hi Family/Friends, 

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I’ve been hiding out as you can tell. It was the first weekend I’ve had off since August, so I basically did nothing…but fall deeply in love with PBS once again, listen to podcasts (I’m such a junkie), and slept a lot.

Friday I closed a chapter in my life: I am no longer working my second job where I have to go all the way up to Ulmerton. (Thank Goodness.) After our boat show this weekend, I will be working full time in the boating industry again, and I’ll be about 10 minutes away from the rest of my world with a flexible schedule. Before I left that job though, the boss said, “Do what you love.” So it was a great goodbye and that door is closed forever….

I am super duper thankful for…. (not in any order) 

– all of my friends / family

– my new friends / family this year

– my family at gulfport community players

– reuniting with my favorite person

– a chance at being stage manager

– patrick’s writing class

– the moment that all of us theatre people do lunch/dinner every single time we get together for some event

– attending the star awards / being nominated

– all opportunities basically

– being coached for bsg

– my world of boating family who i haven’t talked to in ages

– just this week: reuniting with the pirate captain friend from years ago

– just this week: reuniting with another pirate friend from years ago

– eisenhower

– my theatre couch

– the moments that i can actually remember

– good books & bookstore 321

– pbs / npr

– podcasts

– all the shows i’ve been able to attend by audience or help with

– my love for all things

– jimmy buffett’s music

– all music. all theatre. my ability to write. all arts. everything.

– etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Story Time — DREAMS 

I’m going to tell you guys a secret. It’s a deep, dark secret that maybe hardly anyone knows about… when I was in middle school I was such a weird kid. My favorite music was classical—mostly Mozart—and I loved opera. When I got home from school, my radio went straight on NPR and I listened non stop. My weekends were scheduled to listen to: Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Prairie Home Companion, World Cafe, Car Talk and so on.

When I finally got a TV (whenever that was), I fell deeply for PBS. I watched all Great Performances, and anything else that was related to music and theatre. I used to religiously watch award shows like mad, and—when I thought I was going to be a music director at one point—I came up with a list of songs my choir would do and entrances/exits.etc.

(Now, remember all throughout my entire life I was also a bookworm and I constantly wrote.) 

This weekend I started watching PBS once again after a huge break, and I fell back in love with it again. I first watched In The Heights: Chasing Broadway Dreams. It’s basically a documentary that follows from when it was born to some of the practicing to the performance. It’s magic. I watched this full musical a while ago and it’s genius. I must say, it’s one of the first ones in present day since RENT that I really “got” and felt connected with. But to be a part of something like that—dreams coming true—absolutely wonderful and breathtaking just to watch/hear. To see the writer’s face when they were getting ready to perform… that… that is just something worth watching.

It’s just the feeling I get any time I am helping with a play. We work hard for the few weeks/months and then it’s show time. Cue the butterflies, the endless nights, the final day, the cast party and the goodbyes… all until the next show where you get to do it all over again just with a different script, different people, etc.  I told my former-former boss that’s how I want to live my life: work on a project for a while then it’s over, take a tiny break, and do the same with the next one…

I also found Noel Coward’s Present Laughter to be freaking genius. Everything that Patrick taught us in his writing class… it was in this play. No wasted dialogue. Characters are well developed, with a sense of purpose, and they made a difference each time they entered the room. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that I really want to live in the set design too. Watching this really helped me understand even more than I did before.

I’ve also caught up on some (not all) of the film shorts, some of the music documentaries, and I found another program “Black Folk Don’t…” It is such a wonderful show on black culture and everyone should be required to watch it. It’ll open your eyes to what you don’t know.

All of this watching and listening to podcasts that follow these shows or even short radio shows has me thinking about something. One of these days, I’m going to have to make a decision, and it’s going to be which path do I take from here? It’s a difficult one.

I find myself willing to admit (at this point) that I know deep down in my heart that I really belong to the arts world. I’m going to be that late bloomer (wrong word?)… the one that actually does this in the second half of her life, which is basically right now, I just need to do a little bit more towards this dream if I’m going to make it.

One day… I will be doing all the things — like maybe writing a play that could be produced on Broadway, being a big part of some show that could be at the Lincoln Stage, writing lyrics that could be performed by someone at Carnegie Hall, working with PBS/NPR on stories, finally write/finish The Office 2.0 & it being a big hit, or even attend jazz fest because I’ve actually had enough guts to do something with my love for it. Or even—more importantly—that dream of what I write in general gives people hope to never, ever forget their dreams and to always set large goals and hit them. That’s what I want. 

