Elizabeth Avellán, the co-owner of Troublemaker Studios and the producer of Desperado, the Spy Kids series, Grindhouse, and the much-anticipated sci-fi action flick Predators, considers her job a mix of maternal instincts and business savvy. “I’m the one who tells people, ‘Yes, you can do that,’ or ‘No, we don’t have money for that,’ ” says Avellán. “It’s a lot like being a mother.” And she should know. The 49-year-old has six children, five with ex-husband and business partner Robert Rodriguez. Every morning she leaves her secluded home on 110 acres outside Austin and drives her black Mercedes CLK 63 AMG, a birthday gift from Rodriguez, to her office. Her passenger seat holds the necessities for getting through fourteen-hour workdays, and since the 45-minute commute is the only time she’s completely alone, she makes the most of it by placing a moratorium on cell phone use in the car.
• My iPod has the sound track to my life. In the morning it gets me ready for yoga, with spiritual music and sounds. In the evening it keeps me awake as I drive home.
• My makeup bag makes me feel confident and ready to go. My favorite brand is Laura Mercier.
• My older boys—the fourteen-, twelve-, and ten-year-old—love comedy, so I have on hand Jim Gaffigan’s King Baby and Beyond the Pale , Ray Romano’s Live at Carnegie Hall , and Steven Wright’s I Still Have a Pony .
• I love to do yoga in the morning. This bag contains gym clothes and nice clothes, just in case I have to look decent for the evening.
• I need to make sure my breath is fresh after thirteen to fourteen hours of shooting!
• This is the Predators production binder. I have updated copy on my office desk, on my home desk, and in my car. This has the cast list, the crew list, shooting schedule, and day-out-of-days schedule.
• My aim in life is to be Christlike, which is a heavy and hard goal. That’s why I have his words close to my heart and mind at all times.
• BlueAvocado bags are an organized system of reusable grocery bags. They are simple and beautiful.
• We get new versions of the script as we are starting to shoot the movie. There is a color system to the revisions: white, blue, pink, green, yellow, goldenrod. This is the pink script.
Amazon.com has hundreds of comedy CDs, including classics from Jackie Mason, Robert Klein, Don Rickles, and Phyllis Diller.
Visit yoga4liberation.com to find private and public classes with Austin-based yoga instructor Matt Borer.
Lauramercier.com is the French makeup artist’s go-to site for purchasing products, news and tips on creating seasonal looks.
Go to Blueavocado.com to shop its collection of reusable grocery bags.
Get a daily dose of Christian wisdom at purposedrivenlife.com.