Meet Kelsey Guerra, the new coordinator for Influence Lab Women Nashville!
Bio: Kelsey grew up acting professionally in Hollywood, signing with her first agent at the age of seven. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from Vanguard University and pursued a Broadway, TV, and Film career in New York upon graduating. Her work eventually brought her back to Hollywood, where she co-founded thisishardtoread Productions and is an award-winning producer, writer, and actor on the award-winning feature comedy/mockumentary film, RE-OPENING. Favorite career highlights include LIFE PARTNERS (Tribeca & Sundance Film Festival), BLACK NOVEMBER, THE VERONICA MARS MOVIE (Vivica Fox), PAN AM (ABC), ROYAL PAINS (USA), and BAD TEACHER (CBS).
Kathleen Cooke: Tell us about you! What’s your story, and what do you do in the media and entertainment industry?
Kelsey Guerra: I am co-founder of thisishardtoread Productions with my husband, and we create comedies with heart. I’m a producer, writer, director, and actor – not necessarily all at the same time!
Kathleen: How and why have you gotten involved with Influence Lab Women as the new Nashville Chapter Coordinator?
Kelsey: I recently moved to the greater Nashville area from L.A./Hollywood for the main purpose of collaborating with like-minded industry professionals. I was tired of waiting for some “big break” that would never come, and after producing my own feature film during the pandemic, I realized that Hollywood and the industry is so much bigger than the box we put it in, and Nashville was the place where I felt called to create a movement with people who felt the same way.
Kathleen: When is the Influence Lab Women Nashville launch, and what’s happening?
Kelsey: We are going to start with a small gathering of women at the end of October who are excited to get involved with our mission – to bring women in the industry together who want to encourage, uplift, and empower each other. Let’s get to know each other and bring together others who would like to have a local community of creators and industry professionals.
Reach out to me at: email@example.com if you would like to be a part of the group. Once we have a core group of women, we can expand our reach to others who would also like to join us for a larger launch in January 2023.
I’m thrilled to give you the very first COO Update.
Our INW family is growing!
We have doubled the number of chapters nationally, and joining Hollywood and Atlanta will be Nashville (October) and Orange County (November). Kathleen and I cannot wait to introduce you to our amazing Chapter Coordinators, Kelsey Cooke (Nashville) and Cyndi Galley (Orange County). If you would like to get connected to one of our local chapters, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New ways to get plugged in!
From webinars and virtual bible studies to casual in-person gatherings and professional networking brunches, we’ve been working hard to give you options and opportunities to build your community and network! Check out our INW Calendar, and get plugged in!
Based in Los Angeles, The Influence Lab kicked off its new Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s chapter with a meeting featuring Netflix showrunner Sheryl J. Anderson of the hit series “Sweet Magnolias.”
Los Angeles, CA (June 16, 2022) – Cofounded by media executives Phil and Kathleen Cooke with a vision to transform culture through media, the Los Angeles-based The Influence Lab extended its impact this past week with the inaugural meeting of the Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s chapter. The in-person June event featured Sheryl J. Anderson, creator and showrunner of the Netflix hit series, “Sweet Magnolias.”
Called the “Hollywood of the South,” Atlanta is a growing hub of film and television production with tax incentives drawing in major Hollywood productions and new studios. With the growing film crew base comes a need for community, which was one of the compelling reasons to launch the new Influence Lab Atlanta Women’s chapter. Anderson’s Netflix show is filming in Atlanta and presented an opportunity to have the seasoned showrunner speak at the event.
“Remember we are living on God’s schedule,” Sheryl encouraged the attending female actors, producers, directors and crew members based in Atlanta. “Figure out your path in this industry and it will come to pass in God’s time.” In an industry that can be prone to “people-pleasing” to advance your career, she admonished the women, “You can never please others at the expense of yourself or your work.”
Flying in from Los Angeles for the event, Kathleen Cooke was accompanied by Influence Lab Women Events director Ayanna Anene. Anna Oakley, the Influence Lab Atlanta Women coordinator and representatives of the Hollywood Prayer Network in Atlanta opened the evening in prayer.