Eventually, I will be there. I’m working on it now. One… by one…

Before 2016, I had been so disconnected from my dream’s path but I believe it was meant for me to get that experience, to fully understand that I am on the wrong one, and make that decision on how to start earning money where I belong. Joining the Gulfport Community Players in 2016 was the first step towards crossing off one of my dreams…. do you want to know how many more followed after that? A lot, and almost all of them. All because I joined my theatre group did my dreams start coming true. Totally meant to be. I mean, life didn’t really exist beforehand… other than experience, don’t get me wrong…

I am seriously due for writing new dreams because that’s what’s wrong with me right now. I’m out of goals, and big picture dreams. While that’s a huge and wonderful accomplishment of checking a lot of them off, having my world so cloudy because I’m not focusing on what’s important, hasn’t been great for me….

Writing with purpose is the first goal, and everything else will follow. I know deep within my soul that my future is in the arts industry (writing, film, theatre, music, etc.etc.etc.) it’s just a matter of time when I will switch over, and what my journey will be when it happens.

– Karen Maeby 

Wondering why you haven’t seen or heard from me? This is why.

Hello everyone!

Oh boy. I don’t know where to even start but I guess starting at the beginning would be great, aye? This’ll be long so make sure you have tea/coffee to sip while reading!

With a lot (and believe me when I say A LOT) of consideration and talking with my boss after my Ft Myers-Miami vacation in February, I put in my “90 day notice” at T. While it will always be my dream company to work for, the position of which I worked was NOT the dream job (everyone knew this). Basically if you work at a dealership the marine industry is so cut & dry – you’re either in sales, service advisor, parts, warranty or upper management or an admin training to do one of those things. Some companies have a marketing department but we weren’t big enough to have that and that is what I wanted. I really loved working in the warranty but we already had someone, and even if it became available, it was only going to be a portion of the job–not full time–and the benefits from the previous person would never follow out-of-house ever again like I would have wanted to continue.

So hence my big decision. Every time I would go in and talk to my boss, I’d start crying, my heart was breaking even more than what it already had been. I knew that even the thought of leaving was sad, but it was just time to move on. Two years of doing the same exact thing every day was enough but almost 3 was just too much for someone that wants to do a whole lot more with their life (you should see my goals/dreams list – it’s now 1,000 pages long). What started this whole thing was having a really, really good performance review but it being said that they were aware of my abilities and talents and couldn’t satisfy them because a position like what I was wanting either didn’t exist or couldn’t there. I understood.

So on a Tuesday at the tech meeting I told the guys about my “90 day notice” and they were shocked because they knew how much I was Team T forever and ever until the day I die. (I still am!) We didn’t know how long it would take to hire someone, so 90 days felt safe for finding someone, training and giving me enough time to get my act together.

However, not shortly after, a girl had walked in with experience in the same things that I did in the admin role, so they hired her. By the end of the first month I was like, okay there’s just one computer and either I need to stop working (and feeling bad about that) or not let her do anything (and that just wasn’t right)… so I decided to leave two months early. I didn’t want to stay if I wasn’t able to earn my keep. 

All four of my bosses were completely 100% behind/beside me and supported me wholeheartedly. Before I left I got to go on my first seatrial which was a lot of fun and super philosophical for me (yes there’s a poem, it’s on boatshowgirl.com). Also, they threw me one huge party.

I left on a Tuesday and came back on Friday for my lunch party. When I walked in, there were thousands of decorations hanging from the ceiling, on the walls, everything. It was amazing. They gave me two cards, a poster that said “good luck with your next adventure,” a crown that said “retired” (haha), and even bought a flag that said “it’s five o’clock somewhere”. They fixed shrimp tacos for me and we all ate together for the last time. (Eisenhower even joined in and he was sooooo full from the shrimp that he fell asleep propped up against his ship! ha!) With them doing all of this for me, it gives me even more fuel to not give up no matter how much I might fail. They believed in me enough to let me go. And, like a butterfly… if it was meant to be….back around it comes. 

What’s a shocker to the very few that knew about this — I left without having a job or much of a back up. While that might scare people, it did me too, but please know it was for the best. The last few weeks of April I was unraveling at the seams. Holy cow was I ever. After going from doing everything I was doing at the end of last year until April, I was just so overwhelmed I needed one hell of a break… and that, I did get. There were weeks I didn’t get out of bed. I slept up to 20 hours some days. I didn’t talk to anyone really. I wasn’t working, I wasn’t doing the theatre or film at that time, and no other activities other than reading 1-2 books a day. Actually, I did get started on some of the scenes out of a book I’m writing about T, but that was about it. I even “quit” BoatShowGirl for the time being. Yep. My heart and my brain was just so broken by that point. There were so many clouds in my sky that I couldn’t see right in front of my face anymore. My ideas weren’t ideas any more. Nothing would compute. It was not good at all.

Then………weeks later, I went to the Gulfport boat races and reported live to my radio show. I felt sort of alive again being by the water and seeing the boats. It’s a thing I can get behind – boat races – it was awesome.  The next day I went and saw Foolish Fish Girls at the theatre and saw everyone I loved and cared about. I started missing everyone so badly.

