Homeschooling, Homebound, & The Tiger King? A Literal Trifecta Of A Quarantine Craziness…

This morning my concerned son, also a new father, worriedly me if “anything like this has happened before?” He was referring to the world today.

Not in my lifetime has nearly everyone other than essential employees being told to stay home has ever occurred.

My twin sister is currently trying to wake the twins up for homeschooling and Netflix used a worldwide quarantine to create a Tiger King frenzy of viewers.

I don’t watch television as a whole as I’m usually working seven days a week.

But, my niece and my twin sister both told me “you have got to see this show!”

It’s rare for anyone in my family to advise me to tune in. I’m not accustomed to laying around watching television but this “Tiger King train wreck” was too hard to to pass up.

First, I did some research about Joe though. If this guy was really as flamboyant portrayed, I knew that someone somewhere had come across him in the entertainment industry.

If you had told me “that someone” would be our former production company, GCF (Good Clean Fun), I wouldn’t have believed it. But, Jason has an eye for big characters.

Sadly, most of Hollywood would find Joe Exotic “too controversial.” How would you pitch this guy to a network? Honey Boo Boo and Mama June pale in comparison to the wild ride of Joe Exotic.

The crazy outfits, the wild attitude, hating his competition, having two husbands, an employee that gets an arm bit off AND returns to work? Wow.

Between answering emails of alarmed clients concerned about their licenses expiring waiting on the shut down of prisons to lift, I found time to view the sizzle reel filmed by Good Clean Fun.

The fact that Cindy and I knew everyone at GCF since they had filmed our sizzle reel and subsequent television pilot made this Tiger King sizzle reel filmed by them far more intriguing to me. After all, we spent a year with the team at GCF. Filming the sizzle, Skype calls, filming the pilot, voice over calls and more.

We knew our production company people at GCF and we liked them. While we didn’t love the pilot, we rolled with the punches.

Jason was before his time finding a character that even the best writers could never create. Truth is stranger than fiction.

No frankenbiting here. It wasn’t needed with a guy so far out there that he wanted to be president.

The story and the characters are so shocking that I called Cindy and said “Hey, GCF found this guy and filmed a sizzle. I wonder how that pitch meeting must’ve gone?”

Was it “hey we found this wild guy living at a zoo who is so outlandish and passionate that there has to be a series here. He would make Billy The Exterminator look mild by comparison.”

The Networks..”Umm well this guy and his life are too controversial for television. What would the sponsors think?”

Netflix… “Everyone is stuck at home under quarantine. Now would be the time to air that Tiger King series.”

A lot of folks don’t know what a sizzle reel is so I will explain. The variations of filming for Cindy and I verses Joe Exotic are remarkably different.

How so? We filmed at GCF while Joe filmed from his zoo. Why? He wouldn’t leave.

We were in California filming for Hot Bench. Kristen and Kjerstin had found us on LinkedIn about a month before we were scheduled to film “Don’t Call Me Bridezilla” on Hot Bench.

The timing of flying to LA to film Hot Bench made going to GCF to film the sizzle convenient as I had asked the travel coordinator for Hot Bench to extend our travel plans. I do this all the time when filming. The network wants to fly you in and out. You explain you will pay your own hotel beyond the network and extend your travel plans. The coordinator changes your flight for you.

Kristen had sent an email which was how we wound up under contract for Pawning Planners.

Here is how it went “My name is Kristen and I’m with a production company in Los Angeles. Would you be interested in a show about your business?”

Between GCF and Taillight, Discovery had called me first from Beverly Hills. I was at the doctor when the call came in to schedule a Skype call. I had never used Skype and had no idea what they expected. I was advised to “show my big personality.” Whatever the Hell that meant. Because I had just moved and didn’t have wifi set up. The connection issues and my frustration made that Skype call with Carmen at Discovery a bust.

But, other production companies would come and go. I’m now an expert at Skype. I don’t need anyone telling me to show them “my big personality” either. I’m myself and not acting. I don’t need to act.

Taillight came after Discovery. Good Clean Fun came after Tailight. There have been so many others after GCF that it’s easy to lose track.

I’ve learned to have the production companies pay travel though. You learn along the way. If you don’t learn, travel can become really expensive!

The Hot Bench episode came in the midst of production companies and networks calling me. It’s a long story about that Bridezilla ya all. She lied to get a police discount and was 2 hours late to her own wedding. That wedding was a train wreck. A Tardy Party Bride Who Lied. By the way, I won the case on Hot Bench.

Since we would be in California filming Hot Bench, I told Kristen we would be in LA and she invited us to go to GCF.

It was there at GCF that our interview for the sizzle was filmed. It would be edited and added to before we were sent a link to the sizzle. Here it is… The Pawning Planners.

Watching this for the first time from the Office Max parking lot in Weatherford, Cindy and I didn’t know what a sizzle was. The text from Kristen said “here’s the sizzle.”

We clicked the link and watched from our phones the interview in LA that had been edited. We watched in stunned silence. We watched it again. And again. And again. We were shocked.

Would we talk about anything? Yes. Did we want personal conversations on film passed around to networks? No. But we weren’t in control of the edits.

How long were we on film in the GCF offices? I have no idea about an hour I guess. We talked about our lives, our families and our clients. We had merged Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create a barter option, The Pawning Planners.

Were there things on the sizzle we wish there weren’t? Absolutely. But a sizzle is meant to grab the networks attention. The talent has no say in the editing of the sizzle or the pilot. I will get to the pilot in a minute.

Let’s look at the sizzle created by GCF for Joe Exotic. Did he want roadkill in his sizzle? Probably not. But the sizzle is at the production companies discretion. The sizzle for Joe was recently uploaded. Who uploaded it to his YouTube channel? Who knows but he had the film and he had the film because GCF sent it to him.

How do I know? Because I have the sizzle and pilot film for Pawning Planners. It was sent to me too. I have and have had both the sizzle reel film and the pilot episode film discs for five years now.

Before we jump in and watch this tantalizing sizzle, I cannot in a million years imagine Joe flying to LA and walking in to GCF to film a sizzle. It would be similar to Billy The Exterminator strolling down Hollywood Blvd. These types of characters don’t blend in anywhere.

Joe must’ve told GCF to come to him. Here we go kids and buckle up for one of the craziest sizzle reels I’ve seen… Joe Exotic Sizzle Reel.

The filming of Joe’s sizzle reel obviously took far longer to film. Why? Our sizzle had footage edited into it from stock video and ironically footage from Taillight TV for their project with us, Texas Twins TV, that had been uploaded to Vimeo from one of the two people hired to film Cindy and I in Fort Worth, Sean Percer.

Chris Watson and Sean Percer filmed Cindy and I at home, at the TCGPWA parade and at the Rainbow Lounge for a sizzle with Taillight.

Kristen had asked “if I had any film to send to GCF?” I asked Sean and Chris and Sean had a Vimeo video link that I sent to Kristen.

The video from Rainbow Lounge was used in the sizzle, Pawning Planners.

The footage from Rainbow Lounge was commissioned by Taillight which I found odd since it wasn’t my film to begin with.

But I didn’t question my production company. Maybe they had asked Sean or Tailight to use the film? Who knows?

The footage of Joe is obviously shot on site. There was no stock footage rolled into his sizzle.

I remember Jason having Kristen call me to advise me “we were needed in LA to attend pitch meetings.”

For folks who don’t know what a pitch meeting is, I will elaborate. The sizzle reel is used to pitch the networks.

If the networks have interest, they schedule a pitch meeting. I asked “who is paying for travel?” I was told “you are.” Well then.

I made travel and hotel accommodations to fly to LA and attend pitch meetings with Cindy.

Cindy and I flew to LA (at our own expense) to attend two pitch meetings with our production company.

The first was at Lifetime. The second was at TLC. Lifetime gave a green light and plans to film the pilot in Texas were made a few months later.

Why no one gave Joe a green light is odd. This guy was so wacky that the only person I could even compare him to was Billy The Exterminator or Dog The Bounty Hunter.

But who sponsor such a show of controversy? Caged animals are controversial.

Carol and a disappearing husband? There’s mystery, animosity, intrigue and a wide array of characters going on in this series that you can’t stop watching.

While Netflix took a gamble on rolling with the punches, they took a risk that paid off.

As for GCF, Jason saw something there but the timing just wasn’t right in my opinion. He had an eye for talent. He had a vision for drawing you into the characters. He was ahead of his time with Joe Exotic.

How this Joe guy went unnoticed for as long as he did is anyone’s guess. He was “out there.”

Rumors are circulating that Joe is at FMC in Fort Worth, Texas. I have been to FMC a number of times to officiate Inmate ceremonies.

I perform state, federal and ICE as well as county jail weddings. My twin sister does too as does my niece.

A number of people may view my clients as controversial. Others don’t. I have a mixed bag of clients from Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners and TDCJ Officiant.

Like Joe having fans and critics, I also think have people who might disagree with inmate marriage or LBGT marriage but I accept being controversial because my goal and my role is unbiased.

I don’t ask why my clients are marrying an inmate or why someone is incarcerated. Why? It’s none of my business. My business is to plan and execute religious ceremonies and services. My twin sister and I have found a way to help anyone regardless of their income.

Did this make us different? Maybe. Did our passion to give others the Dream Event we didn’t have require thinking outside the box? Absolutely. All of these years later, we are stronger than ever. Busier than ever and aware of how television works.

If you don’t fit a certain mold and let’s face it Joe didn’t, your story may never be told. Netflix took a gamble but it’s a gamble that paid off for them.

As I review a number of emails from clients who are on hold awaiting confirmed and cancelled dates at TDCJ Units, the Executive Order issued yesterday is pertaining to county and municipal jails regarding release.

For those of you who haven’t seen this Tiger King series, if you are stuck at home like many of us are, it’s worth tuning into…

Passion Is The Plow That Pushes Dreams Into Reality…Prisons, People & Places.

The holidays are “that time of the year” when holiday parties can bring out a few unexpected conversations after one too many. Loose lips sink ships. I never drink too much or have the desire to do so. There isn’t anything glamorous or funny about people who cannot handle their liquor. A glass of wine occasionally or one vodka martini on a bad day are my limit. I rarely drink even one drink on location but occasionally have based on the situation. Certain clients insist I share a celebratory cocktail or highball and I oblige. 

Corporate Christmas parties always bring the chaos. Why? Free flowing alcohol. Whether I’m working the event or a guest at my husbands Christmas gathering for work, there’s always that one employee who “wants to know more” about the person sitting next to them. Or, there’s at least one person who should have stopped at two drinks. A combination of both always proves for an enlightening conversation. 

