When you’ve spent over 15 years in the story industries, you develop a philosophy for work. (It’s either that, or become the most cynical human being on the planet.) The entertainment industry is scrappy, folks, and not for the faint of heart.
So, for those who are wondering whether they’d like to explore the idea of working together, I offer up my Philosophy (which looks more official when I capitalize it, right?):
- Be A Nice Human
- Yes, Sergey, you articulated the concept with your, “Don’t Be Evil” motto for Google. Still, this idea is a filter through which I send every thought and action (or try to). Whether you ascribe to a particular religion or not, this philosophy will see you through.
- Be Authentic
- I originally double-majored in both communications and political science, thinking I’d be a Senator one day. One semester working as an intern in D.C. (during the Clinton/Lewinsky brouhaha) was enough for me to realize that I lacked a key ability to succeed in politics: double-speaking. I’m smart enough to know that there is something unsaid, but not smart enough to figure out what it is. That’s frustrating. So, I got out of politics and into the story industries. Joke’s on me, though: Hollywood is also full of people who are awesome at double-speak. If you’re one of them, please keep walking. I’m awful at it and would rather not try to overcome that particular weakness.
- Be Respectful
- I love it when folks are clear about their expectations and deadlines. I promise you I will be respectful of both by delivering what we agreed to, by the time we agreed upon. Additionally, it’s awesome when everyone at the table realizes that each person has worked his/her tail off to get there. Let’s respect each other for the work we’ve done to get to this place, okay?
- Give the Benefit of the Doubt
- In the story industries (publishing and producing), communication and transparency are sorely lacking. That leaves a vacuum in which anxiety flourishes. Is the person deliberately ignoring me? Did I say/do something wrong? Have they discovered I’m really a five-headed Medusa out to destroy their empire and therefore they want nothing to do with me? Do I actually suck at this and they don’t know how to tell me kindly, so they’ve gone silent? I’ve learned that it’s best to give the benefit of the doubt to every human I meet. We’re all just doing our best and rare is the human who is proactively working to bring about harm. Let kindness lead the day. Assume the best.
- Treasure Relationship
- I have been a breaker of relationships and a healer of them. Joy and peace lie more in the latter (unless the person is an abuser – then, run for the hills). In my fourth decade of life, I’ve come to truly value the people who gift me with their presence and friendship. Hubs and I have fellow creative friends over regularly, reveling in the pleasure of their company around our dining room table. If you and I get to work together, please know that I assign great value to your time and interaction, and will treasure the relationship we develop along the way. (Also, if you get invited to dinner at my house, bring good wine and wit.)
That about sums it up.
To be clear, I couldn’t care less about your religion or politics or ego as filters for whether we get along. I also couldn’t care more about you. The authentic you. The women in my family live into their 90s and 100s regularly. If I’m like them, I’ve got about 60ish years left on this planet. I intend to spend those with people who communicate, are real, and want to work together to leave this place better than we found it. If you’re that kind of person, I truly hope you get in touch. If you’re not – please just keep steppin’. Even 60+ years are too few to waste on folks who can’t say what they mean, be who they are, and authentically enjoy the creative life.