it's funny how things happen...
in 2011, right around the time that we released our milk + honey episodes, i decided to go to grad school. it was a weird decision at that time, but one i was divinely led to make. i literally found out about the producers program at ucla while visiting the school, searching for a mentor to help us shop milk + honey (more on that later). that day, i learned that the application for the program was due a week later. i decided to take a shot and managed to pull everything together and submitted. three months later, i was called into an interview. one of the first questions i was asked was who is a producer that you admire and in some ways would like to model your career? i immediately responded Harvey Weinstein. i wish i could have snapped a pic of the reaction on my interviewers' faces as they responded, really? why? (i guess HW does have a bit of a rep!)
my response was simple - HE TAKES RISKS. (oh & he has undeniable taste -- making/distributing the types of projects that i enjoy--films that are smart, entertaining, stylish, with amazing talent, complex characters and stories that push boundaries. and, one more thing--one big thing, he actually casts films with black actors and works with emerging and established black directors. not that either of those should be that big of a deal but in this industry it kinda sadly is...)
in my mind, Harvey has been and still is one of my mentors. (no, we have never met. lol) but, what really inspires me is that he does not fit into the "cookie cutter" role that hollywood tries to force on people but instead makes his own rules, charts his own course and is not afraid to create/support projects that he believes in. (something that maverick-types can totally relate to and feel empowered by.) he has a main office in NYC so he is centered right in the heart of culture with other offices in LA and the UK. and, yes he continues to create brilliant films but that hasn't stopped him from getting behind music artists that he loves and helping to pave their careers, acquiring fashion lines that he loves (a la Charles James and Halston), supporting political campaigns and even helping to craft some speeches. or really even venturing into whatever interests him...which brings me to...
fast forward 3 years - and here i am working at the weinstein company helping to launch the scripted TV department...as an assistant. i never imagined that i would be working as an assistant at 30 something. (especially when i was on a fast track to success in advertising) but for some reason i feel like i am exactly where i should be in this moment and learning from one of the people that i consider truly masterful at producing from the heart.
one time for taking the first step and allowing yourself to be led! (...while trusting your inner voice and finding mentors who speak the same language)