I was recently at a corporate Christmas party where I was asked “what do I do?” The person seated next to me was talkative and entertaining but my answer sent her into a laughing fit.

This question about “what I do” comes up frequently. It’s changed from “where do you work?” 

Describing what I do to people who either have an opinion regarding inmate marriage or are unaware that inmate marriage exists can get a few less than tactful responses from the person asking me. 

My usual answer? “I own several businesses and work as a coordinator, Officiant and also barter event services as well as perform prison weddings in numerous states.” The last part is always surprising to the person asking if they don’t follow me on social media or read my blogs. My statement is either met with shocked silence or in this weeks scenario, a laugh from the person asking me an intrusive question such as “what do I do?” A better question would be “what don’t you do?” 

Not caring what others think about what I do or who I do it with is the most liberating gift that I have ever given myself. Let’s get started with “how I got here.” Years ago, I was successful in high end sales, print and commercial modeling and promotions. Years ago, my life was spent on the set, the sales floor or traveling. Years ago, I was always working and spending little time with my family. Years ago, I was working for the man to pay my bills. Years ago, someone laughing at my profession would bother me. It doesn’t anymore. 

I don’t care what others think about my job or my clients. I have the time to spend with my family that my jobs took from me for all of those years. I work for myself. I set my own schedule. I’m highly sought after in the events industry and I regularly turn down gigs with “traditional clients.” Why? Because I don’t HAVE to work. I haven’t HAD TO WORK in many years. 

I’m often “recognized” as is my twin sister. “I saw you on TV.” Or, “I saw you in an ad for Cadillac.” Or, “weren’t you in those commercials for Whataburger with Mel Tillis?” The answer is yes, I’ve been in the film industry since I was a teen. 

I’ve been a promotional model for thirty years and I’ve filmed five commercials with Mel Tillis. For the record, my favorite burger isn’t from Whataburger. It’s from Kincaids. I’m nothing if not blatantly honest. 

How did I get from Whataburger commercials to high end sales and promotional modeling? Good question. I began modeling in my 20’s to obtain an upscale wardrobe I couldn’t afford to buy. I then used my wardrobe to become a high end sales person. You’ve got to “look the part” and, I did. During the week back then, I worked a wide variety of weird jobs but on weekends I was a model for numerous brands. I preferred to get clothing rather than a paycheck. 

Modeling for clothes? It was a barter and a great deal for me. I have closets full of designer clothing and none of it was bought. In fact, my son modeled with me for Stripling & Cox a number of years and was the best dresssed kid in Fort Worth. Those mommy and me style shows kept my son in school clothes year after year. Those years on the catwalk at country clubs provided me an amazing wardrobe of clothing, furs and jewelry. The experience also taught me that I could sell anything. “How did Cadillac come into the picture?” Buckle up kids… during my second divorce my ex husband sold my car. I needed a vehicle, insurance and income. I became a Cadillac salesperson. 

To generate clients I hired a photographer and paid for print ads targeting consumers who could afford Cadillacs at the very same country clubs I had walked the catwalk at. True story. 

Experience is a great teacher. I knew where the money was and where to market. The county club had the clients who could afford Cadillac products.

Moving into an industry I had no experience at? Why not? Selling myself as a high end salesperson was easy. I knew that luxury car dealerships provided demos. I needed a car, health insurance and income. I decided to pitch myself at a local dealership. 

After all, I had sold furs, jewelry, designer clothing and even solar panels. How hard could it be to flip luxury cars? I’ve never sold anything I wouldn’t buy and I would have bought a Cadillac if I could have afforded one so I was all set to start selling. 

I decorated my office off the showroom floor and studied my manuals. I passed my GM certification courses. I also spent time wondering how to generate new clients.

Finding a client base took creativity but I did. Cadillac gave me everything I needed. I had a free demo, gas, health insurance and an income. I decided to run ads featuring myself with a different car every month at country clubs. I was investing in myself. It takes money to make money. I needed the “right clients” and found them. What I did had never been done before by a salesperson in the car industry. I was a pioneer. 

My ex was shocked at how I went from nothing to something. My ex was also one of the many country club members viewing my ads month after month. Smiling back at him from those glossy brochures making more money than I ever imagined? Absolutely. 

That smile was real folks. I wasn’t a hangar anymore hawking or flipping for clothes. My game literally stepped up for those Cadillac ads. Coordinating evening gowns? You bet from my years as a model. I have closets of options. 

In the ad below I decided to wear a chocolate gown rather than match the car. Who didn’t want an XLR? What a great car the XLR was! I loved them. I could sell anything I believed in and did.Poverty is a great teacher. If you don’t learn you will never earn. Successful people don’t start out successful unless they are lucky. I have never been lucky but I have always been resilient. Trial and error are essential to success.

I’m a survivor. I also think outside the box. Other salesmen laughed at my ads. I laughed all the way to the bank. 

I left Cadillac on top. I retired from car sales. I left laughing and moved on to my next adventure. Years of car sales, classy demos and fantastic paychecks was a wild ride but I was ready to move on. Everyone knows I’m an identical twin. This isn’t a news flash. My twin sister has been raising her twin granddaughters since birth. We are two sets of twins. 

While working for Cadillac, I even put my twin and twin grandnieces in one of my Cadillac ads for Escalades. “Got a big family? Get an Escalade!” 

I sold the $hit out of Escalades with that two sets of twins ad posted in the Ridglea and Colonial Country Club monthly brochures. The twins are now fifteen years old. 

My twin is my partner at Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures, The Pawning Planners and TDCJ Officiant.When I decided to start Texas Twins Events, Cindy and the Twins joined me on location at events and clients hired the twin as flower girls, ring bearers and ushers. This was a surprise. Taking our kids to work became a family affair.

For tips or flips, the twins loved being in weddings. They now book as princess characters for birthday parties. Within a week of going LIVE with Texas Twins Events, production companies started contacting me. This was shocking because my goal wasn’t to get famous. We filmed a Pilot for The Pawning Planners in 2015. It went with the smallest minority of our actual bookings though and our focus was helping others not filming. We don’t have any interest of fabricating our embellishing our journey or our clients.

My goal was to find a way to spend time with my family while making Events affordable to our clients. Any client. Any event. Any location. 

We welcomed diversity. Narrow minded people had opinions. Those “opinions” were THEIR luggage and THEIR trip. “What percentage of your clients are LBGT?” This idiotic question along with others used to bother me. Why? Because the person asking wasn’t supportive of my client base. 

I was the first openly LBGT friendly vendor. While everyone else was hiding their affiliation with LBGT clients fearful of backlash, I was openly LBGT friendly. All of my businesses are LBGT friendly.My first prison client all of those years ago came to me because I welcomed diversity. She had seen me on a news interview regarding support of the LBGT community. She knew I was open minded and she was right. My first Prison wedding was to help a person no one else wanted to help. 

The CW33 interview was aired on numerous stations. Cindy and were in Dallas when I was hijacked by a reporter for that interview. Two sets of twins caught his attention. The fact that we weren’t LBGT was why he stuck a microphone in my face and said “roll it.” 

Even members of my family voiced their disdain for our client bases over the years and effectively cut themselves from my life. I didn’t care about opinions. 

Those family members didn’t lift a finger when Cindy and I were homeless at 15. We had no one but each other to lean on and did. Those “family members” never once helped my sister or I. We had each other and a new family. Our clients became that family.

Prison weddings evolved from a creative request for services. I perform up to 20 prison weddings per month. 

I prefer prison weddings. There aren’t any divas or drama. There is love. There is resilience. There are happy endings. There is life after lock up. My clients are amazing!

“Why did you and Cindy go to the expense to create your own inventory of photo props? Why do you do photo shoots with clients?” Prison photos aren’t always great and guests in Texas aren’t allowed. 

Photo shoots bring the fun, the flowers, the tiaras, the family and magical moments. I’ve spent thousands on my inventory but it’s worth every penny to clients because my SUVs are treasure troves of fun stuff. 

I became the person I wanted to meet. I became the mother I never had. My twin sister and I continue to change the wedding and events industry one family or barter at a time from Fort Worth, Texas. We love our clients and our role to make their Dream Event a reality. Many of you recently saw us on the Mel Robbins show regarding “over sharing.” We are driven and passionate. What was cut from that interview and effectively missed was my explanation of why I was excited a new baby was coming though Cindy already had a full house and was raising her twin granddaughters when a call from her oldest daughter planning to come home pregnant on a one way ticket came in.

Cindy was excited to have another baby coming and posted the update on FB. Cindy offering to take her daughter in with a baby on the way gives you far more insight on how we had decided that with “two of us we could handle anything.” We do everything together including raising our children and grandchildren.

Little Maddy rode with us to Units and jumped into client photos for three years and nearly four before her father returned to the states. Leigh Ann, Maddy and Alex are now reunited in California. We miss Maddy and FaceTime  daily. We are flying to see them in a few weeks while working destination weddings in California. 

Our little Maddy is a ray of sunshine. Leigh Ann is homesick and excited about our twin trip to visit. We are honest and open. We don’t care what others think. Their opinions or negativity don’t enrich our lives. They have “limits” to what they think is controversial or acceptable. 

I was told a few years ago by a production company “what you do is just too controversial.” Really? They contacted me. I’m not going to change who I am or what I do to fit it someone’s mold of what they think I should be or do. My clients are more important than the opinions of strangers.

What Cindy and I have is each other and a desire to change the way people perceive our clients and their relationships. What we have accomplished is giving our clients the event they wanted with the kindness, compassion and attention that they deserved… 

Rolling Down The Highway. Timelines, Deadlines & Too Many Commitments…

Yesterday got off with a bang when my son went to pick up my husband’s recliner from Choates Upholstery while I waited on a FB connection to pick up the other recliner Cindy and I had bought to effectively sneak my husbands recliner out of the house. 

For my dedicated readers well aware of my husband’s eyesore chair, you know that for two years now I’ve tried everything to replace this worn out old thing. 

I’ve tried shopping for a new one. I’ve tried begging him to part with it for 7-10 days and I finally tried buying another one just to get it moved and refurbished. Ugh. 

Wanting the newly refurbished recliner “perfect,” I had bought upscale fabric at $39 a yard and even the foam. I wanted it firm so I could at least have a few years of my husband not grabbing throw pillows from around the house to “pad it.” I wanted the leg areas built up where my husband had duct tapped his own foam (bought at Hobby Lobby) and I was willing to pay whatever it took to get this job done right. I was sick and tired of his embarrassing old chair and determined to do something about it.

Many of you are aware that Cindy and I also own The Pawning Planners and occasionally barter and flip items taken in trade at Texas Twins Treasures. My furniture redesigns sell worldwide. 