The end of April to middle of May, I kept applying to full time jobs. Why? Why in the world would I do that? I don’t know. I went on a few interviews and they didn’t work out. I wanted to strangle myself because I left my dream company to do my own thing.. not to go work for someone else (unless it was freelance/contract)! SO. Ever since having realized that the reason nothing like that was working out is because this is my time to make my future and it is not by coping out and having a cheat job. It’s working my ass off to get everything I ever wanted in this life. When I truly realized that, things started to center out with me again, and I’ve been able to smile and be happy.

After taking that good ole awful couple of weeks worth of a break, I can finally breathe again. I can finally think creatively again. I just feel so free. I can’t explain it. I have ideas. I feel like I have a creative future, unlike what I was feeling before.

One night I was turning in for sleep and a large storm of termites (yay Florida!) started taking over my apartment. It was awful. I ended up running to the store at 10pm at night, getting bug spray and a new metal bed frame. I stayed up for 30 hours straight moving and going through everything in my front room just so I could move everything from my bedroom into my front room. I threw my wooden bed frame out the next day, set up my metal one in the front room and completely crashed.

My neighbors and I had a yardsale this past weekend and just by having a lot of $1 items I made money, more than I’ve ever made at any of the previous yardsales. I’m going to be doing another one in a few weeks. Right now I’m just getting rid of a lot of things I no longer want that’s mine, and it’s helping clear the apartment of so much clutter. I believe that letting go of a lot of things (like items no longer used or wanted) is a part of my life lessons for this 30th year of mine. It’s working well thus far. My apartment is almost back to normal and I FINALLY HAVE A DESK AREA AGAIN. I haven’t had that for a few months now, so I haven’t been able to use my desktop computers which has been annoying! But alas, there’s a lot of room in here and much needed junk is going bye-bye! First step: become less of a past hoarder. I guess? Lol.

Work status: I’ve been getting about 3 emails or calls a day pertaining to my ads about work, so I’m super excited, this is a great start. I will be popping up a lot more places but for now I’m keeping things under wraps. I don’t want to take on too much right at first or talk about many of my ideas/goals because I need to figure out time and prioritizing, but so far… I’m really liking the freedom. Once I’m ready, I’m going to start posting all of the things I’m doing. In fact, if you keep tabs on my websites you’ll probably start to see some stuff pop up. I already have 1 perm job that I started this week, and doing some other work for both myself and others making amounts here and there.

In another sense, it was frightening to scramble money together to be able to pay this month’s rent, but it’s something I needed to learn… in order to work harder, smarter, better to make more money than ever so I’ll never have to go through that again. It’s going to be rough for a little bit, but I’m getting it together, and it’ll get easier.

Here’s what I need you guys to do for me: if you live in this area, spread the word that you know someone that wants to do freelance/contract marketing/ graphics/ small office work/ stuff like that. I can do online selling via etsy, eBay and those places. I know how to do a lot of things. My resume is at karenmaeby.com/work Or you can just keep an eye out for stuff like this and let me know if you see anything. I like tiny projects, but I also like ones that’ll keep a stream of income month after month…

As far as everything else… I’m so, so, so, so, so happy I’m back at the theatre helping out with the Summer One Acts. Auditions was actually my 1 year anniversary! I attended movie night with the film society last month and really enjoyed that. For those that I have seen, it’s so good to see everyone again. I’m just counting on a lot of things working out for me with a lot of hard work, and hopefully, another butterfly (not the one mentioned above nor one that has to do with work) will come back around this time again but in a better, different, more permanent way. My heart and soul feels it as my chakras are being cleaned…but it’s just not time yet, dammit. I am not the most patient person which is why ‘patience, young grasshopper’ makes me angry sometimes. 😉

Always,
Karen Maeby

My initial reaction to the possible axing of film/entertainment offices and tourism groups in Florida. 

Last night I attended Tampa Bay Film Society’s general meeting and the big topic of discussion was HB 7005 (formerly PCB CCS 17-01). If passed, this bill will cause our industry to have a tax increase as well as abolishing Film/Entertainment offices directly effecting tourism/jobs. I haven’t been in the film society for very long, and I know I have a lot to catch up on before I can really discuss things. But today, I researched a lot on this topic, and now, I am speaking out because it is so important for the future of film in Florida. Here is my take on what I have read thus far and took notice of:

First of all, the person who is responsible for wanting to pass this bill and kill such things, seems to have nearly the same mindset and agenda as our now, well, leader. With having said that, the first line of business I see is that [he] wanted to get rid of is VisitFlorida after a certain event. I dug around the Internet for a while to read on this, and truth be told, I am highly disappointed in the VisitFlorida people. Here’s why:

A while ago VisitFlorida hired Pitbull to do a music video. They wouldn’t release details nor the amount of which he was paid. And, he was paid a LOT… to produce such a…well….let’s just say, to be fair here, I do like him, but VisitFlorida—really? Like, really? The video and the lyrics were ridiculous. Suuuuuure, it pictured Florida beaches up and down the coast and mentioned Florida. But… really? And they say they were trying to get Millennials to come to Florida.

