What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Wordplay is the only literary studio in the Western Suburbs. Our program fosters and celebrates creative expression in young and old, at a completely accessible price.
Do you provide any materials? What should your students expect to bring?
You don't need much to write. Students should bring paper, a fast-moving pen, and a commitment to be themselves!
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
Creativity is an undervalued force and skill, especially to those who don't think they possess it. It's worth working at. Creativity is entertaining, restorative,
and powerful. I'm lucky to have been born with a love for it and a passion for sharing it.
What do you love most about your job?
Coaching someone to have confidence in their voice gratifies beyond words.
Mary Mayer's career in Irish dancing started when she took her first lessons in Ireland while staying with her grandmother in the early '70s. She loved it so much that when she returned to Chicago, she—as well as her brother John—began taking lessons at a local Irish-dance school, where they danced with such people as Lord of the Dance creator Michael Flatley. Both Mary and John eventually starting placing at regional and national championships.
In 1980, they founded the Mayer School of Irish Dancing. It began in a basement with only five students—two of who were their younger brother and sister, Paul and Julie Mayer. These two followed in their older siblings' footsteps by placing in championships and even landing roles in Road to Perdition. Paul trained actress Jennifer Jason Leigh and danced with her in the film. Julie also trained many actors and performed alongside Paul Newman and Daniel Craig.
Though John has since retired, Mary continues to teach classes six days a week in Villa Park and Galena. Paul and Julie man two of the school's additional locations, which now span four states. Their students have placed in regional and national championships. Some have even traveled to Ireland to put their skills on display at the All-Ireland Championship and see if any snakes have found their way back yet.
Gotham Dream Cars lets drivers grip the throttle of exotic speed machines such as the Ferrari F430, Lamborghini Gallardo, and Bentley Continental GT for personal rental or specialized thrill experiences. During the Dream Car Sprint, auto enthusiasts slip into a Ferrari or Lamborghini on a closed course and whip their more than 500-horsepower drive three times around the autocross track, learning how to tame their power with the aid of an instructor before coming out of the third lap on a straightaway to open the engine up to its full potential. Drivers conduct an orchestra of firing pistons and camshafts for three laps before crossing the finish line and parking to the pianissimo of the softly purring V8 engine. Gotham Dream Cars snaps pictures of the sprint, so drivers are sent home with hands they will never wash and a CD of images to parade before jealous coworkers and humbled shopping carts.
Mike Semerau and the instructors at Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons have a trick up their sleeve. In addition to in-person tutelage, they provide professional pre-recorded take-home videos of proper drumming techniques for students to refer to while practicing. This kind of constant visualization and repetitive watching is what the instructors claim makes their students so successful as they drill new techniques such as double bass, ostinatos, and stick control. During lessons, teachers also cover subjects such as soloing, learning a student’s favorite song, creating original beats and fills, and teaching yourself. Chicago's #1 Drum Lessons has a play-along machine stacked with more than 1,000 songs, all of which have no drum track so that students can provide their own percussion and experience the sensation of playing and keeping time with other instruments.
The aestheticians, hair stylists, and nail technicians at G Skin & Beauty Institute never work alone. As students at the beauty school, they tend to clients as part of their training, always under the watchful eye of an expert. Their comprehensive, supervised services range from haircuts, deep-conditioning, and relaxer treatments to microdermabrasion and complexion-brightening facials. They can also revitalize entire physiques with body wraps. Regardless of the treatment at hand, the team strives to incorporate organic and natural products whenever possible, rather than those made with extracts from the Little Shop of Horrors plant.