SQ1 Superfriend: Miss Lori!

June 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm Leave a comment

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Each Month, we’re putting a Spotlight on a Superfriend. This month we are thrilled to feature Miss Lori.  She has a passion for children and performance.  Miss Lori has a focus as an entertainer, teacher, and writer to unite families together through her artistic contributions. In 2005, already a mother of 3 and a celebrated performer, Miss Lori founded her company, The CAMPUS Inc, now known as Miss Lori’s CAMPUS.

Children and families across the country have fallen in love with Miss Lori’s boundless energy, passion and commitment to the development of young minds and bodies. Her ability to foster creativity and imagination is a gift to treasure for many years to come.

Check out this exclusive SQ1 interview with Miss Lori, and don’t forget to SMILE 🙂

Miss Lori, tell us a little bit about how and why did you came to your position at WTTW and misslori.tv?

 I was selected as the first ever live host for the PBS Kids Preschool Block after a Nationwide search of over 1500 contenders. I started airing interstitials on the National Broadcast in 2006. Then in 2007 through my company Miss Lori’s CAMPUS, I released my first CD, iparenting award winner Music ‘n Movement TOGETHER and immediately began touring. The National feed didn’t want to combine my reading talents with my singing prowess, but Grace Winston at WTTW PBS Kids Chicago did. She and I met, as many mothers do, in the park with our kids. I was coming from performing a Miss Lori’s CAMPUS concert and she was just a few days away from starting her job at WTTW. She had goals and I had ideas. It was a match made in heaven! Summer 2008 we launched our first tour, The Great Food Fan Van anchored by my original 2 hour concert style musical AWESOME Health. When the Summer ended our enthusiasm was just beginning, so we crafted a second tour Readers are Leaders dedicated to literacy, and anchored by my Playstory Time content including my original interactive story series, Little Miss Lori Adventures in Five Year Old Living. We partnered with The Chicago Public Libraries and toured from October to April alone, and picked up The Great Food Fan Van tour from May through September. Even though my role on the National Feed came to an end in 2009, WTTW and I just kept rolling long. With the two tours I am performing around 70 concerts a year on average with WTTW PBS Kids. All of the shows are free, and none of the shows would be possible without the support and sponsorship of companies like Square One Organics. Community, that’s what we are all about. And that’s what I am about on MissLori.TV too. I launched my blog in the middle of all of these tours back in late 2007. It was first known as Miss Lori’s B.etter L.iving O.ptions G.uide. I would muse about my concerts, parenting, social issues. That work and my presence on TV caught the attention of Jill Asher head of SV Moms Blog which owned Chicago Moms Blog. She chased me for 6 months, anxious for me to become a contributor to the feed. I was so busy with my company my role on PBS and of course being a mother to three kids, but she impressed upon me that it really was my duty to my community. (Yes, guilt works.) But I am forever indebted to her for welcoming me into this World of New Media and social influence. What a thrill! What an amazing time of personal empowerment we are living in. My blog grew so much that I needed to break it off from my Miss LorisCAMPUS.com site and give it its’ own space renaming it Musings From My Mininvan parked at MisLori.TV. I loved the Minivan title because it so clearly described my life. With my kids growing and getting more involved in, well, everything, plus all of my tour performances, I did everything in my minivan but shower. But as often happens my community chose the title they wanted to know me for, and MissLori.TV rose to prominence, overshadowing my descriptive self title. It made sense though because the concept of my blog grew and involved during this time as well. I realized with all that I was doing I wasn’t merely an entertainer or a social media marketer, I was a Marketainer. And with that Marketainment my goal is to help brands and campaigns masticate their information so that they can better reach the families they are targeting. And that’s exactly what I have done for brands like Tropicana, GM, Quaker, 1800Baskets, Nintendo, Gatorade, ReadingEggs.com, Cricket Wireless and more.

How has your work impacted your life and what about your job brings you the most joy?

My work is my life, along with my kids. But everything that I do has been inspired by, or is for them. Music ‘n Movement TOGETHER! was actually born from a need to find a program for my son to express himself and celebrate his early gross motor skill development. He started walking at age 9 months, so docile music classes were completely out of the question. What is now my CD started as a 45 minute program for mothers and their activated children like mine. All three of my kids have performed with me live, as well as on my CD, DVD and self produced interstitials. They advise me about lyrics and story content for Miss Lori’s CAMPUS, but they also contribute to my posts on MissLori.TV. We are like the black Partridge family, and that makes my work priceless to me. I get to entertain, educate and inspire my public all while working through or alongside my kids. What could be better?

What gets you through juggling your family life and work?

Keeping my eyes closed! When people ask me how I do what I do in a day, I tell them I just close my eyes and keep moving. I live life as though I don’t have a choice. I don’t get to collapse under the weight of stress or commitments, I have to keep going. And that’s just what I do. It isn’t very pretty, most of the time, (Please don’t come to my house!). My minivan is a trough, my purse is a catch all, my calendar is a blurr, but the results make it all worthwhile. I have children and company that I am wildly proud of. That’s everything.

What was your life like pre-parenthood?

Before children I lived an 8 show a week existence. I started performing live theatre at age 9 and never stopped, from coast to coast. Heck, I didn’t stop even when I was pregnant! I found out that I was having Skyler while I was in the middle of my run of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at The Goodman Theatre with Harry Lennix. Believe it or not Former Vice President Al Gore, his wife tipper and Former Mayor Richard Daley and his wife Maggie, were some of the first people I told because they were in attendance at my show the day I found out! Yeah, I guess my life has never really been average.

 If there was a movie about your life what would it be called?

Sybil. Oh wait, that’s already been used. The truth is my life has sooo many layers, layers that my public don’t get to see. Although I try to give a glimpse or two through MissLori.TV, relating some of my underbelly experiences in a way that hopefully helps others. So, even though I am known for my SMILE in truth my life sports every emotion and facial expression. So maybe “Eyes Closed, Heart Open; Miss Lori Unplugged”.

 

 

 

 

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