Former TV Executive’s Road to Reinvention

libby_photo_coral.jpgThe first time I met Libby Gill, I was 23 years old and just starting out as a publicist in the entertainment industry. At the time, I had just been hired as a unit publicist for a new talk show hosted by Ricki Lake and Libby was in charge of the PR department for Columbia TriStar Television (which later became Sony Pictures TV). When I first met Libby, I was instantly impressed. She had an energy and unbridled enthusiasm about her that made you believe that anything was possible as long as you were ambitious, creative and resourceful.
In that first year, as my boss and I worked tirelessly to turn Ricki Lake into a household name, Libby encouraged and supported us as we achieved the unimaginable. Soon after, Libby left her post and moved on to a bigger and better job. As I progressed in my own career, I’d hear about Libby every so often, learning that she had once again landed another fabulous position and was doing better than ever.
Over the course of 15 years, Libby was in charge of public relations and corporate communications at Universal Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Turner Broadcasting. She was also the branding brain behind the launch of the Dr. Phil Show.
Today, Libby Gill is an internationally respected executive coach, speaker and bestselling author. She has shared her success strategies on the Today Show, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, CNN, NPR, Oprah & Friends Radio Network, Fox News, CBS Early Show, and in Time Magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, O Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Self and many more.
After re-connecting with Libby last month, she shared her personal story of career reinvention. Get ready to be inspired!
Libby Gill has worked as a tap dancing bear, a hand model, a talking Christmas tree, a waitress on the Queen Mary (non-ocean going), an inner city teacher’s aide, a soap opera actress and a corporate entertainment executive. As she says, “Not the career path for everyone… or maybe anyone.”
When she hit her forties, Libby realized that she’d worked really hard to get where she didn’t want to go and decided to work her way down the corporate ladder. She stepped down as Universal’s PR chief and spokesperson to try something new – developing and producing reality shows.
After a couple of years in the wild world of reality television, Libby decided that while making TV was fun, her true calling was to coach others to success, as she’d done so often in her corporate management career. In Novermber, 2000 she founded Libby Gill & Company to help people find the elusive balance between personal passions and professional goals.
A first-time author in her late forties, Libby’s long-time passion for creating a better balance between work and family responsibilities had led to the publication of her first book, STAY-AT-HOME DADS: The Essential Guide to Creating the New Family, which examined parental styles and family systems in role-reversed households across the country. She received substantial attention for her book, the first on the topic, and became a frequent media expert discussing changing gender roles at work and at home.
As she was reinventing her professional life, Libby’s personal life also underwent a major transition. She chronicled her journey of overcoming the self-perceived limitations left behind by a family legacy of alcoholism, divorce and suicide in her bestselling book TRAVELING HOPEFULLY: How to Lose Your Baggage and Jumpstart Your Life (St. Martin’s Press).
The mother of two teen-aged sons, Libby lives in Los Angeles, California. When not banned by her children, she can sometimes be found chaperoning high school debate competitions or working backstage in the middle school drama department.
To get expert career advice from Libby Gill, you can visit her at Peoplejam or click here to check out her website.

The Gelt Trip

hanukkah-gelt-msn-divine-chocolate.jpgI think I’m being sabotaged by my arch nemesis at my kids’ school. We used to be friendly, but over the years, I can tell that she really doesn’t care for me since I don’t volunteer enough for PTA functions nor do I stay up till all hours of the night baking for holiday events. Plus, I kind of made a reference to her in my book – not that I think she ever read it but if she did, that might be why she’s giving me the cold shoulder and assigning impossible tasks to me that I cannot seem to fulfill.
First, I volunteered for a Halloween event and spent the better part of one hour manning the golf putt booth – pretty simple except I found myself chasing after golf balls the entire time. And now, just in time for Hanukkah, she sent my DH an email looking for volunteers to send in goodies for the kids’ holiday party and while I initially chose to ignore her message (it wasn’t as if she sent it to me), when I ran into her in person, I decided to rise to the occasion and volunteer – I mean how bad could it be – maybe they’d want a box of munchkins or an Entennman’s cake. Oh, how wrong I was.
What she wanted me to buy was far more difficult to find. Gelt. Yes, gelt – or in circles that celebrate Christmas, that would be chocolate money to you. When she assigned me as the gelt getter, I figured, how hard could it be – it should be at the nearest CVS or Stop & Shop. Think again.
Either there’s a run on gelt at the drug store or my local supermarket has decided not to purchase gelt this year for the candy aisle. Nevertheless, I am in a serious pickle. I’m thinking I can hit a Jewish themed store tomorrow but they could be closed for the holiday. My daughter even suggested I grab some chocolates and wrap them in tin foil – except the silver foil will never pass muster with the PTA police.
So here I am on a Sunday night suffering from a serious gelt trip. If anyone has a suggestion on where someone might pick up some chocolate money in time for her daughter’s holiday party, I’m all ears. Because if I fall down on my volunteer duties now, there’s no telling what kind of assignment I’ll receive on Flag Day.

