Contact Us   |   Your Cart   |   Sign In   |   Register
Community Search
The Entrepreneurial Life
Blog Home All Blogs
Search all posts for:   


View all (44) posts »

Rediscovering Life

Posted By Ester Venouziou, Saturday, October 29, 2011
Dawn Lawrence left the corporate world in 2007, after her contract work through temp agencies ended.

She put her things in storage, packed her bags and went to visit relatives in far-flung places, relatives she hadn't been able to see before because there just wasn't any time, juggling life around her work.

"It was liberating and scary at the same time as I hadn't done much of the traveling people do after high school in an effort to 'find themselves' since I was married at a young age and a mother early," Dawn says.  "I found myself doing that in my late 40s."

Dawn also spent much time reading. She took up books including Julia Cameron's  The Artist's Way, to coax back the creativity she had put in a time capsule and buried when I decided I needed to be "practical." She took up classes that encouraged her to try new things, or to rediscover her passions.

She started thinking about singing, something she had given up by the time she was 20. Before that, singing had always been a big part of her life.

"It had never occurred to me to tell anyone I was a singer even though I sang in church at least weekly every year of my life from the age of 10," Dawn says.

So one night she was at O'Maddy's in Gulfport, and decided to try out karaoke. Someone from the bar next door, Gulfport on the Rocks, heard Dawn sing and invited her to sing at their jam nights.

After a couple of times, she was hooked. She started performing at jam nights throughout Tampa Bay. And about a year she started writing songs, too. And then she taught herself to play the guitar.

And then, about  a year ago, her first AUDITION with a pro level band called Crossroads, an Eric Clapton tribute.  She was asked to join the band, and her first show was December 2010 at Jannus Live in St. Petersburg.

'The group of positive, supportive friends who had encouraged me to dream big (as they did!) were there to cheer us on, up close to the stage and I can hear them in the videos and see them in the photos taken of that night," Dawn says. One of those there that night had a dream of starting a local Internet station dedicated to the arts and focusing on this area. And that dream, too, is now a reality; on Central Avenue in St Petersburg.

"I still have a lot of belongings in storage five years later and may never live in a place with three bedrooms and garage again." Dawn says. "I drive a car that is dependable but old. There has been a bankruptcy and foreclosure. ...

"But I have all I really need in an apartment with my husband."

These days, Dawn couldn't be happier.

" I have tried a lot of things that did not pay off and a lot of things that have taught me valuable lessons but I would have done NONE of this if my whole life were tangled up in  full-time employment for someone else," she says. "I had been someone who spent home time thinking and worrying about the job and what would have happened if ...

"Well, a lot DID happen ... and I'm still writing that story."

Dawn Lawrence, vocalist, can be contacted through Reverbnation at

Are you starting over after a layoff? We want to hear your story! Please email us at, and include your story and contact info. We will try to include as many stories as possible in future blogs.

Ester Venouziou, founder of and co-founder of Gulfport! Magazine, is available for freelance projects: writing, editing, design or social media. She can be reached at or 727.637.5586.

Tags:  dawn lawrence  Gulfport  Jannus Live  life after a layoff  O'Maddy's  tribute to Eric Clapton 

Share |
Permalink | Comments (0)