I hold nothing back in my admiration for Jeanne Veillete Bowerman’s Balls of Steel column.
Her insights come from a real place of experience that many can learn from. And it helps she can write. Well. Nothing’s worse than trudging through an article so dry you’re begging for water by the halfway mark.
Plaudits aside, Jeanne has written a very insightful article that is open for debate. It involves the backbone of the industry: Character. As in, most of the industry lacks it. Even the most honest folks in the industry have at least bent the truth or omitted portions to get ahead at one point or another. What she’s speaking of here may appear black and white: Don’t lie. But remember that nothing is black and white out there. Trying to stay as true as possible should be your mission. But all quests meet tests. It’s how smart you are about the situations that will either make or undo your career.
Personally, I always compared playing the Hollywood game to a chess match. The best players don’t think one move ahead, they think as many moves ahead as possible. And that means at least two moves ahead of whoever you are interacting with. Each statement or action has ramifications. My favorite was a writer who boasted to me about how a certain star had partied the past weekend with him in Vegas and was all about coming on board. Only problem was… that star was at a wedding with his family in New Mexico. D’oh!
He should’ve read the article.