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DANCING IN THE POOL
I wanted to title this blog “Something Good Always Comes From Something Bad” but with the sheer amount of bad over the past year, it felt trite. But as I thought about this theme that I jotted down some months ago, I started thinking about taking a break at my building’s pool. And then I started thinking about what I like to do in the pool these days: Dance.

SUCCESS IS MEASURED BY WHAT YOU DO FOR OTHERS
The end of the year comes with certain rituals. Recounting the ups and downs of the previous year, thinking about how to improve in the next one. For me, it also includes looking over my blogs for the past year…

DID YOU SEE THESE?
2020 has been a strange year, but one thing that’s remained consistent year over year is the gratitude I’ve felt for all the likes, shares, support, and interest you’ve given my blog. This project has been quite cathartic for me and knowing that it’s been at least a little helpful to many of you makes it all the more meaningful.

YOU’RE THE GUN AND I’M THE BULLETS
People who most inspire me. All of them aren’t afraid of hard work. They weren’t born on third base; they hustled their asses off to get there on a blooper down the right field line. They know what it means to do The Work. These days, the barriers are lower…

THE LONG HAUL
As he notes in his first line, I’ve been trying to get my partner Erwin More to contribute to this blog forever. He’s one of the most important characters in my life and has one of the most unique perspectives on the entertainment business and life of anyone I’ve ever…

HOW TO FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION
Focus is a skill and it’s a more complicated one than you might think. I have a wandering mind that never quits, so learning how to focus has been crucial for me. As such, I wanted to share some of the strategies I’ve used to optimize my focus, in case…

LESSONS ON CREATING A FULFILLING CAREER FROM SARAH WAYNE CALLIES
Please refrain from rolling your eyes when you read this because I know what you’re thinking. Generally speaking, I like to avoid the limelight. I know that’s hard to square given how active I am on social media and on this blog, but you have to believe me when I…

HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY FROM CHAOS TO CALM
When isolation orders went out and people were forced to work from home, most of us assumed this would be a strange few weeks but the world would be back to normal shortly. More than a month into self-isolation, we’re starting to see the cracks. Unemployment spiking, the stock market…

THE HABIT THAT SHAPES MY LIFE
Whenever I meet a new potential client, I ask, “What’s your story?” Everyone’s life is impacted or guided by the stories they love; be it characters in movies, lyrics in songs, passages in books or poetry. Actors, directors, writers, and producers are all storytellers, and they all have a unique…

YOUR CAREER IS LIKE BETTING ON HORSES
If you stop and think about your career as a series of horse races, a few things are going to happen. You’re more likely to get where you want to go. You’re more likely to build good relationships. And you’re more likely to have fun while you do it…

HOW A GREAT COLLABORATION COMES TOGETHER
I talk a lot about the compounding nature of things. About transforming individual moments into a cascading momentum that turns into more good things. Of course, the path to getting there is still a long and winding road, so when it succeeds, it’s truly a beautiful thing.

HOLLYWOOD QUARANTINE: A LONG, DEEP BREATH
Tucker Dog making deliveries during this ruff ruff time The world is facing challenging times. The coronavirus pandemic has affected our global society in a way not seen since perhaps as far back as World War II. As cities around the US follow in the footsteps of European and Asian…

WHAT THE OSCARS TAUGHT ME ABOUT JEALOUSY AND ADMIRATION
The Oscars are a state of the union for our industry. The show itself is a conduit for analyzing the past year while the media fervor around it helps to paint a complete picture of the movie business and its place in culture. I always watch with interest. But as…

A CONVERSATION ABOUT MAKING MOVIES WITH PRODUCER HAWK KOCH
I first met Hawk Koch in the early 1980’s. Back then, I was an 18-year-old dreaming of a career in the entertainment industry and Hawk was a producer working to bring the novel Gorky Park to the big screen. We’ve each had plenty of adventures in this business since then…

HOW TO MAKE CONNECTIONS IN HOLLYWOOD
I see it all the time. Talented, hard-working people struggle to navigate the entertainment industry because they don’t understand how to generate opportunities for themselves and build the relationships they need to get the things they want. I empathize because it’s a challenging thing to do. There’s no clear, linear…

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A CAREER OPPORTUNITY
You’re going to catch a break. No matter who you are or what you pursue in your career, an opportunity will come your way through luck or (more likely) effort and you’ll get a chance to showcase your talents. But the thrill of the opportunity before you will quickly dissolve…

THE MEANING OF TALENT IN SEYMOUR: AN INTRODUCTION
My life has been motivated and consumed by talent; pursuing it in myself, seeking to emphasize it in others, understanding its power and importance within each individual. I’m a talent manager because I feel deeply that talent in all of its forms has a tremendous power to improve the world, to move each of us to positive action.