In a home where I cherish my many treasures, that recliner had to go or it had to get refurbished. I don’t love refurbishing furniture. Doing so is an expensive endeavor. On the fabric alone for that haggard old recliner, I spent $379. The cost to Mr Choates to upholster it? $395. 

My son moved the temporary recliner that Cindy and I had bought last week downstairs and I sent a message to Barbara to pick it up. After posting a photo on FB that I would be putting a barely used recliner outside for pick up, a flood of messages had come in but Barbara had contacted me first and effectively had “first dibs.”

While waiting on my son to return with my husbands “new to him” recliner, I called Allred Unit to reschedule a booking on 12-18 because I was already scheduled at Buster Cole at the same time. 

The distance between Allred and Cole is 2 hours and forty five minutes. Since the chaplain at Buster Cole is on paternity leave, a visiting chaplain had scheduled me at 2PM rather than my usual early morning 9AM which gives me time to travel to Tennessee Colony or other Units including Allred in the afternoon. 

I’d had a call about “a date” at Allred Unit from someone that I had spoke to months ago. The problem? She didn’t book services and wasn’t on my roster. I cannot and will not bump a booked client so I had to notify Allred of a reschedule then give the new date to the person I had spoke to about six months ago in order to accommodate my Buster Cole client who had booked in September. 

Let’s go over “line jumping.” If I’ve talked to you, emailed you or texted you, you ARE NOT A CLIENT. Unless you’ve followed my booking procedure and signed a contract as well as paid your deposit, you are also NOT ON MY BOOKS. I do not advertise. I limit bookings to ensure availability. 

Calling me about a date at any Unit with my existing schedule when you haven’t paid your deposit or signed a contract is a continuing problem. You will be rescheduled and rolled into my roster when you meet the terms of my booking procedure and not “bumped to the front of the line” because you’ve either assumed my availability or thought you didn’t need to follow my protocol. 

Allred Unit is located near Wichita Falls in Iowa Park. The unit only schedules weddings on Wednesday’s. Every other Wednesday at 1PM. Due to their location and the fact that they only schedule at a set time with no flexibility, it’s darn near impossible to stack another Unit unless the other Unit will schedule at 9AM and they are within 3 hours of Allred. 

Unlike my other Units where I can move from Tennessee Colony to Huntsville or Huntsville to Polunsky or Lewis Units on the same day, Allred is almost always a one Unit day. Roach is within 2.5 hours of Allred but that’s a really tight window. I prefer to do Allred and call it a day. 1PM effectively kills the timeline to do anything anywhere else unless the other Unit will schedule in the morning and is within 3 hours max of Allred. 

My son returned with the recliner. It looked great until I sat in it. The seat pad was too soft and there was little if any padding on the leg areas. Damn it. $800 later, this recliner still won’t make my husband happy. I send my son to buy two more yards of fabric. I measure the seat and leg areas and go to the upholstery guy down the street and order a new seat pad and leg cushions with straps. Cost? $212 for labor $96 for fabric. Husbands reaction? Priceless. After twenty years with Mr Choates, it’s time for a change. I was very specific about what I wanted and he didn’t listen. Ugh. 

Refurbishing furniture is EXPENSIVE. Cindy won’t flip furniture due to the expense. She only barters quick flips.

Last year, my daughter in law told me her grandmother had an old sofa and since “I love to redo furniture” she volunteered my talents. I volunteered the cost. “Stephanie, tell your grandmother that she will need 8-10 yards of fabric and 5-700 dollars for labor.” I don’t love redoing furniture. I flip furniture for a profit. 

Leaving the other upholsterer, I take my son to lunch before heading to the Tarrant County Clerks Office to file Sonja’s license and request a certified copy I drop in the mail to her. I then head to Dallas County Clerks Office to meet Tasha and Keandra to sign a duplicate license. I married them September 14, 2019 and filed the license via certified priority mail and it was recorded then mailed from the clerk to my clients but never arrived. We’ve been trying to coordinate to meet at the clerks office for months now.

Leaving Dallas, I head to change clothes and wrap gifts for the McBee Christmas party at Joe T Garcia’s. My husbands coworkers are hilarious and swapped or stole gifts from each other after dinner. I always enjoy hanging out with this group.I’m up early today with indigestion because Mexican food doesn’t agree with me. I’m headed Ferguson Unit. It’s another busy weekend for this Texas Twin ya all… 

“SOME people WANT to TIE you DOWN, and EXPECT you, to PAY for the ROPE”

For over a year now, I’ve had surprise emails, texts and phone calls regarding “a date at a Unit for a wedding” with people who are trying to tie me down and expecting me to provide the rope. For “anyone out there” shocked about the blatant honesty of the “rope statement,” it should be noted that this isn’t my first rodeo. 

“WE don’t have a date if you didn’t bother to check my schedule before argreeing to a date offered to you by the Unit Chaplain.” 

Scheduling of Texas Prison Weddings generally occurs 10-14 days prior to the event. Nearly ALL Texas Units use Tuesday and Thursday as their primary dates. Whether it’s the first and fourth Thursday or second and third Tuesday, you should realize that over 100 Units in Texas use the same or similar dates. 

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s are prime time booking dates. PLEASE contact me to validate availability before emailing or texting me “WE have a date.” 

You were given a date and you assumed my availability. There is a difference. There is also a possibility that I’m already scheduled  hours away at ANOTHER UNIT ON THE SAME DAY. Communication is key and subsequently essential to my schedule.

When Cindy and I started Texas Twins Events, our goal was to give others the Dream Event that Cindy and I had never had. We wanted to create affordable options and we have. 

We have NEVER ADVERTISED. EVER. Our businesses were built on dedication and referrals from happy clients. 

Texas Twins Events was the FIRST people over profit based endeavor in the events industry. My idea to help the people no one else in this industry wanted to help have a Dream Event was based entirely on personal experience. How so? Neither Cindy or I could afford the flowers, cakes, vendors and other “fun stuff” for our own weddings years ago. My Officiant charged $450 for the wedding ceremony alone. Fees for Officiants should be affordable. 

Cindy and I both knew that affordable options were non existent. We also set out to change that. Not everyone has parents to foot the bill and we didn’t either. We became the people we had never met in an industry where prior to Texas Twins Events, the “Average Joe” had previously been forced to marry at the JP due entirely to lack of finances. 

After starting Texas Twins Events, the Average Joe called the Texas Twins instead. 

We helped anyone. We welcomed anyone and we did it at prices people could afford. There’s a reason for our success in the event business and the reason is that NOT EVERYONE has tens of thousands of dollars to throw at a Life Event. 

The majority of consumers live paycheck to paycheck. Many don’t even own a credit card. A few folks coming to us had no money at all. How could we help anyone? Even folks with no money? The Texas Twins yet again found a solution. 

Six years ago, Cindy and I merged Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to CREATE a barter option, The Pawning Planners. AGAIN, this was a FIRST.

Cindy and I are PIONEERS in the events industry. “We had effectively created a window than no one else in this industry realized existed. Cindy and I came from poverty. We knew we weren’t alone. We recognized that others had limited incomes. We fought to find a solution for them that we never found for ourselves when planning our own weddings years ago. We pitched our tents and welcomed anyone from any background.” 

I will never forget a production company executive in LA telling me “you girls are great! You have huge personalities and I love the Prison wedding angle BUT no one is really interested in helping poor people and prison weddings are controversial.” 

Hmm. Controversial. He called us. He then told us that our journey, our clients and our story weren’t “jazzy enough.” Save the fabricated storylines and frankenbiting. We don’t NEED a show. Production companies contact us frequently and have for years. The problem? Their idea and our reality are completely different. Also, unless it’s a docureality format, we have no interest. Controversial? To who? Scripted “reality TV” is controversial and it’s also not real. A group of writers sitting around a table came up with characters and personalities and then found people willing to fit their mold. I can assure you that Cindy and I are not going to fit into anyone’s mold or fabricated concept. My twin is loud, unfiltered and hilarious. She is a comedian. I’m not. I’m quiet, reflective, and organized. We are Compensating Personality Twins. Two halves literally make a whole. 

I’ve worked as a commercial and print actress but if you want me to act don’t expect me to read a script regarding my businesses or my life. There isn’t a script for a day in the life of the Texas Twins. People are unpredictable. We’ve met thousands of people over the years and can assure you that scripting their story would be impossible. 

It is tough to surprise me anymore and yet it continues to happen from production companies. “Wendy I’m casting a prison based show and need to find the talent.” Wait. What? You want me to do your job for you?! “Wendy you and Cindy would be great for TV. We need you to do over the top events though.” Really? No thanks. 

Did we realize that there were so many others out there seeking affordable options? No. But, we knew there had to be at least a few people. In fact, there were thousands. We are now national regarding inmate weddings.

Nearly three years ago, we AGAIN rebranded and expanded to offer Prison wedding services. No one including my husband or even my twin sister or even I could have guessed that inmate Officiant services would become our primary booking source? 

Prison weddings NOW compromise 85-90% of all Texas Twins Events bookings in numerous states. Upon release, previous Prison wedding clients rebook Vow Renewal Ceremonies. Repeat bookings Wendy? Absolutely! 

“Traditional” Event bookings literally became the minority rather than the majority of our bookings. We prefer real people. We prefer amazing love stories. We don’t need fluff or “over the top drama driven Divas.” THEY BELONG ON TV. Going nuts over minor details? Check. From bouncing checks to bawdy demands, if we never booked another “big event” Cindy and I wouldn’t miss it one bit. We have been there and done that for years with “affluent folks” who want it all but never want to pay for it. I turn down “traditional bookings and inquiries” on a regular basis. Daily, weekly, monthly. I no longer work as a planner for an Officiants pay either. Rich folks often “thought my entire staff came at the price of an Officiant fee.” Give me an Average Joe any day of the week! At least they are reasonable AND pay their fees. I’ve never had so much trouble getting paid as I have with “over the top” bookings. EVER. These clients are the most difficult people I’ve ever encountered. How so? I could go on and on here. After all, for years prior to prison weddings, someone would book for an Officiant then add on two photographers, set up and tear down and then balk when I issued a new contract AND a new bid. One “client” even handed my twin sister and apron to serve food? I can’t make this shit up. You don’t hire a singer and get a band. I turned my back to the choir of people contacting me and CHOSE to focus on the congregation of people who were worthy of working with instead. WHAT A RELIEF. Clients don’t interview Cindy and I anymore. We interview THEM. 

Prison Wedding Scheduling has become incredibly complicated due to a number of people putting either my name, Leigh Ann’s name or Cindy’s name on Texas I60 Request for Inmate Marriage Forms WITHOUT  retaining our services. This is a very real issue. 

