Premier & Wrap Party
Years ago, I set out on an unknown path by transferring to The Savannah College of Art and Design. I had previously been studying American Studies and while close to graduating, I realized that I was not fulfilling a part of my soul, my creative side- therefore I was not living up to my dreams.
While at the art school, in addition to refining my artistic talent, I developed a deep love for my now husband, Patrick. Together we swam on the SCAD swim team, where we met Dan, a caring, funny, and incredibly driven guy who has become family. Over the years Dan, like my husband and I, has worked diligently to find purpose post graduation.
My husband eventually followed his dream of participating in Naval Special Operations, while I followed my dream of building my artistic vision, The Patriot Belle. Dan found his place at none other than Walt Disney Animation Studios. The day Dan called us to tell us he had secured his dream job was a very proud day for us. Dan, like myself had experienced loss of his childhood dream after he was severely injured in an accident. Prior to his accident he had been a professional level elite cyclist. Post recovery, Dan’s body had not allowed him to continue pushing the limits.
Rather than giving up after such loss, he pivoted to pursue Character Technical Direction at SCAD. His courage to bravely face a new path of uncertainty was something both Patrick and I could relate to. Over the years our friendship has remained rock solid, even as Patrick and I were moved around the country at the will of the Navy.
At the beginning of this month, thanks to Dan, I had the honor of attending the Walt Disney Animation Studios screening and wrap party of Frozen II. Patrick was unfortunately working and was unable to experience the magic for himself. I on the other hand was able to get a behind the scenes look at the culture of Disney and found myself overflowing with inspiration after the experience.
The premier and party were held at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and Convention Center on November 2, 2019 and was organized to celebrate the creatives that have worked diligently to bring wonder into our world, in addition to celebrating the families that have supported them. From the time that the film started rolling one could feel the electricity in the air and as I looked around I was taken aback by the sheer magnitude of collaborative effort that had brought the film to life.
In true Disney style, Frozen II was a wonderful combination of artistic innovation and originality. The overall theme of the movie was in my opinion, having the courage to find your purpose despite uncertainty. At the end of the film I was overcome with emotion as the credits played and Dan’s name rolled across the screen because he- like all those at the studio, had found their purpose as creators of hope in an often hopeless world. By leading the way in artistry, they had given birth to wonder and beauty.
This wonder and beauty holds a special place in my community’s heart in particular. The military community in general is subject to high stress and a lack of support, which too often leaves one despondent. By fulfilling their mission, Disney is honoring the lifestyle of American service and is helping to keep us dreaming despite the heavy burden that we carry. Personally I have been deeply moved by the experience and despite struggling to balance a military marriage with motherhood and a chronic illness, I have a renewed creative vision and feeling that, “all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” (Walt Disney)