THE SECRET TO LEARNING A NEW SKILL IS TO TREAT IT LIKE A LANGUAGE
Everything is a language. This realization is helping me learn and develop a variety of seemingly disconnected skills including how to fly, play piano, use social media, and navigate Hollywood. These are very different skills, but I’ve discovered a way to make each of them easier to learn: Treat them…

CASTING DIRECTOR LISA ZAMBETTI’S ADVICE FOR ACTORS
When it comes to casting, Lisa Zambetti is a busy casting director on the rise. She’s cast a ton of projects from indie films to the long-running CBS hit series “Criminal Minds”. I’ve known her for many years and find her to be an incredible judge of talent, and extremely…

THE LIFE LESSONS OF CARPOOL KARAOKE
I like to analyze things. Doing so can have its drawbacks, but it’s a valuable trait as relates to my career as a Hollywood talent manager. That’s because I don’t just passively watch shows, read books, and listen to music — I actively consider the context of what I consume. I think…

THE FIVE QUALITIES SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE SHARE
I’m fascinated by success. As a Hollywood talent manager for more than three decades, I’ve spent years studying the differences between people who succeed and those who never quite accomplish their goals. I’ve learned there’s no one-size-fits-all prescription for success, but there are qualities most successful people share — regardless of whether…

HOW TO USE THE ACTORS’ BUSINESS PLAN TO GROW YOUR CAREER
For more than three decades I’ve sat in meetings with actors who ask me that crucial question about their career. No matter their experience, previous amount of success, or whether they’re a client of mine or not, they’re all trying to figure out how to solve the puzzle and navigate Hollywood to get where they want to go. You’ve probably asked it of yourself and others as well.

HOW TO GET A TALENT AGENT OR MANAGER’S ATTENTION
Every actor wants to know how to get a talent agent or manager’s attention. I know, because it’s one of the questions I’m most often asked. As you can imagine I get a LOT of cold emails from actors, but one recently stood out from the crowd so I thought…

HOW TO DEAL WITH HOLLYWOOD EXECUTIVES
You’ve probably heard everybody from your Grandpa Joe to Clint Eastwood in any movie say some variation of this mantra. And for good reason; it keeps life simple. You grew up hearing Grandpa Joe was a wolf and his nosy neighbor Pete was a sheep. Even though you’ve never met Pete and you think Grandpa Joe’s a little kooky, you still know what he means when he categorizes Pete and himself.

5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF WHEN YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AT SOMETHING
Every hero shares the same superpower: The ability to improve. Their commitment to getting better is one of the biggest reasons we root for them. From Rick Blaine in CASABLANCA to King T’Challa in BLACK PANTHER, we cheer for characters as they go on journeys of growth, constantly working towards…

3 PUBLICATIONS WORTH READING IF YOU WORK IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY THAT AREN’T THE TRADES
The more you know about how the entertainment industry works and where it’s headed, the more likely you are to identify and capitalize on new opportunities. That’s why it’s important to read industry trades like Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Deadline, but there’s a whole world of other niche publications…

THE 3 BIGGEST LESSONS PEOPLE LEARNED LAST YEAR ABOUT HOW TO MAKE IT IN HOLLYWOOD
I started writing blogs as a way to help people navigate Hollywood and to share my experiences and lessons learned from decades spent as a talent manager. But in the process of doing so, I discovered something else – an incredible opportunity to learn from all of you and your…

MY 6 MOST POPULAR POSTS OF 2018
It’s been a great year and I want to thank you for all of the attention, likes, shares, and support you’ve given to my blog in 2018. Following are the six posts that resonated with my readers the most this year in case you missed any of them. And don’t…

FOUR THINGS ACTORS SHOULD DO WHEN THEY GET TO HOLLYWOOD
Just about everyone in Hollywood is from somewhere else. The entertainment industry is filled with people who packed their bags and left Des Moines, or Seattle, or Baltimore to take a shot at their dreams. It’s a huge decision in a person’s life, and one that sparks unparalleled feelings of…

WHAT I LEARNED FROM MICHAEL OVITZ
It’s fitting that Michael Ovitz is working in Silicon Valley now, in an industry that thrives on disruption since disruption is what he’s doing now that he’s released his autobiography, Who Is Michael Ovitz?, and is fully entrenched in the talk show circuit. Michael Ovitz’s wretched reputation is no secret…

THE CREAM: 10 THINGS THAT MOVED ME THIS MONTH
When something moves me, I do something about it. Every month, I put together a list of everything that has inspired me to share with my friends and clients. This month, I wanted to share that list with you. I hope you can find some inspiration and joy from it.…

