Hollywood Director Launches New Business in Rugby

A successful Hollywood casting director is helping people from Warwickshire tell their own stories worthy of the silver screen.

Rugby woman Marie Rowe has worked on some of Hollywood’s most iconic films and is now encouraging people to put their life stories down on paper.

Over her career, Marie has worked with some of the biggest names in film including Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson on films such as ‘Good Morning, Vietnam’, ‘Rain Man’ and ‘Avalon’.

Born in Coventry, she has received free advice and support from the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce to help develop her memoir writing business ‘Thanks for the Memoirs.’

Marie’s Hollywood career has seen her work as a writer, publicist, producer, casting director and actress.

Using this experience she now hosts workshops with small groups to help people write their own autobiographies, she also holds one-to-one sessions with clients.

In addition, she gives inspirational talks to university students and other social groups across the region about her life in Hollywood.

Marie moved from Los Angeles to Rugby in 2012 and says she wants to help people realise that every person has an interesting story to tell.

She said: “My first experience of doing this was with an elderly man back in 2009. I saw how alive he came talking about his life and I thought, wow, this is what I want to do.

“It’s amazing seeing people realise how fascinating their lives have been. I’m giving people the opportunity to write about themselves and be proud of the accomplishments of their life.

“The Chamber has been so supportive. It can be difficult to promote yourself and this is something my business mentor has really helped me with. I love what I do and the Chamber has helped me to do more of it.”

Marie moved to Toronto, Canada, in 1974 – after working as a secretary in Coventry and spending time with the US army in Germany.

While in Toronto her use of Pitman’s Shorthand, which she’d learnt at school, caught the attention of Hollywood and led her to move to LA.

Wendy Brown, business advisor at the Chamber, says it is these experiences that make the service she offers unique.

Wendy said: “Marie is a shining example of a growing trend of people we see who are capitalising on their life experiences and turning them into a business.

“She has an interesting life story of her own and I wish her the best of luck in helping others to tell theirs.”

The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Support Programme is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Coventry City Council, Warwickshire County Council and the District and Borough Councils.

For more information or to book on to the Business Support programme call the Chamber on 024 7665 4321 or log onto www.cw-chamber.co.uk

Picture caption: Marie Rowe and Wendy Brown.