Hollywood actress Kate Zenna and businessman/CPA David Wolfe are the partners and co-founders of The Responsible Artist.
The year was 1986 and in very short order my wife asked me for a divorce (leaving me with custody of my two very young children), was fired from two jobs, and discovered that the director of a day care center I owned was embezzling from me – all of this culminating in me having to file for bankruptcy at the ripe old age of 28. I can remember the day in the hallway of my home (soon to be lost to foreclosure) where I slid down the wall and silently screamed: What is going to happen to me and how was I going to provide for my children?
The one thing I had in my pocket was a CPA certificate.
Shortly thereafter I bluffed my way into a contract to build a database for a real estate company. This ‘bluff’ parlayed itself into employment at a bank in Dallas and from there to founding my real estate software consulting company Lupine Partners in 1993.
Because of my bankruptcy, I had some less-than-stellar thoughts about money – namely that I couldn’t have enough of it. I really started piling it up there and along the way I completely lost myself and what I was all about. I had a LOT of cash but had unspent creativity and was living an extraordinarily lopsided life.
My recovery began when I became an author for the first time (see my Author Page ) and, more importantly, when I met Kate Zenna. Shortly after we met we went into business together and thus began my interaction with actors and artists. And I began seeing and hearing common themes and missteps around money, time, and marketing.
I began counseling a few of them and the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive and surprising. And all of it moved me. Kate convinced me to share my gifts and knowledge with all artists. I now consider the Responsible Artist program that I have co-created with Kate to be my life’s calling where I share my experiences, stories, time, business tactics, and most importantly, my mindset around time, money, and marketing.
I think our tagline says it all: Money and Art – Isn’t It Time We All Just Got Along? I hope you join our little club so I can teach you how to get your money and your art to work and play well with each other.
My first role as an actor was in 1998 when I starred in the Canadian feature film Jack and Jill. I was nominated for a Canadian Academy Award for my role as Veronica in the film. From that point on I have worked steadily in film and television with many award-winning actors and directors. I’m now closing in on my 20th year as an actor in the entertainment business.
I can’t say that every year was a bed of roses. I’ve had my share of tough times – more auditions than I care to remember or count, broken promises, and then realizing my dream of being cast as the lead in a television pilot only to have the series not get picked up. Well, as they say, one door closes and another one opens. The closing of that being-a-lead-in-a-series door led me down a serpentine path culminating in my meeting David Wolfe.
After not getting the series, but before I met David, something in me began to whisper that I needed to recalibrate my life. For the sake of my sanity, I needed to find something I could do that would make me feel of value. It was time to draw upon another of my special talents. Cooking. Specifically, a special vegan dish that I had created. I found my way to a few private clients who hired me to supply them with a week’s worth of prepared organic food. The food business was gaining interest, and I had plans to take it to investors and get it going in a real way. I needed help with the finance, accounting, and legal structuring of the business. And that’s when I met David Wolfe on MicroMentor.org where he served as my mentor in getting my food business off the ground. I have learned so much from this man.
In my pre-Wolfe life, I had my head in the sand around money, time, and marketing. I have had the privilege of standing right next to him in business and feel like I have earned an MBA just listening to him talk and watching him work with his software clients and with our artist friends. He is the ultimate ‘real deal’ and it doesn’t hurt that he is an artist at heart himself. He is an author, guitar player, my partner in crime in teaching business professionals on how to give kick-ass presentations, and above all – he is very, very giving of his heart, his time, and his talents. He has changed my life and has changed how I look at life and business.
If his teachings work for me, then they will probably work for you – the budding and soon-to-be Responsible Artist.
Won’t you join us?
FREE Audio File! - "Asking for Help"
Little hinges can swing BIG doors when you open up your mind and heart to letting people help you. Sign up to listen to Kate and David share their story. It all started with Kate's request for help...