Making a Powerful Impact
One Person at a Time:
Award-Winning Filmmaker Sue Vicory
Susan J. Farese
My serendipitous connection with two-time Telly Award winning Filmmaker Sue Vicory began in 2015. It was meant to be! San Diego filmmaker/entrepreneur/educator Jodi Cilley, the President of the Film Consortium San Diego and the founder and producer of the annual San Diego Film Awards (and an equally extraordinary person) recommended that I connect with her film colleague Sue. Jodi was so intuitive in facilitating our connection (which I hope will last a lifetime)!
A quote about Sue from Jodi:
“Sue Vicory is one of the most inspiring and amazing people I know. She has dedicated her life to helping others and has gone out of her way to help build the film industry in San Diego in a variety of ways. She is a role model and I’m constantly amazed by her efforts to help people from all walks of life.” – Jodi Cilley
After reaching out to Sue via email, my daughter Emmy and I were cast in the short fiction film Downstage for the 2015 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project. Sue’s production company “Heartland Films” produced and Sue directed, along with the writing team of Sariann Monaco, Holly Rone and Talia Pauletti. “Team XX” was a history-making, twenty-five member, all-female team. Downstage is now on the film festival circuit. You can view Sue’s films and videos on Sue Vicory’s YouTube Channel. Read my previous post about Team XX .
Besides working on Downstage Emmy and I have participated in a few of Sue’s community service projects and we continually network. It was because of witnessing Sue’s purpose, passion, vigor and selfless “chill” demeanor that I decided to interview her here as an Extraordinary Person, Sharing her Story!
Sue is currently on an amazing one year trip across the U.S. in her branded van with her “extraordinary” “My Power of One” (MPO1) 12 Acts of Kindness National Tour”. Her recently retired and extremely supportive husband Jay and their amazing (will tell you why later) Golden Retriever Kacy are accompanying her.
Here is the MPO1 Facebook page link and “12 Acts of Kindness National Tour”- Go Fund Me Site. You can order MPO1 t-shirts, hats, stickers, note cards, etc.: http://mypowerofone.com/product-category/t-shirts/ and read Sue’s blog: MPO1: blog: http://mypowerofone.com/blog/
We hope you enjoy this Q & A with Sue. She’s truly one of a kind, and believes strongly in, practices and promotes her purpose and passion:
The Power of ONE!
SJF: Tell me about Sue Vicory, what makes you “TICK”?
SV: I’ve always considered that I am ambitious, smart, savvy and adventuresome. I consider myself a master multi-tasker. I love to give and I also love the act of receiving. I’m a people person because I love the human spirit. I also am my own best friend and cherish time alone. Nature is my teacher and water is where wisdom resides for me.
SJF: So well said and true too. That’s a difficult act to follow! You really do practice what you preach and you’re a terrific role model. I also see your connection to nature and water. I suppose that’s why you lived in Del Mar with that stunning view of Torrey Pines State Reserve and Beach! The ocean is compelling as we both know.
SJF: Explain what “My Power of One” means and how it got started.
SV: My Power of One began roughly ten years ago during the filming of my first film “Homelessness & The Power of One” about our nation’s homeless. It was a transformational time for me and I heard repeatedly throughout 15 cities the difference one person made in the life of a homeless individual. Taking ownership of my impact on others became a way I wanted to live. It took ten years for the brand to take shape and form but the timing was perfect and now I’m committed to making My Power of One a global brand. It is a social statement about who we are in the world. Doing good is the same as breathing for me now. Here is Sue’s One-the Movie.
SJF: It is so profound to have you take the helm on this issue, the “Power of One”! I wonder if others think that they can influence others positively at different times in their lives, yet they don’t take the leap or are reluctant to reach out to others who might need that “special one”. You are empowering many others to follow your path.
SJF: If you had to do it over again…how would you choose your career/profession?
SV: If I had to do it over again I would not change a thing. Each stepping-stone was necessary and timed to perfection to allow me to find the fulfillment that I have in life. I intend to continue to explore this life journey with great zest all the days of my life.
SJF: I absolutely LOVE the word zest because your spirit and personality embodies it! I can’t wait to see how MPO1 progresses this year and throughout the next several years. I do hope you continue to chronicle it with photos, videos, blog posts and the like.
SJF: What made you choose film school during middle age? Please share some of your experiences.
SV: At 47 I said to myself one night “who do I want to be the 2nd half of my life?” Documentary filmmaker was the first thing out of my soul so I googled the word documentary filmmaker and 10,000 hits came up. New York Film Academy was the very first hit so I explored their options and whimsically signed up that night for a 1-week boot camp in the fall of 2002. During that one week in NYC I had to make a 3-minute, black and white, non-dialogue film in and around New York City. We were lugging equipment on the subway and basically had no idea what we were in for. After I returned from film school, I then signed up for editing school, set up an editing suite in my home and went forth without turning back.
