Capitol Media 911 Western Avenue, Suite 350, Seattle WA 98104 - January 17, 2014
Organization: PR for People and Capitol Media
Purpose: Benjamin Franklin Birthday Bash! ...
January 12, 2012
PR for People® proudly presents “Stepping Out”
Patricia Vaccarino has over 20 years' expertise working with a wide range of national and international clients, in all areas of public relations: managing worldwide campaigns for global companies and developing strategy for small companies, startup ventures, and individuals.
Title: Expert in Public Relations Strategy for Individuals
Occupation: Managing Partner
Industry: Public Relations & Communications
Sub-Industry: Personal Branding, Reputation Management and Media Relations Strategy
Experience Area: Patricia Vaccarino has over 20 years of experience working with a wide range of national and international clients, in all areas of public relations: managing worldwide campaigns for global companies and developing strategy for small companies, startup ventures and indviduals.
Latest Blogs »
Love of Work February 2, 2014
I own a full service PR firm and an Internet company. I also write books for a hobby. I’m a busy woman; I have a husband, three children, pets, two homes, but no matter, what I take four ballet classes a week, usually at a world class professional ballet school—Pacific Northwest Ballet. On my off days from ballet, I train in Pilates—to keep my core strong for ballet. I keep my weight down and train for ballet as if I was an athlete. When I enter my ballet class, the cell phone gets turned off and I enter a zone of complete focus.
At an age when many women are getting frail or fat, my balance is strong and my legs are like steel. I’m told often by people—who won’t gain by flattering me—that I look at least ten years younger than my chronological age. The only drawback is dealing with people who just don’t get it. People my age make fun of me, and say things like “it’s amazing how you haven’t been injured yet,” or “have you quit dancing yet?” The other drawback is dealing with the ballet instructors who don’t treat us oldsters seriously and can’t understand why we work so hard in class when we’re never going to be professional dancers. I don’t know how to tell people that by practicing the discipline of working hard, I’m actually making a commitment to myself. I’m doing my best for me because at the end of the day I have to know that I’ve hit my own marks. Check out STEPS, my book on ballet and branding.
The strength, focus and discipline I practice in ballet has had a profound impact on my work ethic and how I run my business. I demand a higher level of excellence from myself and others, and tend to perform at a high level. This doesn’t mean I’m always going to get recognition for what I achieve or that I’m always going to get what I want. Like any other human being, I’ve had my share of disappointment and I’ve lost when I should have won. The rigors of practicing ballet make recover and rebound quickly so I can go out there and work that much harder to get what I want on the next round. My passion for my hobby has nothing at all to do with my childhood where I did not have a chance to dance. Had I been able to dance when I was young, I would never know what I know now—that true passion and fulfillment is obtained in life when you’re not afraid to fail and challenge yourself again and again to take risks, to be bold, and to do your best work no matter what.
Dance is the stuff from which dreams are made of Dec 29, 2013
This Christmas my cousin Karen sent me old photos of my grandmother’s tenement on 67 Jackson Street. As a small child I lived here with my grandmother Katherine and later wrote about it my book STEPS. In one photo, my parents are sitting on the edge of a lowboy chair with its overstuffed cushion close to the ground. My father has a cigarette dangling from his right hand next to a large standing ashtray that is the focal point in the room during a time when everyone smoked. I studied my parents in the photo. My Sicilian father “Joey Blue Eyes” is a boy from the hood on the way up, and my Irish mother is cinema pretty bearing a striking resemblance to Marilyn Monroe. This is the place where I learned to climb STEPS but I had not recalled the furnishings or the décor. Then the patterns in the background struck me. The fabric of the upholstery and curtains is the same pastiche of ballet dancers bending, arcing and reaching. I can’t recall anyone ever talking about dance and unbeknownst to me here were was this powerful imagery that had made a lasting impression on me as a small child. In the photo, I am about three years old and struggling to get out of my father’s arms so that I could dance. At three, all I wanted to do was dance and I danced everywhere. When I wanted to dance I remember running my father ragged. If we were in a public place, a restaurant or a church banquet hall, he would try to restrain me. Then I wore him down. When I wanted to dance no force on earth would stop me. Being unstoppable in dance is a metaphor for my entire persona. No matter what I am driven to do, I always find a way to pursue it.
