Do You Celebrate?

Happy Sunday! Not too long ago, I posted a blog entry about what a win is and what defines one. For example, is it only a win when you book a job in the entertainment industry? I wanted to shed some light and a new perspective on what a win is. Here is the link to that particular blog entry: http://wp.me/p8uI5M-mS

Well, now that you have a greater understanding of what a win is, and you’ve had some wins in your life and in your career, what did you do to celebrate them? Did you take the time to celebrate that win or did you forget about it and move on to the next thing on your “to do” list? You know, that list of things you keep crossing off and you keep crossing off and don’t ever acknowledge the progress you’re making because you’re only focused on the end goal? “I just want to keep crossing things off my list and then I’ll celebrate! I can’t stop moving now!”

Celebration is important. The definition of celebration is: To observe (a day or event) with ceremonies of respect, festivity, or rejoicing.

How cool is that?! To observe a win you’ve had with respect, festivity or rejoicing. Sing praise! Rejoice! Hallelujah! Give back to yourself for the work you did to achieve that win. Celebrate! Woo hoo! Sing out loud from the rooftops how kick ass you are! But wait. How many of us actually celebrate? How many of us actually carve out time to celebrate that win we just accomplished? Remember, now that you have a clearer understanding of what a win is, celebration should be a frequent part of your journey.

Celebration should be immediate. It should be done quickly in order for you to cement the win. To cement the accomplishment. Don’t let time pass because then you will forget the win you had. When you celebrate, you are planting your marker on the ground as an acknowledgement of what you’ve achieved. You are staking your claim with celebration. You are claiming for yourself. When you celebrate, really give it to yourself. Remind yourself why you are having this celebration in the first place to really cement it in even more. For example, when I get celebrate with a massage, I think to myself during it, “I’m getting this massage for that kick-ass callback I had. I’m getting this massage for that kick-ass callback I had.”

Celebration is a form of respect for you and the work you’ve put in to achieve something. Something you’ve moved forward. A discovery you made in the journey of your life and career. Life and this career is already challenging as it is, so celebration keeps us on the path. It reminds us that we are winning and advancing forward. If you don’t celebrate along the way, you lose perspective. If you don’t celebrate the little things along the way, you’re not going to celebrate the bigger things either. Crazy, right? You’re thinking you’re only going to celebrate when you win that Oscar. Or that Emmy. Or when you get your first series regular role. Or when you sell your first script. “I’ll finally celebrate when I get that big thing!”

The irony is that if you wait to celebrate until you achieve that big thing, you won’t enjoy nor celebrate even then! You’ll finally get that series regular role but you won’t celebrate because you’ll think to yourself, “But yeah, it’s a series regular role on a smaller network. I wanted a series regular role on HBO!” Or “I won an Oscar, but it’s only for supporting actor!” “I booked my first role, but it’s only five lines!” Your expectations are higher than your gratitude. Celebration keeps you in gratitude and it helps you to see the through line of your journey. Celebration keeps you present versus you only focusing on the goal ahead and not taking stock of your progress.

Celebrate and honor the audition you had just as you would celebrate the series regular booking. Celebrate it all because it’s all part of the journey. They are all connected. The audition led you to the callback and the callback led you to the network callback and that led you to your booking, etc.

You can’t and won’t enjoy the bigger things if you don’t acknowledge and celebrate the little things as well along the way.

And celebrations don’t have to be expensive. They don’t have to cost you a ton of money. Actually, you will discover different categories of celebration. One celebration will be appropriate for one type of win while another celebration will be appropriate for another type of win. For example, when I have an audition, I’m not going to celebrate afterwards by taking a trip to a beautiful, tropical island. I’ll most likely save that for when I sell my first feature film script.

So, as you move forward, start looking at ways you can celebrate and how you can organize them into different categories like small, medium and large celebrations. In my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence) aka my business plan, I have my celebrations categorized into small, medium and large celebrations. I even took it a step further and defined for myself what wins would constitute a small, medium or large celebration. This helps me so that I can apply the right level of celebration to the win I just had.

Check them out below and I hope to hear from you about your own list of celebrations!

**Below is just a few examples of what kind of wins would constitute a small, medium or large celebration for myself:

Small celebration:  Audition; callback; put up a scene in class; film festival acceptance; film festival screening; finish writing a scene in a film script or episodic script; submit script to a writing competition; etc.

Medium celebration:  Booking paid acting work on TV (co-star; guest star) and feature films (supporting; principal); finish producing a short film; etc.

Large celebration:  TV series order; feature film script sold for development and production; series regular booking; earn a significant pay increase; winning one of the following awards: Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, SAG, etc.