I’m a Millennial—a different kind of Millennial—but still a Millennial and there’s no way that video would’ve convinced me to come here if I lived somewhere else. This is where I direct it to the film part…. If VisitFlorida wanted a tourism video or something about Florida, why in the world didn’t they reach out to film makers across the state? They could’ve shown the rest of the world that the state of Florida (aka a tourist-based company from Florida) supported local film makers by hosting a contest where they could’ve won portions of the money they spent on Mr 305. I mean, really. That alone would’ve been so good for the talent in this state, and maybe we’d get noticed again. I could see them splitting up and having a competition for each area where they’d find the best photos and video to put together in either one large video or several shorts and have some sort of documentary where they point out not only the best beaches, but the best local retailers and food of all of the area. Do you guys know how important that would’ve been? Had it been produced, and found by people either on Netflix, Hulu or even YouTube? If people of other states heard the stories behind certain locations (say mom&pop shops) or secrets to the hidden gems of Florida… I mean, not only would we support our own people, we’d get even MORE tourists here.. but, no.

Which brings me to the next point—I have learned in these general meetings that Florida isn’t very friendly towards the film industry due to having 0 incentives, which means, almost no production company wants to produce movies here without having something like that! According to Wikipedia, in 2006 our state used to be #3 in having movies produced here, and now, we’re not even near the top. This is sad. This means: lack of jobs for any one involved in the industry. Not only that but people are losing the chance to be enticed by seeing scenes of Florida in the movies/shows, and that’s one of the many things that drives tourism. Shortly after Dolphin’s Tale was released, it is very well known that Florida saw a rise in tourists. This is what Florida is all about—tourists—that’s what keeps money flowing in our state so why aren’t we being supported?!

Not only am I involved in as much of the arts side of things, but my other industry is the boating industry. Florida has a loooooot of beautiful beach towns, central locations, attractions and events that build up the audience to come here—among those—are having really large BOAT shows all throughout the year in several locations. People from other countries visit Florida just to go to these conferences that we have, the boat shows, or just to boat! They make money here, but they also spend it. So there are a TON of ways to get people here—but to take away certain avenues that might help—isn’t exactly the best decision.

My other alias is “BoatShowGirl” and in the near future I am going to want to use my film knowledge to develop a show about going to the boat shows in order to attract potential employees to the industry as well as future buyers of boats. Bringing newcomers into the state to fill empty jobs, creating more jobs because we can, and having a booming economy could develop from things such as these! Do you think that I want my dream (or someone else’s) to be killed over something like this? No, no, and no. We must fight to keep what’s right for us and the state of which we live in!

To play the devil’s advocate—I will confess that in a way I understand why some of this is going on—in certain people’s minds, they think that money is being hemorrhaged, and tax payer’s money shouldn’t be going towards one person’s paycheck (or things that doesn’t help the economy or community in a big way). I get that, and agree, however, is killing something so important going to do more harm than good? Probably, and that opens a whole other mess of where will all of that ‘saved’ money go? Does it get transferred into another one person’s pocket, or will be it be sent into the community to boost things there? These are the questions we have, as well as what will become of the film industry’s future, will we ever be supported again, and how well will tourism be over the next few years if such avenues disappear?

If you are interested in saving the film industry and reading what’s going on with this bill, you should look up HB 7005 (formerly PCB CCS 17-01) and read on it. I will definitely be doing more research as the days go on, and write more as I see fit.

Filling up the bottles with emotions.

Today we moved Parfumerie into the Catherine Hickman Theater and after lunch we had fun pouring our mixtures of blue/pink-red/gold into each perfume bottle. Opening up the perfumes that still had something in it from a long time ago… whew, whew, whew. I just kept smelling it and asking the others if they remember that smell. There were a lot of the same scents that reminded me of the perfume I’d find in my grandma’s house either in her room or my mom’s room. But still, ew, how in the world did we ever find those scents to be yummy? 

I don’t know. Beats me. Now I have a headache many hours later from it. I think I’ll just stick with my pumpkin-whatever-the-flavor from Bath&Body Works because that’s the only stuff I can really stand these days.

So……working with perfume reminds me of a poem that I wrote with inspiration from a boat show book that had images of yacht baths and sinks in it. Here goes:

Perfume and Cologne
© Karen Maeby 5/25/14 

A book is laid on the seat of a chair
and a bookcase nearly empty.
White and gold objects
lay above the seat
and a photo frame without a photo.

Women’s perfume and men’s cologne,
smells mixed together.

A bar of soap
sitting there, unopened.
And a rose sits singularly on the white counter.
Sugar just as thick on your lips.
I crave. You know, I tease.

Gold slated walls, a shower
with glass separation and
a flat sprout sink faucet.
Silk lace…
finger tips that burn with passion.

A walkthrough
of a slideshow of lite romantic jazz.

