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

The New Hollywood Leader

Spring, Spring: Just Do It, Edition

by David Brownstein

After a quiet midwinter dip in energy (or was it a surge of reflective, nurturing energy) the Hollywood earth is thawing and ready for planting new seeds.

The entertainment landscape has certainly changed but it hasn't disappeared. Now is the time to reframe and possibly rebrand your career in accordance with the seismic shifts of the past 2 years.

I know I've used the past few months to do an assortment of things.

No Direction Home?

I've looked at where Hollywood is going and how I fit in. Both as a career coach and as a creative person.

I always talk with my clients about their need to continue to be creative in addition to working your day job or your hunt for a day job or your hunt for financing or whatever you're hunting for.

Continuing to create is an essential fuel for the fire that is our life as creative people. It sounds stupidly obvious, but how many of us have been looking so hard for the right creative "job" that we forgot to express and work in the creative part of our life that we do have control of.

You Know…

Writing a script, writing a song, taking a photo, shooting a web series or a feature or a short.

Or writing a spec. Or going to the museum. Or staying up late reading or writing.

Or waking up early and swimming in the ocean.

See a movie. Write a blog about what your love or hate or fear about the state of the industry or art or world or politics.

It's our job to follow the creative urges and to see where it leads or lands.

Fiscal Responsibility?

Of course we must be responsible to the day job and be responsible for our finances, that's a given.

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?

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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…

Hollywood Future Strike Watch: Carol Lombardi of AMPTP

by David Brownstein

Interesting interview in the LA Times with Carol Lomdardi who is the new chief negotiator of the AMPTP (representing the major studios and networks.) She's already shifting the dynamic. That's good news.

Nick Counter was known as a pugnacious negotiator. Will you adopt a similar approach?

I'm a good listener at the bargaining table. I try to be. I'm still a representative of management. I represent major studios, each of whom has different businesses and in some cases different interests. All of that is the same as it was for Nick. The one area where we may really differ a lot is getting out in front of negotiations. Having regular communications with the guilds and unions, so that we can share perceptions or disagree about what the world looks like, is very important. I've already had discussions with representatives of the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild about doing that.

In fact, during the writers strike, it seemed that you were practically speaking different languages.

I think increased dialogue between the parties would have helped on some issues, particularly in new media, where the companies felt it was too early to negotiate a deal, and the Writers Guild felt they were going be left in the dust and have this whole market develop around them and not be part of it. It may not have prevented a strike, but having discussions about that at an earlier stage might have been very helpful. We really didn't have a functioning relationship.

And you have one now?

We're working on it. I've made efforts to reach out to the WGA leadership to change that dynamic.

Looking ahead to 2011, when contracts for actors, writers and directors all expire, conditions would seem ripe for another showdown between studios and talent.

I hope not. Everybody endured some battle scars from the last round. The economy in L.A. and elsewhere suffered tremendously as a result of the last strike. A lot of people lost their jobs. Nobody really wants to revisit those consequences, so I'm optimistic that people will say, "Let's find a way to get this done."

Read the full article HERE

Thanks to Jonathan Handel for pointing to the article

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…

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?

Keep Reading…

The Inner Game of Hollywood: How to Navigate Your Goals, Fears, Dreams, Strategies and Blackberry.

by David Brownstein

Ok. So first of all I don’t have a blackberry, yet, but many of my clients do. I see it sometimes propel them to new levels of distraction, hyperventilation, bad grammar and hastily typed shorter emails.

Which is fine, but I don’t have one and can’t say I recommend them, although I must confess that I’m tempted, and quite possibly by the time you read this I will have one. (Or maybe an iPhone.)

But here’s why. Multi-tasking is the enemy. I’ve come to truly believe this. It’s the enemy of depth, completion, focus and inner wisdom. It’s not just a multi-generational thing, or a male-female thing. It’s a cultural thing.

Wait, Where Was I?

Now, perhaps the concept of “multi-tasking” is relative. Of course it is. As I sit here writing, I’m listening to a mix of songs I created on my iTunes playlist from “Nightmares on Wax” (down tempo groove, with no vocals, although occasional vocal samples, which I’ll now terminate.)

Right I’m back. Where was I? Right. Distractions and stuff. Staying focused. Yeah, not multi-tasking, going deep, blackberry, good or bad, please discuss amongst yourselves.

So here’s the real thing. I read in a some metaphysical writing that it’s important to shut down the many distractions we have and voices talking to us, whether inside or outside our head, so that we can hear our own inner voice. This is important, the author states, because our inner voice waits till it’s quiet because the inner voice NEVER INTERRUPTS.

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"The Inner Game of Hollywood" Live in Studio City, CA.

by David Brownstein

I’ll be at “Jennifer’s Coffee Connection” in Studio City at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 25th. Come on down and say hello.

My topic will be: “The Inner Game of Hollywood: How to Juggle Your Goals, Fears, Dreams, Strategies and Blackberry.”

Coincidentally, this is the name of my newly revised, remixed and re-edited book. Amazing!

“The Inner Game of Hollywood” is learning to navigate our careers and creations while balancing our elaborate strategies and plans with the non-linear, sometimes non-sensical logic of a cryptic Zen-master or a 5-year-old child.

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