She chooses not to let labels define or limit her existence, especially when it comes to business. It is our pleasure to give you an up close and personal view into what it means to #taketherisk.
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You cannot forget
Bonniejean on the set of Not Another Black Movie as extra and photographer, premiering November 2016
As a risk taker, you have to recognize that in life, you don’t always have control of what you put your hands into… it can also be just the momentum you need to journey toward success.”
Reality is, just because
Bonniejean recognizes that as a business woman who is also a rape survivor she sees the world in a different way. But she does not let it stop her from working to achieve her dreams. In fact, it only strengthens her resolve. “You cannot forget the traumas you have faced in life, but you can use them as a springboard to your success.”
In fact, a few years ago she was invited to create a photographic essay that was on display at the Awakenings Foundation and Gallery in Chicago. Her art, no matter the platform, has been used as a means to find healing for herself and others. But more, it has become a passion she employs to fulfill her dreams and achieve business success.
This has included one of her most recent career-altering experiences – working both as an extra and photographer on the set of “Not Another Black Movie,” which premieres in Chicago, November 2016.
She was given the opportunity on this project to also serve as behind the scenes videographer, expanding her film skills and helping to promote the film (#notanotherblackmovie).
“I never once had a photography class—and the training that I do have has been in film criticism or is self-taught through trial and error. I acknowledge that in business it’s risky to admit that fact.
However, I follow my passion no matter what the obstacles are, teaching myself what I need to know and considering all feedback. Reality is, just because you have not been formally trained in something doesn’t mean you cannot succeed at it. There are millions of people that become a success without traditional training.”
This summer in particular, Bonniejean was given the opportunity to partner in a variety web series about mixing specialty cocktails that will launch Fall 2016 (#KentheBeartender). It has allowed her to realize her dream of becoming Director of Photography and Camerawomen.
On set, Bonniejean’s job is to visualize the shots and then film them. At the same time, she has to stay consistent within the vision of the producer/director/creator. “I can take a risk on how I shoot, zoom in, zoom out. But he has final say. Doing this was huge outside of my comfort zone and I love it.”
While Bonniejean does not have the final say as to how the production will ultimately turn out, her role in filming is integral to the success of the show.
As a woman who prefers to live life in the driver seat, Bonniejean admits that in taking the risk to work on this project, among others, she has actually learned to better let go of even the personal traumas that have plagued her life.
Decide What Our Success Will Be – As Bonniejean puts it, “Success is what you deem it. Not what other tell you it is.” Taking a risk isn’t about reaching someone else’s definition of success, it is about stepping out of your circle to find your definition of success and living that.
Lessen Our Ego – What’s the point of taking the risk if you don’t want to learn properly, even if not in a formal class. Bonniejean tells us that “the best things I have learned no one ever taught me.”
Do What We (or Others) Never Thought We Could - Risk is not about being courageous. You don't need to have courage--only strength to take the first step.Taking a risk means doing something that will benefit your future that no one else thought you would or should have done.
Additionally, she is a long-time instructor of Sociology at The College of DuPage (COD) and recently celebrated the publication of two poetry pieces in COD’s literary magazine.
Bonniejean attending a prom while working as a High School English teacher in Chicago a few years ago.
It’s a good feeling
Life’s a Concert: how I found me, danced through personal armageddons, and ate buttered popcorn along the way.
Read Bonniejean’s poems:
“Grovel, I Shall Never”
“She is With You”
Click HERE to read Bonniejean’s academic blog:
Follow Bonniejean on Social Media:
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