3 Positive Ways To Handle Negative Days In Hollywood
by Elaine Zicree and Marc Zicree
Film Courage: What’s the biggest obstacle or setback that each of you have faced personally in your careers? You don’t have to be specific as to what project, but how you worked through it?
Elaine Zicree: I think it’s rarely a setback. It’s that you get tired. Sometimes you get tired and when you get tired, then things start to hit you and you cannot see a way around. Whereas if you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, sometimes it’s easy or sometimes it hard. It think it’s the wear and tear. And that’s where your really have to say never get into this life alone. Always have somebody to back you up, a friend (or in this case), a spouse that is also a friend…
Marc Zicree: And we also have The Table.
Elaine Zicree: Yes…and we also have The Table (which we can talk about in a second). But this whole thing about rugged individualism and ‘by your bootstraps,’ that’s just not the way people operate. One of my favorite songs is “Lean on Me” and some day I’ll need someone to lean on. But I think that’s really true. It’s the day-to-day grind. Sometimes his hopes are higher than mine so I don’t have as big of a setback and I’m always a little more weary than he. And he’ll say “Oh this is great!” and I’ll say “Oh….no..” So it’s a bigger hit when it does go down. But if you don’t expect… If you know there is somebody you can turn to and say “I’m just down today. I just had a bad day.” And someone can say “It’s okay. Keep going.” Just dealing with it with other people and don’t lock it down. You were going to talk about The Table?
Marc Zicree: Yeah…well we run this roundtable of writers, directors, actors, producers, editors and composers, etc. That’s several thousands of people every Thursday for 24 years to create a compassionate community in Hollywood. And now we have off-shoots all over the country.
Again, it was because I wanted to create the Hollywood that I wanted to live in. And Hollywood can be very corrosive, it can wear you down. You have to be very careful of who you are giving judgment to, who is in judgment of you and where you internalize that. Because if it is people who are hateful, who are toxic or cruel, that can destroy you. So you have to surround yourself with people who are loving, people who are kind, and it’s hugely important because at the end of the day, you have to build a life. The life is ultimately more important than this script or this project or any of it. You have to have a life where you are loved and you are loving. Where you meet people (who as Elaine says) when you falter, will be there for you. And again ‘Lean on Me’ is good if it’s going both ways. It isn’t like “Well let me drain your life-force and leave you an empty husk!” Which is what some people do.
So you have to make sure that it’s reciprocal and with the roundtable that we run, that’s what we teach. And even in the classes that we teach where we mentor people, what we often say is “Your career will be defined by two poles: What you stand for and what you won’t stand for.” But you have to know what those two things are. A lot of people (particularly actors) can end up being very successful and very empty because they are not in alignment with what they themselves believe. So you have decide “Well, what do I believe?” What is meaningful to me and then how can I do work that speaks from that?”…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
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