Category Archives: Life Lesson

Advice So Bad It’s Good…

As I have often said when offering “advice,” take it with a grain of salt.  

Heck, my wife, bless her heart, has a “do the opposite of what he says” policy that she finds works very well for her (and our marriage).

But seriously, we all get advice, solicited or not, almost everyday of our lives – especially in the age of social nakedness where all we do is up for an opinion to be shared, commented on, or ignored – which is a kind of advice.

Curious, I googled “best advice I ever got” – and as soon as I started to  poke around the top hits, shrugged, muttered aloud “they know this stuff” and googled “worst advice I ever got” and found this below article.

I am going to expect that you (and I) will never look at “bad advice” the same way again…

8 successful entrepreneurs share the worst advice they ever received (Business Insider 3/27/16)

by RICHARD FELONI

Bad advice is easy to ignore. But sometimes the worst advice can stick with you, as a reminder of what matters most to your personal and professional fulfillment.

Entrepreneurs by definition have to go against the grain, and so conventional, albeit terrible, advice can be used as a motivational tool.

We’ve collected the worst advice successful entrepreneurs like Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran ever received.

Here’s what it taught them.

1) “Shark Tank” star and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is firmly against the idea of following your passion.  Cuban has said repeatedly that the worst advice he’s ever received or heard others receive is “Follow your passion.”

“What a bunch of BS,” he wrote in a blog post from 2012. Everyone has multiple passions, Cuban says, but those don’t lead to career success. What does, however, is finding something to work hard at.

By “following your effort” instead of your passion, you can develop a skill and learn to appreciate it. Your passion for growing tomatoes in your garden can remain a hobby. Continue reading Advice So Bad It’s Good…

So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

The other day I had the pleasure of meeting Andric L. Queen-Booker, Class of 2012 – a wonderfully talented and smart young man – and he mentioned that he enjoyed the HBO series, Togetherness, and was a big fan of the Duplass brothers.  As am I.  And my wife.  This is a win-win as it means she enjoys watching a show I enjoying watching, and when you’re in your 4th decade together, and TV wasteland time is limited, that’s a HUGE deal.

When I asked Andric why he liked the brothers, and Togetherness, he said: “It’s real. Truthful.”

So it is.  HBO worth paying for.

Imagine my surprise when the LA Weekly (a paper like the New Times for all my AZ friends) published today – did a wonderful story on the Duplass brothers that is perfectly timed to share with you.

Read this.

I did, twice.  And their story has ME pumped to do more, my way, now.

Go out there and be the STORYTELLER (actor, producer, director, writer, executive, agent, human being) that you want to be!

How the Duplass Brothers Changed Hollywood by Refusing to Change at All

MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2016 AT 6:30 A.M.

by Gwynedd Stuart

It’s an irresistibly warm weekday in late January, and Jay and Mark Duplass are in their office at Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood preparing to write the third season of their HBO series, Togetherness. I note the timing because it happens to be Sundance week, and they’re here rather than there (I note the weather because, goddamn, we’re lucky) — and it’s the rare year they don’t have a pony to show. Last year, Sean S. Baker’s iPhone-filmed, Hollywood-set dramedy Tangerine, which the Duplasses executive produced, was one of the festival’s most talked-about films. They also executive produced Melissa Rauch’s The Bronze, another 2015 Sundance selection.

And all of 11 years ago, their first full-length feature, the low-budget relationship drama–slash–road-trip comedy The Puffy Chair, was among the festival’s breakout hits, winning the Audience Choice Award and making their mutual inclusion in conversations about young filmmakers-to-watch almost instantaneous. They were among a handful of auteurs whose work was being lumped together to constitute what was called the “mumblecore” movement. Major record labels were fixating on all things indie rock, and major film studios were fixating on quiet, quirky dramas being made for $15,000 rather than $15 million.

After the 2005 fest, Mark and his now-wife, director-actress Katie Aselton, packed up and moved from New York to L.A.; Jay headed West that December. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s safe to say these were good decisions. Continue reading So, you can be the new Coen Brothers…

A Life Lived Well…

Having had the pleasure of meeting with so many of you, of focusing on and trying to help you gain entry into the career you have worked so hard to prepare for and are determined to achieve, I have been given a surprising gift by you – and that is to ask what’s really mattered in my life BEYOND “career.”

Actor?  Production Crew Member?  Producers Personal Assistant?  Writer?  Producer?   Executive Producer?  I have been all of these things, and have – like you – an ever evolving resume and bio that tells this tale.

But who am I other than my work history?  More to the point, what part of that journey is always left out by the studio or network publicists who post the requisite blurbs whenever I am fortune enough to get a movie made?  

 “…The father of two and a proud grandfather, Howard is married to Studio Executive, Disney Imagineer, and Film and Television Producer, Donna Burkons…”

Even though this reference’s Donna’s professional credits, my “people” find my marriage and children and grandkids too personal, off point, and thus inappropriate.  Heck, I even left this out in my “About” page for this blog.

But what I am, what matters most, is that Donna has blessedly been “with” me for 44 years and counting.  Our friends, extended family, and most of all our adult “kids” and now grandkids, are our life.  

So it came as a pleasant surprise that I stumbled on this TED talk to share with you this AM, one with a message I hope you will file away and take with you as you pursue and achieve all of your career “dreams and aspirations.”

What Makes a Good Life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness | Robert Waldinger | TED Talks

Published on Jan 25, 2016

What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction. In this talk, he shares three important lessons learned from the study as well as some practical, old-as-the-hills wisdom on how to build a fulfilling, long life.