My story on living with and being married to an actor and the lifestyle we live it's a 3 part story so I'll be sharing each part separately...
Part lll - Learning to Master Life on One Income and Owning the Alternative Entrepreneurial Lifestyle⠀⠀
Family movie night at the El Capitan theatre 2011
As we started the new decade in 2010 we were a homeschooling family of 4, we were debt free living on one income and I was in full stay at home mom mode. Had you told us back in 1990 when we got married that 20 years later this would be our life, neither one of us would have believed you, but yet here we were...We were all thriving and living a happier and healthier life! We were both adjusting to our new lives. Mine as a stay at home homeschooling mom of 2 and my husband as an actor searching for ways to stay creative and relevant in an industry that was changing, at the same time that he was aging out of the characters and roles he had been portraying for the past two decades, so he was looking for other ways to stay creative and grow as an actor.
We had trimmed down our monthly expenses since we decided to live on one income and I had mastered the art of coupon clipping and learned to take advantage of all the sales. I had always felt as though I was a savvy shopper and good with our money until we started to live one one income. That's when I learned the beauty of less is more and focusing more on moments rather than things. My hubby and I were learning to fully embrace the living with less mentality and lifestyle.
Although we did start the new decade debt free, and we were surviving on one income, we knew moving forward that as the kids got older and needed more financial support we needed to start thinking outside the box and generate our own income. That's when we decided to fully embrace the entrepreneurial lifestyle.
Although I was focused on the kids and homeschooling and was enjoying my new career as full time mom, it still took time to adjust and I definitely had to work on my inner positive self talk and not judge myself for choosing to become a stay at home mom. I felt guilty constantly that all the pressure was now on my husband. At times I felt helpless. And every once in a while I would completely lose it and think what was I doing? Had I given up?
Because living on one income in LA with 2 kids was considered very risky then and now. I guess a family of 4 living on one income anywhere would have it's challenges. It was hard to save. And it was hard to adjust to thinking about every purchase before we made it, but it was also a blessing to learn the art of buying what is needed not wanted.
So my answer was always, NO! I had not given up! I had made, We had made a conscious decision to live this way. And it was the right one for us.
As long as Ricky booked work we were good. A guest starring role here and there for TV shows like Southland and the Mentalist during that decade and the occasional commercial would keep us going each month. He did also book about 1 movie a year throughout the decade, but none of the work he was booking was helping him to really grow as an actor, he was feeling stuck.
2010 was the 25th anniversary for Back to the Future and Ricky got invited to attend a BTTF reunion in England at the London Comicon. It would be his first Con and also the start of one of our streams of income. We had been looking for ways to diversify our income. And one of the ways we thought to add to our income was maximizing Ricky's brand by taking advantage of his acting career and the two iconic films he had been in. We saw firsthand in London the income that could be generated by adding special appearances and cons to Ricky's streams of income.
We had never considered cons before because we didn't think it would be viable stream of income. But when we realized how truly blessed Ricky was to not only star in one Iconic blockbuster film but two, Back to the Future 2 and Freddy's Dead the Final Nightmare, were both top iconic films in their respective genres, we new we had to do something. Realizing that the cons would be a great avenue to generate more income we started actively pursuing Cons and special appearances.
Then in 2011 he was given an opportunity to help write direct produce and star in a small independent short film, called It Could Change Everything, a film about the power behind conversation.
How sharing our stories with each other can connect us, no matter our differences and together we can change everything. This would be the start of another creative avenue for Ricky, seeing that he could make his own film inspired him to want to create more.
We were finding a rhythm to our lives and we were finding joy in our new less is more lifestyle. We were focusing on our day to day family life with the two kids as well as focusing on ways to grow Ricky's brand. In 2012...
In our home life our daughter decided she wanted to go to an Art high school and no longer home school. We started homeschooling her in 4th grade the year after her brother was born.
She had been being bullied in her public elementary school, so when we got pregnant again we decided to try homeschooling since I would be staying home for the first year after the baby was born.... for more of our homeschooling adventure check out my story on the blog...My Family's Homeschooling Journey.
In November 2014 I ended up in the hospital for a few days due to severe vertigo. I couldn't believe it and was thrown for a loop. I thought I had been taking care of myself, I had taken back my commitment to living healthy in 2009 and couldn't understand how or why I had gotten so sick.
So what I did was really take look at my healthy lifestyle in Jan 2015 and saw that I had room for improvement. I had slowed down on my love for long distance running from injuries in 2014 and had started to put a little weight on and I also learned I had started early perimenopause ,so the symptoms I was experiencing thankfully could be managed and healed.
I started to meditate more often sometimes 2 or 3 times a day and practice more yoga and be a little more mindful everyday leaning more and more into self care self love self kindness self compassion and self healing. 2015 was definitely a hump year for both of us...we continued to accept and embrace the changes in our life as gracefully as we could and learn the life lessons we were given in order to grow.
Ricky with some of the BTTF cast on stage at the London Comicon....
In 2015 Ricky went back to the London Comicon again for the 30th anniversary for Back To The Future but this time our then 17 year old daughter would be going with him!
We thought it would be fun for Dad and daughter to have a fun adventure together.
Gia is here having fun getting some elf ears!
And Ricky had a great time reuniting with his BTTF costars...
Needless to say they had a blast!
In honor of the 30th anniversary Ricky and one of his longtime friends who is a writer had written a short film about an alternate 2015 future and wanted to create an anniversary film for all the fans.
Ricky loved the idea so he produced and starred in the short and was able to procure the approval from the film's creator Bob Gale,to make the film. He was also given access to the original back lot for filming.
The short is a fun fan film that portrays an alternate 2015 future, the real 2015 not the one portrayed in the original movie.
It has racked up 3.3 million views on Youtube over the past 4 years!!
That same year at a horror con a fan or as Ricky likes to call them a supporter showed up at his table and introduced himself, he proceeded to purchase an autographed photo and stayed and chatted with Ricky for a little while.
Several months later Ricky received a package from him. In it was a presentation folder for merchandise ideas based on the two iconic films Ricky had starred in and the characters he played in those films. We were blown away! We had not considered creating merchandise at that point, so we were grateful to have this amazing opportunity come to us.
Our Data BTTF T Shirt
By 2016 we were booking about 6 cons a year so we thought creating the merchandise would increase our sales at the cons by at least 30% so we invested and had t shirts and baseball caps made for each film and a map for Freddy's Dead.
Our Freddy's Dead
When 2016 rolled around our kids were getting bigger and we had one high school graduate who was
heading into college! She had gotten accepted into one of the most prestigious Art colleges in the US with a sizeable scholarship to boot!We were so proud! But even with the scholarships and grants we would still have to cover about 20% of her $42,000 annual tuition. How is college so expensive? Its crazy how much it costs to educ