In our society, what we do often defines how we see ourselves: Our identity is tied up with careers and success. So what happens when we're forced to start over? These people have grappled with reinvention, realizing that it's possible to get out of situations that don't feel right — and figure out how to move forward. Featuring musician Vanessa Carlton, journalist-turned-educator Chris Echegaray and former country music manager Chip Peay.
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Vanessa Carlton’s music career skyrocketed almost immediately into stardom, when she released the hit song “A Thousand Miles” in 2002. (Pitchfork called it “the pop song that launched a generation of piano lessons.”) The singer-songwriter released two more albums on major labels. In 2008, she left the major label machine and began to rebuild her career as an independent musician. In 2011, she released the Steve Osborne-produced Rabbits On The Run. Vanessa, who now lives in Nashville, recently completed a North American tour for her most recent studio album, the critically acclaimed Liberman.
Chris Echegaray is a journalist-turned-education advocate. As a former reporter at The Tampa Tribune and The Tennessean, he's covered stories in some intense situations — interviewing groups of heavily armed gang members, riding buses filled with laborers rolling across the U.S. border and talking to parents still reeling from the kidnapping of their baby. He currently works at Whitsitt Elementary School as part of a Metro Nashville Public Schools initiative that helps schools integrate more fully into their communities.
Chip Peay began his career in the country music industry — first as talent agent for stars like Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn, then as a personal manager for Ricky Skaggs, the Bellamy Brothers and many others. In 1995, he began managing the career of Alan Jackson, negotiating the artist’s contracts and record deals. The Nashville native left the music business in 2000 and moved to a farm in rural Tennessee for several years before discovering a new passion: selling real estate in the Florida panhandle.