UNLESS you have followed our booking process YOU are NOT a client. I refuse to advertise in order to limit bookings because we are already juggling too many booked clients and addressing new inquiries on a daily basis. 

I limit and cut off new bookings mid month every month to keep flexibility in Texas. Why? Because each Unit has only 2 days per month for a wedding ceremony available. 

Last night while walking to my gate with Cindy to return to Texas from New York, a text from Gary regarding being scheduled on September 24th came through. I was already scheduled at Ellis on the same day.

I emailed Ellis Unit to move the date and accommodate Crain Unit and Gary at 2PM. 

This morning, Gary sent another text that read “they’ve moved us up to September 10th @2PM.” What the? 

 ALARMED– I sent a text back that read “I am at 3 Units in Tennessee Colony on September 10th and confirmed these weddings with the Unit! I CANNOT MOVE CONFIRMED DATES. Tennessee Colony is three hours from Gatesville. I cannot be in Tennessee Colony and Gatesville at the same time. 

Gary sent a text that read “well that’s the date the Chaplain gave.” I called Crain. The inmate had moved the date NOT the Chaplain. I advised the Chaplain that I was already scheduled at Tennessee Colony Units and had been for weeks. Therefore, I could not and would not be at Crain when I was on schedule at Beto and Michael. 

Attention TDCJ Clients… The I60 leaves the law library to inmate records. It then leaves inmate records to Huntsville. It then leaves Huntsville to the Unit Warden. It then leaves the Warden to the Chaplain to schedule. You MUST contact me to check availability on the dates. No exceptions!

I then called Gary again to advise him that the inmate and not the Chaplain had moved the date AND I’m going to use this example with Gary to educate anyone else assuming they know my schedule that they don’t. 

Without a TDCJ Approved Officiant on site- I can assure you that your wedding WILL NOT take place. 

If an inmate isn’t having my client contact me FIRST to check my SCHEDULE you have CHOICES. First, I will refund you and wish you well if you want or expect me to cancel an EXISTING and confirmed date in order to accommodate your own. 

Secondly, if you have not paid your deposit, your date will not be confirmed. If I am unavailable because you assumed that you “knew my schedule better than I do,”  you will need to file a new I60 with Cindy as your Officiant. I cannot be in two places AT THE SAME time.

Texas Department Of Criminal Justice Clients PLEASE CONTACT ME PRIOR to choosing a date. I cannot stress this enough. Get THREE POSSIBLE DATES then call me to check availability. 

I’m juggling up to 20 Texas clients each and every month. Texas unlike my other states only has 2 available days for each unit each month. Many of these dates are the same dates as other units. 

Whether it’s every other Tuesday or Thursday which are primary booking dates or another day of the week, I can assure you that I will not move a confirmed date at ANY UNIT to accommodate you because you failed to check your day with me first. 

If Cindy and I are BOTH BOOKED at existing Units in Texas and unavailable, Leigh Ann can  fly to Texas for your TDCJ wedding but be advised that booking with Leigh Ann will incur additional travel fees. 

STOP CONTACTING me saying “we have a date” without validating the date with me first. I hate surprises. 

If you fail to contact me and check availability of or if you listed my name on an I60 without bothering to follow booking procedures, I will be forced to contact the Unit myself and cancel the date if you haven’t followed my REQUIREMENT for booking procedures and paid your deposit. 

If you are a booked client and HAVE followed my REQUIRED booking procedures, the date that “you assumed that I had available in Texas on my books” MAY or MAY NOT be available on my calendar. ASK before agreeing to a date. If you don’t run a date by me first, you are running the risk of a forced reschedule. You are doing so at your own risk. Call me. Text me. Email me. Whatever you do communicate with me.

We can easily alleviate scheduling conflicts by CONTACTING ME FIRST. GET MORE THAN ONE DATE OPTION and if you aren’t a booked client, STOP using my name and credentials to obtain a date behind my back and assume I will show up. I won’t. 

What I will do though  is contact the Unit and explain why and how you were Approved by pulling my name off the internet. Nearly ALL TDCJ Units NOW REQUIRE verification from me due to the consistent misuse of my credentials from strangers who are NOT clients pulling my name off the internet. 

“We are different. We are passionate. We are dedicated. People forget words and remember actions. We are versatile. We are open minded. We are also remembered for our dedication.”

Today’s blog will outline why I insist on my booking policies being followed. I live on timelines and deadlines. Cindy does too? A free day? We haven’t had one in years.

I assume a great deal of risk each and every time I leave my location. I could be in a car accident, my windshield could be broken, my car could break down in the middle of nowhere. If I’m taking on all of the responsibilities of getting to your Unit, you must be taking on the responsibility of booking me first. 

Who goes to Walmart and leaves with bags without paying? You don’t fill up your tank without paying for gas. No one in the Prison wedding industry drives 10-18 hours a day to provide a service without compensation. If there is an Approved, Certified or Accredited “volunteer” Prison Officiant out there, I’m wholly and entirely unaware of them. 

The Unit Chaplain cannot and will not conduct a ceremony in Texas or many other states. Obtaining an Officiant is a requirement for your Prison wedding. 

Last week, I reviewed yet another email that ludicrously stated “I just need you to conduct my ceremony. It won’t take more than 30 minutes.” Let’s review this. The Unit is hours from my location. HOURS. I cannot snap my fingers and arrive on site. I spend $1000 every 9 months on tires alone. 

I don’t risk a flat or blow out on the road. My vehicle is an investment. Without it, I obviously cannot be where I need to be. I don’t skimp on necessary components of my job description. 

The time “inside a Unit” is entirely up in the air. We don’t rush the Unit. We wait. We could wait up to 3 hours at ONE UNIT and I have. “Thirty minutes” minimizes what is required of me to such great lengths that  each and every time I see this statement, I am shocked that anyone assumes that what I do “only requires thirty minutes.” 

From having my vehicle serviced to loading my car to getting my affairs at home in order or consulting with other clients, time is the only thing in my entire life that I have far too little of. I can’t buy time. I must use my time wisely. 

Certain people must stop confusing ignorance with righteousness. Let’s review righteousness for people unaware of the term. I’m honest, I’m dedicated, I’m reliable. In this industry, experience, reliability, honesty and integrity don’t come free. If I’m dropping everything in my life to accommodate your needs, I expect you to put some skin in the game. I.E. Pay your deposit. Sign your contract. 

Run possible dates by me PRIOR to agreeing to a DATE with a Unit Chaplain. 

Certain individuals are shaking my tree without being willing to eat the fruit that falls. Arrogance speaks without forethought. 

If you are assuming that you are more important than my other clients who have adhered to my booking requirements, without retaining my services, you aren’t my first priority. 

My booked clients are and always will be my first priority. Don’t assume that I have free time on my schedule. I don’t. 

Character becomes questionable when certain individuals expect others to accommodate their needs rather than those who were already standing in line when they happened to stroll up or contact me. 

Cindy, my twin sister creates iconic quotes for Pawning Planners Apparel on a daily basis. These quotes are based on real life situations. 

Here are a few truthful insights. “Without common sense, your wealth today can become your poverty tomorrow.” There aren’t any rest areas on the road to success. I don’t take short cuts. 

“Don’t expect to cherry pick a withered branch from a barren tree. People’s generosity eventually runs out. Gratitude is the difference between appreciation and a sense of entitlement.”

Now, let’s address production companies….if you are contacting me or my twin sister for casting, “we don’t hand over our paychecks to people who didn’t earn the income.” Don’t expect us to do your job for you. 

Also, investigative journalists and casting producers wishing to disrupt my day and address your needs, your sense of urgency is YOUR luggage and not OUR trip. We are busy addressing OUR CLIENTS NEEDS. “Even baggage handlers expect a tip.” 

I am paid consultant with GLG. From marketing to consumer merchandise to luxury cars and even warranties, I get paid to share my knowledge with industry leaders.

People constantly ask me “how did you come up with this idea and make it work without ever advertising? Tell me how I can do what you did.” Hmm, hey buddy, why would create competition that doesn’t exist? Answer? I won’t and don’t. 

BUY OUR book. It’s going to be chock full of surprises, twists, drama, real life people, stories and adventures. No one could fabricate a journey like ours in a million years. 

“We had an idea. A concept to create a business to help people no one else would. Others thought we were crazy. No one cared enough to help low to middle income families have a Life Event. What we wanted and strived be to do for others had never been done before. Effectively, we took coal and squeezed into a diamond. We became the people we had never met. Along the way, we met amazing families. We had inspiring adventures and the time to spend together that our former careers had taken from us. Our success is literally an amazing story.”

Truth beats the shit out of scripted “faux reality” any day of the week. Our story is genuine, riveting and real. But no one told us how to succeed. Most people laughed. We do the laughing now. 

If you aren’t passionate, driven and determined I can assure you that you don’t have the stamina to be me. Cindy and I make a helluva team. We are scrappy and resourceful but most of all– we HAVE NEVER BEEN LAZY. Lazy people might get lucky now and then but luck doesn’t last. Perseverance does.

I am also an expert in the wedding industry and the most knowledgeable Prison wedding Officiant you will ever encounter. I know Prison policy and procedure within each and every state I conduct ceremonies within. No, I didn’t “wake up one” day with this knowledge. Instead, I educated myself and continue to educate myself at my own expense. If you need something from me, get your checkbook out. My time isn’t free. I get paid to talk and people listen. I don’t get paid to listen to people pitching me. Networks do. Go pitch them. Schedule a meeting. 

“We just need to talk to you about an idea or concept.” We are BUSY. Email and schedule your Skype or conference call at OUR CONVENIENCE. “Don’t EXPECT me to EDUCATE you, WITH my EXPERTISE, without PAYING the TUITION.” 

“If you want the honey from the hive, don’t complain about the stings that come with it. Getting what you want is painful. WITHOUT RISK, DEDICATION AND PASSION, you will never begin and without perseverance you will never finish.”

Cindy Daniel


People, Prisons & Places- Travels Of A TDCJ Officiant And My Twin Sister…

Leaving Fort Worth Tuesday morning at 3:45AM with my twin sister complaining “we should have left at 3:30,” the Texas Twins hit the highway. 

It would be at least two hours before Cindy’s twin granddaughters, Maryssa and Makenna even began to roll out of bed in Weatherford, Texas at Cindy’s home. Cindy’s daughter, Leigh Ann would call complaining about Maryssa running late somewhere between 6AM and 6:30AM. How do I know? It happens each and every time we have a “red eye run” to a distant Unit. 

