• 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


If You've Ever Cried at Work...

...then you have problems. And I know this because I’ve cried at work and I have problems—so there you are. But worry not, for there is hope.

Two of my old bosses — both men! — could (and would) tell you they’ve seen me cry so hard I couldn’t breath. Yes, that snot-pouring, hiccup-inducing, hyperventilating type of crying that should only be reserved for funerals or Brian’s Song. Once, after a show, I had cried so hard that I had to go into the hair and makeup department to see if they could “fix” me before I went to lead my staff meeting.

Here’s how it went down. I had just finished a “live” show that I thought went beautifully. Eighteen hours of work had just paid off and my staff and I were heroes. I was on the stage and my boss came barreling out of the control room headed right toward me – of course he was about to bear hug me and shout our praises – wrong! He was furious! The second he let out his first negative word, I lost it. I completely unraveled right there on the spot. Then came the snot and the broken sentences—you know the kind where the other person has to pluck out the few words you can formulate through your desperate gasps for air?


It was time to put my head between my knees.

Embarrassing? You might say. With the other boss, I cried so hard and snotted so much that I had to wipe my nose on his sleeve.

In both of these cases, these were people I really adored (and still do—well, one of them hasn’t called me back in three years, so he’s on my shit list). But, the point is that I sobbed because I cared. I’ve never cried in front of someone I didn’t care about. When they piss me off, I hide-n-cry. Exceptions notwithstanding, I’m the Broadcast News Holly Hunter kind of crier. I find an empty edit bay, bawl my eyes out and emerge the plucky producer who’s ready to kick some more Hollywood ass.

Now, if you’re a dude, you’ve probably never cried to that awkward point of the air gasp, and maybe, if you’re a SUPER-dude, you’ve never cried at all, but that’s about your dad, not about how much you really WANT to cry given the effed up situation at work, right? Just know we're all the same. If we don’t cry, it doesn’t mean we don’t WANT to.

(If you ladies don’t think that guys cry at work, believe me, they DO. At one show I had every heterosexual man crying in my office at one point or another. I qualify with “hetero” because the only man who DIDN’T cry was the one gay man.)

O.K., so the question is, “How do we, straight, gay, male, or female NOT cry at work?” Well, I think we have to first look at the underlying problem: “Why are we creative-types so damned sensitive?” A friend gave me this perfect metaphor: "We are like light bulbs that get brighter and brighter, but one tap shatters our fragile existence." It’s so true.

Here’s a little Psych101: If you put us creative-types in a room, we’d all share a bunch of effed up childhood stories clearly showing that we survived the madness because we have brilliant and wild imaginations and that’s why we’re now so damned creative. It’s also why we’re so fragile – we’re ready to crack! Clearly we can see that we have to work on our “old stuff” before we can manage the new stuff!

In the meantime, here are some tricks I’ve learned to manage these situations (to the tune of $150/hour):

Breathe, breathe, breathe
Remember that you’re not a 10-year-old; you’re 25, 35, or 45 and if someone’s pissed at you, you’re not going to die!
Know that your response to the situation is probably how you felt as a kid in a similar situation…yikes, eh?
Ground yourself by doing something small that refocuses your attention back to you. It’s a personal symbol to you and only you. It could be anything like touching your first finger to the tip of your thumb or clasping your hands together. You want to get your brain to reconnect with you. Sounds weird, but it works when you feel like you’re spiraling into nowheresville. Pick one “symbolic” gesture and make it a regular thing any time you need to ground yourself.
Breathe again
Remember that we tend to take ourselves and our jobs WAY, WAY, WAY too seriously. So stop it.
If you start to cry, hide!

P.S. Paul, if you're reading, you owe me a call.

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

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"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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