Twitter for Dummies

images-2.jpegGuess I’ve learned the hard way, but I’m starting to figure out the ins and outs of Twitter – that social networking site that competes with Facebook. Even though I am incredibly faithful to my FB friends, I have to admit that Twitter can be addicting – especially when you see people with several thousand followers who literally hang on their every mini blog. And so, this week, as I neared nearly 500 followers, I did a dumb thing. I made a plea on Twitter asking for a few more so that I’d reach my goal and guess what? I was un-followed.
So for those of you blogger mom novices who are new to twitter, here are my ten twitter tips from a fellow newbie.
1. Don’t ask people to follow you. If you only have five or six followers, some people may take pity upon you, but if you start reaching the hundred mark, let people who want to follow you do it – don’t force it or risk being un-followed.
2. Post a link to a blog you might think Twitterers will find interesting but do not post every blog on your site. Again – if you shamelessly promote, you will be ignored.
3. Follow the connected ones. From the momisphere they are: Resourceful Mom, Katja Presnal, From Dates to Diapers, Family Eden, Twittermoms and several more but even if you follow these moms, you will be up to speed pretty quick.
4. If you find an interesting post out on the blogosphere, share it with your twitter friends – especially if it’s related to what interests you. Sharing up to the minute information is fair game. Sharing useless information will get you a passport to being un-followed.
5. Comment on your friend’s twitter posts. Even if you are ignored by the top mom Twitterers, have no fear – find your own friends and twitter away with them.
6. If you sell a product and would like to offer it as a giveaway during a Twitter-athon session, make sure you reach out to the mom directly and let her know you’ve got the goods and are happy to share your products with them.
7. Meet Twitter-ers in person. This is not like a dating service – you are not meeting a serial killer. You’re probably going to meet an incredibly well connected and savvy blogger – if you’re nervous, bring a friend. In person networking is key to making it both on and offline.
8. Don’t spend your entire day Twitter-ing. Even though the temptation is there, you do have a life and make sure you take a break from Twitter. Of course, you could always head right over to Facebook, but that is your call entirely.
9. What you post on Twitter is different than what you post on Facebook. Twitter-ers are more Internet savvy – your Facebook friends may never have even heard of Twitter so don’t start posting a message about your Twitter friends – they’ll think you’re from another planet.
10. Always check your Twitter account a few times a day and if you are looking to get the word out on a blog post or product, proceed with caution. As I said, shameless promotion will ruin your street cred – be yourself, be in the know and you’ll be a Twitter superstar.
If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, I’m at Rolemommy or Momauthors. If you’d like to un-follow me, it’s the same handle.

