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Merry Christmas

hohohoIt's hard to believe that Christmas Eve has arrived already.

Christmas, in America, is a very commercial holiday. In fact, much of our nation's economy depends on the season to survive. Here in Hollywood, our industry isn't quite that dependent on the holiday, but each year there are myriad holiday movies, tv specials, plays and musicals. In the music industry, it's hard for a recording artist NOT to give in to the pressure to release a bundle of holiday recordings, and the music publishing industry can count on those old-favorites being revisited each year.

But amid all this commercialization of Christmas, let's not forget the most important components of the Christmas season. Religion aside, Whether Christmas is *your* holiday or not, you can't deny that for most, this is a season for family gatherings and sharing joy, nostalgia and optimism.

I, for one, want to share my heartfelt gratitude to all of my family, friends, clients, colleagues, students, blog and e-mail readers, podcast listeners, and everyone else with whom I've come into contact this past year. You have made this a year of happiness and success. So, thank you!

I especially want to give thanks for my wonderful family. My wife, children, and extended family have enjoyed good health, prosperity and happiness.

I wish the same to you and yours.

Merry Christmas!

P.S. (I can't resist a little commercialism of my own), If you're still looking for that perfect holiday gift for a loved one (or yourself), it's not too late to buy a copy of my ebook,

or sign up for the Theatre Producer Academy online course

Thank You!

Gratitude.

Did you know that scientific research shows that people who express gratitude regularly are happier? Happier people are healthier, so by extension, gratitude is good for you!

Did you know that the scriptures of most major religions include references to gratitude practice? Essentially, they're all variations on the theme that “he who is grateful for what he has will receive more, and he who is ungrateful will have things taken away.” Fascinating.

Well, I'm grateful. At this time of year, I find myself expressing it more, but it's there year-round.

I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of my readers, listeners, viewers, clients, colleagues, friends, and family members. You each contribute to making my life a rich one, filled with awe, excitement, abundance and joy.

Here in the U.S., we celebrate our Thanksgiving holiday this week, but there's no reason we can't extend the spirit beyond our borders. Give it a try. See if you can name a few people or things that you're grateful for. Really experience the feeling.

What have you got to lose?

 

A few things you probably didn’t know about me.

A few things you probably didn't know about me.

I don't often reveal too much of my “personal” stuff online. I prefer to keep things “professional”. But today, I got an email from a fellow attorney that inspired me to post this. So here goes:

1. I'm a major geek.

I was that A/V kid in high-school. That's where my abiding love for theatre and the arts really came into full view. I was the kid who ran the sound for the plays and musicals. That led to a similar love for all things entertainment industry. I love the work, the art, the politics, and the people in these crazy businesses. Because I get to help folks take their careers and businesses in these fields to the next level (whatever that means), I have the best job in the world.

2. I play the saxophone.

Badly. (Actually, it's been years since I played, so “badly” may not be a strong enough adjective).

3. My favorite color is green.

My daughter thinks it's purple… but it's green.

4. I'm an addict.

Pasta is my drug of choice. I could eat pasta for every meal.

5. I'm actually quite shy.

I know… me, the guy who blogs, podcasts, makes youtube videos, networks, speaks in public, yada yada.

But really, I'm shy. My boyhood best friend, Bob, is the opposite. For him, being social, being public, and performing come naturally. It's almost like he HAS to do this stuff. I admire that about him, and I've tried to emulate his approach. But I have to WORK to get myself out there. It's gotten easier, but I still get very self-conscious and anxious. My secret is that I overprepare for every speech, podcast, video, meeting, whatever. The fewer curve-balls, the better.

6. I got really high one time.

When I was about 14, I stood on the highest point in the continental United States. Climbing to and standing atop the peak of Mt. Whitney (14,492 ft) was one of the coolest experiences of my life. Especially when a pair of F-15's waggled their wings as they flew by BELOW us.

7. Did I mention that I'm a geek?

I was there when the First Space Shuttle mission landed. I camped out overnight in the desert to be there. Cool, huh?

If you know me well enough to know this stuff, maybe you know something I've left out. Leave it in the comments.

 

Got a question? Leave it there, too.

Maybe I'll even answer. If it's not too personal.

Client Alert – Scammers targeting California Business Entities.

Client Alert – Scammers targeting California Business Entities.

The Secretary of State of California has sent out a consumer alert to warn California businesses about a scam operation. If you receive a letter requesting that you submit $49.50 along with a form, etc. to “California State Corporations”, to receive a Certificate of Status for your business entity, do not respond. This is not… Continue Reading

Learn the secrets to successful crowdfunding!

If you’ve got a project you’re thinking about crowdfunding, you’re in luck. Crowdfunding works… if you know how to do it right. My friend and client Adam Leipzig, CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, will be conducting his “Going Beyond the Basics” Crowdfunding Webinar on March 18th. This webinar will teach you the basics of crowdfunding… Continue Reading

Just. Don’t. Do it.

No shooting until EVERY member of your cast and crew has signed a contract.   Seriously.   Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a startling ruling in a case involving an independent film. In the Innocence of Muslims case, the Court ruled that an actress who played a small role in the… Continue Reading

How to get the best deal possible: Negotiation strategies I learned from my 5 five-year-old.

Kindergartens must have upped their game. It seems they’re teaching negotiating skills. At least, that’s what you’d conclude from talking to my five-year-old. He has an uncanny knack for getting what he wants.   Here are a few tips I’ve picked up from observing my kids in the wild. I think they apply equally well… Continue Reading

Warranties and Representations – What these contract clauses really mean.

If you’re like most of the entertainment industry folks I come into contact with, you’ve signed a few contracts in your day. And, if you’re like most of those folks, those contracts have required you to make certain “warranties and representations”. But, what’s interesting to me (and a little scary) is that when I ask my clients whether they’ve read and understood what they’re signing, often as not, the answer is either a blank stare, or a simple “No. That’s what I have you for.” Continue Reading

Producer beware: “Work Made For Hire” agreement creates a “statutory employee” relationship.

  Recently, employment practices in the entertainment industry have been under closer scrutiny, as several major studies have been targeted in class-action lawsuits by interns who believe they should've been paid minimum wage, received overtime, benefits, etc., as employees. Using interns as unpaid labor is a long-established practice around Hollywood, so these recent lawsuits have… Continue Reading

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