• Hate your boss?
• Suck at interviewing?
• Deserve a promotion?
• Can't negotiate your way out of a paper bag?
• Suffering through a professional crisis?
• Have ISSUES?

Then you've hit the right place.

Through brutal honesty and concrete advice, the Reluctant Genius effectively helps you manage all aspects of your job and career. With 18 years of experience in Hollywood, the RG has figured out how to make it to the top AND SURVIVE, somewhat unscathed.

Available for consulting services and speaking engagements. Write to: info@thereluctantgenius.com



Here’s a brilliant observation from a Reluctant Genius out there. He just told me this story about a second interview he went on today and, despite being a little rattled during and after the meeting, he was able to step away from it and recognize what it was all about. He sooooo nailed it, and I wanted to share it with you.

Here’s the basic story: Brian (pseudo) is going for a job he’s BEYOND qualified for, and he knows it. Rather, he knew it. That was until his original interviewers brought him back for a second meeting and stationed five extra people in the room to stare at him while one-by-one they smugly pummeled him with inane questions and what if scenarios.

Be prepared: This happens all the time. It’s a trick of intimidation, and if it hasn’t happened to you yet, don’t worry, it will. Pay attention to what it’s all about, so you don’t get freaked out when it does happen.

Lemme back up a bit. The job he's going after is for a TV show that I can almost guarantee you’ve never heard of. I can’t mention it here, because this town is toooo small, but suffice it to say, as “Grow it & Mow it” is to “Martha Stewart,” this show is to “Extreme Home Makeover.” You got me? Anyway, it’s been around for a while and the pay is about as low as it can be for this type of work, position and responsibility. But that doesn’t stop those who are interviewing poor interviewees, like Brian, from scrutinizing them as though they’re applying for a top job at The Hague.

So Reluctant Genius, Brian, had gone into the first meeting with confidence. (Bear in mind, he’s overqualified and carries a very impressive resume with huge network credits and fabulous references.) He met with a couple of people at the top of the company and felt unusually comfortable, and by the end of this seemingly successful meeting, he was pretty sure he had it in the bag. Then, the next day – SURPRISE! -- they called him back for a second interview. He returns, and that once comfortable office (in which he once exuded such self-confidence) has been secretly transformed into an interrogation chamber complete with suspecting-looking employees, a spotlight, water, and extension cords. Yes, a bit of hyperbole, but when you’re the one walking in to see a group of new people prepared to cross-examine you, that’s damned well what it looks like. And when that happened to Brian, his self-confidence high-tailed it out the door.


OK, here’s the deal: Whether these “interviewers” know it or not, and early-on in my career, I didn't, this is a trick of intimidation that begins with their own overblown sense of self-importance. For all of them, whether they’re the top managers or the secretary, they need FOR YOU to believe what they have made themselves believe: That this is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON THE PLANET and they’re going to take this hiring VERY SERIOUSLY because when one is DEALING WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON THE PLANET one can never be TOO CAUTIOUS because there is no one out there AS SMART OR TALENTED AS THEY ARE and they just need to see if you can be even 1/5 AS BRILLIANT AS THEY HAVE CONVINCED THEMSELVES THEY ARE. Simple.

If you can remember that 99% of the managers out there are operating first from a place of PANIC about their MOST IMPORTANT JOB ON THE PLANET, then you’ll understand them a bit more and, hopefully, you’ll even have some empathy. They are panicked because they have a gun at their head and if they (meaning YOU) don’t perform, they’re splat out on the pavement.

So go in and don’t be intimidated. Instead, walk in proudly with a sense of understanding and empathy. Look at them and gently tilt your head to one side, smile that little understanding smile, and say (to yourself, please), “Awwwww. You must be so scared. You’re making so much money and while you appear to be all puffed up with ego, you’re really puffed up with panic. And all of these idiots surrounding you are panicked, too. This must be so hard for all of you.” Then go on and tell them how you’re going to bring all of your big-ass experience into their company and do a great job because you, too, believe that this is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING ON THE PLANET.

POST-SCRIPT: Brian, who I must give credit to for unraveling the methods (and psychoses) behind this madness, is still waiting to see if they offer him the job. If they do, he has to tackle the $$$ issue. If they don’t, they’re dumb. I’ll get to negotiating money in an upcoming post. Stay tuned…..

LAURA INGRAM -- "DON'T COME IN MY EAR" -- This sums up life in TV



Tracy Mazuer’s coaching skills are entirely responsible for elevating my career and status in the television industry. Tracy has recognized and helped to define a vital yet consistently overlooked part of building and maintaining a successful career in the entertainment industry – how to successfully market yourself.

I have worked in television as a Producer/Director for many years. Prior to discovering Tracy’s abilities, I promoted myself so poorly that...(read more of this testimonial)

"In a town that really has no rules, its nice to know that there's someone out there on your side. The stories use the entertainment business as a background, but all the examples and lessons are applicable to anyone in the working world. And coming from someone that has been getting advice from the Reluctant Genius for over 8 years, let me just say...Its worth the read!" - David Tobin, Producer

"Tracy has been a great coach and mentor to me in my current job search. Having worked for the same companies for many years, my idea of networking was to call my past employers and beg for work. With Tracy’s help I have re-energized my job search, making new contacts and taking meetings more successfully. Her positive and pro-active approach has given me a new way to “work the room.” I feel more in control and positive in meetings than I have in years. Thank you, Tracy." -J.G. Writer/Producer

"Tracy Mazuer's advice and guidance not only helped me to overcome my fears of asking for what I want (and become successful at getting it); she also helped me to realize the true value of my worth to the creative world! After consulting with "The Reluctant Genius", I landed more meetings, got my ideas more streamlined, and most importantly learned the sacred art of kicking ass! She is a rockstar in the consulting world! I would recommend "The Reluctant Genius" to anyone who is looking to get what they want!" --Johnny Appleseed (aka Shawn Colin Young)

"Tracy Mazuer's genius has saved me from many heartaches and headaches. I was reluctant to be as bold as I am in business until I started working with Tracy. She helped me take what I learned in the independent world and bring it to a larger audience. Tracy is part of the genius behind the creation of Stirring Up Trouble! If you are ready to go to the next level (no matter what level you're at) then you must consult with 'The Reluctant Genius' I don't know what I would have done without her!" -filmmaker, writer and host of Stirring Up Trouble
Tracy has a way of teaching you something without pointing her finger, being condescending or coming at it from a “I know it all” attitude, because frankly she doesn’t and nobody does, but she admits it, and that is what makes her “real” and most certainly approachable! Tracy has a way with words and people, truly a gift and surely something that can’t be taught, but she treats you like her equal. She has always been my boss, never vice versa but it’s always seemed as though we were fighting the same battle and we were at war side by side. (read more...)

The Reluctant Genius - check it out
Connecting Reality - Wednesday, 29 October 2008
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