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Originally published in Roceteer

At ROCeteer, we deeply care about driving innovation within small to mid-level companies. We truly believe that without inspiration there can be no innovation. It is with this idea in mind that we are starting this new article series.

We hope that you’ll find these stories as inspiring as we do!

First up is Amy Oestreicher.

 

Please tell us about yourself, Amy!

I’m a mixed media and acrylic artist as well as an actress, passionate about creativity and inspiring others with my own story. At 28, I’ve triumphed over a coma, 27 surgeries, and various other medical hurdles. I’ve always identified strongly with the arts, but being led on this “beautiful detour” has proved to be one of the richest times in my life, and has served as even more inspiration to create art.

For me, art is the best way to express what I’ve been through, reconnect to myself, and inspire others to find their own creative voice. I’m a performer, musician, teacher, composer, dancer, writer, artist, yogi, foodie, and a general lover of life.

I’ve always loved the arts and have known I wanted to be a performer before I could even talk, but now I can pursue my passion with a greater meaning and deeper purpose; I have a story to tell, a message to share, and a deep gratitude and appreciation of life behind everything I do.

You are working on something pretty cool. Care to share a little bit about that?

I have starred, written, directed and produced “Gutless & Grateful”, my one-woman musical autobiography, which I have been performing around the country since 2012. I  have plans to take it to more theatres, hospitals, schools, women’s shelters and conferences as a motivational tool. This September, I’ll be taking it to Kansas City for the Transformative Language Arts Network’s 2015 “Power Of Words” Conference.

Please tell us about yourself, Amy!

I’m a mixed media and acrylic artist as well as an actress, passionate about creativity and inspiring others with my own story. At 28, I’ve triumphed over a coma, 27 surgeries, and various other medical hurdles. I’ve always identified strongly with the arts, but being led on this “beautiful detour” has proved to be one of the richest times in my life, and has served as even more inspiration to create art.

For me, art is the best way to express what I’ve been through, reconnect to myself, and inspire others to find their own creative voice. I’m a performer, musician, teacher, composer, dancer, writer, artist, yogi, foodie, and a general lover of life.

I’ve always loved the arts and have known I wanted to be a performer before I could even talk, but now I can pursue my passion with a greater meaning and deeper purpose; I have a story to tell, a message to share, and a deep gratitude and appreciation of life behind everything I do.

 

 

The other half of my passion is my mixed media and acrylic artwork, for both the art itself and the story behind the art. Since I used my art primarily for healing through my medical traumas, my art is full of inspiration, joy, sadness and discovery. I am displaying my work in galleries, as well as giving artist talks, selling prints, inspirational books, and have plans to expand on that with motivational posters, cards, and more.

What made you decide to follow that path?
I had always loved musical theatre and was always fascinated by how the art of song and story could be so seamlessly woven together to share a universal message and to inspire others. All my life I studied music, drama, writing, and lived for the world of the stage.

It was only when I underwent my own beautiful detour that I discovered just how powerful the world of theatre and musical storytelling can be. Coming out of a coma just as I was supposed to be entering my freshman year of college was confusing to say the least. Suddenly, the career path that had seemed to apparent to me my entire life was pushed to the wayside while I took on the more pressing task of fighting for my life. It was easy to feel like a has-been and wonder “why me”, or how my life would ever maintain a steady course again.

With no clear road map on how to get my life back on “track”, I just stayed true to what had always felt like home – expressing myself through the arts. Although I had lost my ability to speak for a while, I committed myself to arts that I could express.

I lost myself in the world of painting and mixed media and ended up putting on three professional art shows. The Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda ended up hearing about my story and my art, and had me on for a segment they do called “Everyone Has A Story.” It was there where I met David Friedman, a kind soul and a talented composer. I went right over to him and told him I admired his work and would love to put together a cabaret act with him. Two years later, using excerpts from my thousands of journal entries, and songs that effectively expressed my journal – some songs being original – Gutless & Grateful had its New York premiere.

Becoming a business owner was like a rite of passage to me – it made me feel like I had finally taken ownership of what had happen to me, and done something beautiful with it.

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The other half of my passion is my mixed media and acrylic artwork, for both the art itself and the story behind the art. Since I used my art primarily for healing through my medical traumas, my art is full of inspiration, joy, sadness and discovery. I am displaying my work in galleries, as well as giving artist talks, selling prints, inspirational books, and have plans to expand on that with motivational posters, cards, and more.

What made you decide to follow that path?
I had always loved musical theatre and was always fascinated by how the art of song and story could be so seamlessly woven together to share a universal message and to inspire others. All my life I studied music, drama, writing, and lived for the world of the stage.

It was only when I underwent my own beautiful detour that I discovered just how powerful the world of theatre and musical storytelling can be. Coming out of a coma just as I was supposed to be entering my freshman year of college was confusing to say the least. Suddenly, the career path that had seemed to apparent to me my entire life was pushed to the wayside while I took on the more pressing task of fighting for my life. It was easy to feel like a has-been and wonder “why me”, or how my life would ever maintain a steady course again.

With no clear road map on how to get my life back on “track”, I just stayed true to what had always felt like home – expressing myself through the arts. Although I had lost my ability to speak for a while, I committed myself to arts that I could express.

I lost myself in the world of painting and mixed media and ended up putting on three professional art shows. The Today show with Kathie Lee and Hoda ended up hearing about my story and my art, and had me on for a segment they do called “Everyone Has A Story.” It was there where I met David Friedman, a kind soul and a talented composer. I went right over to him and told him I admired his work and would love to put together a cabaret act with him. Two years later, using excerpts from my thousands of journal entries, and songs that effectively expressed my journal – some songs being original – Gutless & Grateful had its New York premiere.

Becoming a business owner was like a rite of passage to me – it made me feel like I had finally taken ownership of what had happen to me, and done something beautiful with it.

 

 

What outcome do you hope to achieve?
My ultimate goal is to create an organization, center or foundation that promotes creativity and healing, as a means to share what I’ve learned with the world. I just want to make a difference in the world by doing what I love, that’s all. Any kind of ripple.

I hope to take Gutless & Grateful on the road to conferences and give motivational talks, as well as set up a storefront for my artwork on my website. In the meantime, I am building up quite a following through my blog, site and social media.

Walk us through your average day…

Lately, I wake up and do a marathon in my art studio – usually 4-5 hours. Then, I’ll blog about it and promote my art a bit on social media. Then, I”ll start on my real work – I’ve just finished up a college semester so this would involve much term paper writing. Rehearsing my monologues for my show – in this case I’ll be presenting some new original monologues at an Art Immersion Salon.

When I know the important stuff is taken care of – the phone calls, e-mails, to-do’s, site updates, art-wiring, I’ll get outside a bit, maybe take a walk or double-task and vocalize a bit! My fiance gets home from work around 7:30pm, so then I can finally relax, browse some books at the bookstore, go out to dinner. I do have a bad habit of taking my work into “play-time”- and my fiance often has to nudge me to “put down the laptop and watch some TV already!!!”

If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring?

It’s terrible – but my laptop and internet connection. Ever since I’ve been painting and blogging about it, sharing my work with the world is addicting! I love the feeling of connecting to others and knowing that my art can make people feel a certain way, helping them through a hard time, or just bringing a smile to their face.

My fiance – can’t live without the guy!

Cheese. Something I can eat and eat and never tire of. Every kind of cheese.

 

 

Thank you so much for that Amy!

You can reach Amy at her blog or see more from her on Youtube and amyoes.com.

 

 

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