Phantom of the Opera Actress Applied Mary Kay Motivation to Her Broadway Dream

Michele McConnell credits her job as a Mary Kay beauty consultant for landing her a role on Broadway.She had been living in New York for 14 years and was starting to get burned out.In April 2009, near the end of the Great Recession, the actress started her Mary Kay business as an independent consultant.“The biggest surprise for me was this amazing culture of success-driven women, of possibility thinkers and this whole energy that started to surround me of ‘No dream is too big. Why not you?’ And that was powerful to me,” McConnell said Thursday at the skincare and color cosmetics brand’s annual convention in Dallas, where beauty consultants will come by the thousands for the next two weeks.The experience rekindled a joy and sense of self-assurance in the now 46-year-old actress.“I’m confident that I walked back into the audition room for The Phantom of the Opera, a show that had called me back many times before, but the difference was now I think they got the best of me, because I was excited,” McConnell said.In January 2010, she got the call to join the cast as a member of the ensemble. The following year, she took on the role of Carlotta Guidicelli.More than 2,100 performances later, McConnell is the longest-running Carlotta in Phantom’s Broadway history. She's also a Mary Kay sales director who this year brought $70,000 in retail sales. On Saturday mornings, she rents a Manhattan studio for meetings with her team of consultants, before her matinee performance.She and two of her team members, as well as thousands of other women, traveled to Dallas for the first of four, four-day seminars Mary Kay hosts at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. The Addison-based company estimates nearly 30,000 consultants will attend the four seminars, which run through Aug. 4. The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates the convention, one of the city's biggest annual events, contributes $48 million to the local economy.  Continue reading...

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