Filmmaker, Robert Bella, to Shoot Trip to Nicaragua for Finding Corte Magore

20140609-011310-4390968.jpgI’m honored and delighted that award-winning, filmmaker, Robert Bella, will be traveling to Nicaragua with me to shoot this first trip to Finding Corte Magore.

“Bella” will be traveling with me to a coffee plantation called Zaragoza in La Dalia, outside of Matagalpa where we finally get to meet some of the children we are trying to help in the country. Zaragoza supports childhood education and even erected a small school on the plantation. When the government learned of Zaragoza’s efforts, they stepped in to subsidize the educational venture.

Bella will be joining me as well, as we review the numerous islands for sale in the Bluefields, Nicaragua area. The ultimate goal in having Bella around is to raise awareness for the Finding Corte Magore project and to capture footage for plea video when this thing goes to crowd-funding. When Bella learned he had an opportunity to help raise funds and awareness for such a special cause, through an author who supports literacy domestically and abroad, he didn’t think twice to lend a hand. Bella has film credits in legions of movies such as Colin Fitz Lives! (Director), The Help, I Am Number Four, Real Steel, and Delivery Man. Gayla Nethercott of the Nethercott Agency attached him to the project.


Are You Doing What You Were Born to Do?

Just as every leaf on a tree is designed with its own intricate pattern, so were you born in that unique way. When you start doing what you were born to do, everything falls into place, as sure as that leaf eventually falls from its branches. I know this, because I’m living, breathing proof. When you start to follow your destiny, great things happen.

Pardon me for feeling philosophical today, but there’s really something to this. Beginning to live by doing what you were born to do, is the real secret to life–I just know it.

When I started to take my own passion for writing seriously, everything along the way fell into place. I began to skate easily over obstacles. People I had only been loosely tied to in my network, were suddenly there to assist me as quickly as my own friends and colleagues have been. I began to realize why I had met some of these people in the first place; we were destined to meet.

I can only hope my connections have been as impacted by me as I have them along my journey to rediscover what I was born to do, because what they’ve each done for me is immeasurable and I am indebted:

When I needed an illustrator for my story, my supplier friend, Jennifer Dawson, put me in touch with her brother, “Mr. Lawrence”, a storyboard director for SpongeBob SquarePants and also the voice of Plankton. Mr. Lawrence worked with his colleague, Marc Ceccarelli, who eventually produced most of the illustrations for Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore.

When I needed a publisher for my animated and musical picture book app for iTunes, a colleague, Nathan Bailey, put me in touch with Creative Director, Jacqueline Merrill, at Skies America who published my story.

Coincidentally, I met Robby Armstrong, the musician who eventually wrote and produced the original musical score for the app, on an elevator in Nashville during a business trip. We got to talking because his wife, Chimene Armstrong, looked so much like Cameron Diaz. (I later learned his wife IS Cameron Diaz’s sister.) Chimene is now one of my closest friends. Robby and I are both dreamers and it’s been a pleasure to watch his career take-off. Robby just got back from hitting his own stage at the CMA Music Fest in Nashville.

When I came up with the idea to use my background and book to crowd-fund an island for social good in a third-world country, my friend, Baz Patel, said, “Hey, I think I can help. I can introduce you to some friends in crowd-funding. Baz has also helped me build the Finding Corte Magore project from the ground up. Baz and I met on the golf course where our children played together in a golf league.

My client, Lorna Pierno, is Nicaraguan. When I told her I was going to Nicaragua and wanted to meet agricultural workers and their children who drop out of school in the fifth grade, Lorna knew she could help me. “Tonia,” she said, “I’d like to invite you home with me, to our family’s coffee plantation in Nicaragua, where you will meet one-hundred children who drop out of school early. (The plantation owners don’t make the decisions for the kids, the parents do.) My family would like to support you in this,” Lorna said. Lorna leaves for Nicaragua with me next week and will also be my guest while we tour some of the islands for sale on the Caribbean side of the country.

When my Literary Manager, Gayla Nethercott, saw what I wanted to do in Nicaragua for the Finding Corte Magore island project–connecting crowdfunders and kids here in the US with kids there to keep them from dropping out of school, she quickly jumped into action. Gayla said, “Hey, there may be a documentary or film in this.” She’s been working with me and Baz on pitch videos and she’s also connected me to award-winning filmmaker, Robert Bella, who is also leaving for Nicaragua with me next week.

When Robert started to put together his wish list for camera equipment for the guerrilla-style filmmaking he’ll do in Nicaragua with me, he advised we’ll have to purchase or rent very specific camera equipment. Just a day earlier, Lydia Hurlbut endorsed me on LinkedIn. I recalled that Lydia was in that business. (Lydia is a friend and is a wife to renowned cinematographer, Shane Hurlbut). Together, Shane and Lydia own Hurlbut Visuals and Revolution Cinema Rentals and are working to get us the right equipment for our trip through their connections. This trip came together in such a big hurry, I needed Lydia quickly. When I couldn’t reach her, I sent a message to a mutual friend, Star Ladin, owner of Women Entrepreneurs Group. Star knew how to get into touch with Lydia right away.

Yesterday, by the pool at a promotional products industry (my day job) event, a new colleague told me one of his best clients just left the corporate world in marketing to go teach English to kids in Nicaragua. He and I both knew we were supposed to meet to connect his client to me and my project.

I can go on and on and add names and friends and connections to this blog post and when I have a bit more time, I will. Everything is so serendipitous and connected, it’s uncanny. I can’t help but think this was all meant to be.

When I was younger, I wrote nearly every day. Back then, my teachers and friends applauded my efforts in writing and encouraged me to one day grow-up to be a writer. Along the way, I fell off my own path and stopped doing what I now know is what I was born to do. The phrase, “Finding Corte Magore”, to me, means getting myself back on my own path and, if I can, help or remind other people to reconnect with or discover their own.

See you on Corte Magore!

Tonia Allen Gould
Author of Samuel T. Moore or Corte Magore, Entrepreneur/Tagsource, and Founder of the Finding Corte Magore Project.