• 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



I thought this was a new phenomenon, the idea that executive producers, managers and/or those in charge of hiring and making deals were becoming more and more RUDE in their handling of those poor souls who are looking for work, but apparently I’m wrong. I just read in the new LA Magazine a story about Orson Welles, written by his friend, Henry Jaglom. I’ll summarize: (Orson, for those of you who are too young to know, was a kinda famous director who did an itty-bitty film called “Citizen Kane.”) Anyway, the author, his friend, wrote about a meeting they had had with an Oscar winning producer who, after Orson pitched him a film, said the following: “You’ve got yourself a deal. I’ll have the paperwork arranged by next week!” While the friend wanted to celebrate with a bottle of Cristal, Orson refused saying only, “If you knew how many ‘next weeks’ there have been over the last 20 years…” Bottom line: The producer NEVER called him back and NEVER took his calls. Un-effin-believable! That was freaking ORSON WELLES POST CITIZEN KANE!

So, this rudeness isn’t new, it’s just degenerating more and more into an accepted industry standard. In fact, I believe the Learning Annex has a new class for seasoned professionals...

Here's the description:
“How to Act Like You Want to Hire Someone and Then Play Dead.”
• Are you SICK of all of those people wanting that job you advertised for?
• Are you TIRED of all those courteous, well-thought-out emails thanking you for your consideration?
• Are you FED UP with offering people jobs and then having them follow-up with you?

We are too! In this seminar, Pat McFartface, President of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe Productions will give you clear and clinically proven steps to increasing your RUDABILITY status! You’ll find out why it’s perfectly acceptable to have a two-hour meeting with a super-qualified job applicant, negotiate rates, give them a start date and then NEVER, EVER call them again! Plus, Mr. McFartface will demonstrate, with actual telephone apparatus, more than a dozen unique ways to tell your assistant to “Take a message!” If you act now, you’ll receive Sherry Lansing’s “Kiss My Ass” booklet featuring 17 new ways to behave like a high-powered, overly paid schmuck!

Now, in the interest of self-disclosure, and personal humiliation, I have been one of these schmucks. I have interviewed and liked someone and never called him back. I have said, “take a message” a thousand times. I have put out “word” that I’m looking for a producer, been besieged by resumes, and then never responded to anyone. I hereby repent and ask that all of the other schmucks take a moment to do something nice today. Like, take a call.

I know there are a lot of you out there dealing with this issue—you’ve done due diligence, you’ve sent in your credits, you’ve followed up, you’ve heard nothing. Some of you have been offered work or a deal and have now been hit with a wall of silence; you call, nothing; you write, no response. It’s maddening and shakes your confidence.

I’m going to offer a little explanation in support of the FIRST TIER OF OFFENDERS -- those are the people who are soliciting resumes for a job opening. Please understand that the second they say they have an opening, they receive literally HUNDREDS of resumes and calls and there’s NO WAY they can get back to you EVEN if you were recommended by a friend. Just get over that right now. Having a friend recommend you is the BEST thing you can do, but don’t expect that you’re the ONLY person who was recommended by a friend, and you’re not owed anything. LET THAT GO!

TIER 2: You’ve had a nice interview, but there was no sign about their interest. You’ve sent a nice HANDWRITTEN CARD, yes, that's what I said, through the U.S. Postal Service with a bonafide special edition postage stamp. It’s time to call and say you’re checking in on the position. Call or email no more than 3x in two weeks and then LET IT GO. You had an interview, you thanked them, you followed up, be done or they’ll put a restraining order on you.

This sucks big time. You’ve been offered a job, or were clearly told they’re very interested in you. You’ve now hit a brick wall.

There are a few things you can do for Tier 3 depending on your situation:
1. You can write a “closure” email saying that, despite your best attempts, you have not heard back in a few weeks about the job you were being considered for and that you assume it’s no longer available. You wanted them to know you’d be moving on, but that if something were to change to please give you a call. You hope something might work out in the future. THEN LET IT GO.

2. You can call and talk to the assistant and say, “I’ve had a hard time reaching Dick Bawless and would like to schedule a phone meeting. Would you help me with that?

3. You can try comedy, if it suits your style. I might write something like, R U DEAD? But that’s just me and I’m not saying it works.

Regardless of your tier, there are a few things you should know to help keep your sanity:

1. It’s not just happening to you. I had a FRIEND say he wanted to hire me for a big gig and then never call me back. It’s been three years--honest to God.

2. You can’t make someone pick up the phone or email you back.

3. You can’t be so determined to get to the BOTTOM of why they didn’t pick you, call you back, or otherwise respond when things seemed to be “going so well.” You’ll go insane because you’ll probably never know.

4. Let go and move on for your own sanity. There are plenty more schmucks out there to send your resume to.

P.S. Pat McFartface isn't hiring right now.

P.P.S. I had a dream about Orson Welles after I read that article. We were college roommates and he stiffed me for a very expensive dinner. What’s that about?

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)

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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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