jayne digregorio

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Why You SHOULD Work With Friends

Published January 26, 2020 by Maryanne

Darlene Asbury Park

The Friends That Create Together, Stay Together! 

Pictured in photo, left, Darlene Foster, right Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

URGH! A few days ago I overheard someone utter that dreadful cliche, “You shouldn’t work with friends.” Yeah, say that to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards!

Like the Glitter Twins, I’m here to prove that silly saying wrong. Hear me out…

I’ve found my magical “glitter twin” in not only my husband, but in many friends! But before I share the magic, here are my top reasons why it’s best to work with friends/lovers:

  • You already like/love each other, so you are off to a good start. There’s no tension, no “breaking the ice,” and the competitiveness is healthy — you want each other to succeed.
  • True friends/true lovers are NOT jealous of each other.
  • You thrive off of your creative differences.
  • You move ahead faster because you know each other well.
  • Celebrations of success are that much sweeter.

Working with someone you don’t know very well (or don’t like) never brings a project to fruition. Countless times I’ve stopped editing or ghost writing a book because I couldn’t stand the person I was working with. I’ve had dream jobs I’ve quit because my co-workers were the pits (and came out ahead of the game with the next job or project – go me!)

So, if someone tells you it’s not a good idea to work with a friend or a lover, I’m here to prove them wrong. Of the hundreds of friend/lover collaborations I’ve done over the years, here are a handful of my random favorites (in no particular order).

The Hounds of Winter “Come On Christmas”  

The above video was made possible by people in my circle who are all forever connected, Ric Pink; vocals; Tom DiPaolo: guitars; Dennis Mistretta (my husband): bass; Tom Corea: drums; and I did backing vocals at the last minute. Oh, and my good friend Darlene Foster (long-time girlfriend of the guitarist Tom DiPaolo) created the cover art. The CD was made in 2012. Note, sometimes Tom Corea’s wife Carol plays instruments on the CDs too.

Seltzer’s Rainbow Heart 

Editing “Seltzer’s Rainbow Heart” for my good friend Jayne DiGregorio, was super fun. It was the beginning of many projects we have done together. I’ve helped her promote the book, wrote about her Care Bear non-profit for newspapers, and we worked together on other projects too. Working together was never a problem, it only brought us closer.

Darlene Foster 

Ten years ago I modeled for my artist/photographer friend Darlene Foster. And some of the photos sold too! Since then she’s designed two of my book covers, and is a current participant in my upcoming book, “Fantastic without Plastic” (a book about positive, attractive women who look/feel amazing while shunning plastic surgery and Botox).

And while my husband is a humble person who doesn’t like to be called out in blogs or on Facebook, I have to override him this time to say that he’s the one person I can count on who ALWAYS (and I do mean ALWAYS) reads my articles. He comes to as many of my speaking engagements as he can (and gives me rides too!) and cheers me on when I come up with new ideas. When I’m feeling down, he’s the one I can count on to remind me, I’ve got a name.

Can you get all that from a mere acquaintance or someone in an office you barely know?! ABSOLUTELY NOT!

And all that said, if I need to work with someone, I will call on a my husband or a friend first! I know they are reliable, fun, hard-working, and creative. It’s a joyful existence for sure!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 – Year in Review!

Published December 20, 2019 by Maryanne

Hustle2019 — The Hustle was real! 

Wow, when I look back at 2019, I have a huge smile on my face! I mean, I am glowing! It was filled with lots of love and stellar career moments. I am forever grateful that it happened. Below, I share just some of the highlights–after all, a girl’s gotta be private about some things!

January 2019 

My year started off on the most amazing note. I was only in Toastmasters a few months and I won “Best Speaker” for my deliverance of a David Bowie Tribute I wrote, which I gave on January 10, 2019 — three years after his sad death.

February 2019 

This was the only month of the year that sucked. We had to put down our beloved Bennie cat. He was a feral who was only 3-years-old. We took him in the summer of 2018. The vet checked him out and we were told he had FIV and wouldn’t live long. Sure enough, a few months later he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It broke our hearts; my husband and I were devastated to lose such a sweet, loving cat.

Shortly afterwards, a few friends passed away too. It was a bad, bad month for so many.

SAM_3266 (1)Bennie Hemingway, Rest in Peace little angel

March 2019 

It’s always a blessing to have great friends around to cheer you up!

Jayne - NYC Cher ShowMaryanne and Jayne (aka Romy & Michele) in NYC! 

April 2019

I was so honored to be a part of an anti-bulling club! Sara Liptack of the Little Free Library, Westfield, New Jersey, invited me to her home to discuss my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” with young readers in the Westfield neighborhood.

