Thursday, May 14, 2009


A few years ago I spent countless hours writing an article titled "Why do people in LA Flake?"

I suppose flaking isn't synonymous with only Los Angeles. But, I do have a theory that people in LA are generally more flaky than anywhere in the world.

I spent countless hours thinking of theories as to why people flake.

Maybe it's the prevalence of the entertainment industry in LA. Where thousands flock here from small towns all over the country with stars in their eyes. Not the smartest bunches.

Or maybe it's the traffic. Yes, because we have so little public transportation, maybe the lack of it is why people flake. Because driving everywhere sucks. Sometimes it's nice to just sit in a cab or on a bus or subway for a bit. But who takes the bus or subway in LA?

Then I thought it was because of all the cool last minute invites - from movie premieres to concerts. Someone can't make it and suddenly you find yourself with an opportunity to walk the red carpet. Or take in an amazing show. Certainly, I can understand why someone would flake under these circumstances.

But then, just recently, a friend had this startling statement.

"Why should I go somewhere if I don't feel like it?"


Is this really a reason why some people flake?

Holy crap.

I mean, where do I even begin with a statement like that?

Well, let's see, first off, that's an incredibly selfish statement to think let alone make let alone actually live out.

I mean, I'm an only child so yeah, I'm probably used to getting my way more than most. But Jesus.

Ok, the issue here is of respect. Because you make a plan with a business associate or friend. And that person blocks out time in their day for you. Time they could spend lunching, dining, drinking, or hanging out with another friend. Or doing something else fun. Like going to a concert or a movie. Or going for a walk or run. Or playing golf or a game of tennis. Or hitting the gym. Or going on an African safari. Or walking their dog.

I think you get my point.

Anyhow, by blocking off time or "setting a date and time" to hang out with someone, you are taking up time in their day that they might otherwise use for someone or something else.

So when you flake on them, especially hours or minutes before you're supposed to get together (and you're not lying in a ditch by the side of the road or vomiting from food poisoning) what you're really saying to the person is, "Person, I really don't value your friendship and I rather do something else tonight even though that completely f's up your day, afternoon, evening, etc."

Then, there is something called "keeping your word."

Where I come from, the east coast, when you say you're going to be somewhere at a certain time, you're there. Sure, we all hit ridiculous traffic or what not, but we're still there to meet someone.

So when you make plans, especially with a friend, by flaking and simply not going at the last minute - or even day of - that really sends the message that you are not a trustworthy person. You are a flake. You can't be counted on to follow through with what you say.

And in LA, who needs to mistrust anyone any more than they already do?

Sure, we all have our busy lives and priorities. And I am a lot more forgiving of a friend that is say, a single parent, who flakes, than someone who is just single. Because I can barely take care of myself some days so caring for another human being 24/7 is something that must be immensely stressful, especially in LA where you have to drive frickin' everywhere.

Anyhow, that's just my .02 for what it's worth.

I'm not perfect. I'm not saying I am.

But how often do you flake?

5% of the time?

I'd say any of the last 4 are completely unacceptable.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Please comment on my posts!!

Ok, so I had to temporarily restrict people posting to my blog because I had some crazy person posting anonymous comments and I had to block them. But, they are gone now! So if you are a reader of my blog and have a google account, you should be able to post!!

And please do.

Otherwise I feel like I'm typing into thin air!

Which is fine.

But it's way more fun when I know others are reading and responding!

Anyhow, thanks for those of you that emailed me to tell me you're reading my blog! So sweet and it's nice to hear. So a shout out to Jenn and Todd - :)

More soon!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Job hunting tips

I am psyched that a few of my friends recently landed jobs. Of course, I still have quite a few looking!

A few thoughts / job tips came to mind as a result that I wanted to share...

Here are some tips:

1) Obviously "who you know" is incredibly important. Knowing someone can get you a job interview stat! So definitely ask everyone you know if you see a job you want to apply to but don't have a direct contact at the company.

2) Also, ask every single friend and family member and contact you have if they know anyone in (insert your field here). LA is a small city in many ways. Chances are someone you know can get your resume forwarded...

3) Don't ignore online ads - you should still submit your resume online for any jobs you are perfect for. Tailor your resume AND cover letter to each job to maximize your chances of being called in.

4) Don't take it personally if you aren't contacted for an interview, especially if it's from a blind online submission - they get hundreds or thousands of resumes and it's easy for a "perfect" one to fall through the cracks. I also know a few recruiters who are just slammed with resumes these days - hundreds for each job post. So don't get down or take it personally if you don't hear back. Just say "next" and keep going!

5) Don't rely on only posted jobs for job hunting. If you're in a specific industry, read the trades and use Google to find contacts at that company. i.e. if you want a marketing job at a studio, look up the heads of marketing online or in a directory and submit to them directly through email or mail. Hey, you might even pick up the phone and cold call - it can't hurt! When I worked for a production company years ago, we got calls every day by freelancers looking for their next gig. I bet those freelancers called 100 companies a day -- but I bet you those people got hired compared to others who just mailed or emailed resumes out...

