Monday, June 25, 2012

Non-Linear Recovery. So Be It.

Paramount's Famous Bronson Gate

I don’t know why it always comes as a surprise when I move in a linear progression with recovery then something happens and I am quickly reminded that recovery is NON-LINEAR. When I was younger and wanting to get into “The Biz,” I gorged on books and read countless examples of how one can achieve the position they want, and sometimes the position they have wasn’t what they expected. Sherry Lansing, former CEO of Paramount Pictures was an actress and even played opposite of such legends as John Wayne. She climbed her way to the top in what one may say an unconventional fashion. I loved her when I was younger, and I still respect and admire how she has paved the way for women in entertainment and what she does philanthropically. She is one of many who sidestepped their way to the top.

When I moved to Los Angeles, I interned on a one-hour drama… some of the writers took traditional routes of PA to writer’s assist to writer, then there was the writing team who started off writing video games and then turned one of those games into an animated series, and then they eventually were writing for TV shows.

Non-linear advancement is germane to the entertainment industry. Many will give you an anecdote of how to “make it” in the Entertainment Industry. Yes, there are non-linear paths in other professions, professions where one can get from point A to H, but maybe jump to I first and then eventually exit after Z. This non-linear has been my Modus operandi thus far.  If that’s the case, it’s only logical I would be drawn to an industry that has a non-traditional method of grading and advancement. If my life path and career path have been non-linear, why should my recovery be any different? In fact, I should take comfort that my recovery has been non-linear since it’s me.

This summer I am approaching my 10-year anniversary of living in Los Angeles.  During that time I’ve hocked swag (1 day) in front of a local grocery store (ironically down the road from Paramount); worked in retail; and done the traditional Hollywood entry-level position twice over, meaning I was a page AND I worked in the mailroom. From the mailroom I worked as an Admin Assist/Coordinator in the syndicated TV sales office.

Now, nearly 10 years after moving to Los Angeles, I am reminded that I have worked on two projects that were nominated for Emmys- the first being an LA Regional Emmy nomination for a PSA I co-wrote and now as an Associate Producer for Judge Joe Brown. We celebrated our hard work and nomination at the Beverly Hilton during the 39th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards this past weekend.  Everyone on the staff has a different story of how they got here. Amazingly, even though he is the host of the second highest rated court show, this is the first nomination for Judge Brown.  During our
Fancy makeup-non-
running clothes-me.

celebration, he reminded us of the victories that we have achieved during the 14 years the show has been on the air. I am blessed to work on a great show and have co-workers I can call friends. Our hard-working staff and all the other TV productions reminds me of a conversation I had with our Senior Supervising Producer (whom I was assisting at the time). When I was chomping at the bit to come back to work after surgery, my boss reminded me: “This is television production. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. We’ll be here when you get back.” It’s true. They were there then, and they are here now. They are always looking out for me as we look out for each other going through medical crises. Judge Brown has been on the air for 14 years and last night we celebrated his first nomination.  There will be a win for him soon. Just because there isn’t a statuette on his mantle this week, it shouldn’t take away from everything he’s achieved and the example he’s set. I need to take the Daytime Emmys as an example. I must stop looking at what I’m not doing with the running and start looking at everything I can do…. And am doing.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Need For Sleep Peppered With Other Things...

The following was originally intended to be edited & posted by May 31, but work and life being what they are, here I am a week later revising and posting…

I am being better about sleep. It is still emotionally difficult not being able to function so effortlessly on less than 8 hours of sleep than I used to. While there is frustration that I’m “losing” hours to be productive, the surgery has not only required me to sleep more, the lack of tumor has enabled me to sleep. The other side effect in the new paradigm of more sleep is that the dynamic of friendships has shifted.  I know I cannot short my sleep and I have loving friends that remind me to sleep. Others still do not understand that even though I am 1.5 years post surgery, my body can no longer withstand consecutive days of 6-7 hours of sleep. Believe me, given my druthers, I’d rather be out creating or running or doing something… ANYTHING other than sleeping.

Sleep though, is necessary. It’s not just me who requires it because of surgery; it’s necessary for everyone. Sleep keeps cortisol levels down to assist with weight loss & if one wants assistance with this OR to train for a marathon or other race, muscles require sleep to repair themselves. If I’m going to be able to set a PR, my muscles must function at their best. For longevity, I must make sure that I maintain the instrument of my body if I want to run and/or continue with all my passions. That said, I’ve been able to start & stick to my training schedule. After have several false starts to my training, I have realized that for this particular go-round of training, I need to look at it on a two-week basis. Two weeks allows me to re-evaluate my success and failure. This is good on two-fold (no-pun intended), the production calendar for the show (JUDGE JOE BROWN) is every two weeks, meaning, one of those weeks, I have to be at work early because we’re taping and getting my run in will be difficult…. The other is because a more flexible training schedule will allow me to ease up or push myself more. I have the basic schedule laid out, but having the leniency is something my soul needs for the 2012 Hartford ING Half-Marathon.

While I have the half-marathon in October and various physical challenges I want to undertake this year, the need to run and lose weight also has a touch of vanity. 1. Swimsuit season. I’m probably one of the only California girls that HATES the beach, but when most of your friends love it and are beach ready, it behooves one to at least work to be comfortable, even if you’re not going to wear a string bikini. The 2nd and for me more fun reason is Emmys. Yes, JUDGE JOE BROWN the show I am an Associate Producer for has been nominated for a daytime Emmy.  This means Emmy after party where a nice dress is required.  Pictures of the dress will follow. Pictures of me in a swimsuit will not!