SJF: That is phenomenal and very inspiring. You had the courage, the stamina, the abilities and the foresight to seize another opportunity into an unknown world to you and you not only mastered filmmaking, you were (and are) a magnet for miracles!
SJF: What two things don’t we know about you?
SV: I love R&B music; I’m have a gypsy spirit with my favorite words being flow and whimsical.
SJF: That’s more than two things, but who’s counting?? LOL! Very interesting. Traveling with your MPO1 branded van, listening to R & B with your whimsical schedule will make it all flow!
SJF: What advice can you give to middle-aged persons regarding purpose in life, reinvention/starting over, etc?
SV: Everyday is a new day/week/year/decade and to begin again offers new energy and life adventures. Who knows how many more times I’ll want to reinvent! 🙂 To stretch yourself beyond what you think you can do brings about self-confidence and purpose. Whatever you are passionate about is worth pursuing. For me my destiny showed up when my purpose and passion collided.
SJF: I am shaking my head in amazement as well as excitement for what is in store for you in your journey of many, many miles! The force is with you for sure! I myself have reinvented several times, each with the same purpose, to connect and personalize with others and spread the buzz with vitality. Thanks for affirming!
SJF: Tell us about your upbringing…Where is your home town?
SV: My home town is DeKalb, Illinois. I grew up moving around (a lot). My father was a successful businessman and I had a stay at home Mom and three other siblings. I attended two grade schools, two junior highs, two high schools and two colleges. (As I said before, I am a gypsy at heart). I attended public schools. My brothers played sports and I was a girl scout and played tennis. I loved the outdoors. Always had a lot of friends too.
SJF: Tell me about it! I have also been a gypsy of sorts, by circumstance, I’ve lived in nine states (including California three separate times) and three countries! No regrets, because experiencing diversity by connecting with others from many walks in life strengthens and fosters inclusion. No doubt you had many friends. You exude warmth and knowing.
SJF: What did you study in college?
SV: My undergraduate degree is in Elementary Education. I taught for one year in a Catholic (I’m not Catholic) Hispanic junior high. Playing kick ball on the playground with the kids was frowned on. 🙂
SV: I have a Masters Degree in Computer Resource Management. The only day I missed in two years was for my father’s funeral. I wrote my thesis on the automation of WF Norman, which is our family business that I stepped into after the death of my father. I brought the first computer into this business, which is now a 118 years old business.
SJF: Any words of wisdom to Millennials a.k.a. “Generation Y”??
SV: Follow your passion all the days of your life. Also, honor your intuition. It never serves you wrong. Live in the moment and without regrets. Each opportunity that shows up offers unlimited possibilities. Cherish every moment. Be present as close to 100% of the time as you can.
SJF: Well said! I am hopeful that each person explores and decides on their unique quest or purpose and celebrates their intuition! We have mutually been fortunate with both!
SJF: Tell us about sweet Miss KACY!!!
SV: Miss Kacy is our 11 1/2 year old golden retriever whom we’ve had since she was 8 weeks old. We got her during a live auction at a charity event. We were the only bidders. We named her after our girls (Katy & Tracy) and she is very much like an only child. She is a people magnet. Someone once asked me if she was “Jesus”. I said ‘yes probably’.
SJF: There is absolutely no pooch like Kacy! She definitely has something special about her-she instantly bonded with me at our first meeting, in fact she had her paw on my foot and it lingered there forever! She has a one of a kind presence and essence and is immediately calming to others. Also, her eyes say it all!!
SJF: What IRKS you?
SV: Negativity is something that I distance myself from! 🙂
SJF: Hmm. That’s a profound thought. So many people go around in life only looking at the negative side of things. What we need are ways to encourage others to see both sides, despite the “pulls” of the negative.
SJF: Do you have any fears?
SV: Honestly I have no fears. It’s not a vehicle that serves me in any way.
SJF: What insight! What clarity! Ah, I never thought of fear as a vehicle. Profound.
SJF: Who are your role models? Female and male?
SV: My parents are without a doubt my major role models. Both very solid, honest, salt of the earth Midwesterners. My Mother still works full time at almost eighty-four. With my upbringing, I had all the tools for a successful life. And I’ve taken full advantage of those tools. I am grateful.
SJF: That is absolutely wonderful. You are also a master of blending- your background, personal and professional life, education etc., you definitely balance art and science.
SJF: In closing, is there anything else to mention?
SV: I’m happily married to my college sweetheart Jay. We’ve been together since 1975, raised two amazing daughters in Johnson County, Kansas and are enjoying our lives one day at a time. Life is good!
SJF: Sounds like life is FANTASTIC! Not to mention that Jay is accompanying you on this potentially year long journey of MPO1 with the 12 Acts of Kindness Tour!
SJF: Many thanks to you for your time, integrity, warmth, and for connecting others through your passion and purpose. You are truly an exceptional person and thank you for sharing your story!
Like this post?
Feel free to LIKE-SUBSCRIBE-COMMENT-SHARE!