Wendy McKenzie has vision. Over the last decade she has lent her expertise to music videos and hit movies, casting newcomers who make a big impression.
She got her start as a mentee of notable casting director Tracey Moore Marable, where she was able to work with her on the film 1995 New Jersey Drive later, working with renown casting director Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd (Sparkle, Jumping the Broom) where she made the discovery of Jamal Woolard who played Christopher Wallace (The Notorious B.I.G) in the biopic Notorious.
Wendy has a knack for newcomers who will make an impact. She went on to introduce Quinton Aaron who dominated the Oscar-nominated film The Blindside, starring Sandra Bullock who won the Academy Award for the same film.
When not working on big Hollywood movies, her company In The Wink of An Eye Casting hosts workshops for rising actors. At a recent workshop in New York City with partner and mentor Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd she shared with the audience that she was working on a book with her son Scott, entitled The Fortune of Misfortune, described as "a self-improvement / Motivation / Quote book on the benefits of failure, and how to turn your pain into gain". Wendy gave MommyNoire some insight on what that experience is like:
What inspired your book The Fortune of Misfortune?
We go through a lot in life and I believe there's a lesson in everything, good or bad. My son said our story is valid and people can learn from our experiences and choices, mistakes and all.
What motivated you to collaborate with your son on this particular business?
It was all his idea. We had done a speaking event and a young girl was so impressed with our journey. He looked to me and said "We should tell our story."
What is the biggest lesson you taught him on this journey of being an author?
Read a Book. Knowledge is Power.
What is the biggest lesson he's taught you?
Inspire before you expire.
You said you two are on a speaking tour, what kind of advice can you give to other parents when it comes to working closely with your children?
My advice is to have patience.
What's next for the both of you?
I'm opening a studio for actors, models, speakers and entrepreneurs. Scott and Actor Michael K. Williams have started a social media marketing company.
As 2013 approaches Wendy has encouraged her son to live his life and spread his wings. He’s now featured in the new Russell Simmons Argyle Culture Campaign.
You can find their book at http://thefortuneofmisfortune.blogspot.com