Cindy’s husband, Steve is a long haul truck driver who is rarely home more than one day a week. I can give Steve a mile marker and he often knows exactly where we are in Texas. Steve literally has been down pretty much every road in the US and Canada the last fifty years of driving. 

Cindy always spends the night with me when we are headed off to a Texas Prison before daybreak. 

Our destination? McConnell Unit in Beeville, Texas. McConnell is located near Garza East and Garza West as well as being in close proximity to Connally Unit. 

Texas Department Of Criminal Justice operates numerous state owned facilities. There are a few privately owned prisons in Texas as well as Federal and ICE Detention Centers. TDCJ oversees both state and privately owned facilities. Texas ranks first in the nation regarding the number of people incarcerated. It’s a shocking statistic. 

TDCJ McConnell Unit is a little over five hours one way from my location in Westover Hills, Texas. A few months ago, Cindy and I made the journey to McConnell in exactly five hours. My Tuesday bride had opted to stay at a hotel as my previous McConnell Unit bride had. 

It’s rare for Cindy and I to book a hotel for a number of reasons. First, Cindy has the Twins at home. I have a husband and feisty Beagle as well as numerous commitments with venues that I’m on staff at and Client bookings for Texas Twins Events and The Pawning Planners. Destination trips can get tricky so whenever possible, I skip booking a hotel. 

My Tuesday bride and her soon to be sister in law were meeting us at Goodwill in Beeville where I would drop Cindy to search for bargains while I was at McConnell at 9:30AM. McConnell was a 6-8 minute drive from Goodwill. 

I always find a nearby location for Cindy to “junk shop” for an hour or two. Flipped items are listed at our storefront where Texas Twins Treasures items are sold worldwide. The inventory can either be refurbished items originally taken in trade through The Pawning Planners or something Cindy and I have found in another state at a Destination Event or at a resale shop near a Texas Prison. We know what we are looking for. How? Cindy and I have been “flipping items” since we were in our 20’s. 

Cindy and I have thirty years of resale experience that when combined with our extensive product knowledge from dueling careers in sales, makes us both knowledgeable appraisers. It is rare for my twin and I to “take a hit on a flip, swap or trade.” We have had a few “bust barters” but, they were learning curves. Like anyone else, we learn from mistakes. 

I no longer accept non running vehicles that require a hefty investment on our end through The Pawning Planners. Such barters have frequently and nearly always “bitten us in the a$$.” When you lose money on a barter- you remember why and how you “took a hit” and are subsequently, far more cautious. We are. 

Many people are surprised to learn that we not only barter but that “we do Prison Weddings.” Often, our traditional clients will call or email during the week while Cindy or I are driving to or from a Texas Prison. The cell reception on back roads is always the “first clue.” My phone never stops ringing. Brok had called about his upcoming wedding while we were headed to Beeville and wanted to incorporate hand written vows. Asking if “I had time to talk?” I advised him that we had at least two hours to talk since we were driving to a Prison. I’m really looking forward to finally meeting Brok and his fiancée next week. I always take client calls while driving. It’s truly the only time I’m not juggling a client standing in front of me or emailing me. In any given month outside wedding season, I can be juggling 10-20 clients. In season? Upwards of 20-25 booked clients while fielding new client requests on a daily basis. 

Between Texas Twins Events and TDCJ Weddings, I literally HAD TO add more staff to address our burgeoning client bases. Our growth has stunned others. After all, I’ve never advertised. “How does she do it?” Well, when I started Texas Twins Events, I priced our services far below our competition. When a few people still couldn’t afford to book with us, I rebranded and expanded by merging Texas Twins Events and Texas Twins Treasures to create the barter option of The Pawning Planners. When someone came to me because she couldn’t find anyone to marry her at a Texas Prison, I AGAIN expanded Texas Twins Events to include Texas Prison Weddings. Exceeding client expectations has earned us referral businesss each and every year we’ve been in business. Previous clients re book for Vow Renewal Ceremonies upon release of their loved one from a Texas Prison or a Baptism, birthday party, Quincinera or even Memorial for a family member. It’s not uncommon for a previous client or one of their family members to book several times for different events with us. In fact, it’s quite common. Previous clients become threads of our journey and the door never closes.  

I’m not a “country person” although many assume that Cindy and I were born and raised in Texas. Cindy and I were born in California. We’ve left Texas twice to move to California and back again as adults. 

For a number of years, I kept a home in San Clemente and Fort Worth. For another number of years, I kept a home on Beaver Lake in Arkansas and another in Fort Worth. I’m out of the vacation home in another state business. Everyone wants to stay at your “vacation home” at your expense. I now book Cindy and I or my Team at luxury hotels instead and let someone wait on me instead. Don’t be offended. I’m honest. Having a holiday home is the biggest way to have everyone and their dog wanting to “stay at your other home” while you are working your a$$ off to pay for it. The lake house was an ongoing escapade of “friends” not only borrowing the house but also the boats and eating the food without replacing it or putting gas in the boats. I will never own another lake home unless of course it’s my primary residence. I don’t need friends who use me for their benefit. 

I’ve traveled the world extensively and prefer to live near the heart of the city. Cindy and I are Compensating Personality Twins. My twin grandnieces are as well. 

I’m always asked what “Compensating Personality” means. Literally though the definition means two halves make a whole. If you are unfamiliar with Compensating Personality Multiples, I’m adding a link– Twin Studies Compensating Personalities.

Why one twin would be more driven or bossy while the other twin is more complacent or happy to go along with the stronger minded twin continues to be something that confuses scientists. 

Part of the issue is that many assume that identical twins are identical thinkers. This isn’t true in our case, Cindy’s twin granddaughters case or any of the nine other sets of twins in our family. 

Also, for the many who assume that twins aren’t genetic, Twins have been born every other generation on both sides of our family for over 200 years. Identical twins are genetic. Fraternal twins are not. 

Identical twins are almost always  “closer” than fraternal twins although the variation has been studied over and over again. 

Twin studies are “big business.” My twin grandnieces love gift cards and other “perks” for being involved in twin research. 

Cindy and I have very little time to devote to twin studies although on a weekly, monthly and yearly basis, a researcher will contact us begging for Cindy and I to spend hours filling out questionnaires. 

A far better approach would be for researchers to call Cindy and I while we are spending hours driving together to a Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, California or other state Prison. 

Neither Cindy or I have the time or the inclination to spend hours we don’t have filling out forms regardless of what the “perk” offered might be. Why? Cindy and I work seven days a week. Cindy and I juggle TDCJ Clients, Texas Twins Treasures Clients, Texas Twins Events Clients and Pawning Planners Clients. Time is priceless to Cindy and I. 

Cindy is funny, witty and never without something to say. I am far more reserved, reflective and detail oriented. Together, we are the perfect team. 

My sister and I are happiest when we are together and due to our unique ability to “merge our talents,” capable of overcoming damn near anything on location. Wherever that location might be. Our mini me twins, Maryssa and Makenna closely mirror Cindy and I. Maryssa isn’t driven and far more social than Makenna. Makenna is a stellar student and far less interested in having a social circle. 

Maryssa and Makenna have worked with our clients since they were two years old as flower girls, ring bearers & ushers. At fourteen, they now book with clients as princess characters for fundraisers and birthday parties to “save money for their first car.” 

The “tiny Texas twins” are no longer tiny and are now taller than Cindy and I. Maryssa and Makenna are both comfortable on camera and have been filmed for numerous media projects. 

Maryssa and Makenna are by far “lighter skinned” than Cindy or I. The reason for this is that our grandfather was a full blood Cherokee Indian and also, an identical twin. Our grandmother was Scottish with milky white skin, green eyes and red hair. I’ve been asked “why do most of your businesses have the word twin in them?” The reason is that we are a twin family. 

Cindy and I “came up with” the name Texas Twins Events moments before my surgery at Baylor Hospital. Not expecting to survive, I had told my twin “if this doesn’t kill me, I’m hanging up my courthouse heels and doing something I enjoy.” Cindy had asked me “what would it be?” 

Thinking about a great way to have fun and meet people that my twin could join me doing while also bringing her twin granddaughters with her, I decided to create a People Over Profit based business and, Texas Twins Events was born. 

Cindy had given up “her day job” to take on the responsibility of raising her twin granddaughters fourteen years ago. Isolated and overwhelmed, Cindy needed a way to get out of the house and we created one. 

Within one week of my website going LIVE, Discovery Communications contacted me. The difference between Texas Twins Events and other event vendors was significant. Why? We helped anyone. We didn’t care what made you different or if you had extraordinary circumstances. We became the people we had never met. 

Our versatility was based entirely on our own experience when planning our weddings. 

We didn’t have family or friends to help us years ago and subsequently, became the people we wished we had known but had never met. We are “different” and “being different” is also why we are so successful.  Our success surprises people but, as children, we learned at a young age that caring about someone else’s journey was rare. Why try to be like everyone else? That market was saturated. 

Driving to McConnell, Cindy and I took calls and checked up on the twins. Cindy’s daughter, Leigh Ann was texting photos she had edited from the weekend before at a wedding and complaining that “Maryssa was making everyone late again.” Cindy and I both did an eye roll. 

Midway through our drive to Beeville, I had Cindy screen shot a navigation pic to my beautiful bride to let her know where we were and that we would be arriving between 9:15AM and 9:30AM at Goodwill in Beeville.

Rolling onto the 130 HWY with a posted speed limit of 85MPH, Cindy laughed and said “only in Texas.” I’m not comfortable driving 85MPH although for many years I was a General Motors Certified salesperson familiar with Ride and Drives and various vehicles. 

At one XLR-V Ride and Drive in Texas, my driver amped up the speed to 120MPH. Was I comfortable at that speed? Not really. I prefer to drive 70-75MPH quite frankly because stopping distance and other factors are involved. 

Put me in an evening gown next to an XLR and I’m far more comfortable. I don’t enjoy “going real fast” in anything. I’m a safe driver because I don’t take risks. 

“Every Valero gas station restroom looks the same.” Cindy has become a public restroom connoisseur. It’s rare to “wow us” with an exceptionally clean rest area or public bathroom but, it has happened. The rest area near Huntsville, Texas is sparkling clean but, also has a rooster chasing you around. Once again, only in Texas! Cindy and I always laugh about the Huntsville rest area.

Rolling into Beeville, Leigh Ann calls to see if “we’ve looked at the photos she sent to our phones?” I pull over and take a quick look. It’s 9:03AM and I’m two minutes from Goodwill and our meeting point. 

The bride (a traditional client) wasn’t comfortable about wearing a tiara. I talked her into it. Her mother however, loved the idea! I have amassed an inventory specifically to loan clients for photo shoots. Why? So they don’t have to buy items they will only use once. I know, it’s different but, I’m different. I care remember? 

