Written by: Marc Lotenberg
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…”
Summer is the season that probably has the greatest impact on me. It's when I think about who I am, what I’m doing and whose lives I have had an impact on.
The world didn’t end recently, but if it did would you be able to look back and be proud of what you have accomplished? What would you do differently? Would you have spent more time with your family, married that girl when you were younger, visited a sick grandparent in the hospital more or had a few less shots of tequila that night?
So I looked back on my past 10 years since I completed college and made a list of what I did and the things I wish I didn’t. It's an ongoing list I am adding to each time I remember more, but thus far I have come to the realization I am incredibly blessed. I have an incredible family that is always there for me, I have great friends I can truly call friends and I have experienced more “once in a lifetime” opportunities than one person should. I probably take for granted the access to the world I live in, but when it's all said and done it's not reality. It's fun and great, but true happiness doesn’t come in the form of hanging with celebrities and being backstage. Sure, I have done some dumb things — really dumb. But those dumb things have helped me to grow into the person I am today and I have learned so much from my mistakes. Mistakes are beautiful if you truly understand why it was a mistake and act differently the second time when given the opportunity. Conversely, a mistake is tragic if you keep repeating it.
My last 10 years, I started a company out of a dollar and a dream. Literally, it was really a dollar — I had to find coins in the bottom of old couches. I had no clue where it would go or what it would be but I had a burning desire to be successful and I was incredibly passionate about the concept. It could’ve been a bag of dirt and it would have been amazing. The team around me had just as much belief and determination, which made us an an unstoppable force. That company then grew exponentially year over year, affording a lot of people to be a part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience as well as giving a platform to a special demographic that has had an influence on many businesses, places, people and talent. Many notable talents, whether they're musicians or actors, got their first feature or break in 944.
I even look back on how this crazy lady came to pitch us on how she was going to be a big star and wanted to use our office on Sunset Boulevard at the time to do a small concert. That night they used my office as her dressing room and I remember having an OCD attack about all the glitter and makeup all over my desk. She went out there and put on a really unusual concert in this crazy costume where everyone in the room was wondering and giving me those looks on why I produced this concert for a whack job and invited them. Honestly I even thought to myself that night, “WTF Marc, why do you always have to trust your intuition?” All she had was a dream, she was unproven and no one ever heard of her — but then I caught a glimpse of her eyes and I saw she wasn’t going to let anyone stop her from her dream. Those eyes belong to who we know now as Lady Gaga. There are hundreds of stories like these, some just as big and some not as public but with as much of an impact socially and on helping make the world a better place. These stories are memories for those involved and they can never be taken away (you all know who you are). So following the traditional Hollywood style, these memories and stories are getting pen to paper for a book about the life of 944. And since our memories sometimes leave out things, send us a tweet @marclotenberg
to remind us how 944 has had an impact on your life — Whether being featured, inspired or how you met your sweetheart at one of our events.
Everyone always thought 944 was just one big party, but the true insiders knew it was an incredibly powerful brand that brought people's dreams to life and I am glad that over the last 10 years I have been able to be a facilitator of these dreams coming to fruition. Whether you’re a little monster or a little dreamer, never let anyone hold you back from following what you believe in.