Times up – you take my hand
and the floor becomes soaked.
We grab all of the towels
and make a mess all over the floor.
Now, we enter complication.

In all seriousness though, Parfumerie’s last performance will be super sad for me. It’s my last play for a while so that I can truly focus on BoatShowGirl and get it to the point where it doesn’t need to be babysat, or worked on in the beginning stages like it has been lately as I try to develop my brand. I’ve made some good professional connections and they seem to be leading me on the right path of where I want to go. BUT, I have a lot more work to do to get to where I (think) I want to go. HOPEFULLY, I will announcing a release of my BSG book in the next few months. I’m looking at going to Miami Boat Show because truthfully, I really need to be there, even though I think if I had to choose I’d rather go to Palm Beach in March.

Speaking of writing, I haven’t published anything in such a long time. It’s been something that’s weighing heavily on my mind–which is why one of my main ‘goals’ or ‘desires for every day’ is to ‘BE A WRITER FIRST.’ It’s helping. I probably shouldn’t have, but I went through a lot of my older poetry and deleted half of it. I felt better afterwards. Eventually this year, there will be a book with all of my older unpublished stuff so that I can move on from many years ago. I keep thinking I’ll make up some story or something with the older stuff but all it’s doing is reeking havoc on my present-day thoughts. Just like I could never go back to the moment of my first book ‘Maeby it’s only the beginning’ or ‘In Love With a Sailor / The Captain in Me.’ I want to focus on jazz, not depression poetry or anything else. Just jazz. Soulful stuff. Unique. I want to focus on the today moments mixed with the happier times of my short-term past.

Something I hadn’t thought about doing in a long time is to make out a yearly plan for what I want to do with BSG / new brand ILBS / writing. It came from the inspiration of doing BSG stuff for my new contract / guest blogging work… and it seems to really put the focus on the goals. Not only breakdown of goals, but actually know ahead of time what I need to be doing. All of this is really good. I’m feeling better already. Now, if I can just stick with it.

I had something random to happen at work on Friday. I took a call about a father looking for a boat for his son. The boat type was unrelated to my company’s boat lines, but I helped him anyway. He said he couldn’t find the number online so I found it for him. He responded with sincere gratitude and a promise of a note to me of some sorts. I’m not sure what it was about, but maybe… there is a purpose to this random call? I guess I’ll find out next week. It was strange indeed.

Betty–a family member who I used to visit all the time when I lived in Kentucky–passed away. Feels like I’m always losing someone in one way or another. First Bella the day after Christmas, then her.

Anddddd in times like this, it really hurts feeling like I cannot reach out to the one person I really care about, and share what’s been happening lately. Maybe it’s too soon, maybe not. I don’t know. I just wish things could be different…and maybe it will be in time. I hope. Boy do I hope so. 🙁

Eisenhower is driving me batshit crazy. He keeps trying to make his way up to the tallest point in his aquarium and then he hits the glass and falls back down. So. Many. Times. He’s been the reason for my waking up in the middle of the night because he’s being so loud in the other room. I should really learn from him though, no matter how many times he has fallen, he gets right back up and tries it again. Looks like “giving up” is not in his vocabulary and success is where he wants to be. Could it be that his brain is too big for his tiny little shell? Possibly.

-Until next time, Karen Maeby

Searching for where I belong.

It’s a brand new year, and in order to come to terms with anything, I really need to release this to the universe instead of keeping it inside. Plus, I guess it should be my unspoken resolution (out of five thousand) to be dangerously vulnerable, opening myself up to whatever may come my way, but this time around know and understand what’s going to happen because that’s what always happens to me.

All of my life I’ve pretty much lived like my hermit crab baby–barely opening my shell to anyone–and when I do, they have to be very special with something built out of connection on some soul level and trust. I’ve been hurt by so many circumstances in my life that it’s a struggle to continue to open to anyone, and that is extremely difficult when I am needing to be a profile personality for the work that I want to do (BoatShowGirl) and to go into my first love in the arts/theatre. So every single day is a really big battle for me. 

It was when I was 27 years old that I stopped caring what people thought when I did something, because I always have a purpose or reason. Life is too short to care. I understand enough to know that if someone doesn’t support you as you are or as you change, they’re not really a friend, and you need to cut them out of your life. Just because it doesn’t suit someone else’s life doesn’t mean it won’t suit mine or make mine better. I live how I want to live and that’s that. If I don’t like something, you’ll know, and instantly it’ll be changed. I choose my relationships due to a person’s personality and what we have in common. The more you care about together, the more you share, and the happier the life. Same with friends but on a different level, of course.

