Shadowing a Celeb

Our Tuesday Fox presented this scenario: You’ve been asked to ghostwrite an autobiography for someone famous; you get to spend two weeks with this person as they tell you stories and details of their life. Who do you hope that celebrity is?

I suppose the key word here is FAMOUS. People who are well-known in my world might not be recognized by people in yours. As a musician, an author, as a member of various craft groups and organizations, I’ve followed the accomplishments of many people in each of these fields. And since my interests continue to grow, the number of celebrities I follow expands exponentially. In order to narrow down my choices, I decided to take a look at various areas of my life, identify the interesting celebrities in those fields and then select from those. So here goes:

Avon GMusic education: I spent the first fifteen years of my teaching career working with elementary aged students in music classes. Since my college experience had focused on directing high school bands, I was a little out of my comfort zone working with very young children, and I quickly joined a local chapter of a national organization called the American Orff Schulwerk Association (AOSA) to learn more about how to do my job. One of the music stores in the area sponsored an annual day-long workshop taught by a nationally recognized instructor in the process called Orff Schulwerk, and the first one I attended was led by a man named Avon Gillespie. Mr. Gillespie taught at several universities as well as the Orff Institute in Saltzburg, Austria. He was instrumental in changing the instruction of music in America from a polished “sit-in-your-seat-and-listen” subject to an interactive experience. Because of this man’s dynamic presence and dedication, the job I’d taken as a last resort suddenly became a mission. Unfortunately, this great man passed away in 1989, but I would have loved to spend two weeks observing him work.

Sewing/Crafting: I started working with my church’s quilting group after I retired from full time teaching in 2005. I’ve always loved puzzles of any kind, and creating quilts is much like solving a puzzle. Jenny Doan is the face of the Missouri Star Quilt Company, one of the leading names in quilt supplies as well as video tutorials. I’ve gotten lots of great tips and techniques from Jenny’s videos. As large as this company is, I assumed it had been around forever, but I was stunned to learn the Doan family started it in 2008! I’d love to shadow this lady and find out how she found the energy to build this amazing company that saved a dying town in northwest Missouri – all while raising seven children! I couldn’t find a free photo of Jenny to share, but here’s one of her recent tutorials.

IMG_2202Writing: Robyn Carr is widely recognized as a master at creating riveting series romance with memorable characters. An example is her twenty-book series set in the fictional California town of Virgin River. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Robyn at a writers conference in Chicago back in 2016. She was a witty and entertaining speaker, full of purpose and conviction (I guess you’d have to be in order to write a series that long!) and I’d love to follow her around and see if she’s that dynamic in all areas of her life.

So these are three people I would want to spend time with. Since Avon Gillespie is no longer with us and I’ve already met Robyn Carr, my current choice is Jenny Doan. Maybe if I spend enough time with her I’ll figure out how to use up this stash of fabric that’s threatening to take over two rooms of my house. On the other hand, I might end up adding to it. But I’m willing to take the risk.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
This entry was posted in authors, careers, experiences, hobbies, inspiration, inspirational people, musicians, Patricia Kiyono, teaching, writers, Writing and other professions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Shadowing a Celeb

  1. Jeff Salter says:

    All three seem like excellent choices — and I can see how each has impacted you… especially the music instructor / trainer.
    As for the quilting vlogger… my wife watches videos of people making cards. [I can usually hear the tutorials in my study while I’m trying to write!] Some of them are unpolished (at least aurally) and seem unprepared, but one of the lady demonstrators has a lovely voice and almost makes me want to go in the other room and watch her make cards!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Yes, a person’s voice is almost as important in a video tutorial as the actual instruction! I’ve watched a few in which the speaker is difficult to understand, either because of poor recording or because of an accent unfamiliar to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jeff Salter says:

        that’s one issue. Another is that some repeat themselves a LOT. A third issue are those people who — like many of us — interject our explanations with words like “like” and “um”.


        • I do wish people would have a grasp of reality! I happen to know that I don’t have a good voice. In fact, when someone was doing a religious recording for church and needed a young woman’s voice, she was desperate and asked me, because she knew that I spoke well, but I said, ” You don;t really listen to me.” She liked me; she didn’t listen to my VOICE. I would never do a recording on ‘how-to’. You get a lot of YouTube and Librivox readings of books that are just terrible.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Good choices, Patty. I am frankly at a loss for a now-famous person.Poeple in the past would be easy, but there are few heroes out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Perhaps so, but there are a lot of people interesting enough I wouldn’t mind observing for a little while. I’ve seen several featured on Sunday Today and 60 Minutes, for example. But then, a lot of them aren’t exactly celebrities, per se.


  3. Elaine Cantrell says:

    I’m thinking about whom to choose. You found some very interesting people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. All great choices. I have watched several videos if Jenny Doan. I’ve never tried to do anything that she demonstrates in the videos but I do like watching them and seeing how she makes it sound and look like I can do it too.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s