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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ci Ci Foster: Enjoying The Reward Of Dreams Fulfilled


by Cyrus Webb

Looking for the definition of what it means to create the success you want in your life? Then look no further than Ci Ci Foster. The Chicago native has been active in creating the life she wants for her some and sharing what she has learned along the way.

We have gotten to know of her skills both in front of and behind the camera, and when I first interviewed her last year she was celebrating the release of her debut novel Sunny Rain. Today she is using her production company Flower Goddess Productions to not only follow her own passion but showcase others who are doing the same as well.

In this interview she took out time to discuss the journey that has gotten her to where she is, what you should avoid as you are following your own path and what is coming up next for her.


Ci Ci it's great to talk with you again. You've been on Conversations LIVE Radio a couple of times sharing your journey, but I think we should start by talking about living one's dream. When did you first realize what your passion was and tell us how you went about pursuing it?

I discovered my love for the performing arts at a very young age, but it wasn't until college that I decided to make it a career. I got a talent agent and started working in the field. During this time, I was writing a short story as a hobby. A short while later, I decided to expand my short story and find a publisher.Several rejection letters lead me to realize that my dream was not dead and I should self-publish my novel. I am so happy that I self-published my work because the learning experience is extremely valuable. After my novel, Sunny Rain, was completed, I moved my family to Los Angeles. After having a difficult time finding acting work, I formed my own production company, Flower Goddess Productions with my friend Mashari Laila Bain. Throughout our journey, I discovered a new passion: producing. All of my passions- writing, acting, and producing, keeps me excited and driven to fulfill my dreams.

Like so many others you have had to deal with challenges in your life. Can you tell us how you kept them from derailing your hopes for the future?

I have come across many obstacles on my journey, and I am prepared to face the many more that will arise. When you come across a roadblock, you have to take a detour. I maintain a very optimistic view about life that keeps me moving forward. Anything you want is there for the taking, but it's not going to come easy. I know that as long as I keep fighting and don't give up, my dreams will come true.  

I first met you when you were promoting your novel. Tell us about the book SUNNY RAIN, and what was it like to have that dream of yours reach fruition? 

 Sunny Rain follows the lives of Natalie, Leslie and Monica, three young African American professional Chicagoans who seem to have what every woman dreams of.  In spite of appearances, the women hide their demons from the world until they make the choice to rise above their troubled pasts and reclaim their inner power. Sunny Rain takes a realistic account of the issues women face in today's relationships, including infidelity, abuse, STD's and encourages self-empowerment and healing for all women. I am so grateful to get positive feedback about my work, and I love knowing that it has a strong impact on people's lives.

It wasn't until I was getting ready for this conversation that I realized that we have something else in common. Both of us were profiled by Dafna Michaelson as part of the 50 In 52 Journey project that recognized ordinary people who were making a difference. What does it feel like to know that the work you do is being appreciated by so many?

It feels wonderful to have your work recognized. The 50 in 52 Journey profiled the work my production company, Flower Goddess Productions was doing for the charity Hollywood HEART. We created a 2010 calendar and all the proceeds were donated to the charity. Hollywood Heart is a wonderful organization that helps at risk youths and those affected and effected by HIV and AIDS.

When you were on Conversations LIVE recently you talked about your new project that you are doing that focuses more on promoting the literary arts. Share the concept with our readers.

I am hosting as well as producing a TV pilot titled Digg Into Books. My husband Kevin and I created this show as a way of keeping literature alive by showcasing book clubs all across America. We basically film book club meetings as they review books and in the process, learn all about the book club. Our hope is that more people will want to start their own book clubs or read the books that are being reviewed on the show. So far, we are the first to produce a show with this concept and the response has been wonderful. The show is currently being shopped around to find a network home.

Ci Ci, what would you say to anyone reading this that knows what they have a heart for but haven't taken the steps to pursue it yet?

One of my favorite quotes is "You don't have to be great to start, you just have to start to be great." I would encourage anyone with a dream to take action to follow their dream. You owe it to yourself. A lot of people operate out of fear and they allow that fear to control them. I am not saying don't be afraid, because a certain level of fear is natural, but when you allow fear to stop you dead in your tracks, you prevent yourself from living the most fulfilled life you can. Get rid of all the negative people and influences in your life. Surround yourself by like minded, positive people and take action. The universe will conspire to make your dream a reality as long as you keep working towards it.

Thanks again for taking out the time to talk with us. How can our readers stay in touch with you?

Thank you for the interview. I really enjoyed sharing some of my experiences. Readers can keep in touch by visiting my personal website, www.cicifoster.com. They can also learn about the film projects I am working on by visiting my production website, www.flowergoddessproductions.com, and can follow the new TV show at  www.diggintobooks.com  I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, and Myspace. The URL to all of my social networks is /Cicifoster, so I am very easy to find and look forward to interacting with my fans!

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