Hollywood Coaching • Career Coach Los Angeles, Life Coach, Executive Business Coach

The New Hollywood Leader

What Is Leadership Presence?

by David Brownstein

What Is Presence?

When we talk about presence, we're not talking about domination.

We're talking about the ability to be present in our self.

And to monitor and balance the needs and messages from our internal state with our external state AND our own business objective.

And only when we do that can we be aware of the other people's internal state and the other people's external state and business objectives.

Creating Safe Space

So leadership presence is really creating a safe space for others to speak the truth.

Safe, non-judgemental, and also, ultimately focused on a business objective.

So when we say Presence, we have to be able to be aware of whether WE are being present.

We have to first be present, and first be vulnerable and real, so that we can inspire others to do the same and to bring their presence.

Keep Reading…

My Mission, And I've Decided To Accept It

by David Brownstein

I wrote a really long great article this month on the plane to Sundance.

However, I’m just going to send you the last part of it because I know your attention span is challenged. (As are all of ours these days.)

I may post the rest later but for now… lets all just create community. Shall we?


On Community And Mission…

I had a gathering of a small number of friends, colleagues and clients recently.

Because I had the presence of mind to get help with the party food and preparations I was able to have the time to think, actually. And be relaxed in the hours before people arrived.

And I thought about saying a few words when people were gathered there, but I didn’t, because it didn’t seem necessary at the time, but because the thank you I got was that they had all shown up, in my life, as well as my practice.

What I Realized Was This

I actually had a mission for my business and my coaching practice that I’d never articulated.

Here It Is

My mission for Hollywood Coaching is to create a Hollywood that is Healthy, Rewarding, and Enlightening.

And I can only do that when people show up in my life who’re hungry for that as well. (And  I’m not just talking about coaching clients.)

Just Showing Up

When people with a positive outlook show up at a networking event or a gathering or a meeting it allows me to bring and share my positive outlook and thoughts.

Keep Reading…

Are You Doing More By Doing Less?

by David Brownstein

Radio Silence

I love doing my ezine and the schmoozes and feedback I get from many of you and the correspondence and community it builds.

And I also realized how much time and creative brain cells it takes (for me) and I wanted to experiment with a different choice.

Here's What I Learned

Almost anything I focus on starts to expand and take a lot of time. Since my time and brain cells are not unlimited it’s important to be brutal about how I spend them.

No matter how much time I think certain things “should” take they always take as much time as they’re going to take. Which is generally a lot more than I think/hope/want. (See “What’s Your Chinese Democracy?)”

Here's What I Gained

I got deeper into things that were bigger, scarier and had more potential reward.

I was tired of telling my own coach that I didn't have time to do some of the stuff that I thought was really important.

A Meditation On Procrastination

By giving myself enough time to actually get to the “really important stuff” I realized that once I faced these projects directly I could discover what was really going on.

Keep Reading…

What's A Hollywood Professional To Do?

by David Brownstein

Here’s a question I received from a colleague recently

“Hi there. I’ve been an independent casting director for over 30 years, casting mostly studio feature films with a few indies and TV pilots thrown in.

“Independent,” meaning I don’t work for a studio and I’m freelance. Things have been going very well until the last couple of years when the “perfect storm” hit the business.

The Writer’s strike, the de-facto SAG strike, followed by the economy tanking last year. Studios have stockpiled projects and have almost stopped green-lighting films, or they are green-lighting fewer and fewer films.

The traditional resources to go to for financing for indies has also shifted greatly. People are scared. Seems like the business model for studio and indie film distribution, financing, etc. has completely changed…. but I’m not quite sure what it’s going to change into.

What do you think the adjustment (or fall-out!) will be in this end of the business?

How’s a girl supposed to make a living as a casting director with so few films being green-lit?!”

Here’s My Reply

Um. Well…

A lot of people ARE getting out of the business. And also based on the calls and emails I’m getting a lot of people are still deciding to get INTO the business now.

But everyone must reinvent themselves to some extent right now.

