Film/Video Editor/Smoke Artist
When I was a kid, there were two things I did 75% of the time. I read books and I drew random things. I was that weird kid who actually loved school. I was that kid whose parents made them go out to play instead of reading in my room, so I took my books outside with me. I was a decent artist, but I never did pursue that avenue because my parents, both practical, hard-working people, told me I couldn’t make a living drawing pictures. I decided to do as I was told and went to college as a business major, even though I missed being creative. The one part of me that never went away was my love for a well-told story and I never stopped reading.
After learning the ropes in the business world as administrative assistants for various executives, I landed a career job as a meeting and event planner for a Fortune 500 company. I learned that details were HIGHLY important for any successful event or trade show. I also got to see a great deal of the larger cities of the US during that 8 years. For a young, single girl who had rarely left her own state as a child, it was the life.
Planning over 100 trade shows a year will definitely have you thinking about how to make your company stand out from the crowd in a busy convention center. It’s not enough to have one of the largest booths there, you still need to convince them to stick around. I learned a lot of eye-catching tricks and saw my fair share of trade show videos there as well.
The corporate world is definitely not for the faint of heart, nor is it for those who want to follow their own paths and after a while I knew I didn’t want to be there forever. Randy convinced me that we should start a business, a video production company, and that’s exactly what we did. I brought my love of story well-told, along with my video marketing experience and we took a giant leap into entrepreneurship. That was 7 years ago. Since then I’ve become the chief editor, along with my many other hats, and can’t imagine life in the cubicle again. Editing corporate videos, trade show videos, documentaries, and feature films is truly a passion for me. Basically, I found my formerly-denied creative side again.
Beth "Smoke artist" Sowell
Working hard for something you care about isn’t called stress, it’s called PASSION. Jeff Foxworthy said, “Find something in life that you love doing. If you make a lot money that’s a bonus, and if you don’t you still won’t hate going to work.”
Spending many years in Corporate America taught me a great deal about what I really want out of life. I came from a family of hard-working people, which was a blessing because I learned NOT to be lazy and that good work ethics are important, however, they also convinced me that I would never be able to make a living with art, which at the time was my creative outlet.
In an effort to stay somewhat in the world of art and with an appreciate for old houses and buildings I started college majoring in Architecture, but realized quickly that I really didn’t want to do that much math. I gave up on creativity and thought my family must be right.
I switched to Business Management and eventually ended up in cubicle-land. I enjoyed some parts of my time there as a corporate event planner, traveling around the country to meetings and trade shows, making some great friends along the way, but the closest thing to creativity I ever got was putting cartoon characters on the badges that my attendees wore to events. It really wasn’t the life for me, although a great way to spend my 20s.
When Randy asked me to join him starting a new business I was happy to bring my event planning skills to Episode 11. I learned how to edit video from Randy while waiting for those event planning jobs that never seemed to roll in as much as the video and photography. It was exactly that creative outlet that I'd been missing all those years.
We dropped meeting and trade show planning from our repertoire and I never looked back, even when my hard-earned CMP designation expired. I can’t imagine doing anything else.