“Creating an inventory to LOAN CLIENTS AT YOUR OWN EXPENSE? ARE YOU CRAZY?” No, I’m not crazy but I am committed to “changing the wedding and events industry one client or barter at a time from Fort Worth, Texas.” The smile on the bride “wearing her very first tiara” thrilled me.I buy tiaras from many countries in numerous colors. I also either create my own bouquets or buy them. My rolling photo booth can also feature clothing from one of my 6 closets, boas, mink coats, jewelry, and more. 

Unloading one of our suvs while a surprised and delighted client sees everything we’ve brought to make their photo shoot special is a sight to behold. 

My McConnell bride jumped into my SUV and together we drove to the Unit. Every TDCJ Client is nervous at a Prison Wedding. 

Whether I’m in Texas or another state officiating a Prison Wedding, I’ve yet to meet a client who wasn’t a bit apprehensive. Why? Because no one “plans” to marry inside a Prison.

In August, Texas Twins Events Prison Weddings will be expanding into California. My niece, Leigh Ann will handle California Prison Weddings as well as photography and traditional bookings. Cindy and I will continue to address Destination Events and occasionally, if needed, I will continue to handle a few California Prison Wedding bookings myself. Yes, I’ve officiated numerous “high profile” Prison Weddings and many of these particular clients only want me to handle their Prison Wedding Planning Process and subsequent ceremony. 

Before anyone starts panicking that I won’t be performing California Prison Weddings or Destination Bookings with Cindy, calm down kids, I’m still going to book in California but, we need someone living in California and that someone is Leigh Ann. My niece enjoys working with all types of clients and is looking forward to her move.  Leigh Ann will be based out of Oxnard, California. My niece is also a Notary, experienced photographer and TDCJ Officiant and enjoys creating memorable ceremonies and moments with clients. 

I personally trained Leigh Ann and know she will thrill you with her stellar work ethics. When needed, Leigh Ann will fly back and forth to Fort Worth for Client photography bookings in Texas. Leigh Ann is always the “first choice for photography” bookings although my son and his wife also do their own photography and Officiant packages. Cindy and I will continue to do our own photos with TDCJ Clients and are buying new equipment to begin offering professional photography with either Cindy or myself handling your photos at traditional bookings. Leigh Ann is training my twin and I about professional photography before leaving for California. 

My McConnell groom had written his own vows. I love creative input. It makes the Wedding Ceremony far more personal and unique.Visiting with the Chaplain and guards in the visitation area while my clients had a few moments for a visit after the wedding ceremony, I was thrilled to learn that one of the guards was from Fort Worth and familiar with TCGPWA and the parade. 

Every year, Texas Twins Events and my Team look forward to being sponsors of the parade and seeing all of our friends in the LBGT Community. Leaving the Unit, I check in with Cindy and head back to Goodwill. As usual, Cindy has a shopping cart full of treasures. I rarely list new items at Texas Twins Events “in season” because I simply don’t have the time. 

Instead, during the winter months, Cindy and I walk our storage units and pull silk flowers to create new bouquets and pick or choose items to either send out to refurbish or list as is.

Unloading my SUV, my bride and her new sister in law are thrilled with the wide array of options I had left packed in my main SUV from the Saturday wedding. 

Everyone loves my tiaras. I have several more coming that are currently in customs and ladies, ya all are going to love them! Leaving the photo shoot, I check in with my husband regarding the “Stinky Skunk Development.” For weeks now, Matthew has been trying to remove the smell of skunk from his Springtown, Texas development. I’ve bounced ideas while he has sent crews to tear out walls, the bathtub and even hired someone to leave ozone machines. So far, every effort has failed.

Cindy googles for a solution that we haven’t tried yet. I order something on Amazon wondering whether it will work or not? The amount of money spent on trying to solve this “stinky problem” would shock you. 

Although I had suggested not replacing the tub, yesterday my husband had to tub pulled and ordered a new one. The skunk had somehow gotten under the tub and died but not before spraying a wide area in the master bath. 

My husband is depressed trying to find a solution for the “Stinky Springtown Skunk” issue. After all, in fifty years this is a situation that he has never encountered yet. 

Matthew will be relieved when we finally close out the Springtown Development and effectively say goodbye to the skunk problem. It will be a “two-fer.” 

Being a builder and developer isn’t an “easy job” but, my husband has far more patience than I do. Matthew can effectively “draw a development on a cocktail napkin.” He sees possibility in a field. I see a field. 

My husband tries to explain why “keeping those trees and leaving nature is the best way to develop land” while I prefer to stay safely in the SUV while he walks the land. I worry about poison ivy while my husband puts on hiking boots. I’m not really a “nature walking type of person.” 

In fact, I didn’t even own a pair of sneakers until after marrying my husband. We were in Austin, Texas “walking” a possible development. I was wearing Stuart Weitzman high heeled sandals. I will never forget trying to navigate my way while stylishly attired through a forest and my husband probably won’t either. 

My husband had laughingly asked “are you going to walk this property in THOSE SHOES? Listen, I know you’ve been a model and commercial actress most of your life but, in the real estate world we aren’t on camera and you need to buy jeans and sneakers.” 

Offended, I had responded “why would I spend good money on ugly clothing and accessories?!” Years later, I have jeans and sneakers. True story. Could the Amazon order of Natures Miracle solve the stinky problem? I have no idea but, it arrived last night while I was at a rehearsal with clients. 

This morning, my husband couldn’t wait to get to Springtown and “give Natures Miracle” a shot at solving the stinky problem. Warily, I predict that nothing is going to fix skunk house. Ugh.

Heading off to the courthouse this morning before meeting clients at Dallas North Tower, Parker County Jail and Tarrant County Jail, my calendar for months is intimidating to say the least. 

A day off for the Texas Twins isn’t coming any time soon but, Maryssa and Makenna are looking forward to the Easter break from school. 

This weekend will be spent on location with foster children at an Easter Egg Hunt that Cindy and I along with my Texas Twins Events Team are sponsoring. I look forward to meeting our new clients on location soon and wish you a Blessed Weekend full of family, fun and adventure.., 


I’ve been working in film since I was eighteen years old and filmed my first commercial with Mel Tillis in Fort Worth, Texas. Other members of my family AKA Team? Not nearly as long. Certain members of my client bases? Rare if ever. 

I worked as a commercial model for twenty plus years. While some might think this job was exciting, the truth is that I was basically a hangar. I was better at selling high end clothing, jewelry and luxury cars than any of my other coworkers AKA models were. How so? I had the unique ability to have been “born to sell.” 

While other models might have had a better body, I had a by far better personality. Selling is about relationships not seeing someone frowning at buyers and behaving haughty while walking a runway. 

Only twice has my current husband ever seen me “own a room” on the catwalk. The first time he was amazed at how I managed to notice every buyer in the room. I pay attention to details. Walking off the stage, I also walked the buyers tables and gave them an opportunity to touch the fabric or my opinion on why this fur or that evening gown would be a good investment as a timeless treasure to “the right buyer.” I have always learned every aspect of any product that I have ever sold. I still do. It’s essential to be knowledgeable. 

If I believed in a product, I could sell it all day long. If I didn’t believe in the product, I refused to attempt to sell it. I have never been desperate enough to sell a product I wouldn’t buy myself either. I’ve never had to be. Why? Because I’m a helluva salesperson that’s why. 

I don’t see clients as numbers. I see clients as relationships. Friendships with my clients have lasted for years after a sale. My clients are like family to me. 

In today’s world, trying to find anyone in a store that even knows their own inventory is an escapade in futility. A few weeks ago, I went to Academy searching for camo clothing. Three salespeople told me “we don’t have anything because the season is over.” I continued to search and found an entire aisle of camouflage pants, shirts, jackets and accessories. Did I buy? No. But the reason was fit. The pants were cut for a man and I’m an hourglass shape. Why buy something and pay to have it altered? Instead, I went to my tailor and had an outfit made. Manufacturers need to realize that most women are not built straight up and down because we aren’t. 

As a retailer though, it’s essential your staff knows your product. Sadly, this “I don’t know what’s going on” type of scenario has been happening for years within the retail industry due to a consistent high turnover or inadequate pay or even both. 

Go out to a store on your lunch break and try to buy something while asking questions regarding the product and see how it works out for you. No one on the salesfloor has a clue anymore. It’s no wonder why people shop online because at the very least they can find what they are looking for. Think about it. 

In 2004, I was the top Cadillac salesperson over and over for years until I decided to hang up luxury car sales. How did I do this? By educating myself about the product and then bringing clients to me. Not the dealership but specifically my office.

I was willing to think outside the box and did. While other salesmen were reading newspapers or outside smoking or taking personal phone calls, I hired a photographer, bought evening gowns in various colors and ran my own print ads in country clubs. 

Making money takes money. I was investing in myself and knew I could make a profitable return on my investment. 

I was effectively direct marketing consumers who could afford to spend $110k on a Cadillac XLR. That’s right. I studied advertising and marketing and knew that “bringing just anyone” into the dealership wouldn’t sell high end cars. Why? The majority of consumers don’t spend $50k-100k on a vehicle. 

Bringing the “right person” in to the dealership would sell high end cars and, I was right regarding an “idea” that the other salesman found hilarious. I let them laugh. I’m a businesswoman and smarter than the “peanut gallery.” There’s a reason they have the “cheap seats.” 

I am a pioneer. I don’t “fit in any box” and I never will. I laughed all the way to the bank while other salesmen laughed at me. They weren’t laughing long. People often laugh at my ideas or concepts until they realize how thinking outside of the box works. Then, they want my expertise. Then, they want me to train them. But, I don’t work for free. Knowledge is power. Experience is priceless and without risk there are no rewards. 

The number of times someone has contacted me to ask me to “teach them how to do what I did” would astound you. From venue owners to salespeople “who heard about the lady that was a model and created her own print ads” to others who recognized that my success was based entirely on being different. As a child, being different was never “a gift.” As an adult though, my resilience and strength were my formula for success. 

Others have contacted me for years because they “want to learn how to do what I do.” It is surprising. But, the people “asking for an apple and expecting a pie” cannot understand why and how I make anything I involve myself with successful. It’s actually the “key” to my success. 

I am fearless. I’m not afraid. I’ve never been afraid to fail first to succeed second. Ever. I can afford to take risks. When you learn anything the hard way by doing it yourself, you remember every detail. 

Sure, I’ve taken a fall now and then on a bad investment but who hasn’t? I get right back on my horse and ride on. Fear is failure.  

The stock market literally bores me to death. Put me in a casino with lights, music and excitement. I’d rather gamble than watch the stocks. My husband does the long term investments. 

