Meet Elizabeth Madariaga, Head of CreativeLive’s Maker & Craft Channel
Curious who’s hanging out behind the scenes at CreativeLive? Every week, in addition to profiling our incredible students, we also feature one of our brilliant co-workers in our staff profile series. From producers to editors to product engineers we are going to introduce you to the hardworking team that makes CreativeLive’s clock tick.
CreativeLive is no idle workplace. There’s a lot of talent to hire, content to prep, and production details to sort out in order to support 5 separate channels. Today, we introduce you to Elizabeth Madariaga, the woman officially responsible for developing the entire Maker & Craft channel – from talent acquisition all the way to post-production. Unofficially, Elizabeth is responsible for the development of CreativeLive’s employee karaoke skills — a job she takes very seriously.
What do you do at CreativeLive?
I’m in charge of the Maker & Craft channel here at CreativeLive. That means that I find every instructor and book every course for that channel. Then I work with the production team to make each course as good as it can possibly be.
What inspired you to go into production?
The first movie I remember seeing was Star Wars. I can vividly recall sitting in the theater and being awed by the scene at the end where (spoiler alert) Luke blows up the Death Star and Darth Vader is defeated. That started my path to the production world – I knew I wanted to be part of an intensely creative team that worked together to create really memorable shows.
What’s most rewarding about your job?
I get to read about, research, and talk about crafting all day long! I’ve already become so inspired by the women I talk to who have made their success literally from their own two hands. Also, there’s nothing better than seeing a class or a teacher really connect with our audience and inspire them to change their lives.
What did you study in school?
In college I studied Communication and TV Broadcasting.I was lucky to get both a deep background in communication theory as well as a lot of hands-on production experience that taught me to become a good producer.
What was your first job? Where did you work before CL?
My first unofficial job was directing my two younger sisters and our friends in all the talent shows, musical concerts, and dance recitals we performed for the neighborhood. It laid the groundwork for my future career! My first official job in the entertainment industry was working for a production company in Los Angeles. With that team, I produced a couple of children’s TV shows, some reality series, and other fun tv projects.
Do you have creative hobbies?
Over the years I’ve also dabbled in quilting, knitting, cross-stitch, and jewelry-making. I would consider myself a general crafter – I go through phases of things I get very excited about. I also love to cook and bake, which I think can be very creative!
Who or what inspires you in your creative endeavors?
I try to surround myself with creative people, and they all act as my inspiration. In addition to the people I meet at CL, I also work with a musical theater company here in San Francisco. I take all kinds of fun classes – dance, cooking, crafts, etc. Being around people who are genuinely excited about being creative in different ways inspires me to take more chances and learn new things.
Who is your favorite cL teacher and why?
I’ve loved so many of our instructors and classes it’s hard to choose just one. I think we’ve been so lucky to have an amazing roster of people coming through to share their wisdom and experience.
If you were a CreativeLive instructor, what would you teach?
How to pick the perfect karaoke song. Sometimes you just need to bring the house down with a strong Bon Jovi rendition of “You Give Love a Bad Name.”
What’s the most awesome thing you’ve ever done?
Early on when I was an assistant at a production company in LA, my bosses had a meeting with Stan Lee. I only got to greet him, take him into the conference room, and get him a glass of water, but as a huge fan of the Marvel superhero movies it was a pretty fun moment.
Where do you see education going in the future?
I think we’re going to see a trend towards people of all ages setting their own education paths, much more so than they were able to when I was in school. Video on the internet has made it possible to learn almost anything no matter where you live, and you can focus on classes and topics that inspire and appeal to you. It’s helping democratize education at a rapid pace which will ultimately cause global change.
What’s your favorite family tradition?
I’m from a really small farm town in Northern California. Every May our town has a festival we call Lamb Derby, which includes a parade, a carnival, and all kinds of fun activities (and yes, also a lot of sheep). We all head home for this every year, walk to the parade in the morning, eat sno-cones, and then hit a regular neighborhood barbeque. It’s a great chance to relax and catch up with friends and family.
Most life-changing (non-CreativeLive) class you’ve ever taken?
I spent my junior year of college in Madrid, Spain. It was life-changing both in what I learned in school and what I learned about myself and about life. I was able to travel, learn a new language, and really immerse myself fully into an entire culture. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
What do you do with CLers outside the office?
I’m always up for a fun night of karaoke, and luckily, so are most of my colleagues!
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