For Christie Cole, the road from small town Indiana to Hollywood was full of crazy twists and turns – and a lot of unexpected off ramps. But it’s a whole lot sweeter now, especially since she gets to motor down the road on her awesome 750cc Ducati Monster, one of the most powerful street bikes in the world. But more on that in a moment.
As Coordinator to the SVP of Production at ABC Studios, Christie’s department oversees all matters below the line, giving her an incredible bird’s eye view. It’s a big job, requiring a diverse set of talents and an unbelievable work ethic. But for Christie, it’s a labor of love, and it all began at the age of five.
“It’s all because of Miss Irene,” Christie recounts, smiling. “Every year my school would do the Nativity. Well, Miss Irene would audition all the kids, which consisted of walking across the room, kneeling down in front of the class, folding your hands like you were praying, and looking straight forward. This is how she cast the role of Mary and I got the part.” With a playful laugh, Christie says, “Apparently, I was quite convincing.”
The show business bug had bit, and by the time she was16, Christie began acting professionally. She became part of Minneapolis’ highly-respected Youth Performance Company and later was admitted to the University of Windsor, whose acclaimed classical training led many graduates to Stratford and the Shaw Festival.
Throughout her 20s, Christie stayed afloat through a series of jobs, but in time, she realized it was a lifestyle ill-suited for her long-term goals. “I want a family, and a life outside of work, and to make a living,” says Christie. “Those things wouldn’t have been possible had I stayed in the theatre doing Shakespeare.”
Christie decided it was time to come back to America …and Hollywood was calling.
Christie shakes her head. “It was a very hard entry into Los Angeles. I was constantly moving, dealing with flakes and unstable roommate situations, bouncing from job to job. I thought I’d made a huge mistake.”
But then, after about a year in LA, during a stint in the mortgage industry, Christie discovered Nichiren Buddhism and that changed everything. “My life started to turn around. I started feeling happy, making money, paying people back. It was the juice I needed to get my life back on track.”
And did she ever. Christie’s first big gig was at a startup branch of a studio called W!ldbrain, where she supported the President and CEO as well as the head of Business Affairs. After leaving W!ldbrain, Christie was able to land her biggest role yet – working for the President of the network at ABC.
“We’re big picture, so there’s paperwork, there’s scheduling, there’s call rolling, there’s the upfront, there are meetings, plus there’s all the stuff that a normal Admin would do,” says Christie. “I feel that in many respects, I’m very much wearing shoes that are too big for me. But I love it.”
Frankly, that’s hard to imagine, because as demanding as her job is, it’s actually just a fraction of Christie’s pursuits.
Recently, Christie produced two short films with several colleagues under the name orange.fastball.studios, one of which is about to hit the film festival circuit.
But the project Christie is most excited about at the moment is her upcoming book of poetry, apartment 8. Take it from this writer, the work is stunning.
Her work was accepted by Finishing Line Press, and the chapbook of poetry will soon become a published reality.
Happily, throughout much of her life in Los Angeles, Christie has had First Entertainment to rely on. “I had been through absolutely horrible experiences with a certain unnamed Bank which is of America,” Christie says, coyly. “When a colleague of mine told me about First Entertainment, I was so happy to find a better way. The difference is night and day.” Christie continues, holding up her phone. “And I love the mobile banking. I use it all the time and it works beautifully.”
Which leads us right back to Christie’s other favorite mobile device, that gorgeous Ducati. Wow. Christie laughs. “I’ve been riding it three or four years. Believe it or not, it’s my starter bike!”
So then. Entertainment executive. Producer. Actress. Buddhist. Guitarist (we didn’t mention that one). Poet. Student of French (or that one). Editor on the forthcoming Girls Guide to Manners website (or that one either). Motorcycle Queen. What’s next?
Christie doesn’t have to think about her answer for even a moment. “In five to ten years,” she says, “I see myself working as a TV exec for a major network/studio and continuing the dream! I do plan to also continue writing and producing some things on the side, but I absolutely love working in TV.”
And, we hope, continuing to write your magnificent poetry.