Most of the time I truly am busy but when things are overwhelming or I feel like a major depression is coming on, I don’t mean to go into hiding or cut people off, but it’s what I do…unfortunately. I don’t want to be seen as the black sheep that brings everyone down due to negativity. It’s difficult for me to reach out to anyone mostly, because if I do, I’m afraid–like in my past–one won’t have time for me, not really care to hear from me, or the group doesn’t really want to see me outside of wherever I’ve met them. I want to be included, but rejection. I shut down, and I have no issue shutting a chapter and just picking up and moving on…to make my next go around until it happens again, and then, I continue until I feel like I’m getting closer to where I’m supposed to be. It’s just what I’m used to.

I don’t do traditional. I knew at a younger age that I didn’t want that, and I don’t want to do the same thing for the rest of my life or live in the same general area. To be free and open gives the chance to chase a dream or opportunity. I want to live life odd, strange, out of context, and have days like out of RENT that really teaches lessons. I want my experiences to be very unique and my TRUE stories to be unforgettable. I feel like some of my purpose here on Earth is to share my stories with people and make a difference in their life. Be some sort of guidance, a helping hand, or for future generations.

I’m an only child born to older parents. Not only was I alone most of the time, I was raised differently, like it was another era. I’m grateful, but it’s also been extremely difficult fitting in…. I’m an old soul–I know this and I’ve been told multiple times. I get along with much older people. I get along with younger people. I don’t really fit in my age group. Never really have, no offense to anyone my age, I still love you.

It’s difficult being 30 years old, looking like I’m 15, and feeling like I’m 40 or something due to goals and what I really want in life. It ruined something great for me, I wish it turned out differently, and I really don’t know how to handle that right now.

I feel like I’ve walked this Earth many times before. The ballroom gown days where proper English was spoken, classical music/opera were the nightly shows, and letters were sent by the Pony Express. The 1920s where my soul belongs, I found the love of my life and I had to let him go after a dance to jazz at our dinner party, that suddenly went up in the overcast of cigarette smoke and booze. The 1970s where every photo comes out looking like vintage, I play my vinyl records, and dance in my head like I’m a hippie. The era of Pirates where I was one of the only female Pirate on board the beautiful ship…. I died on the Titanic, and my heart/bones can be found with the treasure at the bottom of the Sea.

But yet, I live and breathe in the 21st century and I have none of my past, except for the memories. Or dreams. And present day, where a few years ago, I had a very lively dream that I was in a concentration camp in this lifetime, and my heart/soul pours out to Anne Frank’s ghost because I have had such a mysterious connection with her for as long as I can remember.

This is what I feel, and I haven’t really talked about it to too many people over my years. I hope you know that I am very serious and I’m not living in a dream world. I only wish I could relive some of those eras that my soul has been so that maybe.. just maybe I can find what I’m searching for in my future. But maybe, just maybe… truth be told, if I find my future, I won’t be here any longer. Then, it’s like Catch-22 or something. I just keep barely existing until I am found.

I really do love life no matter how hard it’s been, especially the opportunities I’ve been blessed with because of my talents and my dreams that have come true because I never, ever gave up. I love being an adult, and never ever have I ever wished to be a kid again because it was easy. I don’t like easy. I am challenged when things get hard and difficult, I may shut down and go to sleep, but it’s my puzzle to figure out how to solve until something good happens again.

I really hope that in 2017 I can really live out that path of where I’m going with my work personality of BoatShowGirl and really show the world my creative side of Karen Maeby. I am one of the most confusing, deep, and complex people on this Earth, and trying to dissect me….well, as you can see, is difficult.

Here’s to 2017.

-Karen Maeby

Where in the world did 2016 go?

I’ll be quite honest, I don’t really remember the first half of 2016 before I got involved in the theatre over the Summer One Acts. It makes me feel like I wasn’t awake! ha! Or maybe cause it didn’t really matter.

Sometime in January or February I was brought on by the guys at World of Boating for my BOAT SHOW GIRL gig. What a fun year that has been being on the show and looking at where I was and where I’m at now.

The first quarter of the year: all I remember is that I was in my tailspin of finishing off one entire year of working 2 jobs (60-80hrs) where I didn’t see or talk to anyone outside of work. That was extremely hard. I didn’t mean to cut people off but I had no choice, so I am so sorry, everyone. I also had no choice of not being able to move forward in my projects, either, which put me back a few decades.

In March ~ we got a new director at my work and he changed everything for the better. It was such a blessing to have him join our team, especially since he took interest in where I was going for life in this industry and he’s still cheering me on. We had a really rough time getting employees in the door, which put a new perspective on what we needed for the industry and that helped me train my thoughts a bit.

When I finally left that second job in April…

I went straight to rehearsals for the Summer One Acts around May and started helping out back stage. After 12 years, it was totally meant to be that I came back at that very moment. I met the most amazing people there, and one amazing individual that means so much to me, and has had the best impact on my life. More than anyone ever has.

I celebrated 2 years at Thunder and they spoiled me rotten. They also spoiled me rotten when I turned 30.

Year 30 turned over a new chapter–being with someone I truly cared about, listening to jazz music, and just being in love with life because I knew I could never go back.

