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October 15, 2007

LA, where everyone loves everyone.

One thing has kind of stood out to me since I moved here and joined this program. It's especially true in the program, and in the film department at UCLA. But it's even true out and about, especially around West LA.

Everyone is so friendly to me. Like... everyone loves me.

Now before you think I'm just egotistical... rest assured that I am 100% sure that 98% of the time it's 68% fake. But hey, I really think that a fake good treatment is better than "real" rotten one.

So let me explain. This is my theory. Many people in this town have the goal of succeeding in the entertainment business. Or at the very least, making money somehow. And also, in West LA especially, many many people are involved – often in positions of power – in this same entertainment business. At UCLA in the film school, it's just a basic fact that about 60% of us will go on to do something somewhat influential in this same business.

So, in a town where lots of people you meet may have the power to help or hurt your career now or in the future... how do you treat people that you meet? In a word.. very well. (Ha, that's two words).

And that's what I find here. Hey, it may be self-serving, but it's also smart. And with the kind of turnover there is in the industry – a high ranking creative executive on average only stays in her post for 2 years, and assistants ascend to the position of bosses in a ridiculously short time – your wise to treat everyone, no matter what they're doing and what level they currently reside on – with respect.

And that's what people do. It's what I'm doing too. And I have to admit, this was basically a professional belief of mine already. You treat everyone you come in contact with well, because you're hoping they treat you well. I worked with a lot of people who only treated people ABOVE us well, and people on the same level they actively undermined. Guess how it worked out for them when those people got promoted? Not good.

So while it means that I know to take every bit of encouragement with a grain of salt... at the same time, I do kind of dig it. I think people should treat each other well, as if we all have the power to help or hurt each other.

Because the truth is, we all do.

Posted by jason on October 15, 2007 03:39 AM


sounds like the golden rule.

Posted by: lynn latshaw on October 15, 2007 09:06 PM

The same thing can be said of the theatre business-and actually, it is an unbelievably small world. Everything you say or do can effect your next job-or result in a lack thereof! I got my first touring job because the casting director in nyc noticed that I had worked for an old buddy of his in DE-he put in a call to the buddy and asked what kind of performer I was-and was pleased with the answer. Because I worked hard at a small theatre in DE, doors to bigger and better things opened for me. So, it really is important to treat all with respect and work your hardest at each job-you never know what could be around the corner...

Posted by: jessica on October 16, 2007 11:49 PM

I was really nice to my patient once . . . and he turned out to be good friends with my CEO. He told the CEO. The CEO likes me now.

Hollywood and Sleep Medicine . . . kissin' cousins.

Posted by: Xerxes on October 17, 2007 12:31 AM

jason, i bet you're doing a killer job out there at school! keep up the good work buddy!

*wink wink

Posted by: bsweber on October 17, 2007 04:17 AM

drew, you were nice to a patient only once? How do you treat your other patients?

Posted by: Anonymous on October 17, 2007 11:16 AM

Jason, what are your aspirations after finishing the program? The other commentators probably know, but I don't know you nearly as well as they do. However, I do enjoy following your adventures through the reading of this blog. So, yes, I'd love to know how you want to use what you're learning. I imagine that I'll be taking my young son to a movie one day, and I'll proudly be able to say to him, "I know who wrote this." And who knows...maybe I'll be able to tell him that I know the director or the producer.

Posted by: Sean on October 17, 2007 06:26 PM

It seems like the general rule for the philly area is "everyone hates everyone."

It doesn't matter if you never met them before... nobody gives a crap about who might be who... if you bump into someone at the store or wait a second to turn right on red, you are sure to hear a lovely string of colorful words.

In LA people might think "you never know who might be a great connection so you should just treat everyone as though they are." In Philly people think "you never know who might be a huge pain in the ass, so you should just treat everyone as though they are."

Posted by: T.O. on October 18, 2007 09:22 AM

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