Birdshit and Nail polish

August 26, 2010

Last week I introduced the one and only Four Star Bird Hotel in town. Again, some happy guests went home this week with another firm return booking in my calendar.    

But this is not what I want to talk about in this week’s post.  Another new and exciting venture I took on is  Modeling – yes you heard right – Modeling.  This came together  once again when chance and opportunity presented itself and I was able to draw from my past involvement in runway/photo modeling which actually and honestly can be considered as ancient history. But I took the chance to get back into it for the opportunity to learn and grow in an (again) unfamiliar industry, connected to an extremely steep learning curve. I am working with the professional team of Steve and Laurie Cozart of Steele Model and Talent Management who provide the necessary education, photography services and their expertise to make the best out of this journey.    

Check out Steve’s Blog:       Cozartphotos./sneak preview/Birgit

                                                               

In June, we took the pictures posted here and put together my portfolio of 2010 and one of my modeling involvement in Los Angeles in 1986 for comparison. In July, I sent out my pictures and my Resume to 15 Talent agencies in San Francisco and got two interviews out of it. This week I signed an exclusive contract with Models Inc. Talent Agency in San Francisco. Whew! Now the game can begin.

I already went to an audition for a highly compensated photo shoot, which was a fine experience. I am looking forward to future gigs and the opportunity to create important synergies with the Book PR campaign that will be launched very soon. More about that in next week’s post.

Between cleaning cages, interacting with my bird guests, Book PR campaign, regular life, and keeping up with the harsh requirements of modeling my level of discipline and creating efficiencies are tested to the utmost – sometimes it is even too much for me!

      This one is from 1986, Los Angeles…        

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Transcendental change

August 20, 2010

Sorry, I was not able to keep my schedule this week but here I am.

Lately I connected with several  friends of my “old” life online and I answered the first question  everybody asked me of  “ What are you doing these days ?“ in delightful reflection and visionary foresight.

 Something which started as a side project around six years ago while still slaving to fear and convenience , turned into the catalyst of the most profound life change and career transition. This was long overdue once I was able to finally step out of the general mold and follow my intuition again. I initiated this change accepting the necessary adjustments in life style and habits to explore new possibilities and this will be my conversation for the upcoming weeks, instead of talking about stories from the book I will do some present tense “reflection” and later will go back to the anecdotes of the past.  

So, what am I doing?   

I am involved in an array of activities and involvement as a freelancer with my Project Management skills on my side to keep all elements coordinated and eventually, also life-style sustaining profitable.

Next week I will continue with another aspect of my new life since it would be too much for one Blog post.

For today, I will introduce the San Francisco Bird Hotel.  www.sanfranciscobirdhotel.com

Something I had started as a hobby already in 2006 shortly after coming back from Alaska. While I still was working and traveling around 60 hours a week this idea has turned into a viable niche business model. Let’s just say I am the CEO, COO, CIO and CFO of the organization and work with real bird brains all day long. I am intrigued by the possibilities this venture has presented to me. Although it is not so much about the business itself as it is about the fact that exotic birds feel  attracted to me the same way I feel attracted to them. My ethics and values stay intact with the feathered creatures and they know that they can trust me, although I am often exposed to the occupational hazards of being bitten….. I had my share of gushing blood and missing flesh on my fingers. Nevertheless, my bird guests love their stay at the Bird Hotel and enjoy every minute of it.

My client list grew in 2010 from 10 returning clients to 25 returning clients, and my income grew 500% from August in 2009 to August 2010. There was no week in 2010 where I didn’t have any guests in the Hotel. Go to the Webpage to check out the accommodations.

We just produced a promotional video of the Bird Hotel, which will be posted on the page soon. There is constant movement and new developments and the site will be updated accordingly.  The one and only marketing campaign of “word of beak” is a strong and effective Marketing campaign and the chirped word is spreading well in and around San Francisco. I am positive that this will lead into something big and I want to be prepared once bigger opportunities will  knock on my door.


My tribute to British racer Barry Sheene

August 12, 2010

One story I want to share was my encounter with the former world champion and Grand Prix racer  Barry Sheene . He was a celebrity, he was an icon, and he was a household name in his native Britain. There is so much to say about him and his accomplishments as the reigning world champion in his era of racing and of his life, it would fill books. These books all were written and a ton of information can be found on the web. Unfortunately, he lost the battle with cancer after refusing chemotherapy in 2003 and left nothing short of a legacy.

