Film Courage: Every creative person should consider themselves primarily responsible for the success of their career? Is this true?
Gary W. Goldstein: Is it an absolutely true statement that every creative person needs to be that primarily responsible person who stewards their own career, who is the architect. It’s great if you have others with their oars in the water helping you. It’s great if you have an agent. It’s great if you have a manager, if you have an attorney, if you have other people who are mentors or wear different hats in your life who contribute strategy, time, effort, money, whatever all those things are. All contributions (smart and well-intended contributions) are welcomed, of course. But the statement we hear so often from a creative “If only I had an agent” is an unfortunate statement in my view. Because even when you have one, you are still 100% responsible. When I was a personal manager representing primarily writers and directors (some actors), but when I was a literary manager my attitude was first I had to deal with my writer. You work as hard at being a writer as I work at being your representative and we’re going to get along great.
“So when they [an artist, writer, creative, etc.] get an agent, when they get a manager, when they get people who want to jump on board, that’s great. But it’s frosting, it’s not the cake. They have to be the one.”
But, (by the way) you’re still 100 percent responsible for your career. And (by the way), so am I. I am 100 percent responsible for your career. And when we get you an agent, the agent is 100 percent responsible for your career. Now we’ve got 300 percent. Sounds like THE PRODUCERS, but it’s true. I could never allow anyone to be even 1 percent responsible or I wasn’t giving my all.
“It has to be their vision, their voice, it has to be their style, it has to be their personality and energy that seduces the Universe into “Yeah! I want to play with you.”
So when they get an agent, when they get a manager, when they get people who want to jump on board, that’s great. But it’s frosting, it’s not the cake. They have to be the one. Because at the end of the day it’s their personality, it’s their talent, it’s their signature in the world that is going to win the day. An agent can only open a door, make an introduction, set the table. But the writer or the actor or whomever, has to walk into the room (literally and metaphorically) and win the day. It has to be their vision, their voice, it has to be their style, it has to be their personality and energy that seduces the Universe into “Yeah! I want to play with you.”
We’re going to make your dream come true because what you bring with you, not because your agent said X or your manager did Y, that’s not the truth. The truth is they just opened a door, which by the way, you could have opened on your own had you understood that you could have opened it on your own.
But the talent can’t just be the talent. The talent has to understand (even if it’s not about how many hours a day they invest on the business side of their life. It’s deeper than that. It’s an understanding that I am going to will this into being. I am going to will people into my life who want to help me. I am going to will new relationships into my life. I am going to take action that pays dividends.
Film Courage: So if you had a performer, writer (what have you) in your [office] chair and they are sort of slumped down and saying to you “You know, this just isn’t working. I have this agent and manager and they’re not sending me out. Or they’re not whatever…It’s “THEY” We’re putting the blame on THEY, the other person. What would you say to them?
Gary W. Goldstein: Make them wrong! Show them how it gets done. You want to complain about your agent and your manager not getting you auditions or whatever else it happens to be, great. Show them how to kick up some dust. Get yourself the audition. It’s not okay to sit home and complain. You know, the glass isn’t half empty, ever, ever, ever, ever. We’re all allowed our moment. We’re allowed to have that one day or (preferably) that one hour [to complain], right? Then you have to dust yourself off and say success is about moving on with it. And if other people aren’t getting it done for you, then you’ve got to motivate them. And the best way to motivate someone is to show them what they’re not doing by doing it yourself.
Question for the Viewers: What’s one thing you did for your career today?
CHECK OUT GARY’S BOOK!
Writer’s Guide To Hollywood
THE BEAT OF THE BAT is a full-length documentary that tells the story of the music of the 1966 “Batman” Television Series and how composers Neal Hefti, Nelson Riddle & Billy May gave Batman his first real musical identity- and one that has remained inexorably tied to the character for over 50 years!
In fact, if you saw the just released “Lego Batman Movie” you might have noticed the numerous references to the music of the TV series.
And face it, you can go up to anyone, anywhere in the world and sing “Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na!” and they will instantly know what you are talking about!
The music was as important to the show as the bright colors, campy dialogue and tongue-in-cheek performances. Yet, strangely, the story of how it came to be has never been told… Until now.
EXODUS documents the journey of Syrian refugees as they cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Greece. In the winter of 2015, over three thousand refugees attempted this treacherous crossing everyday, all in hope of seeking asylum in the European Union. It’s a life and death gamble that they are willing to take, all for a chance at a new life away from their war-torn homeland.
FREAK OUT: Matan, a soldier in the IDF, sets off for a week of patrolling in a remote base in the north of Israel with three soldiers whom he doesn’t know. As the week progresses, the soldiers begin to question whether they will come out of this experience alive.
THE HOLLY KANE EXPERIMENT: An obsessive psychologist attempts to reprogram her subconscious mind, but when her actions become increasingly uncharacteristic she fears her experiment is dangerously out of control.
AMERICAN TRIAL seeks to discover what a trial in the Eric Garner case might have taught us. How is our legal system designed to handle cases such as Garner’s? What verdict may have been returned after all the evidence was presented? More importantly, what conversations, perspectives and emotions went unexamined because of the grand jury’s decision?
Similarly to fiction courtroom dramas, the lead characters of this documentary will be the attorneys leading the prosecution and the defense. Our camera will capture them as they develop their public arguments and individual positions. How do they decide which witnesses to summon? How do they prepare for their court appearance? Are there any discrepancies between their systemic role and their true feelings regarding the case?
The film will also follow a news crews covering the trial and reporting on race relations in America within the context of the trial and the movement for black lives. They will travel across America to discover what public figures, intellectuals and activists think about the Eric Garner case, as well as other similar cases through the prism of racial relations in the United States.