#cindyism “FAILURES are the SEEDS you SOW, before REAPING a HARVEST of SUCCESS” God bless us all.

I have a photographic memory. I’m also dyslexic. I taught myself to read and escaped by reading. I’m different. People who want to do what I do aren’t. They cannot be me because they have never endured the struggles I’ve overcome. 

My sister and I weren’t afraid to leave home at 15 with the clothes on our backs. We weren’t worried about where we would go, where we would sleep or how we would survive. At 15 we were also eating out of trash cans behind convenience stores. Now you can comprehend and fully understand why I’m not afraid to be different. Cindy isn’t either. We had nothing and I mean nothing to go back to. No one to help us. No one who cared about us. Our family? Humph. They didn’t care if we starved. We ran from the Hell we left behind. RAN. Cindy and I don’t owe anyone anything. We are survivors. 

We both jumped into our first marriages and we both regretted our decision. If someone were to try and hit either of us today, I can assure you that it would be a mistake. We left a violent home as teens and assumed every wife was beaten because we didn’t know anything else. Violence was a normal fact of life for us as children. But, we learned as adults that “our normal” was in fact “abnormal.” So, we left again. 

Years ago, other models could not for the life of them understand how I outsold over and over at every single show thought they should sell more solely because “they were thinner.” Being thin doesn’t make you an incredible salesperson whether you are in print or at a style show. It wasn’t unusual in those days for a buyer to purchase whatever I had worn strutting down that catwalk right off my rack. In fact, it was a frequent occurrence. Everyone wanted to be me at a style show. I was the most confident and carefree model I’ve ever met. 

Often I was also wearing heavier makeup to mask a bruised eye or swollen cheek from my jealous husband the day before. No one knew this other than my dresser. I wore Christian Dior butterfly sunglasses daily to hide most of my face walking into make up. 

When I wore something while modeling, I owned it. I made it more than soft, luxurious fur or a piece of expensive fabric or high end jewelry. The moment my dresser said “go,” I was transformed from all of the problems waiting for me at home (I had a violent first marriage) and because of my inate ability to compartmentalize, when I was on a runway or in front of a camera, I was in also in another world. 

Modeling was a world where no one would hit me or call me names. In a world where I was the star of the show while others assumed that they were. I was a chameleon who shed my beaten down victim shell the moment I walked my rack with my dresser. The second I knew each and every change on my rack or racks, I had already decided what liked best about this or least about that. Buyers would ask and I would answer. I knew the fabrics and I knew the products. 

I became an actress rather than a hangar and I walked through those backroom drapes and half dressed models to a room full of buyers as if they had been waiting for me all of their lives. I was “on.” The other models never stood a chance with me. It took time for them to realize this but, they did. 

I’m a paid consultant and whether I advise you for ten minutes or twenty, my bill rate is by the hour. That’s right I get paid to talk and the buyer listens. I’ve marketed and represented Kodak, P&G, and many other other household name based brands that are highly recognized. If you want my advice or insight or direction on how to sell something you call me. But, you also pay me. 

Cindy is a pioneer too. We both had to be our entire lives. Years ago, Cindy was working at Hawk Electronics. She had broken her back in a horrific car accident and couldn’t walk a salesfloor so she took a job scheduling home security alarm appointments. Like me, she was an innovator. Cold calling sucks and to get $25 per sale, Cindy read newspapers and got crime reports to directly find areas of high crime and called them instead of wasting her time and her breath calling the “wrong people.” Cindy had a 99% closing rate but, the “old dogs” aka salesmen she handed the leads to cut her out of the sale and collected $150 for “finding the lead.” Within weeks, Cindy noticed her commissions were going down and went to payroll to question why. When she was told the names of confirmed sales and recognized them as her own leads, she “whipped out her own records.” Because the old dogs “had already been paid on Cindy’s sales,” my sister learned a valuable lesson. 

A few days later, one of the salesmen walked up to her desk and said “have you got got any leads for me?” Smirking Cindy said “no but, I do have a news flash. I’m working with payroll and from now on, I’m giving payroll a list of all of my leads names and phone numbers and addresses as well as the date I contacted them. You won’t be stealing from me anymore.” Two days later, the unethical scoundrel quit. My sister though continued to CYA and got paid to do so.

There aren’t any “friends as coworkers” in the sales industry. Sales are a cut throat business. While other coworkers attempted to copy, replicate or duplicate our ability to outsell them, Cindy and I laughed all the way to the bank. 

Originality and creative thinking as well as our ability to think outside the box are only a few of the reasons we have always been successful in ANY sales based industry. If we failed, we went hungry and we both knew it. 

My experience in film and print modeling propelled me into the strongest selling high end luxury car bracket there was. I also left Cadillac “on top.” 

Looking back, those “old dogs” on the salesfloor needed a wake up call. I literally gave them one by bringing my own people into the dealership rather than waiting for the people to come to the dealership and hoping to “snag” a possible client in a position to buy who was actually only “pulling up to window shop” and effectively wasting my time or my “up.” 

My ads weren’t for the dealership. They were for me and if you saw my ad, you ONLY came to ME. I worked solely by appointment. Yes, I was THAT busy. 

By the way, prior to Cadillac, I had never sold cars in my entire life either. I can look at a business any type of sales driven business and find a niche. 

I’ve been a brand ambassador for so many brands that I’m also an expert consultant for GLG and have been for many years. What people don’t know about me shocks them. But, I’m a survivor. I saw a need for affordable event services and created a People Over Profit based event business. No one else was willing to take such a risk but, I could well afford to and I did. Maybe to a few that was a crazy idea but, while they laughed, my business model became stronger and stronger year after year. I laugh now as I have many times before. I laugh because I’m driven, I’m passionate and I’m determined. I don’t give up. I’m also a twin. Yes, together we actually are unstoppable. 

The continued interest in my client base or even my life garners phone calls, emails and site inquiries week after week after week. The problem? Trying to educate someone who knows very little about me. It’s a really time consuming task. While talking on the phone to them, I almost always have a client attempting to reach me. In other cases, I am on location with a client when one of these inquiries “roll in.” 

I’m the type of person who researches everything. I’m OCD. I’m articulate and I always have a back up plan for disasters in location too. I think in a circle. Literally. 

Today’s blog will go over the most unusual and invasive questions I’ve come across yet. A few of them may surprise you. Others may offend you but, I can assure you that I have no problem being honest, transparent and completely open about my life, my clients and my businesses. I have nothing to hide and neither do they. 

Leaving my office after going through yet another round of inquiries from production companies and Europe based networks, I am going to literally “kick off” today’s blog with enlightening news you can use if you are not BOUND TO ME BY BLOOD OR BUSINESS. 

Listen up and pay attention as I rarely if ever repeat myself. I would repeat myself but I simply don’t have the time during wedding season. I’m far more inclined to be patient when I don’t have a burdened schedule to be honest with you.

Contacting me and assuming that you are going to schedule a Skype interview or conference call at YOUR CONVENIENCE is one of the craziest ideas that I’ve ever heard of yet. You’re busy? You are asking me to drop everything to accommodate your schedule? If I have time for YOU outside my own schedule, such Skype or even phone interviews will be scheduled AT MY CONVENIENCE NOT YOUR OWN. 

Furthermore, asking me to “Face Time” you from the road while traveling or while I’m on location, isn’t going to happen today, tomorrow or forever. The ONLY time I use Face Time is with my grandnieces. 

Frankly, no one (unless you are in your 20’s) looks good on Face Time. I have no desire for anyone to use film from Face Time to either “pitch or promote” me. 

I’m hoping that I’ve clarified the best way to get what YOU want from ME, I will also take a moment to once again ask that anyone attempting to contact me STOP contacting venues I’m on staff at and instead use one of my sites, my email or the same phone number I’ve had for fifteen years to contact me rather than continuing to call me at a business I do not work at on a daily basis. 

I.E. the number you are calling isn’t to CONTACT me instead, the number listed on the internet is to BOOK ME. The venue is busy too. After all, it’s wedding season. 

This “calling me at a venue I’m on staff at” continues to happen and also is continually disruptive to the business you are contacting. Please stop. 

I have five websites with contact us links and my phone number as well as my address are literally “all over the internet.”

Now, let’s get down to today’s parking lot blog and reiterate that all of my blogs are typed with one finger on an iPhone in a parking lot waiting on a client. For those who assume I pay a writer, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I do not hire creative content writers. I create my own content. Also, I have no interest in blogging for someone else because “you need an experienced blogger.” 

Please do not use any of my sites to contact me to either pitch a product or for any reason other than Event Services through Texas Twins Events, The Pawning Planners or TDCJ Weddings in Texas and outside Texas. 

I don’t need “more clients” or “marketing” or “engaged social media.” I have all of those things and handle my own social media. 

I’m an overachiever and a workaholic that hasn’t needed to work to earn a living in years. I’m also not “relatable” to most people due to the fact that while others were working as little as possible in their twenties, I was working 2-3 jobs. 

Most people don’t put 120-150% into their career. Why? Because they are lazy and entitled. Also, they have a family to fall back ON nearly all of the time too. I didn’t. My sister didn’t. We are DIFFERENT but, the difference between our stellar work ethics and others is based entirely on our unique circumstances and ability to survive and thrive. We thrill our clients. We treat them like the family we weren’t born with. Our clients are and always will be our first priority. Personlized service is difficult to come by these days but, when you book with the Texas Twins, you are the star of our show. 

If you have hired my sister or I in any capacity over the years, you were always surprised at our stellar work ethics. Cindy and I were thrilled to “become the employee you wished you had ten more of.” We were also honored and ecstatic to exceed your expectations because you also paid us to “perform.” This type of dedication is rare. 

However, for my former employers that cut our commissions “because we were making too much money,” we also left you and worked elsewhere. Loyalty is earned. I’m always amazed that expecting someone to sell your products without offering them and incentive or adequate compensation continues to “confuse business owners as to why their numbers are down” but, if you have a helluva salesperson, be smart enough to keep them by compensating them rather than punishing them and effectively “cutting their income.” It’s common sense. 

“Pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.” Cutting your sales staffs commissions is the stupidest and greediest thing I’ve ever encountered. It’s happened to me many times though by managers who were upset that I earned “more than them.” 

If I quit to take another job, you forced me to do so by affecting my earning capacity. I don’t look back. I look forward. 

Work is my salvation. I’m happiest when working. My twin sister is too. 