IMG_20190406_172624_591 (1)Say “yes” to acai bowls and “no” to bullying! (Photo by Sara Liptack)

May 2019

During the month of May, my husband and I welcomed our newest family member, Sammy! I adopted him from St. Hubert’s in Madison, New Jersey. Sammy is 9-years-old and he spent most of his life in a shelter. We are honored to have him in our family, he’s a perfect little angel and we love him to pieces!

DSCF3932Sammy, our dear little angel! 

May was also significant because I was extremely honored to present my workshop “Be Your Own Hero” for Toastmasters District 83 Spring Conference. It was an excellent turn out and extremely well received. (Note, The “Be Your Own Hero” workshop was based on my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” which was published later in the year by KiCam). 

DSCF3631Be Your Own Hero

June 2019 

June was super cool because my book, “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” became available on audio! You can get all versions here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

July 2019 

My husband and I were thrilled to take some much needed private down-time, both by ourselves and with very dear friends. Hashtag GRATEFUL!

Facetune (4)Dennis and Maryanne (Photo by Jayne DiGregorio) 

August 2019

August is my birthday month. And I do mean “month” because it takes a whole month and then some to get together with everyone who is important to me. So, I say to all of you, Thank you for the LOVE!

DSCF4045I love you! 

September 2019 

Once again, getting away and spending time with our super awesome friends! Hashtag HAPPINESS!

DSCF4128 Dennis and Maryanne

October 2019 

This month was a double whammy of greatness! If it wasn’t cool enough that my book, “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” (https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227) was released, my fictional book, “Love Cats” which was out of print, got picked up by Pink Flamingo Media! (https://www.pinkflamingo.com/). So look forward to a second printing of “Love Cats” in 2020!

Love Cats front and back cover

First printing of “Love Cats” now out of print. Second edition to be published in 2020 by Pink Flamingo Media!! 

During the month of October, I completed writing the play, “Ain’t Life a Beach” for actor, Jesse Walker! It will be presented during the summer of 2020. Jesse Walker was also the first person to interview me to promote “Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero.” Check out the interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7_O5ZdsVNo

November 2019 

I was honored to perform my poetry at Neighborhood House Association. “All About Eve” was well received! You can view it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyLorsfQig4

December 2019

While many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it’s actually a wind-down time for me. I stay at home, sipping keto cocoa drinks and working on my next projects. I have some great ideas in the works…as well as some super cool surprises for 2020 which involve writing, speaking, and poetry!

I wish everyone a very happy, blessed, and prosperous 2020! 

BEST OF 2019

My husband and I do so much and see so much, it’s hard to keep up. I used to write about all the shows we saw in this blog, but it’s time-consuming especially when I also keep private journals. However, the following are truly stand-outs for 2019.

BEST NEW ARTIST – SIERRA FERRELL

Well, I’ve been picking winners since I was a little girl. I’d watch the Miss America contest with my grandmother and right from the beginning I’d say who was going to win. When I accidentally came across the music of young artist, Sierra Ferrell, my mind was blown. She is truly the bomb! (Do people still say that? Well I do!)

When I first heard her song “Jeremiah” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEYSUpPirJM) I knew she was something special. I spent two hours watching her videos on You Tube (the perks of being self-employed). And, by chance, she happened to be performing, just an hour away from us in upstate New York.

For a mere $10, it was a kick ass show. I got to meet Sierra too, and she’s a little sweetheart. The punchline is, two weeks later, she was signed to Rounder Records! Hell, yeah! Now we can look forward to some new music from her in 2020.

DSCF3957Sierra Ferrell and Maryanne 

BEST NEW ARTIST RUNNER UP – BILLIE EILISH 

Not that I’m going to run out and buy tickets to her show … but then again, never say never … I do have her CDs. Wow, I’m just so impressed with her cool, catchy, innovative, strong-spirited songs. I love Billie Eilish! Thank you for existing!

BEST LIVE SHOW – PETER MURPHY, (le) Poisson Rouge, NYC

Last August Peter Murphy did a ton of shows, performing full solo albums and a few Bowie tributes. I had tickets to see the “Deep” show (and one of the David Bowie tributes, but it was canceled because Murphy had a heart attack — he’s okay now and performing again). Anyway “Deep” was one of my favorite Murphy albums and to see it performed live was nothing short of euphoric. My friend Jayne and I got close to the front and Mr. Murphy was so on the money; always a class act entertainer. As an encore, he did “His Circle and Hers Meet” from “Love Hysteria” — and wow, that just blew me over the top! This was truly the show of the year! I was so bummed that the Bowie tribute was canceled, but a taste of Murphy is better than none at all!

