• 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


Be a Peer, Not a Peon

This is one of the phrases I find myself tossing about lately – in fact, I’ve said it to three different people in the past 24-hours (all of whom are struggling with work issues) -- which leads me to believe that many more of you are also walking through your world behaving like you’re a teeny, tiny, itty, bitty, insignificant being in this vast business culture of big, scary people who rule your life. Puh-leeez. Get it together. And if you can’t get it together, then go back to the bullshitting area of The Reluctant Genius and pretend you have it together, because when you begin to act like a PEER instead of a PEON, you will get respect and respect is how you move forward in business. A peer is someone who is equal to you as you are to them. There is camaraderie with peers; with peons, there is only power. (Go ahead, quote me on that one. It’s smooth.)

I believe this “self-peonization” – a term I just coined to sound as though I’m an expert in peonical culture – yet another piece of personal coinage – originated at some point during our respective tortured childhoods. If you don’t believe you were tortured at some point as a child, then you’re already a master of bullshitting and I congratulate you. If you’re exuding peonic behavior, then there is a 100%* chance someone screwed you up while your brain was still developing and you need to upgrade your peon alert to orange. (*Made up statistic)

In my graduate work, I’m studying the roles of the oppressor and the oppressed in our society; I think it’s fairly obvious to say that one cannot exist without the other, right? A queen is only a queen in relation to those she rules – otherwise there’s no queen at all. A pauper is only a pauper in relation to one who has riches – or perhaps, in their case, goats. The same goes for you. Because you don’t have goats, doesn’t mean you suck and are “less than” someone who has goats. The problem is that you perceive those who have goats (your boss, co-workers) to be better than you and you then bestow them with the ultimate gift – POWER. And when you do this, you screw the proverbial pooch*. That is to say, you set the stage to be treated as though you are not worthy. You are getting what you’re giving off. (*Apologies for mixing goat and poodle metaphors.)

When you are a peer, you walk into a room with shoulders back, you make eye contact, and you exude a confident tone that says we’re equals – you’re human and I am, too. If you’re sheepish (not to be confused with the aforementioned goats), you give off pheromones* that make their way right into the brain of your soon-to-be-oppressor who now has you pegged as a wuss. He or she has seen your weakness and that’s difficult to undo. (*Made up scientific fact)

Someone hires you because they want to trust in your strengths to get work done. Your job is to make their job easier. When you show confidence, they naturally develop a confident attitude toward you. When you look frightened, intimidated, or exhibit a clear lack of confidence, you scare the hell out of them and down you go.

NONE of this is to say you should go and slap your boss on the back and exclaim that you’re now comrades and best buddies. No. Please don’t do that – you’ll look like a jackass. Being a peer is about mutual respect and the notion of equality. No one is any better than the other, you’re just two people who want the same thing – to get the job done in the best way possible. Sure, we might be talking about your boss who can make decisions that you can’t -- she can hire you and fire you and make your life a living hell -- but you’re still human beings on this planet and I believe there is equality that can and must co-exist within the framework of your office. Damnit.

It’s all about RESPECTING without GENUFLECTING! No bowing down to ANYONE!*

*unless they have a shitload of goats.

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...)

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Connecting Reality - Wednesday, 29 October 2008
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