HOW TO GET A MEETING IN HOLLYWOOD
Ask most people what the first step an actor does to book a role and they’ll probably tell you “get an audition.” We’ve all seen those moments play out in film and TV, where the ingénue is standing on the empty stage, giving it everything she’s got. And we’ve seen…

WHAT ACTORS CAN LEARN FROM SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS AND VICE VERSA
Two talent managers — one who reps actors and one who reps digital talent — swap industry secrets. I’ve noticed an interesting paradox within the entertainment industry lately. Actors have come to realize social media is a potentially powerful tool in the growth of their career (even the NY Post is…

HOW CAREER-MAKING MOMENTS HAPPEN
Clicks, Coos, and the Chill Factor I talk to a lot of actors who think that succeeding in Hollywood is still a matter of someone spotting you on the street, dramatically pointing, and saying “That’s the one!” Others acknowledge that success takes time, but that’s it – they think that years of…

MY COMMENCEMENT SPEECH FOR ACTORS
It’s graduation season and that means it’s also time for one of my favorite traditions – commencement speeches. I love commencement speeches because they represent an opportunity for people to share lessons they’ve learned in their journeys with the world. So many have inspired me this year and created moments…

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ACTOR AND A STAR
Bob Lefsetz is one of the sharpest voices in music right now. I don’t mean his singing voice – I can’t say I’ve ever heard him sing – but rather his sharp and critical take on the industry. In his newsletter, the Lefsetz Letter, Bob’s audacious manner and strong POV…

THE MOST IMPORTANT CONVERSATION YOU CAN HAVE IS WITH YOURSELF
I think a lot about why. Specifically, why we do what we do: it’s something that I ask any potential client, and it’s something I ask myself. Why have I worked as a talent manager for 25 years? Because I have a passion for making people feel something they’ve never…

3 WAYS ACTORS CAN AVOID BECOMING THEIR OWN WORST ENEMY
Any actor setting out to make it in Hollywood faces a mountain of struggles. There’s the sea of extraordinary talent to compete with, the years of perseverance you must have within you, and the resourcefulness necessary to get work and be seen. It’s a tough road for anyone, and it…

THE 90TH ACADEMY AWARDS: WHAT THIS YEAR’S OSCARS SAYS ABOUT WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE’RE HEADED
I live and work in an industry built around inspiration. Every artistic work worth its salt started with someone being moved to the point that they had to create something from it. So it goes, when something truly moves me, I feel the need to write about it. And there’s…

HOW RAISING LIVESTOCK AND CHOPPING WOOD AS A TEENAGER PREPARED ME FOR A CAREER IN HOLLYWOOD
A little over a year ago, The New York Times published a profile of the Midland School, a small private school in Los Olivos, California. Midland is a fairly ordinary school in that it boasts an excellent college prep curriculum, and prides itself on sending students to Harvard, Stanford, and…

WHAT THE FUTURE OF MEDIA MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF ACTING CAREERS
The entertainment industry doesn’t operate in a vacuum. The way careers are built and survive in Hollywood is influenced daily by broader shifts in culture, technology, and IN THE WAY people consume stories. As a manager, a big part of my job is to keep up to date with this…

LESSONS FROM A 20 YEAR HOLLYWOOD PARTNERSHIP
The other day I came across a 1998 LA Times Magazine article which featured a profile of myself and my future partner Erwin More as part of their “Hollywood Now” issue. I couldn’t believe my eyes and, instantly, two thoughts came to mind: Hollywood seems like such a different place…

MY BEST OF 2017
Happy New Year! I hope you have been enjoying the holidays and are ready to have a spectacular 2018. Thank you for your interest, attention, and support throughout 2017. Here’s a look back at the ideas that moved me enough to write about them this year. I hope they help…

HOW TO HANDLE THE UPS AND DOWNS OF AN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY CAREER
Whether you’ve spent a day or a decade in Hollywood, you know life in La La Land is a series of ups and downs. The peaks and valleys of the entertainment industry are as inevitable as the geography upon which this city was raised. My life and career have been…

HOW TO CHANGE YOUR LUCK IN HOLLYWOOD
When I hear people talk about actors, I often hear “luck” referenced as a reason for their success. “Sure,” I say. But then, I define luck as being prepared when opportunity arrives. You may not create it exactly, but you sure as…

5 THINGS EVERY ACTOR CAN LEARN FROM THE BEATLES
There’s no shortage of takes on The Beatles and what they meant to music, culture, and even history at large. So forgive me if I sound repetitive like a Buzzfeed listicle here, but I rather have you read my blogs because they’re written in moments when I’m reminded of lessons I know I’ve learned, but often struggle to live by. I think that’s something we can all relate to. When I saw Ron Howard’s Beatles documentary, “Eight Days a Week,” I had to sit down and share a few lessons of which The Beatles reminded me.

