Filmmaker Andrea Maio is a Michigander. Though she lives in
Benzie County now, she was born and raised downstate. She moved here for the reason a lot of people do – the natural environment that she can play in that energizes her and the work she does.
TCBN caught up with Maio as the final days tick away on her
fundraising campaign to make a TV show about something she knows a lot about: people who take their passion and figure out a way to make a living at it – even if it means pulling up their roots and making home.
By Lynn Geiger
TCBN: Tell us about your project.
AM: The show is called Back To Your Senses. It's about leaving the safety of what you know, for the sake of what you love. I'm looking for people in mid-leap, right in the process of risking it all. Why do you move to a small town in northern Michigan to pursue your dreams? It seems silly.
TCBN: So what does "back to your senses" mean to you?
AM: Though the concept is about pleasure, I do want to include some footage in the show that includes the struggle. "Pleasure" doesn't mean being on a sensory high all the time. But our senses have the ability to balance us out, if given the chance. The idea is about using our senses to figure out what we're good at; being critical (in the positive sense) of our experiences and finding what brings the most pleasure in a sustainable way, and then changing our lives to make that happen.
TCBN: What's your transplant story? Why are you here?
AM: My parents have a cabin in Elberta. Whenever I needed to center myself, find that sense of place, I came here. Just over two years ago, I took the leap and moved here with my boyfriend and our cat.
TCBN: So, how is your northern Michigan life?
AM: I romanticized the crap out of this place before I lived here. I'm still really psyched to be here, but it isn't as romanticized. We're struggling, we're poor … but a short walk and I'm at Lake Michigan. I look out my window, and that sustains me.
TCBN: How are you trying to produce your show?
AM: I'm using Mobcaster to promote (and hopefully produce) the pilot episode. My goal is $15,000, which pays for a two-week shoot and editing for one episode. (At press time, Maio was a little less than halfway to her goal.)
TCBN: Can you tell us a little bit about the pilot episode?
AM: It will feature a woman, originally from here but living in New York City, and [despite a great job] she realizes that life in NYC was not her dream life. So she left all of that and moved back. This place is associated with making her dreams come true.
The idea is for an episodic piece … people who have figured out how to turn something they enjoyed into something that could sustain them. They were able to turn an idea, something that utilizes their unique skills in a really holistic way, into a vocation. It seems like something we all should pay attention to.
TCBN: Finish this sentence: The best part of being a transplant is…
AM: At first? Anonymity. Getting to reinvent self. Initially it felt like a lot of freedom; be who you really want to be. But that's changed. I'm part of the community now. Check out more about Maio and her project at backtoyoursenses.org. BN