In that time – there were so many things that I did, including going to an acting class (that I eventually want to go back to) and getting into the film society. What a year for spectacular things to get involved with, and those were just two of the things!

Give or take a few months, there was a break between Summer One Acts and Over the River & Through the Woods. It was a smaller play, not much to do, and now I’m working with Parfumerie…. which, unfortunately, will probably be my last production to help with until Summer One Acts (or maybe the production before) because I have some of my own projects to take care of.

There’s this new journal phase thing out right now the bullet journal or something like that. Well, instead of buying one, I made my own and out of 5 ‘main’ goals I wrote ‘BE A WRITER FIRST ABOVE EVERYTHING’ and shortly after that is when I got my first writing gig, then my second…..

I’m ending the year with my brand “BOAT SHOW GIRL” getting two new adventures — one I’m writing on a marine marketing website and I was just recently invited to guest blog+freelance on another. I am ecstatic. I tried saying the other day that ‘man, this stuff is happening too quickly’ and my boss reminded me, ‘no, it’s not, you’ve been working for this for a really long time.” Oops. I kind of forgot.

The ending of this year hasn’t been too great though, it feels like everything is set on the same thing every day and not moving forward. I’m getting burnt out on the things I once loved doing, and I can’t stand that feeling, and it doesn’t end up good in the end. But I’m working on making positive changes.

Eisenhower survived his first year with me and his second year molting. I nearly freaked out when he was molting on me because I couldn’t play with him and I didn’t know if he was alive. I can’t express how I felt when I saw his newly born pink crabby body down in the shell though. My heart exploded with happy, and I wanted to write a book from a crab’s point of view of how nature does its thing and they grow up just like humans… but differently, of course.

I’m cleaning up my apartment once again and getting rid of things that don’t matter any more or old papers. It always helps to do that. I started watercolor painting, oil painting, and drawing once again this year. I haven’t written many poems, but quality over quantity, I say. Financially I’m getting back at it — I’m getting rid of my debt. Sloooooooooowly but surely, and my credit score is finally getting to a point where I’m happy with it again.

And, unfortunately, I end this year with not so happy news and news about my baby mutt sister, Bella, passing away. It’s so odd how 4 years ago a memory popped up on Facebook of her face. Ugh. Sometimes I hate Facebook for that reason, in another way, maybe it was a sign of some sorts. A sign from Bella to me.

This years goals I am hoping to have a few plays ready to submit to Summer One Acts, I am hoping that BOAT SHOW GIRL takes me places that I wouldn’t have ever thought that it would, I hope to join in more boating events, I hope to act (finally!), get to go to a few creative classes, finally get organized (even though I say this every year), volunteer at the Holocaust Museum, write and publish a few books, consider doing some art submissions / poetry readings, take voice lessons, and hopefully–within time–one certain thing works out.

I thank 2016 for giving me the best person I know as well as all of the other experiences that went with it. Here’s to 2017 and hoping all other things will work out.

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(Painting I did on Christmas.)

-Love Always, Maeby

A year of boat shows 2016 by Boat Show Girl.

The first boat show I attended of 2016 was the Miami International Show. This was the very first show four years ago that I attended, but it was in the old location. I loved the new location of Virginia Key. Beautiful displays and aisle space is what this show brought. My experience came in a different light as I met someone that was supposed to help with my future, but alas, it is the end of the year and nothing ever happened with it….despite my never giving up for many months and being persistent. It just… didn’t work out. Even though it’s really disappointing, maybe it wasn’t supposed to. Anyhow, it was a good trip and I will never drive 4 hours, walk all day long, and drive 4 hours back home ever again. Next time, I will make a vacation out if it.

The second boat show I attended was the Palm Beach International Show. This was the last show of Show Management that I needed to attend to have attended them all (in Florida). Palm Beach was really important for me because for the first time I was acknowledged as media by Show Management. YAY! I also met an industry friend from Canada at this show, checked into World of Boating while there, walked around town and stayed within a few miles of the place overnight. It was a really lovely experience, one of my favorites.

The third show and last show before my break was Suncoast in Sarasota. Even though I went to this last year (I think I did? Maybe the year before?) It was a different experience as well. I toured my first boat in a while.

Fourth show was Bradenton Boat Show during my supposed-to-be break. I went there because my company had a booth there, and I’m glad I went. I hadn’t attended this show last year but the year before. It had grown and by a lot. It was a good time seeing the sales department, of whom I rarely get to see.

Tampa Boat Show was the fifth show this year. I didn’t do much BoatShowGirl-ing because I was working as a normal employee at Thunder handing out free cups for leads. I didn’t even get to walk around this show much at all, let alone take photos, or really have any recollection of boats or vendors. I did, however, make note that this year vs last year was a totally different experience even though I did the same thing. It was more comfortable this year asking people and talking to them. I realized I could do that more than just once a year.

IBEX was six, even though it’s not exactly a boat show per se, it’s industry only. It was an okay time, it was different than two years ago, being where I was at this year vs last year.

