UP CLOSE WITH JEANIE
Whatz up, babies?
In this thing called life, please allow yourselves as much love, joy, beauty, happiness and some form of peace of mind, as you give it, because it’s so very important since tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. And, if you don’t do it for yourself, do it for me or a loved one. On that note, this week’s spotlight is of a person that has been through a lot but before his mental illness, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in radio, TV and film from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1981. However, during his rehab for mental illness, he obtained a master’s degree in education from IPFW in 2013. He serves on the board of directors for Windsong Pictures, the Alzheimer’s Association and Clubhouse International. And, it pleases me to say that on Saturday, Oct. 12, he’s the guest speaker for the Love Center Empowerment Banquet (see closing for more info). So, now we bring Steven to you and this is what he has to say.
“Hello, Frost Illustrated readers. My name is Steven Manning and my passion is to communicate to people that no matter where you are in life, GOD has deep intense love for you. HIS powerful love, took me from the depths of a horrible depression to a joyful and successful life. Currently in terms of my career, I’m president and CEO, of a very young company that’s only two years old and it’s called Manning Video Productions. The acronym is great because M.V.P. also stands for, most valuable player or most valuable person and I currently see myself as one of GOD’s most valuable people. HE loves all of us, so we’re all most valuable persons.
“My company does quite a bit in terms of video productions and I do everything from 30 or 60 second broadcast television commercials, wedding videos, music videos, documentaries and anything that the client wants in terms of video’s and my client list continues to grow and it feels good.
“It also feels good that I just recently moved from my office that was located in the Carriage House here in Fort Wayne, where my business was actually initiated while in rehab. So now, I’m doing out here what I started doing in there.
“The Carriage House, is a rehabilitation center for people diagnosed with severe mental illness and I was a patient there for numerous years. During that time, we started an in-house audio/visual department called CHAV, which stands for Carriage House Audio/Visual and I produced over 300 videos. During that whole process, I also began to do productions for Park Center and they were my first client. It’s interesting because I was once a patient at Park Center, in terms of rehab and then things got turned around and they became my client and I produced videos for them. We just signed a contract to do another project because they were very pleased with my work and it’s just great to have that type of business relationship with the president of Park Center, the CEO and their top executives.
GOD continues to bring in clients to Manning Video Productions and I’m only in my second week at my new location, which is on the corner of Stellhorn and Hobson Road in The NE Indiana Innovation Center. This facility is awesome for me because it’s a wonderful, professional environment and just by being here, I went to another level and within three days I developed even more business, so I’m very pleased with the direction of my business. And, by the grace of GOD, through Manning Video Productions, I’m also the marketing director for the Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration which is Oct. 5, 2013.
“My ultimate goal is to produce and direct feature motion pictures and I’m on the route to doing that because GOD keeps telling me, ‘We’re going to do this, but you’re going to do it right.’ Then I think, wouldn’t it be logical to start a video production company and work on small and or large projects that can prepare me to do the larger two-hour motion pictures when they come up? Then HE told me, you don’t just start overnight producing feature motion pictures, you must develop experience in producing a variety of motion picture projects first. And, as far as me financially, I want M.V.P. to be my stable company so that it can financially support the feature motion pictures and again, that’s logical because you just don’t go into producing motion pictures without any type of finances coming in.
“It was back in 2008 when I felt that GOD was calling me to produce feature motion pictures. I was working at the radio station and was listening to a program about motion picture production and it was an inkling that HE wants me to eventually produce them because shortly after that, one of my co-workers said, ‘Hey I’ve got a friend who’s a producer/director and you might want to talk with him.’ So, after that, I talked with George Johnson very briefly and he was working on a motion picture for Christmas called ‘Homeless for the Holidays’ and I applied to be on his technical staff. Then he had me read for a part and I got it and it ended up being the most important part in the movie, I think, because I was like a knight in shining armor coming to rescue a guy. Through that, GOD said, ‘If you’re going to be a producer and director of a feature motion picture, wouldn’t it be logical to be an actor? Because when you’re a producer/director, you’re directing actors, so I’m going to put you in their shoes and like I said, you’re going to do things right,’ and HE keeps confirming that. That movie was a great success and aired around the whole country and after that, I played in other movies so I could walk in the shoes of the actors.