Classic Disney Movies this December!

images-10.jpegIf you’re at home and ready to curl under a blanket while it’s snowing outside your home, then do we have the perfect movie viewing experience for the entire family! Turner Classic Movies is airing Disney Classics throughout the month of December – from “Escape to Witch Mountain” to “Herbie the Lovebug,” now’s your chance to introduce your kids to the films you grew up with. Here’s a sneak peak at what’s in store this holiday season:
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is set to conjure up some pure movie magic this December, when the network debuts TCM PRESENTS: THE FAMILY CLASSICS. The festivities will include Sunday movie showcases featuring more than 25 Disney live-action classics, plus an all-new original documentary entitled THE AGE OF BELIEVING: THE DISNEY LIVE-ACTION CLASSICS, narrated by Tony® winner and three-time Oscar® nominee Angela Lansbury.
TCM PRESENTS: THE FAMILY CLASSICS premieres Sunday, December 7 at noon and continues each Sunday in December, featuring such films as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954), Freaky Friday (1976), The Parent Trap (1961), The Love Bug (1968), Treasure Island (1950), The Shaggy Dog (1959) and Swiss Family Robinson (1960), as well as Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971), which stars Lansbury.
THE AGE OF BELIEVING: THE DISNEY LIVE-ACTION CLASSICS, which comes to TCM from FitzFilm, Inc. and writer/producer/director Peter Fitzgerald, will follow the studio’s history as it ventured beyond its animation legacy to develop non-animated family fare. It premieres at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14.
The following is the complete schedule for TCM PRESENTS: THE FAMILY CLASSICS:
Sun., Dec 7
Noon Treasure Island (1950) – starring Robert Newton and Bobby Driscoll
1:45 p.m. Swiss Family Robinson (1960) – starring John Mills, Dorothy McGuire, Sessue Hayakawa and Tommy Kirk
4 p.m. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) – starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas and Peter Lorre
6:15 p.m. Old Yeller (1958) – starring Tommy Kirk, Dorothy McGuire and Fess Parker
8 p.m. The Parent Trap (1961) – starring Hayley Mills, Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith
10:15 p.m. Pollyanna (1960) – starring Hayley Mills, Jane Wyman, Karl Malden, Adolphe Menjou and Agnes Moorehead
12:30 a.m. The Barefoot Executive (1971) – starring Kurt Russell, Harry Morgan, Wally Cox and John Ritter
Sunday, Dec. 14
Noon The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes (1970) – starring Kurt Russell and Cesar Romero
1:45 p.m. The Strongest Man in the World (1975) – starring Kurt Russell, Cesar Romero and Dick Van Patten
3:30 p.m. The Absent-Minded Professor (1961) – starring Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson and Tommy Kirk
5:15 p.m. Son of Flubber (1963) – starring Fred MacMurray, Nancy Olson, Keenan Wynn, Tommy Kirk and Ed Wynn
8:30 p.m. The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) – starring Tim Conway, Don Knotts, Bill Bixby and Susan Clark
10:15 p.m. The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979) – starring Tim Conway, Don Knotts, Tim Matheson, Kenneth Mars and Jack Elam
Sunday, Dec. 21
Noon The Black Hole (1979) – starring Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins, Robert Forster and Ernest Borgnine
2 p.m. Escape to Witch Mountain (1975) – starring Eddie Albert, Kim Richards, Ike Eisenmann and Donald Pleasance
4 p.m. Return from Witch Mountain (1978) – starring Bette Davis, Christopher Lee, Kim Richards and Ike Eisenmann
6 p.m. Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) – starring Angela Lansbury, David Tomlinson and Roddy McDowall
8 p.m. Candleshoe (1977) – starring Jodie Foster, David Niven and Helen Hayes
10 p.m. Freaky Friday (1976) – starring Jodie Foster, Barbara Harris and John Astin
Sunday, Dec. 28
Noon The Shaggy Dog (1959) – starring Fred MacMurray, Jean Hagen and Tommy Kirk.
2 p.m. The Shaggy D.A. (1976) – starring Dean Jones, Tim Conway and Suzanne Pleshette.
4 p.m. The Love Bug (1968) – starring Dean Jones, Michelle Lee and Buddy Hackett.
6 p.m. Herbie Rides Again (1974) – starring Helen Hayes, Ken Berry and Stefanie Powers.
8 p.m. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977) – starring Dean Jones and Don Knotts.
9:45 p.m. Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) – starring Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman.
11:30 p.m. The World’s Greatest Athlete (1973) – starring Tim Conway, Jan Michael Vincent, John Amos and Nancy Walker
So what are you waiting for? Turn on Turner Classic Movies, grab your kids and relive your childhood!

