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S1:E15 - Ann-Marie Talley is In The Studio With Calamity Jane

In The Studio with Calamity Jane is a show highlighting the incredible women of Las Vegas!

In this episode, we sit down with Ann-Marie Talley of Lawes Of Life:School of e.MOTION.s.

If you're an amazing person in Las Vegas (or know one), fill out the guest application for a chance to be In the Studio with Calamity Jane!


Hello, welcome to another episode of In The Studio With Calamity Jane. My name is Jodi, also known as Calamity Jane.

Our purpose with this series is to highlight women in our community who are doing amazing things and give them the spotlight for a moment.

Joining me today is Ann-Marie Talley from Laws of Life School of e.MOTION.s. Welcome to the show today, Ann-Marie.

[Ann-Marie]: Thank you for having me Jodi.

Tell us a little bit about about your business.

Laws of Life School of e.MOTIONS.s is a personal and workforce development school that has an emotional base of wellness and health as an undertone. Our courses fall under the "pay yourself first emotionally" programs.

How did you come to get started in this field?

You know, that has a wonderful story behind it. In a previous life I used to be an addiction counselor, or at least I was studying my way up to getting my licensure as a Masters level counselor. And a year and half into it, I decided to step back and learn more about how I could reduce my stress.

And not just reduce it, eliminate it completely and do something fun with it because I love fun. And I would end up going back to my original being, from when I was a child, I've always been artistic. So, I would dabble in all things the arts. And one of the ways I found the most effective and clarifying in my getting rid of burn out was to finger paint. So I started finger painting,

I have my own studio at home and I was collecting all kinds of products and supplies, I did that for years and years. And then the time came where I could not ignore how I was feeling and I stopped pursuing this idea that I needed to be an addiction counselor and fall into society's realm of what a women should be and what a job should be, letalone a career.

And I started finger painting and said, you know what, I find so many other people that are having the same issue that I'm having, I think I want to turn this into a business. So, I started painting more, I accumulated a lot of paint 'cause I had a lot of stress. And I call it stress on canvas, as a matter of fact and then it just, it turned into this huge thing, I was like, oh my, okay, I need to coach this, I need to help other people out of where they're at and that's the reason why I, you know, I'm doing personal development and workforce development in that manner.

What do you feel makes you successful?

What makes me successful, I would say the fact that I'm doing what I love. I don't work, I don't work anymore, I just enjoy myself and that's the reason why I call my school School of e.MOTION.s, I get to directly work exactly who I want to work, feel exactly how I want to feel, address exactly how I feel and do that with others. I hope to empower them through their emotions.

So, I don't work and that makes me successful. When I was an addiction counselor, I was working and as you can tell, my demeanor changed. It was exhausting. When I paint, when I coach, I don't get exhausted. Actually, I could keep going, I can keep, I have to tell myself to go to bed. You're tired, you need to go to bed. You need to go eat, you know. The usual faculties of a human being, I would ignore because I'm not tired, I'm not exhausted and I didn't feel like blaming anyone because I had an outlet. And it wasn't just an outlet, it's fun.

What one piece of advice would you give to a woman who is expecting a baby, is trying to find that sense of community?

That's a very good question. What I would say, first and foremost is give them little facts, we are born emotional. We are emotional beings and one of the first things we do, unbeknownst to ourselves, is ignore our emotions. So in that being said, I would say pay yourself first emotionally, that's what we call one of our over arching courses, it's pay yourself first emotionally, literally. There is no read between the lines, it's exactly what it is.

Acknowledge your feelings, find a safe, open way to express yourself and that's where the motions come in when I say emotions. The word motion is embedded in that. And it really literally means, finding different activities where you get to express yourself. And figure out a way how to make that happen at work as much as it happens at home because we need to have balance in order to live our lives. Even if we're not pursuing our passions at the moment, we should pursue the passion of our emotions.


And now, the famous questionnaire that was asked for 26 years by the great Bernard Pivot and made famous on In The Actors Studio:


What is your favorite word?

My favorite word, emotions! Go figure, you know what, the word emotions means so much to me these days. I've grown up my whole life, till this point, not realizing that the word motions is in emotions. And I've kept in so much that one day through my journey of figuring out how I was gonna structure my courses came about and I saw the word emotions and it's like I saw it for the first time. Oh my gosh, I supposed the be in motion and that's exactly what I've been doing this whole time when I was processing through my burnout and my anxiety. I was in motion and the word emotions is in that so it's acknowledging my feelings every single moment and I was loving on myself. And because I love on myself, I love on everyone else as well.

What is your least favorite word?

You know, it's not a word, it's a sentence. "Don't attach any feelings to it." That is the biggest lie ever, the biggest lie ever.

If we are born emotional and that's the first language we speak, so our mothers and our fathers can understand us, not by words but by a feeling. Why would we take the emotion out of making a decision? How in the world are we able to do that? We're actually not doing that, we're still being very much emotional.

So when someone says to me, don't attach any feelings to it, that's actually very much wrong to me.

What turns you on creatively, emotionally, or spiritually?

What turns me on creatively, spiritually, emotionally, one thing is all three of those, it's finger painting. I turned over a new leaf in my life when I started finger painting.

I learned the fundamentals of art, drawing. I actually only spent a summer at a traditional school in Jamaica, where I grew up, as a little girl learning the fundamentals and then I just picked it up from there, never went to school for it after that. And when I realized I was in distress, emotional distress, I started using paint brushes and it didn't quite work out and I was actually more frustrated and upset and further away from being spiritual.

I saw someone finger painting one day and I said, you know what, I'm gonna try that, too. So I tried finger painting and I became a child again, I started having fun again, I just, I came alive and it was something I could share with my children.