MY CELEBRATIONS:

Small celebrations (sampling)

Get a full-body massage

Buy a nice bottle of champagne

Go to a drag show with friends

Go to a movie

Buy a new chocolate I haven’t tried before from Trader Joe’s

 

Medium celebrations (sampling)

Veuve Clicquot or Krug Rose with friends

Buy clothing from Rik Villa or Brandon Kee

Have dinner at a nice restaurant with friends

Purchase painting from a new artist

Purchase painting from a new artist

 

Large celebrations (sampling)

Buy a luxury car

Buy a home

Take a vacation in Hawaii, Cape Cod, the Dominican Republic, France, Spain or Australia

Purchase painting from Kehinde Wiley, Keith Haring, Roy Nachum or Jean-Michel Basquiat

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The Showrunner In Me

The only reason why I want to be a showrunner is because I love telling people what to do.

LBH (Let’s Be Honest)

……

……

……

JK

LOL

LMFAO

TTYL

BRB

According to Google, a showrunner, in the most basic terms, “is the person who has overall creative authority and management responsibility for a television program.”

I want to lead and run my own TV shows.

ICYMI, In Case You Missed It, no one is going to create my career for me but me.

Showrunner: Ryan Murphy, Gloria C. Kellet, Mike Royce, Tanya Saracho, etc.

However, I want to be in front of the camera as well. I want to see my face up on that screen in addition to developing and writing the stories I’m interested in telling. I want to see my face on billboards and magazine covers. I didn’t have anyone that looked like me or sounded like me when I was growing up. THIS IS VITAL TO ME that I represent up there as well. I BELONG.

OTOH, On The Other Hand, when I was growing up, I wanted to be Madonna. As an adult, I still do. Hell, when I come back in the next lifetime, I want to be Madonna.

BTT, Back To Topic!!

DGMW, Don’t Get Me Wrong, I want to be me too. I love being me. And it feels so good each time I infiltrate mainstream public consciousness with my work, my voice, my sensibilities, my art.

So maybe it’s more like Lena Dunham, Mindy Kaling, Issa Rae, etc. They are behind the camera as showrunners and in front of the camera as the stars.

But damn, I love movies too. AAMOF, As A Matter Of Fact, movies are my first love. I originally came to Los Angeles to be in movies. I love movies and I love being in them.

Hmmmmm, so maybe it’s more like Tyler Perry, Tina Fey, Dan Bucatinsky, etc. They are actors, writers and producers on both the film and television fronts.

Yeah! Actor, writer and producer for film and television.

I want it all!

I want to be in front of the camera and behind the camera. Film and television. Infiltrate the mainstream. Change perceptions. Fuck with perceptions. Challenge perceptions.

DIY, Do It Yourself, because no one else is going to do it for me. Work hard. Build relationships. Make bold moves.

This will be it.

It will happen. I have the talent. I have the intelligence. I have the work ethic. I make things happen. I make a set better. I uplift people. I administer tough love. I am a mensch. I love this explanation of a mensch from Wikipedia: “According to Leo Rosten, the Yiddish Maven and author of The Joys of Yiddish, a “mensch” is “someone to admire and emulate, someone of noble character. The key to being ‘a real mensch’ is nothing less than character, rectitude, dignity, a sense of what is right, responsible, decorous.” The term is used as a high compliment, implying the rarity and value of that individual’s qualities.”

This will be it.

MMW (Mark My Words)

EOD (End Of Discussion)

P.S.

LBH, I really want to win some Emmys, Golden Globes, Oscars, etc. as that actor, writer and producer just so that I can go to the after parties with my awards in hand and channel Madonna’s dance spirit and outfit below. Riccardo Tisci, Tom Ford, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Lacroix, John Galliano and Rik Villa will each take turns to dress me.

Madonna

Happy 15th Anniversary!

15years-majic-painting

Photo courtesy of Majic Painting

On August 26th, 2017, I celebrated 15 years of living in Los Angeles!!!!!!!!!!

I celebrated by attending a Moët champagne and Veuve Clicquot champagne taste testing, amongst other cool things!

I am so blessed and grateful for the journey that I have been on as a person and as an artist. I am blessed and grateful because I came here to create my dreams and I am still in the game. I am blessed and grateful because I am still living my dreams and enjoying them whereas I have seen countless others give up on theirs. I can’t tell you how blessed I am that I am still living my dreams. I am blessed and grateful to have turned many no’s into yes’s. I am blessed and grateful that I have changed perceptions and enlightened many people on what I can do by honestly being who I am. I learned who I really am by moving to Los Angeles, living on my own and becoming an adult.

I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I went to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I am from the East Coast. However, Los Angeles is my home and I look forward to the next 15 years here.