YOU HAVE TO SIGN THE TOWN BEFORE YOU SIGN THE TALENT
Over the years in this business, I’ve seen many talented people drift away because success didn’t come within their expected timeframe. They’ve spent years at an agency, booked a few commercials, and they get worn out because they just can’t quite clear that hump. As brutal as it sounds, Hollywood is a Sisyphean town, and it takes not just many little successes, but a few epic failures to really learn that “expected timeframe” just isn’t a luxury any of us have.

GIVE THEORY: SUCCESS IS MEASURED BY WHAT YOU DO FOR OTHERS
“We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.” — Winston Churchill” I love this quote because it so adeptly pinpoints why I am so passionate about giving. Wealth, notoriety, status, and power are only external, socially constructed measures of success. To me,…

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MANAGER
If you do not have a clear objective, you have no definition of winning. If you do not have a clear strategy, you have no chance of winning. If all you have are tactics, you have no right to win. Sharing. Selling. Servicing. By sharing,…

HOLLYWOOD VS HOLLYWOULDN’T: 12 TIPS TO HELP ACTORS NAVIGATE THE HOLLYWOOD LANDSCAPE
I love actors. Compared to most people, actors are often more personable – they feel more free to access their feelings and emotions. They tend to be more in touch with their inner child. They have courage. Most are sensitive and more vulnerable than the average person, and yet they are in a profession where they must subject themselves to repeated rejection. That takes a person who is tough and brave, yet also sensitive and exposed. It’s a difficult, unusual and admirable combination.

PILOT SEASON 2017: TELEVISION IS CHANGING (TALENT MANAGER AND CLIENTS PERSPECTIVE)
Outside of American democracy, there may be no less efficient or cost-effective process on Earth than pilot season. In which lies the beauty. After two blissful weeks of shut down, when assistants capitalize on their only vacation for the year by watching the screeners they stole, writing the scripts they’ll…

MUSICALS MOVE AGAIN
There comes a time when art transcends mere intellect and takes aim at another part of ourselves: The heart. They bypass the brain and hit us in the gut. At its core, Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” is about feeling things, and given the film’s 14 Academy Award nominations, it…

THESE 10 WEBSITES HAVE GIVEN TO ME AND INSPIRED ME TO GIVE BACK
For me, the internet is a gift. One of the most impactful, viral and influential services is to read articles and tell people what you like. Having said that, if you are looking for gifts in return then keep the information for yourself.

12 NEW WAYS TO THINK ABOUT LIFE
2016 has been a year of big strides for me. I have needed to do a lot of soul searching, planning, thinking and answering very difficult questions. I’ve dealt with adversity as well – but it has only made me stronger. Through all this, I realized that life is full…

ON DAVID FOSTER, MUSIC, AND PASSION
Recently, I wrote a post here on Medium about my relationship with my father, Mike Medavoy. While searching through my files for a copy of the speech I wrote for him, I stumbled upon a trove of the other letters and speeches I’ve written over the years. I was particularly…

THE ACADEMY AWARDS IS OUR STATE OF THE UNION
The Academy Awards is our State of the Union. They’re fun, they’re festive, but they’re also the single most important long hard look in the mirror that Hollywood makes each year. This year we heard plenty of tent pole and superhero jokes and the customary teasing of the studio system,…

ON KHIZR KHAN, MIKE MEDAVOY, AND FATHERS
I’ve written a post over at Medium that reflects on Khizr Khan’s speech, his relationship with his fallen son, and my own bond with my father Mike Medavoy. Khizr Khan’s speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention was an eye-opening moment. In seven minutes, Mr. Khan delivered a moving tribute…

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE A HUNCH AND YOU WRITE ABOUT IT #PREACHER
Dominic Cooper asked me a simple question prior to the show being shot: Should he pursue The Preacher? Here’s my response:

BEING A TALENT MANAGER IS LIKE BEING A…
A manager acts as a catalyst to a client’s, or player’s, success, seeking to positively shape and influence the career trajectory of their talent in the same way a coach would their player’s athletic performance. They’re the X’s and O’s, focusing on how to get the most out of the…

WHAT ITS LIKE TO DIE ONSCREEN WITH SARAH WAYNE CALLIES
Sarah Wayne Callies is exponentially talented at breaking hearts, as she dies. On two monster hit shows, She has elected massive responses to the end of her character’s lives. So how has she coped with such on screen tragedy? PS. Spoiler Alert! In her words, the situation was a difficult…

GOLDEN GLOBES
Last night’s awards show, like most awards shows, gave me a moment of reflection on the state of our industry and on the direction in which we are heading. With underdog victories for the bold, off-the-cuff TRANSPARENT and the CW’s Hispanic star, Gina Rodriguez, along with the continued success of…