Keep Reading…

7 Things Jon Heder Needs To Know To Run His TV Show

by David Brownstein

Another Funny Man Steps Into the Big Leagues

I read in the NY Times about Jon Heder  (Napoleon Dynamite, etc.) getting a contract to develop 100 episodes of a TV series for Comedy Central. (Starting with 10 episodes, of course.)

I've never met him and don't know any of the parties involved, but what I do know is this:

He has no idea what he's in for.

How Do I Know?

In the NY Times article Jon said: "They kept asking me "Are you you ready for this?" I said, "I'm like, 'Should I be?' I haven't thought this through."

This heart-warming exchange demonstrates a common and dangerous dynamic in Hollywood.

First: A team of smart executives recognize a major talent and make a deal for the talent to take an ambitious and smart next step.

Then: While they actually do know the traps, obstacles and banana peels that will likely challenge this creative genius, they are unwilling or more likely unable to articulate, prepare or arm their bold adventurer for his or her journey.

Into The Woods

I'm not saying the creative genius isn't ready or shouldn't embark on this journey into the deep dark woods of TV production. And I'm not faulting the execs for their vision, their deal or their last minute warning/trepidation.

This dynamic is happening all over Hollywood whether it's Burbank, Studio City, Culver City, Television City or Manhattan Beach.

Keep Reading…

The Top Of The Ladder?

by David Brownstein

Lights, Camera, Action

There's an amazing all encompassing high that occurs when we're working on a show.

I think especially on that bizarre journey called production i.e. being on the set and shooting something, where we enter this altered state and it's all about getting the shot, making the day and wrapping early enough to get some sleep before the next crazy, exciting, stressful, magical day.

It can happen in a great development job, editing job, writing job or the launch of a company or a network or whatever.

but Then It’s Over and What Now?

Looking for that next job? That next creative inspiration?

Even for those of us who've been on a roll. Had a hit, or more.

A success whether commercial or critical or just a good gig where we couldn't wait to be back to work the next day, tired as we were.

We in the entertainment industry are always wondering "What's next?"

What's around the corner?

What's going to sell in the current market?

Have I made enough money to get out of the business? Have I made enough money to get INTO the business? Have I written a good enough project to sell? Have I written a good enough project to direct it? Have I made amassed enough power to make a project I really truly love?

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Who's On Your Transition Team?

by David Brownstein

November 4th was the day of voting, counting and analyzing the data, but the change has been occurring gradually for years.

Election day was a snapshot/freeze frame of a living breathing transformation in progress. 

Our world has been changing, our demographics have been changing, the economy has been changing and our careers and industries have been changing. 

And it's on certain days and at certain times that we stop and register a choice, count the votes, articulate what's changed.

Internal/External Shifts

The political landscape has changed. The world's economic fortunes are shifting. 

One of the many things that I believe Barack Obama's leadership will bring to Washington and the world is a new understanding of the nature of teamwork and collaboration in getting things done and making changes in our world and projects.

  • How will we help improve our global economy and our personal economy?

  • How will we change our actions and attitudes towards global warming and our reliance on oil?
  • How will we reinvent our careers and professional lives when the skills and jobs and money streams that once made us a good living are changing, shifting or outright disappearing?

The Big Change

The big answer, and the big shift, is that we'll be challenged to do it collectively: in teams, in partnership and in collaboration.

We're being challenged to solve problems that we've never faced before which will require answers and approaches to problem solving that we've never used before.

But now, working together with other people, brainstorming solutions, listening and being inspired by other ways of looking at and approaching problems are likely to be the best and perhaps only way out.

Keep Reading…

The Writer's Strike and Small Business…

by David Brownstein

I was interviewed yesterday for Fortune Small Business News, as seen on CNN.com.

Read It Now

The article says that “Writers’ strike cripples small businesses.”

Here’s the "good part." (where they finally talk to me.)


The strike has required businesses to come up with new survival strategies and creative solutions to the cash crunch, said Hollywood career coach David Brownstein. With their production projects on hold, many of his clients are taking the time off to brainstorm about new financing options and think about their career trajectories.

"They are now forced to look at where there are new business opportunities," Brownstein said.