Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just My Luck I Met the Buck

Today was a good day for the most part. It definitely started out better than it ended. I went to a PRSA (www.prsact.org) event at Quinnipiac University to hear Michael Buckley speak. I didn't know what to expect from his presentation, truth be told I wasn't familiar with him or his success as a vlogger, but by the end he inspired me. Michael Buckley is a young man of immense energy, charisma, good lucks, and a keen fashion sense. He is the creator of What the Buck (http://www.youtube.com/WHATTHEBUCKSHOW), a show that was originally produced on cable access in Connecticut that combined reporting on pop culture and celebrities with the lively and comedic touch of Michael Buckley. Today, it is the most watched show on the youtube channel. I'm sure some of you may be saying youtube, so what's the big deal, everyone and their grandmother posts a clip on youtube. Well, Michael Buckley has turned his quirky passion into a career, and those in the world of entertainment are taking notice. He's inked some deals with top notch players in the biz like HBO, Sony, BlogTV, and has been a correspondent for networks news show like CNN, Fox News, and many more.

It's hard to believe What the Buck started out as a hobby for Michael and now is a online movement. Everyday, I'm learning more about the power social networking can have if you know how to utilize it. I know you just can't post a clip and then become an instant celebrity. Well you can, but if you want more than your fifteen minutes of fame you actually have to work at it and really not give up on your dream/goal. You also need to have a plan and work that plan intensely.

A few weeks ago I was at my MFA residency at Western Connecticut State University (www.wcsu.edu) and had an opportunity to hear Laura Touby speak, she's another success story of social networking. She created the idea behind www.mediabistro.com in 1994, today the website is a force in PR, film, journalism, communications, event planning, and social networking. Top professional in various communication fields use mediabistro.com to promote themselves and their work. I believe she sold the site for a lucrative price last year, maybe two years ago. She came to talk to wiriters about the power of social networking. While she had a lot of good points about why social networking is the wave of the future, especially for writers, many of those points were missed because she was crass, pompous, and lacked respect for her peers. I definitely took something away from her talk, but it wasn't very inspiring. She could take a lesson from Buckley on how to work a crowd, not that she probably cares. She seemed ready to get the hell out of dodge by the end of her presentation. I doubt she will come back either.

How many of us have embraced Web 2.0.? I'll admit I was slow to start and am kicking myself for it, but now that I have a facebook account along with a couple other social networking tools, I'm trying to get my hands around how I can better market myself and my projects and really take my work to the next level. Like Michael Buckley I have a strong belief in myself, but I definitely lack his energy and tenacity. With that said, if I'm going to have any hope of living my dream like he is I've got to find my angle and work it like an escort at the Bunny Ranch. I can even take a lesson for Laura Touby on perseverance and how to not talk to a group of people. The tools are out there we just have to use them.

I'm sitting here contemplating whether I should vlog or not. I have an idea, one that I think is damn good, but with a thesis project to write and a 9 to 5 to hold down, I'm wondering how feasible it really is for me right now. Buckley would say, "Get a camera and get taping!!! Like right now!!!" It's definitely some food for thought and will not be lost.

I took a picture with Michael Buckley but it didn't come out. I was hoping to post it with this blog entry, hopefully our paths cross again, but if they don't it was just my luck that I met a the Buck.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Creating a Win-Win for 2009

Hello all,

We've sent out our holiday cards wishing our friends, family, coworkers, peers, and even the occasional stranger a "Happy New Year," but 2009 begins with many world, national, and local problems unresolved. We are in the midst of a world-wide economic crisis, most if not all states face budget deficits, and in spite of these economic challenges, we have to be optimistic and willing to think "outside of the box" to tackle these tough issues. Can a year make a difference? That is the question I find myself asking quite frequently these days.

It is easy for me to look back at 2008 with a win-lose lens over my achievements and setbacks. I constantly remind myself of the areas in which I've grown, but I also spend a great deal of time analyzing the missteps I made. I know I shouldn't have this self-defeating view, but old habits die hard. I think one of the reasons for this is because I'm not where I envisioned I would be. Sometimes I can be my own worse enemy. I'm not sure what famous person said that, but it's spot on for me.

It's so easy to start off a new year thinking about the possibilities we see for ourselves. It can be losing weight, making more money, getting a new job, traveling, or fulfilling lifelong goals. Whatever it is, we start out with enthusiasm and then by June, somehow we've forgotten our New Year's resolutions. I no longer make New Year's resolutions because in years past I found myself not fulfilling many of my goals and then getting depressed. About 3 years ago, I decided I wanted to make life style changes that overtime will continue to impact my personal, professional, and financial well-being in a positive way. So far it seems to be working.

Even with my karmic view, like all of you, I encounter circumstances I can't always control. These episodes in my life may cause setbacks and have me wondering why I've taken this path. Then I doubt myself and begin to limit my own possibilities. My work on After the Headlines made me feel this way a lot. I focused on the problems and forgot about the potential (the reason I began the endeavor). I set myself up for a win-lose situation.

In 2009 I have to work toward setting myself up for a win-win situation, regardless of the setbacks that may happen to me. I need to remember that life is a cycle of good and bad situations and if I'm lucky I'll experience more good then bad. And since I don't know God's game plan for me I have to do the best with what resources I'm given. All I need to do is look at the news or listen to National Public Radio (NPR) to know I'm blessed.

I have a lot on my plate for 2009. I have 3 spec scripts to write for my thesis, work on a personal essay I plan to submit for publication, get clips to build my portfolio, re-shoot and edit After the Headlines, plus plenty of rewrites on scripts I've already written, write new screenplays, hopefully squeeze in some travel and maybe even get engaged by year end (hint, hint). Will they all happen? I'm not sure, but I will do my best to get each of these goals accomplished and if not by the end of 2009, then by 2010 and so on (whatever it takes). I have to be focused, put in the time, sweat, and maybe even blood in some cases (although I hope not the latter). I've got to become the change I want to see and it begins with me seeing 2009 as a win-win and not just for me, hopefully for all of us.