I want to thank the following people and things that have contributed to my experience here in Los Angeles. This is just a sampling and not a comprehensive list:

My family: both biological and the ones I’ve created here

My friends past and present

My teachers past and present

Relationships past and present

Places of employment

My former co-workers

Past apartments I’ve lived in

My agents past and present

Actors

Co-stars

Casting Directors

Directors

Producers

Writers

Various crew members who also make the magic happen

Concerts

Writers Retreat

The beaches

Madonna

Harvey Weinstein

RuPaul

Drag Queens

James Franco

Jennifer Garner

Evangeline Lilly

Ryan Murphy

 

Happy Anniversary!!!!!!!!

 

 

The Revolution Begins!

“Human Revolution” that is! “Human Revolution” is a 22-minute SAG-Aftra dramedy film that I had the honor of executive producing, co-writing and co-starring in last year. This film came to life and was made possible through the collective efforts of the Richard Lawson Studios community. From crew members to actors, many people came through with their love and talent.

My fellow co-producer and I approved the final cut on July 2nd of this year and we’ve just recently entered the next chapter of film festival submissions and seeking distribution!

For myself, my co-producer and our director, our goal with “Human Revolution” was always about the bigger picture. To use this film as a calling card to spotlight what we can do as artists. And we want to do that by submitting our film to targeted/specific film festivals, to seek avenues of distribution and to share it with key influential people on our relationship map.

I’m very excited for this new chapter!

The first film festival Human Revolution was submitted to was the Vassar FilmFest in D.C. on August 4th. Vassar is my alma mater, so I knew I wanted to personally submit there. A few days later, “Human Revolution” was submitted to Slamdance, SXSW, the Atlanta Film Festival and the Taos Shortz Film Festival in New Mexico. Upcoming film festival submissions include: the Sarasota Film Festival, the LA Diversity Film Festival, the Utah Film Festival, the Mill Valley Film Festival, TriBeCa, the Bentonville Film Festival, Dances With Films, etc.

I will keep you all updated!

“Human Revolution”: Four strangers who meet at a weekend transformational retreat center discover that the teachings and life lessons they are seeking are actually found in each other.

Left to right: Angela Robinson Witherspoon, Jorge Ortiz (Chasing The George!), Sayaka Miyatani and Robin Karfo

Human Rev 1

Human Rev 2

Human Rev 4

Human Rev 3

What Is A Win?

On Tuesday, August 1st, the Professional Development Program 3.0 class presented their 7-month wins (January through July) It was a great way to pause, acknowledge and celebrate our wins so far this year. I love when we share our wins halfway through the year and at the end of the year because it’s always a constant reminder of how much we have actually achieved. It’s so easy to get caught up in the grind, the hustle, the work, that we forget about how much we actually accomplished. We think we haven’t made any progress on our careers. We forget about our journey.

By typing out our wins and sharing them, we actually see how much we have accomplished, we realize we are on the right path and we are kept in a place of gratitude.

Sharing our wins also allowed us to identify and embrace all types of wins. Too often, and it drives me crazy, people only consider something a win-or consider something you’ve done a win-when you book work in the industry. That’s some fucking bullshit. Is that the ONLY time something is considered a win? When you book a job? How singularly anal is that? Gag me with a fucking mental spoon. We’re somehow taught to believe that booking a job is the only win that counts. And we are shamed into thinking that it’s only a win if we book a job. I hate that so much. But let’s stick with booking a job for a second. Why is booking the job the only win? Aren’t all the actions you took that led you to booking the job also considered wins? (e.g. Having the right head shots, knowing your casting, having good representation, building relationships with casting directors, preparing for the audition, having a causative routine, knowing how to deliver the same product at the callback, etc.)

So, what exactly IS a win?

Here are some definitions from dictionary.com:

2) to succeed by striving or effort

5) to succeed in reaching (a place, condition, etc.), especially by great effort

6) to get by effort, as through labor, competition, or conquest

9) to make (one’s way), as by effort or ability

10) to attain or reach (a point, goal, etc.)

Origin: Old English “winnan” to work, fight, bear
Synonyms: obtain, secure, acquire, achieve, reach, procure

The word effort came up in several of the definitions above.

Effort: something done by exertion or hard work; the amount of exertion expended for a specified purpose.

A win is a result of the effort you put into something. Of the hard work you put into a specific purpose. You made it on time to your acting class. Win. You put up a scene in class that required hours of rehearsal between you and your scene partner. Win. You wrote five more pages of your screenplay. Win. You had an audition that you were prepared for. Win. You submitted your film to a film festival–You know, the film that you wrote and/or produced and spent countless hours in pre-production, countless hours in production and countless hours in post-production. Win. You spent a lot of time building your relationship map through give, outflow and engagement. Win. You helped to raise money at a fundraising event. Win. You took new head shots. Win. You and your reps are on the same page. Win. You KonMari’d your home. Win. Or as Mary Thompson says, Calimari’d your home (you’re a riot!) You removed negative people from your career bus. Win. You thanked a casting director who brought you in for an audition. Win. You shared your business plan with your family. Win. You changed your attitude about something that was holding you back. Win. You paid off one of your credit cards. Win. You get the point. All of the above examples takes effort. It takes work. So these efforts are wins. They are wins because you are taking actions to reach a certain place or condition in your life; to change and enhance your condition; to reach a point.

