Press Release

Emmy Award Winner Comes Home

Kathe Carrigan – Peoria Journal Star | September 24, 2018

We look like two old friends laughing and having a delightful time as we sit having a cup of coffee along with a special chocolate treat at Leaves ‘n Beans Coffee in Peoria Heights.  Well, we are!  Though we might take issue with the word “old” as we would prefer “longtime.”

First order of business is a huge “Congratulations!” to Mary Ann Hay on her Emmy Award she won last week.  She is bubbling with joy and gratitude, as she usually is anyway whenever I see her on her trips back to visit family in Peoria.

We talk a bit about our families and, of course, she tells me how I inspire her with the journey I’ve taken and thanks me for my support and belief in her.  Guess we’re kind of a mutual admiration society as well as good friends!

I notice the time flying by and remark that I’d better get down to official business and start our interview for the paper, which makes us both laugh!  Fun business, for sure!

I point out that her Acting Award achievements as well as the stories told on her weekly TV Series give a lot of hope to many people, especially women.  The same can be said of her Send Out Cards business which helps people connect to each other in their personal lives as well as in their businesses and also provides financial success for many.

“So how did you get there from here?” I ask.

“Wow!” she says.  “It’s definitely been with the help and support of so many, including family, friends, teachers and mentors.  I’ve always felt fortunate to have people who believe in me, sometimes even when I’ve found it hard to believe in myself.  And, it’s taken ‘some doing.’  There’s a saying that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

“As for my acting career, as you know, I started out as a dancer and kept going.  I was somehow naturally good at it, but also studied and continue to study and work out to this day!  It’s a career ‘laden with opportunity yet it is fraught with heartbreak and despair…’ to quote from the book, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.  Of course that can apply to any entrepreneurial venture,” she laughs knowingly.

“I just kept going, following my bliss, what felt right.  I sought out information, guidance and knowledge yet trusted my own instincts.  Sometimes I did question how and why I was able to do this and found no logical answer.  But, I could do it well and felt most ‘alive’ while acting and also directing.  It uses my body, mind and soul in a deep way and contributes to others.”  She glows.

“How did you get involved in with Send Out Cards?” I ask.

She laughs.  “It wasn’t intentional, but perhaps destined as I was introduced to it as a follow-up tool for my acting business.  You know, to keep in touch and ‘top of mind’ with agents and casting directors so I could get acting jobs.”

“I fell in love with it!” she says, shaking her head incredibly.  “Not only did it help me in my acting career, but when people asked me about it I found it helped them in whatever their career path happened to be.   You see, it helps people build relationships with and keep in touch with clients, which naturally grows their businesses and helps them achieve their dreams ~ why they went into business in the 1st place!  And, the awesome stories I’ve heard of personal connections and re-connections made through using Send Out Cards are heart-warming. Sharing Send Out Cards is a gift in itself.”  She laughs as she says, “Can you tell it’s something I’m passionate about?!”

Shaking my head in wonder I ask her how she does it all.

“One step at a time.” She answers.  “I used to feel overwhelmed a lot until I was clear on what I really wanted to do with my life and was able to not only think it, but also say it, breathe and live it!  I stopped living in fear of not being good enough or being afraid of saying what I wanted for fear of not getting it, or not being worthy of it.”

Again, I remark on how far she’s gotten from her roots here in Peoria and how people are really in awe.  She reflects that she’s always felt the need to follow her dreams with no comparison to others, feeling each person has their own path to take or make; and others have talents in many different areas.  “I’ve always had the need to be autonomous and was led somehow down this creative path, though no one in my family is in the ‘biz.'”

“Follow your bliss.  It’s an inside job!” she smiles.  “It does take a lot of work on one hand, yet seems effortless on the other.  I love it all!”

We’ve had probably too many coffee “hot-ups” and have come to “good-by hugs.”  Mary Ann has to get to a family dinner plus a speaking engagement and workshop at ICC she’s volunteered to give on The Business of Acting and Entrepreneurship before leaving tomorrow to get back on the talk show circuit coming off her Emmy win.  I know it’s a lot of work, but it seems exciting and glamorous, too!  She’s certainly glowing!

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