Thursday, July 9, 2009

Are You Working with Your Head or Your Heart?

I was reading Bob Leftsetz's column that he writes for the music industry. He talked about something that I have thought a lot about. “The question is, are you working with your head or heart? At some point you've got to stop being who your parents want you to be and start being who you are.”

Very nicely stated. I have been earning a living working on other people’s shows as a television producer since 2001. I have been dreaming up show ideas since I was about seven years old. It happened each morning at the bus stop with my best friend Katie. (I have blogged about her before.) She told visual stories of the previous nights viewing of her favorite shows “Charlie’s Angles,” “The Love Boat,” and “Fantasy Island,” to name a few. I salivated at every juicy morsel – we couldn’t watch television after a certain hour at my house.

In 2003, I started pitching reality TV ideas. I made my own “hot lists,” from reading Variety and cold called people and got my own pitch meetings without a manager. While I worked on shows, I would “go to lunch,” or “the doctor,” just to pitch production companies.

In 2008, I began pursuing my dream full time - creating and developing television shows and pitching them. I started out developing something around Christopher Titus. Since then, I have learned a great deal and have not only increased my contacts, but I am closer than ever before to selling something. It’s officially been one full year.

It wasn’t until this year that I realized there’s been one thing in the back of my mind that I somehow could not let go of. It was a seed planted a long, long time ago in the depths of my blueprint. That seed was my mom telling me I needed to have a job with a 401k plan = job security. Which in today’s marketplace means nothing. There is no security any more unless you own your own company. In my mom’s career height, jobs offered not only financial security, but retirement benefits, health benefits and so much more.

What I am doing for a career is so unconventional “Creative Producer – Pitching Reality Concepts,” not your average career. It never will be. Most people in Los Angeles understand. BUT if you live anywhere else you probably won’t understand the scope of what I am doing. God Bless my Mom. She is a wonderful woman, who is now finding things that she loves to do in life after retiring. We couldn’t be more opposite – I travel a risky route with no guarantee, and she travels a safer route.

When I think about it, it’s as if I had an angel on one of my shoulders and a Devil on the other. My angel (aka my mom) on the left telling me that the route was to be secure and safe. The Devil (aka me) on the right, telling me the route was risky so go pitch and sell a television show! One thing I am certain about is what I did learn from her - that I think with my head and my heart, because I am truly doing something I love. I sleep, eat, drink, and dream about coming up with television shows.


Alan Mercer's PROFILE said...

This was a great read Nicole.

jt said...

Totally understand Nicole. So true. Nice article as with those above this one.

Best - JT, Producer JOBz