CLOSE UP WITH JOE LIVECCHI: CORI ABRAHAM

In another life, Cori Abraham could have been the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She has a breezy acceptance of her life and she bounds headfirst into the unknown. And just like Midge Maisel, she is adept at turning her grief into growth and life’s curveballs into opportunity.

She grew up in Teaneck, NJ surrounded by friends, family and a pretty sweet life. Her father, ‘the amazing David Finkelstein’ as she calls him, did well enough to give her private school and a big bat mitzvah. If MTV had a show back then called ‘My super sweet bat mitzvah’ Cori would have been on the casting director’s short list.

Her mom was a steady loving force. The constant throughout the chaos that would come later. The mother who made everything possible. David Finkelstein was a star in the garment business. He helped designers place big orders in department stores and with his success, he gave his family the best of everything. A fearless entrepreneur, David saw an opportunity and started his own label. The timing wasn’t right and the financials struggles of the business eventually took its toll on the family.

Cori’s parents split up and she suddenly found herself in a whole new life. Cori got a job, never went to summer camp again and swapped her private school for Teaneck High. If there was any doubt, it was official, Cori’s old life was gone for good.

Initially, her new circumstances were one of those curveballs Cori wasn’t sure she could handle. She felt alone and on her own. Invisible at times. However, just like the marvelous Mrs. Maisel became the center of her new department store friends, Cori became a social magnet and her house became THE place to hang out. She never let her new circumstances define her life. She always found a way to write and constantly re-write her own script.

Cori credits her mom Bunny for giving her the grit to get through just about any situation. Bunny is progressive, free spirited, ‘Auntie Mame’ to all her young co-workers who relished working alongside her. No one could imagine how much Cori would need that grit to get through life’s next chapter.

Early in her career, when she decided fighting for on screen roles wasn’t for her, Cori took a gamble working for a fledging comedy manager named Ken Treusch. They were two risk takers finding their way in the dark and laying the groundwork for better thing to come. She later went on to work as a television executive at FX where she supervised ‘Son of a Beach’. When she found out this guy Ken she met on J date had coincidentally acted for the show, she took it as a sign. Like Mrs. Maisel, comedy was destined to help pave the beautiful and bumpy roads in Cori’s life.

It was late at night when Cori got the call about her father’s horrific car accident. He was thrown fifty feet from his car, suffered multiple fractures and fell into a coma for 2 months. All the laughter died and the world suddenly stopped.

But like so many times before, ‘the amazing David Finkelstein’ found a way to beat the odds. He would never work again, but success in the second act of his business kept him comfortable. His sole project for the next two years would be parenting Cori. He focused all his attention on transitioning his little girl into a powerful woman who could take on the world.

To this day, Cori is still thankful for those two glorious years with her dad. A brush with death breathed new life into their relationship before he eventually lost his battle with cancer. The loss hit her hard and for a while she road life in neutral, laying off the curveballs, shrinking from change and commitment. Cori eventually realized it was now her turn to do everything in life her mother and father set her up to do.

Today, Cori juggles a family of her own alongside a demanding job that recently included the total reimagining of a television network. You can scan her IMDB page or ask just about any unscripted producer about her influence in media, but this story isn’t really about that.

Cori admits to overcompensating emotionally with her kids to make up for the hours when she has to be away. Above everything, she wants them to feel seen, to be heard and to set them on a course to one day take over the world. When the time is right she’ll share the comedy and tragedy that created the wisdom and wonder of her early years. Just like Mrs. Maisel, Cori is only getting started and can’t wait for the new seasons of her life.