Seven was Fort Myers Boat Show which brought a magical location.

and the final number eight…. St Pete Boat Show.

Every single show brought something new: location, people, the atmosphere, freebies, people I talked to and whatnot. I enjoyed myself to the best that I could in the time I had. I’ve made some big steps, and steps back, due to life… but I’m working on it. I can’t wait to see what happens next year when the shows start up again (I’m very unclear on what my schedule will be).

Until next time,

Karen Maeby ~ Boat Show Girl

St Pete Boat Show 2016

Today I went to the St Pete Boat Show. Lots and lots of people out and about.  The red bows and poinsettias were reminders that Christmas is right around the corner, even though it is December and it’s still pretty warm out.

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Icon Aircraft just opened up in Tampa and they decided to greet everyone at the entrance.

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Before even getting into the show, I had to stop at the first food stand to get a hotdog and Coke. I arrived at the show later than I normally like to and hunger was about to hit, so I did that, then quickly walked around the side and inside the tents.

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Probably my favorite boat of the day. Look at this Canyon Bay beauty:

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At every show, when I’m walking the docks, I always look for fun names of the boats. This is definitely a fun boat name. I’m sure a lot us could relate, eh?

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I like the way this photo turned out. Also doesn’t hurt I love the font type.

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The guys from World of Boating dialed me in and I got to report LIVE from the show. It was awesome.

Overall, the show seemed larger than it did from two years ago (I didn’t go last year). 50% sailboats and 50% powerboats, accessories included in that.

There were mixtures of accessory vendors: a lot of cleaning supplies, some jewelry, unique gifts, a lot of the marinas around here.

I saw my company’s sister company.

I saw (but didn’t exactly meet, only said hi) Bob Bitchin from Cruiser’s Outpost. (Fan girl moment.)

At the entrance, they had a few authors with their books set up outside. I really like that.

Going from the Fort Myers Boat Show to this show in a two week span… yep, both were definitely different experiences and shows.

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So…… this is it. This wraps up Boat Show Girl’s last boat show for the year. It’s been a long one (and lots of shows), but I’ll be looking forward to attending as many as I can next year in a different light. Stay tuned as I do a 2016 boat show wrap up. 🙂 

Fort Myers Boat Show 2016

I realize this is a very late entry write-up about the Fort Myers Show, but it will hopefully give you an idea of what to expect if you want to go next year. From my area of Tampa Bay it only took about 2 hours to get there, and I got a late start.

First of all, no where could I find an exact address of the parking garage on their website, so I had to drive around a couple blocks just to find it. Once I parked, I walked a few streets over to where the signs pointed to the entrance of the show and got my badge.

I walk into the event center and boats were covered in Christmas bows. I almost forgot my favorite season was here, considering the warm temperatures, but they reminded me it was time to tis the season!

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And then, as I’m walking around the accessories, I look up and see this:

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The Harborside Event Center and City Yacht Basin was one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been for a boat show. The interior is old-style and beautiful. Chandeliers hanging down, the antique style windows… it was just gorgeous. The location of the basin was amazing too, as it was right by the park where they have art / statues downtown. This area reminded me a bit of Palm Beach Boat Show because they were right there downtown where I got the chance to walk in some of the shops and got coffee before the show. 

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Here’s a glance at what it looked like outside Harborside by my iPhone’s panoramic view.

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And, a look out on the water —

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I went for the experience of the show. I wanted to go last year but I drove from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and then a few days later I flew out to Kentucky–it just wasn’t the time to drive more to Fort Myers (especially over a 10 day span!). I am really glad I saved it for this year when I couldn’t go to Fort Lauderdale.

Overall — the set up both inside and outside booths and boats — were extremely cluttered. One vendor was on top of another. I read an article on one of the marine industry websites where that show is outgrowing the space. I completely believe it. And agree. However, I hope they don’t move it because it’s a beautiful spot to have a show. There were a ton of people at the show, so a good crowd.

This show (even through being cluttered / crowded) really works for them. In my opinion, it is definitely sandwiched between the Tampa and Suncoast show (they’re in the running as my favorites). A semi-medium capacity if you’re wanting to talk local vs. international. Your normal local dealers with smaller boats all the way up to yachts. Lots of my favorite brands there.

I ran into a product I really admire called the LitterBin. Basically, it’s like a normal gallon plastic bin with their logo and a really hard lid where you can shove trash in there, but if it falls over, the trash can’t fall out. You can buy the lid separately and put it on your own bin the size of the lid. I really hope they do well with this product because it is something we need on boats, out on beaches and the like to save our beaches/oceans&lakes just a little bit more…

After looking at everything, I ended up going across the street to where {my other love in this world} seems to be: theatre/arts. You can read about my adventure to the Florida Repertory Theatre by going here.

 

Last but not least…

Here’s a photo of me with my boat show badge. Whoohoo!

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