Sharing Thoughts on ‘Second Chapters’ with Authority Magazine

Invited by Authority Magazine to share some thoughts on the topic of “second chapters,” and never one to miss an opportunity to discuss hard-won insights or useful experiences—and the value of both— I accepted.

It was a comprehensive and compelling discussion, and following the excerpt below is a link that will take you to the full piece on Authority’s sitewhich I hope you’ll avail yourself of. I enjoyed getting into the grit of the conversation and appreciated the very specific and thought provoking questions. I hope you enjoy the read!  

AUTHORITY MAGAZINE: Many successful people reinvented themselves in a later period in their lives. Jeff Bezos worked on Wall Street before he reinvented himself and started Amazon. Sara Blakely sold office supplies before she started Spanx. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was a WWE wrestler before he became a successful actor and filmmaker. Arnold Schwarzenegger went from a bodybuilder to an actor to a Governor. McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc was a milkshake-device salesman before starting the McDonalds franchise in his 50s.

How does one reinvent themselves? What hurdles have to be overcome to take life in a new direction? How do you overcome those challenges? How do you ignore the naysayers? How do you push through the paralyzing fear?

In this series called “Second Chapters; How I Reinvented Myself In The Second Chapter Of My Life “ we are interviewing successful people who reinvented themselves in a second chapter in life, to share their story and help empower others.

As a part of this interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lorraine Devon Wilke.

An accomplished artist in a wide range of creative mediums, Lorraine started her career as an actress and rock & roll singer/songwriter, finding success in both arenas well into the 2000s. While she continues to perform whenever opportunities present themselves, she’s designed a second chapter built around photography and writing. Currently, she has three award-winning novels in the marketplace, hundreds of essays and articles in media, literary journals, and books, and has recently signed on as the in-house “LA Life” photographer for the national digital lifestyle magazine, The Three Tomatoes.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I’m originally from the Midwest; born in Chicago, grew up in small towns in northern Illinois; third oldest of eleven kids in a family that required we learn responsibility, engaged in great dollops of fun, and held creativity in high regard. Both my parents grew up in the city, which nurtured their love of music, art, theater, and books, and they were committed to raising kids with an appreciation for the same. Music was everywhere, we read voraciously (even spent a decade or so without TV), put on basement shows and backyard carnivals, and, given our embrace of all things artistic, each of us emerged from our childhoods with creative proclivities of one kind or another. I majored in theater at the University of Illinois, then hit the road with a rock & roll band, ultimately landing in Los Angeles where I happily remain.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

It’s a very simple one: “Express yourself.” When I was a kid, there was an R&B song with that title written and sung by Charles Wright, and I felt like that lyric was my mantra. I was never someone who could sit quietly and keep my thoughts internalized — in fact, I can picture anyone who knows me laughing out loud at that notion! I was a person who was driven to express myself, in myriad ways, but mostly through singing, acting; comedy, even early writing efforts. But singing was my greatest Muse, and still, to this day, one of my very favorite ways to “express myself.”


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