Name: Pam Zeidman
Where do you live: North Barrington, IL USA
Known for: Creativity and organization
Currently working on:
I am guest teaching a Musical Theatre class for a local dance studio’s summer intensive; teaching 3 tap classes for senior adults; and building my virtual assistant business.
When did you realize that you were going to work with this/in this area?
When I was in my late 20’s, I took a part time dance instructor position while working full time in another industry. That part time job eventually became a series of part time teaching jobs at several different studios, and then turned into a 30-year dance career.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
Australia. I fell in love with the country during a trip there in 2007 to visit friends. Everything about Australia appeals to me. I would move there in a heartbeat!
How would you describe your creativity?
My creative juices are always flowing, which I put to use in other ways when I’m not dancing. I love to design gardens – a blank plot of dirt is like a blank canvas to me. I love exploring colors and textures with plants (perennials in particular). I also enjoy graphic design, drawing, building projects, and decorating.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
I always attack everything I do with 100% effort. I see challenges and my mind automatically kicks into gear on how I can succeed or overcome the obstacle. I never thought dance would take me as far as it has, but I’m grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had to improve myself and become a better artist.
What do you do at the moment?
At the moment I have several very diverse jobs. I am very much an entrepreneur and enjoy running my own business. I recently started a virtual assistant business for the performing arts. I enjoy helping others succeed at what they do best, so with 30+ years of dance and administrative experience I am doing just that. My current clients include a dance studio, concert pianist, and a professional tapper. I teach three senior adult tap classes each week, choreograph musicals for two high schools. I also run an in-home dog boarding business and teach horseback riding lessons (I love animals and am lucky to have two horses on my property).
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
You need dedication and determination! Always be in a “learning” mode by taking classes, asking for advice, reading, writing down ideas (journal) and see what develops.
Tell us how it all started.
My performing arts virtual assistant business started after meeting a fellow dance teacher through a LinkedIn group. We started corresponding and as a fairly new dance studio owner, she’d bounce ideas off me. She was looking for help in marketing her business and I started by helping with her Facebook Page. The next thing I knew I was designing brochures and flyers, rebuilding her website and helped to push her business into the forefront. Did I mention that she lives in Queensland, Australia! A year and a half later, I’m now working part-time for her – we Skype weekly and have developed a strong friendship. Earlier this year, I decided that if I could do this for her, maybe there were other performing arts individuals out there who could use my help, and “voilà” – my business was started.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
The most important thing, for me, is to let nature in. I obtain much of my inspiration from nature. My home office/dance studio has windows all around that I can look out and see birds at the feeder, trees, flowers, my horses grazing on grass, the sky, the moon and the sun. My walls are painted a bright, upbeat color, and I have positive quotes and favorite photos placed around my desk.
What is your favorite film?
That’s a tough one! I absolutely love The Notebook, but I tend to lean towards musicals – Grease and Singing in the Rain.
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
All my very best girlfriends. I grew up in Canada and have many good friends still there, plus several in Australia and different parts of the USA. I would gather them all around me to catch up and have a glass of wine.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
I love to be pampered at a spa – massage, facial, mani/pedicure! Also spending time with my horses is very therapeutic.
What is luxury for you?
An all-inclusive vacation on a tropical island.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
Several years ago when I was still teaching full-time, a student that I had taught from the ages of 10-18 was graduating from high school and leaving the studio. She wrote a poem to me on how I had impacted her life over the years and read it out-loud during an awards ceremony in front of a large audience. I was moved to tears, and was overwhelmed by the fact that I had touched someone’s life in such a meaningful way.
What do you fear most?
I’m not afraid of dying, but I am afraid of not getting all of my bucket list completed before I die.
What is a happy life to you?
I’m living a happy life. Spending time with family and friends, involved in church, and doing what I love.
What does a regular day look like for you?
Animal chores, computer work, cooking, interacting with my family, reading, walking, and creating.
Tell us about your dream project.
I would love to choreograph a musical for Broadway! Something upbeat and humorous.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
I really admire Debbie Allen. She has let her passion for dance guide her life and her choices. She has overcome adversity and always seems to shine brightly.
How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
When I start a project, I stick with it until it’s completed. I don’t like leaving loose ends. If I have questions, I seek answers.
Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
I don’t have anything that I couldn’t live without. I hold loosely to the things of this world because I came into the world with nothing and I will leave the same way.
What inspires you?
Seeing colorful blossoms on plants that started as little seeds. The red Cardinal that chirps on the highest tree in my yard. Horseback riding through a wide open field. The changing of the seasons. Digging in the earth. The smell of fresh cut hay. The ocean. Life experiences. Music/lyrics. A dance performance.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?