Bridget Petrella, CEO of Nite Owl Productions, Ltd., is a highly successful magazine publisher, web designer, nationally published cartoonist, illustrator and syndicated columnist, radio talk show host and personal publicist to numerous high profile clients. In July of 1997, she began publishing UPBEAT Entertainme… Read More
Bridget Petrella, CEO of Nite Owl Productions, Ltd., is a highly successful magazine publisher, web designer, nationally published cartoonist, illustrator and syndicated columnist, radio talk show host and personal publicist to numerous high profile clients. In July of 1997, she began publishing UPBEAT Entertainment News Online, a witty, cool celebrity-driven entertainment news publication with a light-hearted philosophical twist. UPBEAT began as a relatively small publication with a circulation of just over 35,000. It was distributed throughout the cities of Pittsburgh, Cleveland and parts of New York. UPBEAT Entertainment News Online is currently being published and syndicated online via Comtex News Service, iSyndicate and YellowBrix and has since expanded its readership to well over 25 million subscribers in both daily and weekly news wire feeds. Read Less
The Almost Official Biography
I displayed an artistic talent at an early age. I first experimented in dirty diapers and mashed potatoes. As I grew older, I moved up to crayons on drywall and markers on flesh. This met with harsh reviews from the critics ("No! Not on the walls!", You do NOT color your sister") and many hours of painting in my r… Read More
I displayed an artistic talent at an early age. I first experimented in dirty diapers and mashed potatoes. As I grew older, I moved up to crayons on drywall and markers on flesh. This met with harsh reviews from the critics ("No! Not on the walls!", You do NOT color your sister") and many hours of painting in my room, or on my room, depending on how you saw it. I saw it as a way to give my Jackson Five poster a "Salvador Dali" feel to it, Mom and Dad saw it as my journey into "non-conformity"... Unshaken by these minor setbacks, I continued my artistic development venturing into coloring books. At this stage I began to dabble in art theory.
Dad: "Very nice, Bridget. But bunnies aren't orange and fire trucks aren't purple."
Me: "Bunnies don't wear jackets and fire trucks don't have faces either!"
Contempt for Dad. More painting on room or in room. Who'd have thought I'd need a lawyer at this age? Upon entering grade school, I took up pencil. I would draw everything from horses to trees to houses to cars. You name it, I'd draw it. I'd even draw cartoon characters, like Snoopy, Magilla Gorilla, Popeye and Underdog, while watching television. This continued through, middle school into high school, where I discovered drafting. at the time, I thought this was the coolest thing, drawing odd-shaped objects from every angle. I began to ponder becoming an architect. I wanted to learn exciting, inspiring concepts and design important buildings! Hey, I just might become the next Frank LLoyd Wright. My high school drafting teacher, Mr. Harper, saw this plan quite differently than I did... He was rather "linear" by nature...
Mr. Harper: "Miss Petrella, you have a very exciting, inspiring concept for a motel... with a bright brass fire pole and a Star Trek Captain's bridge design that, as far as I can tell, has never been attempted by mortal men. You were to supposed to design a two-bedroom house."
Okay, so maybe architecture wasn't exactly my "thing". Besides, there were too many little annoyances like building codes and those nagging laws of physics. I still wanted to do something deep within the art world, so, I headed to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and The University of Pittsburgh. As an "art school student of doom"— I spent the next 5 years commuting past cows, cornfields, and barns while religiously studying illustration, watercolor, cartooning, graphic design, painting, markers, watercolors, oils. I knew this is where my talent could be nurtured and brought to the forefront. That is, until the COLLOSAL portfolio review... just before my last semester.
Professor: "Bridget, do you see this cow?"
Professor: "Well, with the exception of your 'study on Norweigen dogs with braided nose hairs'— it is indeed a bit of a plunge into madness, however, it isn't EXACTLY the 'marketing madness' we were hoping for with this assignment. Tell me, what does an Indonesian cow with no karma on a retreat in Napal have to do with dairy farmers selling milk?"
Hmmm. What was he trying to say? Okay, just another insignificant speed bump on my journey. I simply turned it all into surrealistic cartoon sketches, a few thesis papers here and there, quickly done the night before, snagged up my degrees, graduated with honors and began to explore this world of entertainment marketing publishing, filmmaking and public relations a bit more closely. It certainly wasn't "spiritual"... but I evolved.
I discovered that clarity is the ability to give attention, and to give it when needed. It means always having access to a clear channel in the mind. Clarity is the skill that underlies all efforts at research and reporting, for without clarity, you look at the world and see either yourself reflected back, or a muddled haze. Ideal clarity means seeing without preconceptions, without agendas, without filters, without interpretations. It means just being there, and being there fully, with all the skills and purposes of a journalist. Curiosity is the active form of clarity, the form that asks, that goes out and looks, that returns for a second look. Another aspect of clarity leads to openness, to freshness of perception, to the ability to recognize that no two things are ever alike, no two people ever do the same things. This is the clarity of innocence. To maintain clarity, journalists have to renew their ability to see— to see doubly as both adult and child; to see at once in the full context of everything you have ever known, and yet to see as if for the first time, anew.
Journalists have to live with what they learn. Unless they anticipate this need, they may find that the very clarity of vision that makes good journalists also leads them toward cynicism, irony, disillusion, detachment, or an empty relativism. Like medical students, journalists may go through a spiritual crisis as they learn more about human beings than they can assimilate. Few other people have to know so much— especially so many bad things— about being human. Few other people are exposed hour after hour to tragedy, disaster, loss, betrayal, murder, robbery, rape, death, exploitation, decrepitude, ineptness, and suffering.
Seeing too much too clearly easily leads to a world-weary attitude. Journalists may oscillate between an aloof superiority from which they criticize, and the grimy guilt that comes from turning their pitiless honesty upon their own imperfect selves. Clarity needs another metaskill to manage it. Compassion can help sustain and renew the task of repeatedly seeing oneself and others in the nakedness of truth. Compassion begins with the deep and repeated awareness of one's own web of self-delusion and imperfection, learning to look upon one's lumpiness gently, kindly. From this self-kindness, one can learn to look upon others kindly— not ignoring anything, not softening their failures, not ignoring their destructiveness. Seeing it all, seeing it clearly, seeing it from the perspective of the other person, and feeling compassion. Compassion requires clear seeing, and clarity of vision can be sustained through compassion. Read Less