Flight of Fancy December 4, 2013
The last few weeks have been grueling. Some days I wake at 4am and work for two hours before the barrage of email, client management, staff management, phone calls, and all the things that I do to make this business run. By 9:30 I have already worked for hours and been more productive than people who have a mere job. At 9:30, I suit up in a leotard and zip down the street to PNB to take a ballet class. (I am so incredibly lucky to have a world class ballet school minutes away!) My idea of lunch is to take the time mid-morning to focus exclusively on dance. Unplugged, cell phone off, no matter what, I train in ballet six hours a week. And while that’s nothing for a professional dancer, the regimen means everything to me. I’m a businesswomen , a professional writer, a publisher, a wife, a mother, a philanthropist, and it is my discipline in dance that allows me to demand amazing things from myself. (We won’t mention my demands of everyone else.) Dance training gives me stamina, focus, physical and mental strength. Last Saturday, I took a Zumba class just for fun to burn the excess of Thanksgiving calories, and I totally kicked ass. After all this balletic stuff, Zumba was kind of a joke. Want me to wiggle around, turn and jump for an hour? I danced competitively and I left the twenty somethings and everyone else in the dust.
Birthday in the Air October 17 2013
Last week I took four ballet classes, four days in a row. Usually I spread my four classes through the week so I have a day or two recover in between. Thursday, October 17th, was my birthday and the greatest gift I could give to myself was to take a ballet class. There were lots of corps dancers in the studio and Dane Holman taught the class at an advanced level. Some of the moves were hard: turns out of second position and sauté jumps, landing and sustaining, then rising in relevé and sustaining in arabesque. After years of training, this summer I had a breakthrough. Now there are times when we move across the floor that I feel like I am airborne. It took so much work, focus and dedication to be able to feel like I can fly. What an incredible feeling! I can rise up from the floor and feel momentarily suspended in the air. Every time this happens I feel a sense of astonishment and think this really can’t be happening, but it is happening. And here I am up in the air.
The Beauty in Sadness Sept 14, 2014
I turned “Five Positions to Say Goodbye” into a complete essay and sent it to a few literary magazines. I never thought, after all these years, I would be sending my work out along with the dreaded self-addressed-stamped-envelope to be scrutinized by people with whom I’ve had no prior contact and they have no context on me, my life’s experience, or my work. The writing has to stand alone on its own merits, I guess, but we all know even great work is often rejected and relegated to the bottom of slush piles by summer interns or worse. When I was a young woman, I used to collect my rejection letters. Even as the piles grew thick I was proud of my collection. One day I tossed them all into the recycling bin and it was hard to let them go. It’s been thirty years since I did the literary shtick and now I routinely churn out 10,000 words or so a week: articles, blogs, case studies, social media posts, strategic plans and anything that will promote my clients. And I make the time to write great books. Lately, I’m so busy with business that I’ve decided to write essays. So far, I’ve written four essays and I feel inspired enough to tell you that the name of the collection is called “The Beauty in Sadness” and it’s in this new place where I explore love in all its incarnations, dance and passion. I every reason to believe that soon this collection will develop into new book.
Five positions to say good bye July 4 2013
Six years ago, I did not know how to place my feet in first position. Now I assume ballet’s five positions of the arms and the feet with the quiet assurance of someone who has formed a lifelong habit. I started practicing ballet late in life and at an age when even the world’s most exquisite ballerinas have long retired. My commitment is not shallow and my practice is not infrequent—I take at least four ballet classes every week, a minimum of six hours of week of training, sometimes I put in many more hours. In June, I did a dance immersion camp with Seattle Dance Project. For four days, we danced four to six hours a day. I thought I would be sore and bone tired, but I wasn’t. I don’t know what this means. Either I’m in really good shape or I have become inured to minor pain when the rewards inherent in dance are so much greater. For me, the practice of ballet is more than exercise, self-expression or an art form; it is a place inside of me where I am reaching for something grand. I call this place exploring excellence, and this pursuit of something greater makes me better at all the other things I do in my life. I know how to push anything to a higher level. Take love. When I dance, I am reaching for nothing less than love. As a woman of a certain age, I have learned more about this thing called love than I ever set out to know. Somehow love in all its variations is connected to why I dance. In the past year, in a span of six months, I lost five people. A few died quickly and unexpectedly and two had been sick for a long time. I loved these five people in five different ways and through dance I learned there are more than five positions to hold your arms or place your feet, there are five positions to say goodbye.