The Texas Twins Events “umbrella” for Prison Weddings and/or other states outside of Texas inmate Officiant services also fall under Texas because I am based in Texas. I’ve been asked “why don’t you have different sites pertaining to different states you operate within?” The last thing I need is to add more sites for each state I operate within. I already write blogs for five sites and juggle numerous clients and have no need to redirect traffic to another site. I also work solely by referral and always have so there is no need for me to create a new site for a different state we service. In fact, destination event services have been booked through Texas Twins Events for YEARS. 

If you are contacting me or having your freight company contact me regarding a purchase or pick up for Texas Twins Treasures, please do not use TDCJ Officiant to do so. This particular site has nothing to do with Texas Twins Treasures. Items sold at Texas Twins Treasures are scheduled for pick up or delivery through my site or via direct email or phone. Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Let’s get started on why anyone in the entertainment industry assumes that a bride or groom planning to marry an inmate is either a hillbilly or biker and in either description also uneducated. This “preposterous idea” of anyone marrying an inmate leaving the trailer park to do it is not only offensive to my clients but also myself and my staff. 

My clients know the decision they are entering to marry an inmate is serious. They realize that it will be one sided and they are willing to accept those terms. In nearly all cases, many of my clients never actually “planned to marry a Prisoner.” 

Because of the continued ignorance of others, I’ve decided to use my production site, Texas Twins TV to specifically share the stories of clients who have an interest in even considering auditioning for any type of television format pertaining to their lives, their journeys and their decision to marry an inmate. For a link to Amanda and her journey, click here- Wendy Wortham Interviews TDCJ Client, Amanda.

These individuals are educated, wholesome and passionate. They are also brave, strong and resilient. If you are unaware of this and assume that our California Prison Clients are “beach bums” or that our Texas, Louisiana and other adjoining states Prison Client Bases are hillbillies or swamp people, save your ignorance and spare my time. You are incorrect on all “assumptions.” 

I had one production company ask me last month “can they talk though? Do they speak intelligently?” What? Are you kidding me? Turn off that television and recognize that they have obviously spoken to me and therefore can and do hold intelligent and articulate conversations on a daily basis. Can they talk? WOW. 

I could not believe yet another idiotic statement last week that ironically came (as usual) at the worst possible time for me while on location with a bride having a meltdown at a high end venue from yet another production company “we saw you with shotguns and wearing camo in Texas on the internet. What do you mean you aren’t a hillbilly? You looked like one.” 

Let’s add the photos shall we? I’m the most versatile person you are ever going to encounter. I can go from a barn to an exclusive venue within hours and I do. First- the  camo client had hired my staff specifically for a themed wedding. Do your research. Second- Dream Events are just that. The client wanted to incorporate her daughter into the wedding as the groom had been acting as her father since birth. This was a very emotional ceremony for all concerned. 

The bride had asked me to wear camo and like anyone else asking me to do something outside my usual scope of services, was a referral. I had never previously owned anything camo in my entire life. So, no, I’m not a hillbilly. I don’t live on a farm and I don’t ride a horse to work either. 

I thinks it’s interesting that people jump to conclusions without doing more research but, they do. What is this “I’m a hillbilly” or my clients are “hillbillies” synopsis coming from? Could it be based solely on living in Texas? I’m confused. 

Here are other photos of more “traditional clients” solely to enlighten you. Yes, they are “regular” clients not to say that any of my clients are “irregular” I am actually quoting yet another production company. “But, Wendy do you have any regular people? You know that aren’t LBGT or marrying an inmate or so poor that they have to barter? You know like regular people?” Obviously, that production company employee was either 21-27 or had miserable grades in English and Literary Composition. 

Usually, a production company has someone so young asking the questions that I almost feel sorry for them. Almost. Why? Because they live in a bubble and obviously need to get out more that’s why. Maybe if these “youngsters” would put down their computer or phone and meet real people in real life rather than trolling Instagram, they might realize that being different isn’t weird or antisocial? Just a thought. 

Maturity in your 20’s is obviously not easy to obtain when your world is on social media rather than out in the “real world.” 

Anyway, we do destination events on a regular basis. These are scheduled on weekends and evenings of course because during the week I’m at a jail or prison. I don’t find this nearly as “unique” as production companies do. Why? Because I’m meeting clients I’m simply meeting them at a different location. I book high end end events too. Surprised? Don’t be. I’m not cheap either. If you want to book me or get on my books, you get in line. I’ve had clients reschedule THEIR EVENT to ACCOMMODATE MY CALENDAR. It’s a fact. 

If you want honor, integrity, and a team committed to making your Dream Event a reality regardless of your income because we also barter, then you come to us. We don’t advertise. We never have. We have also never needed to. If I’m cocky- bet your butt I earned the privilege. No one GAVE me a successful business plan. In fact, I created it myself. My family joined me. I wasn’t trying to be like everyone else because obviously that market was entirely saturated. 

When I’m asked about my affiliation with the LBGT Community, it isn’t because I’m LBGT. But, one production company assumed my entire family was? “I saw you and your family at a gay parade on the internet. Does homosexuality run in your family?” Hmm. Again, WOW. Common sense is like breath spray. Most folks don’t realize they actually need it. By the way I did answer “no” before waiting with baited breath on the next question while my twin covered her shocked face. PS- it’s LBGT not gay. That word is offensive to the community as a whole. 

Let’s go over this stupid assumption in a question format regarding my sexual orientation one more time. Production Company– “are you a lesbian? I saw you on CW33 at a LBGT event.” And you assumed everyone there was LBGT why? What about mothers, siblings, friends? Do you believe that every LBGT event is solely for LBGT people? Hmm. 

The photo below was taken by Adam Bouska immediately prior to being cut off attempting to visit friends I recognized at the event by a CW33 NewsFix team and subsequently, they barn stormed my family and I with a camera and microphone stuck right into my face while my grandnieces and sister were being pushed out of the way by CW33 NewsFix at the same time. 

If you HAVE NOT seen the CW33 interview, you missed seeing how terrified my grandnieces were. Don’t look at me. Look to the right at them. Maryssa and Makenna were both shell shocked while Cindy angrily looked on. To enlighten you, in adding the link– Wendy Wortham CW33 NewsFix Interview NOH8 Dallas, Texas.  

The safety of having Cindy and I beside the twins is most likely is why the twins both didn’t start crying or screaming when that herd of reporters came running at me and effectively, pushing at the twins and Cindy at the same time. 

Children who are unfamiliar with reporters are always “uncomfortable.” I can say this though, every production company that we have ever and I mean ever signed with was kind and friendly to our children and grandchildren. It’s very important to me and my twin that film crews understand we have family that includes younger children and even pets that are an intricate fiber of our lives and business. God bless the production companies for realizing we are a family and often with our grandchildren since reporters obviously don’t for one second consider that I have children with me when charging into the scene.

Our children and grandchildren are no longer intimidated or uncertain with barn storming reporters, cameras or microphones. Why? Because they have spent a large amount of time with over 9 production companies and also have been on location for numerous other film projects. The twins are seasoned and no longer concerned about cameras or microphones although someone charging at them might rattle them, it will not intimidate them anymore. 

The difference between the CW33 NewsFix Interview for my grand twins then and today is experience. The twins and my entire family are now (years later) not only familiar with cameras in our faces and microphones in our bras but also more than “used to the process” of filming. It’s just another day for us. 

Reporters this is for you- children are not accustomed to barn storming. If you would like to interview me or my sister, for God’s sake do not corner us when we have our granddaughters with us on location. 

My youngest grandniece, Madyson is 3 and like the twins years ago, completely and wholly unfamiliar with reporters, microphones or the type of barn storming the twins encountered on the CW33 interview. Did they think I planned to run to the nearest exit for a quick getaway? Who knows. I don’t run with children in tow. No one does. 

A few years later at the same NOH8 Campaign, the twins were not nearly as nervous when KTVT approached us at the event. Why? Because by then they had filmed a television pilot and numerous other film productions. I.E. the twins were now “familiar” with cameras in their faces. See photo below…

I’m not a lesbian but I have thousands of friends who are. The “other woman” was my twin sister. Ironic that everyone assuming that we were partners failed to realize we were twins isn’t it? 

For years now, I have sponsored the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association Parade. You should know that the parade for YEARS was held in the red light districts of LBGT clubs. To make the parade a “family friendly” event where children felt welcome, a group was established, Fairness Fort Worth to fight politicians and get families the opportunity to bring their children. My accountant, Tom Anable started Fairness Fort Worth. Sadly, Tom took his own life after the Raid At The Rainbow Lounge. I miss him. I will always miss him.

“I’ve never met anyone like you and find your use of foul language to be something I didn’t expect.” F Off. I don’t need your approval. My clients don’t need your approval and I don’t give a shit about what might offend you. After all, you contacted me remember? I grew up with a heroin addict for a mother and bumped around with my siblings for years. If you want “fluffy,” find it somewhere else. I’m not fluffy because I’m real.  

“What does “bound to you by blood or business” mean?” It means that unless you are part of the primary concerns in my life, you are a fly in my soup. Don’t attempt to “guide” me during an interview into making me something I’m not. You can’t pay me enough to be fake or phony or worse, your version of what you expected. 

“How do you manage to keep one client base of yours from being offended by the other?” Offended? Hmm. By what I wonder? That I’m in a Prison one day and in location with affluent people the next? They aren’t going to be at the same event together are they? Well then, why would it matter? 

Unlike “other people” who aren’t my clients, the majority of my clients do not and have not ever compared or judged each other or their differences. Except once in all of these years. That’s right. Once. 

In one (that’s right ONE) instance, I had a TDCJ Client effectively fire me due to my affiliation with the LBGT Community. Because of this and the apparent confusion since I’m a well published and public supporter of LBGT families, I refunded the former client and updated each and every Wendy Wortham site to address ANYONE trolling that I not only perform LBGT ceremonies but ALSO PRISON WEDDINGS. If my occupation or client bases offend anyone, it’s NOT MY LUGGAGE NOT MY TRIP. Get over yourself. 

I hope this blog not only educates but more importantly enlightens everyone who spends 2-5 minutes googling me without spending the time to do more research.

As for this weeks brides and grooms, congrats kids! We made it. It wasn’t easy but it’s now time to celebrate. I look forward to seeing you at Units and sharing your joy. 

To all of my Texas Twins Events & Pawning Planners Clients following TDCJ Weddings, I will see ya all in the coming weeks at backyards, venues, and PS, my team and I are excited to once again be back on the tarmac at Carswell AFB on a C-130 officiating another unique and creative wedding ceremony. If you missed the video of our C-130 Wedding on our last visit to Carswell AFB, click here- Wendy Wortham Carswell AFB On Location With Texas Twins Events.

God Bless America and although my staff and our amazing clients may not be what you either assumed or expected, I can assure you that we are all GOING TO SHINE ON regardless of what you think or assume…