Every effort we make in our careers and in our lives brings us closer to certain goals that we have set for ourselves. So when the goal is achieved, yes, it’s a win. But all the actions and efforts you took to accomplish your goal are also wins. These series of actions and resulting wins get you closer to the goals you have set for yourself. If your goal is to complete a feature film script, then all the efforts you make along the way towards completing that goal are also wins: From reading a book on screenwriting to joining a writers group to researching similar films to work shopping scenes from your script in a class, etc. All of these efforts become wins that lead to your goal of completing a feature film script.

If you are striving and making efforts on a consistent basis towards your goals, then you are winning. Keep track of all the efforts you are taking because each effort gets you closer and closer to your goals. You are making your way to your goals by your efforts, actions and abilities. And if you keep track of your efforts, you will see the through line of how you got from point A to point B to point C, etc. “Oh wow. I can see the entire journey it took for me to get from point A to point Z.” And then you can repeat that process in your next endeavor.

I see a win as any effort or action that moves me forward personally and professionally.

Acknowledge the work, the steps, the efforts, the actions large and small you are taking to achieve your goals. And celebrate along the way!!!!!!!!!

I hope this gives you a new perspective on what a win is!

A Big Win!

Hey everyone!

Last Sunday, I mentioned that I was taking a big action for my career on Monday, July 24th. That I was taking an action that would move one of my projects significantly closer towards my goal for it. I also mentioned this was a project I had been diligently working on since November 2014 and I postulated how everything would go on Monday.

The project was my feature film script that I wrote with James Franco in mind to play the villain and I successfully dropped it off to his production company!!! Shortly after I dropped off my script, my management company emailed his production office a PDF copy of my script! And let me say that this wasn’t an unsolicited drop off. This was a result and culmination of all the hard work I’ve done to get to this point. And I am filled with extreme gratitude and pride.

Monday was a lesson and RECONFIRMATION of many things.

#1 Postulates. I saw exactly how the drop off would go. I saw how the conversation would go with the contact person at his production office. I saw it so clearly. Now, on the day of, there were a couple of hilarious twists and turns that were thrown into the mix, but they still led me to the postulate I had. Everything played out how I saw it in my mind. And because I saw it in my mind, I was able to deliver my product successfully in person.

#2 Community. I could not have done this without the support of my teacher, my trusted classmates and friends. Richard Lawson for teaching me what it means to create your own career and to go after it. My classmates for asking me the next question when I would present my script in class and when I would present ideas I had to create exposure for it (e.g. From having a table read to creating an extensive social media campaign) Lindsay Hopper for researching and gathering info the week before. Reed Iacarella for being the best assistant a person could have. You are a great cheerleader!

#3 Research. Knowing what I’m walking into. Knowing who the buyers are. Speaking their language and vibe. When you take the time to do research and be thoughtful about your outflow to someone, it makes a difference. Research creates an honest connection and it was incredibly satisfying to see items that I had already been outflowing to them in their possession.

#4 Always be nice to the gatekeepers! They are the first line of defense: Security guards, receptionists, assistants, etc. We were so nice to the gatekeeper and treated them like a fellow human being, that they quickly became our ally. When we arrived, the person we were looking for wasn’t there yet. We waited. We knocked on the door. We made a phone call. We then decided to go downstairs and because we were so nice to the gatekeeper, they asked us how it went. When we told them that our contact person wasn’t there, they immediately said, “Wait, I just saw them go upstairs. Go back up there!” They wanted us to successfully complete our meeting.

#5 Celebrate. After all was said and done, I celebrated and let it go. I focused on that win. What happens afterwards, happens afterwards. The win was that I delivered my script to James and his staff. My manager also delivered my script to them. That’s the win. I delivered my product. The rest is out of my hands now. I DELIVERED my product and the rest is now out of my hands.

That being said, I WILL finish my social media campaign today (Sunday) just to complete that cycle of action (and so everyone can see all the cool celebrity endorsements I utilized to create visibility for my feature film) And I’ve already begun working on securing an attachment for the female hero and lead of my feature film script.

Onward and forward!

Taking It To The Next Level!

Hello everyone! Hope you’re all having a good weekend! In true Chasing The George fashion, I am taking a big action for my career on Monday, July 24th! I am taking an action that will move one of my projects significantly closer towards my goal for it. This is a project I have been diligently working on since November 2014 and I am postulating the way everything will go not only for Monday, but beyond.

I am very excited. I feel incredibly empowered. I feel gratitude for the career I am creating for myself.

Stay tuned for next Sunday’s blog for more info on what I’m talking about and how it all went!