Rolemommy Movies of 2008

Here we are on a rainy and snowy Sunday watching a movie marathon with my family and so I thought, why not share my favorite flick picks of 2008. Considering I usually never see a film that’s been nominated for an Oscar or Golden Globe, I still managed to find several movies that my whole family loved and me and my DH enjoyed on a few random date nights. So without further ado, here are my Role Mommy movie picks of the year. If I’m missing a film that you saw, feel free to comment away!


images-8.jpeg1. Beverly Hills Chiauahua – Okay – all it takes is several cute dogs and you’ve got the perfect ingredients for a fun movie. Aside from the fact that I love any movie with Jamie Lee Curtis, I remember going to this film thinking it would be dumb and then after sitting through it, I actually loved it. So if you haven’t endured this one in the theaters, then rent or buy it on DVD…this one’s a keeper.
images-1.jpeg2. Kung Fu Panda – Another animated film with awesome celebrity voices – from Jack Black to Dustin Hoffman to Angelina Jolie, I loved the story of the overweight Panda who becomes a Kung Fu master. Reminds me of me becoming a pilates and yoga superstar – never gonna happen.
images.jpeg3. College Roadtrip – Once again, any film that features Raven Simone and Donny Osmond is an instant fan favorite in my household (yes, I know I am weird). But seriously, I thought this movie was really cute and I even shed a tear at the end thinking of the day I send my own daughter off to college – still have at least 9 years ahead of me, but time flies when your raising a tween.
images-4.jpeg4. Horton Hears a Who – Another great animated film – though we saw it several months ago, I remember having a permanent smile on my face as we left the theater. Great voices, funny jokes, and Dr. Seuss…what more can you ask for?
images-3.jpeg5. High School Musical 3 – Let’s chalk this one up to the fact that I was feeling incredibly sentimental when I saw this one. That can probably explain why I got misty at the end thinking back to my last year in high school. Nevertheless, while others thought this movie wasn’t as good as the first or second, I beg to differ. The music and choreography was great andthe surprise twist at the end had me riveted (okay, now I know you’re curious.)


images-5.jpeg1. Baby Mama – By far, the funniest movie of 2008. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are hilarious in this film about a Type A career woman who hires a surrogate mom to carry her baby. Greg Kinnear always delivers a winning performance and Steve Martin had some laugh out loud moments, but watching Fey and Poehler is comedy magic.
mammamiaposter.jpg2. Mamma Mia – The first time I saw this movie in the theaters I thought it was great. Now that I’m watching it in the privacy of my own home on a snowy Sunday, I realized it is pure and utter cheese, but that makes it even better to watch on DVD. You’ll crack up when you hear Pierce Brosnan sing and hopefully for your sake, those sexual references will go right over your kids’ heads.
images-2.jpeg3. Changeling – No question, this is one of the best films of the year and if Angelina Jolie doesn’t get a Golden Globe or an Oscar for her performance, then she was robbed. Based on a true story, you will be blown away when you see what happens to a single mother whose child is kidnapped and she’s railroaded and tortured by a corrupt police department head.
images-7.jpeg4. Hancock – Will Smith as an angry superhero. Yup, I’ll watch that any day of the week. Even though the premise of this one was a bit far fetched, I still enjoyed it – especially when I saw Jason Bateman as a co-star. Okay – I know – anytime an 80’s star appears in a major feature film, they have me hooked. Just wonder what would happen if Ralph Macchio made a comeback.
images-6.jpeg5. Sex and the City – Yes, I admit, this one was also pretty lame but you know what, I don’t really care. I was a huge fan of the series and the thought of Carrie Bradshaw getting married had me curious – did she or didn’t she? I also love Jennifer Hudson, the clothes, the shoes and the cattiness. The only downside was that I tried to watch this film on a plane and every time the sex scenes came on, I was totally mortified. Either way, watch this one at night when the kiddies are fast asleep!
So now that I’ve shared my favorite flicks, it’s your turn. What are your favorite films of the year? Comment now and win a DVD from one of my favorite film musicals, HAIRSPRAY!