I POURED MY DUES

By 

Stephanie Rabiola

EVERYTHING I EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TELEVISION AND FILM PRODUCTION I LEARNED FROM BEHIND THE BAR......

 

 

Well, I did not actually learn EVERYTHING there, I did go to film school, but my first occupational love was for the restaurant business. I came to find out later, the thing I really adored was the fact that it was a production. There are many parallels between the inner workings on a set and the team work required to work in the hospitality industry. 

 

Any good restaurant or bar is run like a film set. You have your hosts, bouncers, wait staff which all can be compared to actors, they are the faces you recognize. Chefs can be compared to the camera operators...The managers are the producers....  There is pre-production and prep... There is set design...and After the doors open, it is a premiere every night... I think you get the point. 

 

During the time I was going to school and  cutting my teeth in production I supported myself as a waitress, a bartender and a night club manager. Cliché, I know.  

 

I would work late nights on Friday and Saturday nights to support myself so I could go to school, and so I could take on low or no paid production gigs, so I could learn as much as possible. Many of us hard working Chicago Production types do this, I am not the only one. There are thousands of us in the Windy City working in restaurants, bars and clubs while pursuing our American Dream.  

 

I spent the majority of my time in the industry, behind the bar as that is where my strength was. I had the most amazing time. I was working hard but because it was a passion, I was always hardly working.  Working in restaurants like TGI Fridays where I started to martini bars to where I ended my career, Excalibur Nightclub, I can safely say it layed the groundwork for what I do now.  

 

In 2005, I competed for and won the title of Best Bartender of the year by Redeye Metromix. It was an amazing experience and I am honored to be the first woman to hold the title. I was humbled by this and so thankful to be recognized in this industry, because sometimes it can be a very thankless job. Every year, I get so excited to see who is competing for Best Bartender and see what everyone is creating. 

 

After years of hustle, I finally transitioned into my producing career but I will never forget the vehicle that got me here. There were script ideas written on cocktail napkins, negotiations made over the bar, nightly performances, good takes and some bad takes. There are so many amazing people that I worked with, worked for, and waited on. These are the same people who encouraged me, cheered me on, helped me with my films, and I will never forget that my education (which came in many forms) was paid for Tip by Tip and Pour by Pour....

 

I POURED MY DUES... AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!

She's The One

Congrats to your Best Bartender

RED EYE CHICAGO

Still Shakin'

Chicago Tribune

Cell Phone: 312-523-9168
Email: Srabiola@gmail.com
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