NYC – a brief glimpse in time March 23 2013
Yesterday in between meetings I slipped into the main public library on 5th avenue. I wandered up to the 3rd floor to the Rose Reading Room where I used to visit long ago when I was a working class kid growing up in Yonkers. I used to play hooky from school and travel through the tough reality of the Bronx and wander around Manhattan where I always found my way to this lyrical and majestic place. Don’t ask me why I was drawn to this Library. Maybe it is because it has so many Steps. Or maybe it is because I love books and I believe books save lives, make us better people, create new ways of thinking and take us to faraway places we have not even yet come to dream of. To this day I feel a special tenderness and rich spiritual awareness that I have not come to feel for any other physical place in this world. The Rose Reading room has changed since I was a kid. The entire room used to be filled with the old card catalogs stored in heavy standing furniture with multitudes of neat, narrow drawers that held a card for every book in the library. These drawers were made of dark burnished wood and had brass pulls so highly polished that they gleamed. The room was always filled with generous light filtering in from windows that reach forever upward to a ceiling that appears to be a painted with clouds like a rich variation of heaven. When I was a kid I was scared that someone would tell me that I didn’t belong there. Now I have come to know that I was destined to find my way and one way or another, my destiny would find me. This is why I love going home. I learn more about why I have come to be the person that I am today.
Dancing in a Morphic Field February 24 2013
Biologist Rupert Sheldrake wrote about how a flock of birds can turn at the same time because they share a Morphic field. He said, “They’re not at all just looking at the next bird and deciding what to do.” The same phenomenon applies to schools of fish, packs of wolves and groups of people. Being in the Morphic field is the sensation you experience when you are in a public place and you can just feel that someone is looking at you and sure enough you discover it’s true—someone is watching you. And now I have come to understand that I am feeling this same sensation in dance class. I feel it more keenly when we are the same dancers showing up day after day, week after week, and we come to create our own mass of energy. I do not look to see what the other dancers are doing. I can feel their movement all around me when we are all moving together, doing the same sequence, taking the same steps. I’ve started training for two performances that will take place June 1st-2nd. The choreography is just starting to unfold. Everyone is stumbling around we are working on small sections in pieces and bits. The steps are getting tweaked. People are getting positioned and repositioned. The Morphic Field isn’t there yet, but when it comes, I will feel it cover me like a large electric cloud. Through dance, I am still learning so much about life that I might write another variation on STEPS.
The journey and its destination February 9 2013
Since the holiday break I continue my practice of four ballet classes a week. On my off days I take Pilates, Zumba or I walk the two mile loop and go to the gym to lift weights. As much as I work hard to improve, there is always much to work on. For the first time in six years, I have had a breakthrough: I can remember whole routines on my own; somehow they are in my body, and I do not always need to follow other more advanced dancers. With this newly found “dance memory” comes a new problem. I am moving too quickly between steps and taking shortcuts in places where there should be none. I am doing Chassé turns and when the time comes to transition from Tombé pas de bourrée to waltz turns, I am jumping through them instead of allowing them to be lilting, graceful and fully extended. I am so eager to get to the next step that I leave my waltz turns in the lurch, half formed and stunted. And when I make this good mistake I come to see these same mistakes everywhere in my life when I am rushing for the destination instead of reveling in the journey to get there.
The Body is the Sum of its Parts January 9, 2013
I’ve now entered my sixth year of ballet training. Over the holidays, I actually went 8 days without taking ballet if you don’t count the random tendus and plies I did on the floor of my living room. On my first day back to class, I took it light and slow. The next day I couldn’t make it in time for a ballet so I took Pilates. Then that night while I was in bed I scrunched in a crooked position to give room to our kitties who were sleeping in between my husband and me. When I woke in the morning, my back went in to total spasm and it felt like I had pulled a muscle in the same place where had once injured myself. A couple of years ago, I slid on slush and ice as I carried the remnants of my daughter’s massive wedding cake to the garbage can. Now the injury was back in the same place in my solaz muscle, which apparently has a good memory. Two years ago, when I didn’t stop dance or Pilates, I was overcompensating with the uninjured side of my body, which resulted in second injury to my calf muscle. Every part is organic and part of a larger whole. On the fifth day after my spasm, I went to the gym, and told Frankie Rongo, who is the world’s greatest trainer. Frankie said, “You were doing nothing, right?” At least if I had injured myself on the dance floor, I would feel heroic. But the most dangerous time for injury seems to be random moments like getting out of bed in the morning. Frankie showed me an exercise on a rack to strengthen m y back by contracting my entire lower body. Immediately, my lower back muscles loosened, and now I am on the road to mend, but taking it easy, one slow step at a time. I’ve learned my lesson, not to stop working out, but being really careful about how I am going about it. Frankie says to do the rack contractions twice a week. In ballet class, I have been focusing on how my standing leg is working just as hard as the “working” leg. I have begun to realize that the parts of the body that seem to be dormant and just sort of hanging out are working much harder and totally in unison with every other part that is engaged in movement. Every part is connected to a greater whole—al l of me— even when it doesn’t always seem that way.