In the meantime, I’m doing some very detailed strategic planning, so that perhaps in 10 years, if I’m here or in New York, I’ve got this funnel of finances coming in to support my larger projects. GOD has blessed me to be talented in other areas so I also work part-time for a radio station doing public relations and I’m on the staff of a creative organization that does creative services for larger companies. I do these things because when you’re in a start up company, you don’t start off with having all of this money coming in and a lot of other entrepreneurs, work full time and on the side, they do their business. I’m the head guy at M.V.P. and actually, I’m the only guy right now but that’s going to change when it needs to change because I don‘t want to be overwhelmed and I’m not one to do things super fast.
“GOD says to me, HE wants me to be very successful and that I’m going to be extremely successful with an international company but we’re going to do this the right way and take our time because I’m going to be prepared. Then, GOD gave me a position as a board member for Clubhouse International which is, a multi-national non-profit organization that helps communities around the world create sustainable solutions for mental illness by developing and nurturing new and existing clubhouses, such as The Carriage House. So, I go to New York three times a year for meetings, all expenses paid and it feels great. And, looking back it was just two years ago when I was there sitting in the boardroom and I was like, ‘Wow, GOD, I’m a board member for them,’ and then HE said, ‘Didn’t I tell you I’m preparing your company to be international? And, wouldn’t it be logical, that I put you on an international board with half of these people who are millionaires?’ I thought, yes it would.
“But, prior to joining the board of directors they said, they wanted me to produce a video and speak at the fundraiser in New York, play the video and speak afterward. So I did an eight-minute video about the Carriage House and the work that’s going on there and they loved it. So again this year, on Nov. 13, 2013, I’ll be the keynote speaker at our fundraiser in New York because last year was such a success and we raised $220,000.
“But, believe it or not, back in 2001 I was sitting in the congregation at the Love Church, a mess and out of my mind with depression and I couldn’t think straight. So in turn, I was suicidal, homeless for a period of time, I’d beg people for money and all I had, was a bag of clothes. I was homeless because I had made a series of poor decisions based on my mental illness, so I found myself, with only a green garbage bag of clothes and staying in hotels. But, when I think back, I don’t think back too long to remind myself about the three suicide attempts. Once, I took 80 anti-depressants on a Friday night and woke up Sunday morning. I wanted to kill myself because my mind was not right since I was in a severe depression state and was hospitalized several times. And, one time, I was in the hospital for 60 days and they released me for one day and as soon as I got home, I tried to commit suicide again. My life was extremely difficult due to severe depression for several years, until my case manager at Park Center took me to the Carriage House.
“The moment I stepped into that house, back in 2002, all the way up to now, has been nothing but progress and good things. The Carriage House and the people there, were GOD’s gift to me and they saved my life because they loved me and accepted me for who I was and it took some time for the healing to begin. Also, it took the love from Pastor Phil Mortensen, his wife Fran and the people of The Love Church, at that time, to save me because that was also a time when my mom passed and Fran said, she’ll be my mother. And, she also said something’s to me that caused the healing to start and they were like my mom and dad and my best friends.
“Also, the executive director of the Carriage House, Andy Wilson, is one of my best friends. He has just encouraged me so much and has done so much to help me at the Carriage House from 2002 to 2010 when CHAV department started and I helped to spearhead that. All that time, that was waiting for me and I didn’t even know it but Andy had in mind to do an audio visual department and I came along and we started CHAV and I became the primary person. I already had the background in television, film and radio but in my depression, I couldn’t wrap my mind around what I was doing for five seconds but when I started working in CHAV that totally changed my life and from that Manning Video Production was born.”
Now in closing I say, Steven, I’m so proud of you and to our readers, I hope that if you or someone you know is experiencing mental illness, please contact your doctor because I don’t want any of you, to hurt in any kind of way, if I can help it. Also, to those of you that are interested in attending the banquet Oct. 12, it’s free, so you must hurry and contact Monica Salvo (260) 422-8961 ext. 102 or visit www.the-lc.org and look for the registration link to RSVP by Oct. 4. This banquet is being held at The Summit, 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd., in Fort Wayne and I hope to see you there. So until next week, you’ve been up close with Jeanie. Bye, bye babies.
P.S. If you would like The Spotlight shined upon you or someone that you know, all in the name of love, just send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from ya.
This article originally appeared in the Oct. 2 print edition.