The other portion of what just excites me about it is that I don't teach or coach other people for technical artistic techniques, it's just for the emotions of it, the release, right. And then when I see their result of the painting that was not created with a traditional paint brush I am in awe, just in awe. It's just capturing a sense on a canvas or piece of paper or on a wall, you know. I did that, that came outside of me from just finger painting, you know and it, I was like wow.

For not being traditionally taught most of my life and creating something so beautiful and full of color and emotion at the same time, just, it turns me on. And then to actually see others make that connection when I coach them and when my children see that, it's, it just, it makes me say, you know what, we should do this more often, it should be in all schools even in the tertiary level or in college, it should not be left out. We should do this at work, you know. Because it brings forth the ability to solve problems creatively. Critical thinking, it just, you keep going.

What turns you off?

I have to say the act of not doing something with passion. Going into the workforce without passion. Going into schooling without passion. And the fact that I was raised in majority of the society and I came from Jamaica, so I was taught this in Jamaica to ignore our passion and move towards what is traditionally given to us as a way of success. Go to school, make good grades, get a career, get that 401K and some insurance and go make your life. That didn't work and it didn't follow that order. It did not. And it just, for me to live that way it just made me more and more unhappy.

And what I inevitably did was to become my own independent self doing art anyways. So it really turns me off is to say to somebody, go to school, get this, this credential and that, it's not seated in their passion. It creates stress and stress is the number, it's linked to five of the top leading causes of death in America, which are actually linked to the workforce in America, right. It's linked to burnout, disengagement, we're losing over 500 billion a year from disengaged, stressed out workers and I'm not even talking about the medical cost. I'm just talking about in the business world that we're losing 500 billion a year, right.

So, that it actually, it disgusts me that we're living that way and we're teaching our children to live uninspired lives and we're leading uninspired lives and we're, oh yeah, you know, you should go out there and do this and that, and go do this test, go do that. What are you testing for? Everybody's intellect is different. We're not trying, we try actually to fit square pegs into circle holes and it aggravates me.

What is your favorite curse word?

I guess, if we're going by the one I use a lot it would be fuck. Yeah, I mean, there are quite another, a number of curse words that I learned when I was growing up in Jamaica and I don't really use them as much because I'm not around many Jamaicans.

So, my favorite curse word in Jamaica would be bumbaclot. And my favorite curse word in America would be fuck.

[Jodi] What does bumbaclot mean?

It's, man, okay, breaking it down, bumbaclot is just another word for fuck, it's literally, it's just another word for fuck. I don't even know what the origin is. I grew up with it, it was just, mom would say, don't say that, mama does it, don't say that, what you doing? And I think the most funniest one I will say, the funniest curse word I learned growing up in Jamaica is go suck your mother. Now, it's not a word it's more like a phrase but it really is like you're cursing at someone and it's like, you know, go have relations with your mother and nobody does that's incestual so. But I really don't know what he origins of bumbaclot is, I just, I use it as a translation for fuck with a Jamaicans, yeah.

What sound or noise do you love?

The sound of my children, when they're happy, oh my gosh, I just, it reminds me of the fact that I know I'm doing something right.

What sound or noise do you hate?

The sound or noise I hate is the sound of really, really bad music. There's some songs out there that I would rather not hear and because I generally have my kids in my car, I don't even play the radio unless I'm listening to an audio book because it's mindless, just, it tears into my ears and then my brain starts to fry. I'm like, how are people listening to this it has no substance, it tells no story, it just is irritating. And then I think what it's doing to my children's brains and then I get really upset.

What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt?

I would actually like to be a politician one day. With all the work that I'm doing, it's going to require changes all the way at the highest level to create changes in the workforce and employment, to really make it known that if you're going to employ someone, it's important that you have personal development and workforce development of the creative kind.

What profession would you not like to do, like ever?

I don't want to be an addictions counselor. I don't, I don't. There's a reason why I chose not to do it, you know and as a matter of fact, you're saying profession, I'm not really saying professions, I don't want to do anything else that I'm not doing right now.

If Heaven exists what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

I'm gonna go ahead and say heaven does exist, I'm gonna say hell exists, too. It's all here. However when I get to a point of getting to God and what he'll say is that you know what, you acknowledged the fact that heaven and hell exist on earth and we create it everyday and you deliberately chose to pursue your dreams. And you didn't just choose to pursue your dreams, you chose to affect other people's lives in a positive manner as well and helping them on the path towards their passions and loving that and not just doing persons, I've done it on the global level. So that's what I'm striving for, when I'm listening for God.


[Jodi]: I see you brought one of your paintings, do you want to tell us a little bit about it?

[Ann-Marie]: This painting is called a Vegas Strong Sunset and it was created and inspired by the events that happened last year when we had that mass shooting and it was very tragic. I was at home watching what was happening and there were news reports on it and I was very upset, very, very upset because we previously had driven by, not very long before the shooting had started and we could of been caught up in that. And beyond that it's just, it was hurtful to see that so many people and families were hurting and I had to figure out a way how to process that.

So, like I said before, I practice stress on canvas and this is what it turned out to be. This is an actual replica of the original painting that I did where I just drew two hands being held and a sunset where it just symbolizes hope, togetherness and continuity. Where the sun will set on and the day will close off on whatever happened and we get to go to sleep and process what happened and then we get to wake up another day and knew God is sparing our lives to really make another difference and live and figure out a way of how to understand ourselves and how we can learn to be around others as well as ourselves.

[Jodi]: Thanks for being with us today, Ann-Marie.

[Ann-Marie]: Thank you for having me, Jodi.

Thank you for watching! Join us for the next edition of In the Studio with Calamity Jane, where we put another amazing person from Las Vegas in the spotlight.

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