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.

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