We had the good fortune of connecting with Matt Kramer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Matt, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe risk is an essential part of the life you are called to live. Just about anything worthwhile starts with a little risk, whether in relationships, in careers, in life decisions, in faith. It is largely because of risk that I’m doing what I’m doing. The kind of work I do is not something that might read well on paper, or sound successful in a discussion. It’s taken a lot of guts just to step out. I am the director of a faith-based performing arts and media company, producing live theatre, film, video, and more. As a faith-based organization, we are in a rather specialized niche, and often it has simply been a matter of stepping out. not always having the answers, and having to just wait and see if it works. While there’s certainly room for practicality (risk should never be confused with irresponsibility), without that element of risk there is no innovation, no creation, no progress.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am the director of You Connection, a faith-based nonprofit producing live theatre, media, and the creative arts to family audiences. We do live performances in the Dallas area, but also have a video site with hours of films and videos that go across the Internet literally all over the world. Because we are faith-based, we do have a message. We have a belief system that we communicate in all of our productions. But we strive for a professionalism so that our theatre shows are Broadway-style and our videos are comparable to anything you would see on Netflix, Nickelodeon, etc. That mixture of faith and wildly inventive creativity is a rarity in the faith-based market and gives You Connection a unique style and places us in a very unique category. I spent fifteen years trying to get a company like this going before You Connection finally came together in 2014. There isn’t really a template for this kind of organization, since there’s nothing really like it in the faith-based market and of course, nothing like it in the regular marketplace, either. So it’s been a lot of trial and error for the past six years, finding out what works and what doesn’t, what people respond to, etc. It’s a testament to not giving up. This is something I dreamed about doing when I was a kid, and now at the age of 40 (as of this writing) it’s become a reality. I always tell people if you’ve got an idea, go for it. It may take some time to get it working, but if you don’t give up, you can achieve just about anything. I think many people give up shortly before they would have succeeded if they had just stuck with it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have to say Downtown Plano, first of all, because that’s where You Connection is located! The restaurants have excellent food, the shops are quaint, and it’s a beautiful little area of town to spend an afternoon. It feels like it’s own little world. The Gaylord is also a fun sort of “world of its own”.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My thanks goes to God, my family, my church, and the dozens who are involved in our organization.