Some of the action on this link:   Barry Sheene

I was lucky to have landed a five-minute supporting role within such a glamorous and heroic life and lucky to have had the honor to meet him at the most special race of my own career in 1984 on the Circuit of Hockenheim in Germany. Here is the story and the only pictures existing to this event of the century. I am proud to say that I have cherished my race leathers ever since and the autograph is hardly recognizable anymore but whenever I pull out the leathers to stroll down memory lane, I can feel the sensations of that day. Another short excerpt of:

          Chapter 7    “Passionate Intuition:”                                                         

I was really looking forward to the second race of that season scheduled in Hockenheim. Again, it was the German Grand Prix event, with all the big racing stars in attendance. Barry Sheene was there, of course. I had imagined I would make it a point to finally meet him, but when it came down to it I was too chicken to walk up to him, shake his hand, and babble something incomprehensible in my (at that time) very rudimentary English, so it was probably for the best that I didn’t embarrass myself either way.

The real prize was a surprise Fred arranged for me. He had no boundaries or fear, and knowing my obsession with a certain someone, he arranged for none other than Barry Sheene to visit my trailer after the race! When Barry pulled up on a little scooter he used to get around the paddock, I nearly fell over. It was a stunning moment. I couldn’t find the right words in English, and we all kind of stumbled around with this language barrier. Barry didn’t seem to care; he just parked his scooter and walked over to me. He shook my hand, congratulated me on my finish, kissed my cheek, and then signed his autograph on my leathers.

Fred took some pictures of the whole event, and when Sheene left, I practically passed out; for a week afterward, I was virtually useless, unable to concentrate on much of anything except on my racing fever and finally having met my racing idol in person. I never cleaned those leathers again for fear of wiping off that autograph. I decided I could now die happy. In my world, I was on Cloud “7” with racing and with everything around me. That date of May 13, 1984, in Hockenheim has been firmly lodged in my long term memory ever since, complete with every single detail of events and emotions, even down to the blue sky that day and the electrifying atmosphere, with the screeching engines and the smell of burning rubber and gasoline. It is heavenly to think back on it.


Guatemala

August 5, 2010

Ah, that trip to the biggest remaining Mayan Pyramids in Tikal located in the northern part of Guatemala will never slip my mind. Not only because it was adventurous but also because I had a headache for one week afterward. Normally this is a one-hour trip by airplane from Guatemala City to Tikal but I choose the “Tikal Express” to take the long and torturous road by ground … without bridges or roads….     

                                                                     *****

                                                                   Chapter 18

                                                           Lawless and uprooted

The bus left early in the morning from Guatemala City with a projected arrival time in Tikal in the evening of that same day. The road, as mapped, wound through the jungle up northward toward the Mexican border, and it looked to me as if there weren’t that many roads at all near Tikal; I found myself wondering how this regular bus would make it to our destination. The trip started normally, with many stops and a constant flow of passengers. Finally, we left Guatemala City behind and headed into the wild countryside, where the paved roads turned into lousy dirt roads and the suburbs morphed into rural areas, but at least there still were roads, until that is, we got to a raging river we had to cross…without a bridge. This bridge was swept away by the current after a bad thunderstorm, and the government had never rebuilt it. God only knows how many years ago this happened, but then again this was Central America, and clocks definitely tick differently there. All bus drivers and passengers were left to sort out their own solutions as to how to cross the river and continue to their respective destinations. As everyone around me discussed and argued about what to do, I could understand enough of the conversation to hope that the driver would choose to head back to the main road and find another bridge. But I think this was too logical for the Guatemalans. The driver decided simply to cross the river by driving through the water!

I wasn’t exactly afraid of this venture because I was fit and could swim if it came down to it, but the possibilities of being stuck in the bus in the middle of the river without a chance to escape painted a bleak picture. I was wondering if the driver really knew how deep this river actually was, to be able to make such a bold decision for a load of people. It was one of those situations when I just trusted my guardian angel and went with the flow of things because clearly, nobody had really thought this plan through. People around me were nervous, and the children were shrieking with alarm. Water started flooding the floor of the bus but not high enough for it to be a threat to life. Slowly we slogged our way forward across the currents of the river. The ride was rough, the riverbed was littered with rocks and debris of all sorts—maybe even pieces of the bridge itself—and the trick was not to let go of the gas pedal. The worst thing would have been to lose the little speed we had and get stuck in the middle of these raging waters. It took about an hour for this crossing, including the arguing that preceded it, but finally we made it to the other side in one piece and wet feet. In the end, I had to admire that bus driver’s initiative.