BEST PLAY – THE CHER SHOW BROADWAY

I’m so glad I caught this earlier this year because it ended this summer. It was very cool. There were three Chers (my favorite vocal — and look — was the young Cher, Babe), a Sonny, and even a Greg Allman. It was a fun-filled musical time-line of Cher’s life.

BEST MOVIE – “BLINDED BY THE LIGHT”

I like Bruce Springsteen, but having just one CD, I wouldn’t call myself a fan. But this movie totally spoke to me because it was about a writer who was inspired by music. (I’ve often been judged by  intellectual types who shunned me for being a writer inspired by music not necessarily other writers, so watching this movie it was like, “Ha-ha, fuck you!”)

There were so many moments I related to, especially the frustrations and ripping up your own work and throwing it out the window.

In the movie, there’s a scene where the main character’s father rips up his Bruce Springsteen tickets. Parents in my generation, Generation X, rarely understood their kid’s dreams. Generation gaps were huge and parents didn’t make an effort to know their kids like young parents today do.

I still cringe when I look back at the day my mother got mad at me, jumped on my bed, and tore all my Queen posters off the walls. Queen was the band that inspired me to write and be more creative.

So, this movie isn’t just for Bruce fans, it’s for any Generation Xer who had communication problems with their parents.

Rest in Peace

February was just horrible with one death after another. Our dear Bennie cat, our dear friend Daniel Popp, and WFMU radio icon, X-Ray Burns. Whew, it was a terrible, terrible month. May all these young souls rest in peace.

And of course we lose so many celebrities throughout the year, but the one that hit the worst was Ric Ocasek, who died on September 15. I was a Cars fan when I was just 15 and had their first album. I never saw them perform live, but my husband and I went to one of his art gallery shows.  As we were leaving, my husband said, “Wave to him.” We did, and he smiled and waved back. God bless his soul, he was an original.

DSCF3060RIP, Ric Ocasek (Photo courtesy of Maryanne and Dennis Mistretta)

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

“The Gypsy Smiled” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Smiled-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B074VC7MT9

 

 

 

 

Love

Published July 9, 2019 by Maryanne

Facetune (4)

Photo of Dennis and Maryanne by Jayne DiGregorio (https://www.jaynedigregorio.com/)

This year is my eighth year married to my husband, and 14 years together in total.

We are still so in love; still in the honeymoon stage. This is not something I just realized, nor is it something I take for granted. It is real, and we are blessed.

As an independent woman who wasn’t in a hurry to get married, I knew from our first date my husband was “the one.” What made him different than others were three things: 1. He was supportive of my career. 2. He’s not a jealous type. 3. His love for animals and music. These were the top three things on my list for love and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

But then, there is so much more, as we continue to live, learn, and love. I can honestly call my husband my best friend. Around him I feel safe because he loves me unconditionally. Around him I feel growth because there’s never dull conversation I’m seeking to avoid. Around him I feel entertained because together we are fun, funny, and never boring! Around him I feel happy because from day one, every single night we’ve spent together, we wake up with a smile on our faces. Around him I feel deep because our shared thoughts are always that way.

We both have incredible energy and are always up for a fun time.

We both love our kitties with all our hearts and miss them when we are far from home.

We connect on the four major levels: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

And we miss each other when we are apart, even if it’s just for a few hours.

We’re amazing people and we deserve each other. Together we attract the greatest friends too. We collect other rock ‘n’ roll couples to share the good times. Even our single friends are unique people we adore! We’re in our own little world with the select few, and we love it!

This is why I say to all people — men and women alike — do not settle. Wait for the one who is worth waiting for. I met my husband later in life and never gave up on the fact that I’d meet my special someone; my forever person.

When I was young, in my 20s, I had this theory, that whoever was in unhappy relationships (settling)… if they would just leave, that would open up the door for the right person to show up.  And that, I did!

I was told I was “fickle” and “too picky.” And the most insensitive (and WRONG) was when someone once said, “You think you are too good for anyone, that’s why you are single.” No, I was just waiting for it to be RIGHT before I got married.

Love is not something that happens on command, in your ego’s time. It happens in God’s time; or the time of the universe or a higher spirit. When you wait, you reap the all the beautiful rewards a relationship has to offer. As time goes on, your love continues to grow. It doesn’t disappear or fade, as some may suggest if you are with the right person.

There we are, the middle-aged couple happily holding hands. Someday we will be the old couple happily holding hands. And that’s all I ever wanted, someone to grow old with.

My biggest dream came true! ❤ Thank you, Dennis, my forever love!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing, and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books (in which she mentions Freddie Mercury in both, and how he inspired her as a child, teenager, and still today!):

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: Ten Ways to Become Your Own Hero” will be available October 2019. To pre-order, go here: https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261