“We heard thank you’s over and over again,” shared Kathleen Cooke after the gathering. “There’s a growing community of women who want to align their faith as they work in the new Atlanta ‘Hollywood South’ industry.”
Watch for the replay of the Atlanta meeting at https://influencelab.com For more information about the Atlanta Influence Lab Women’s chapter or the Hollywood Influence Lab Women’s base, contact email@example.com.
This week we launch a new Influence Lab Women chapter in Atlanta. As we embark on this new adventure starting June 10th, I was reminded of Jesus as He told His future disciples to throw their nets to the “other side of the boat”. They had been fishing all night and had not caught one fish because they were casting their nets to the wrong side of the boat. Jesus wanted them to learn how to cast their nets in the right direction, and in partnership with Him.
We often miss opportunities because we keep throwing our nets out to the same place, where most fish aren’t swimming anymore. When talking about Hollywood, most outsiders think that you have to live here or in New York to make it in the industry as a professional. This might have been true in the past, but not today. These past hubs of media and entertainment and the arts have spread to many new and thriving media cities. Many longtime Hollywood professionals are moving out and into these new cities – Atlanta being one. Seeing this change has stirred my heart and I am thrilled that The Influence Lab is casting its net outside of California.
As a Christian industry professional for over 30 years, I have worked and supported many different Christian ministries and groups in Hollywood. I moved to Hollywood in the 1990s when most Christians were “in the closet” with their faith. We were an unwelcome remnant of believers. But we were called to make a difference and see lives changed by bringing God’s love to those working in the business. Over the years, I have seen the few grow to be hundreds, and now even thousands of believers in Hollywood. Today, I am seeing more top celebrities affirming their faith and it’s exciting. Those of us who committed our lives to not only our industry careers, but to the lives of others, grew stronger in the ability to “defend our faith”, as the Bible calls us to do. When COVID-19 shut down Hollywood production, the Christians ramped up and ran into the storm by producing and creating more content than even secular media and entertainment at one point.
But now Hollywood Christians are moving out. We have seen a vast migration out of California and across the U.S. in the past few years, which ultimately opened the door to launch The Influence Lab Women chapter in Atlanta. We are joining other Hollywood ministries that have also launched chapters in Atlanta—like our friends at The Hollywood Prayer Network and Master Media, both of which I have served and supported for many years. The Hollywood Christian remnant community is launching into deeper waters. They are bringing the light of Jesus to production sets and offices throughout the U.S. I invite you to pray for us and God’s remnant in the industry, support the work of The Influence Lab, and join us in-person at our upcoming events!
Cast your net with us on the other side of the boat!
If you are in the Atlanta area, join us for Influence Lab Atlanta Women on June 10th!
Joy! Joy! Joy! We are celebrating to announce The Influence Lab Women’s Christmas Gathering! It’s been almost two years since we’ve been able to meet due to the pandemic and we’re excited to meet again and see your smiling faces (masks optional).
Are you able to talk about your faith and the hope you have within? Are you ready to answer probing questions from a Hollywood industry searching for happiness?
Join Influence Lab co-founder and media executive Kathleen Cooke with guests Bel Air Executive Pastor Kim Dorr-Tilley (former Hollywood talent agent!) and actress-producer Jessica Oyelowo as we explore ways you can share your faith in Hollywood and celebrate the joy we have in Christ Jesus!
When: December 9, 2021
Time: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Where: Bel Air Church, 16221 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Cost: Free event – donations appreciated!
Register for this special Christmas event now.
(Hurry – seats are limited!)
Appetizers will be served and we invite you to give a generous gift to help support the work of The Influence Lab. A donation will be welcomed at the door or you can give to The Influence Lab here.
This Christmas ring in redemptive love, grace and freedom. Join us for the Influence Lab Women’s Christmas Gathering in Los Angeles. Find out more about our speakers and register here.
“…if anyone asks about the hope living within you, always be ready to explain your faith with gentleness and respect.” (1 Peter 3:15)