6) Use your college alumni database and network. I got a job interview when I first moved out here because I blindly mailed out hundreds of resumes - but one of the interviewers called me in because we had gone to the same college (and I didn't even know it - ah, it's a numbers game)! Use all your resources. Many colleges give you online access to databases of their alumni. You can also search university alumni on facebook and myspace - where I discovered a former classmate does casting at WB and another does A&R at a major label - who knew! I also had a friend who used her USC alumni book to contact a lawyer who had also gone to the same graduate film school program as she did - and there was no job open at his small firm - but she convinced him to hire her to do legal work - so never underestimate the power of persuasion, especially the female kind ;)

7) Follow-up. Artists do this with me all the time. If you email someone you personally know or have worked with and don't hear back, email that personal contact again. Always be polite and professional, i.e. "Have you had a chance to review my resume" goes a lot further than "Why haven't you gotten back to me?" I also forward the original email and include a new email note at the top so they can see I've emailed them before. If after 3-4 attempts you haven't heard back, it's probably a good idea not to go overboard but some people are just BUSY and that's why they aren't responding. Don't assume it's because they are ignoring you....

8) Don't rely on email alone. If you know someone and they haven't responded, either send them another email "hey it's me, just checking in again" or pick up the phone! I don't know about you but on a busy day I can get 100 or more emails and sometimes emails just slip through the cracks, especially if someone is busy or traveling, etc. But I only receive a handful of a calls a day, by comparison, and sometimes I even answer my own phone ;)

9) Keep a positive attitude. Yes, I've heard it's rough out there - but I also have had many friends get hired recently. Sure, some of them are in more of tech fields but believe me, your negative attitude will come across in an email or cover letter - or on the phone and in person. STAY POSITIVE no matter what. Go for a walk, bike ride, run, or hit the gym or yoga if you need to get out any negative energy. Go for a hike. Kick boxing. Anything!

10) Use all your resources. If I were looking for a job, I would be looking through all my friend's contacts on linked in - and emailing friends saying, "Hey, I notice you have a friend at XYZ company, can you forward this cover letter and resume to them"? Don't expect anyone will do the work for you and offer up all their contacts. It's your job to find out who you want to connect with and THEN ask for the hook up!

11) If it's been a long time and you feel like you aren't getting anywhere, consider a) going back to school to learn a new skill - from nursing to accounting or teaching - any field that is more in demand than what you're doing now b) starting your own business and/or blog about your industry - lots of companies may have downsized but they still may need someone to do X job and may just outsource to you to save $$ - contact your old company's clients and see if they will hire you directly c) move to a cheaper place / area / city / state and/or cut out any unnecessary items to cut down on your monthly expenses. I'm amazed at people who are "broke" but they still manage to pay for their Blackberry each month...I'm just saying...

Hope that helps!

Got any other tips to share?

Did you miss me?

I was on such a roll with posts.

But then I stopped...because after 5-10 posts with no comments from you guys, I was sorta wondering, "is this thing on?"

Ok, so Michael is such a good friend of mine - he actually emailed me last week to say, "hey, you need to update your blog!"

Which is super cool. Because I see Michael once a week and he pretty much knows what's going on in my life at all times! So if anyone probably doesn't need to read my blog, it's him. Oh Michael, what a truly good friend you are! Now where's your blog so I can return the favor?

Anyhow, so let's see.

What to blog about.

Well, I was in Florida for a week. That was fun. I could tell you all about how guys in Florida are nice and police (and buy you drinks!) and how Miami has the most amazing beaches I've seen - outside of Hawaii and the Caribbean - definitely the nicest water that I've seen attached to U.S. land!

Hmm, I guess a blog is one of those things, much like a diary, that is easier to write in / on when things aren't going well. I guess that's why some songwriters I know constantly force themselves into a state of melancholy simply so they'll have material for their next tune. Er, sadly, neither artist I know that did this ever became successful. So perhaps the real "trick" is to be happy and write songs, maybe pretending to be sad, instead of forcing yourself into sadness just to write songs.

Anyhow, I digress.

I have no idea who is reading this besides Michael. Oh I have 21 "followers" and goodness knows how many millions of unregistered "lurkers" reading this. So I won't be posting my social security number on here anytime soon.

Let's see. Outside of having a breakdown right before vacation, I guess things are ok. I worry about and stress out about money way too much. And I can't help but think that isn't very healthy. I mean, did our ancestors worry about how to pay their rent or cell phone bill inbetween hunting for wild boar and gathering berries?

I think not.

In fact, much of my life these days consists of figuring out ways to escape the concrete confines of Los Angeles.

Some years ago, somebody told me LA was just a "concrete jungle" and while I never really noticed it then, for some reason, lately, it's hit me.

Yes, we need trees.

My apartment, sadly, like many in this city, overlooks nothing but grey concrete.

I grew up in Connecticut. And while the weather is sucky beyond belief, it was at least nice to look outside at hibernating trees and snow in the dead of winter than grey slabs of concrete. I'm pretty sure my state of mind would be improved if I had a view of a lake, the ocean or some trees / a park, ya know? I guess that's why all those NYC apartments overlooking Central Park go for so much!

Anyhoo, sorry this is a rather long blog.

And a bit egocentric, sorry.

But in case you're wondering what's new with me, here's a summary:

Er, cat has hyperthyroidism. She needs drugs.
Vacations are good :)
Putting out my first CD. Ha ha I bet you didn't know I could sing ;)
I hate Time Warner Cable more than I thought possible.
Am I the only one on facebook without my baby's photo as a profile picture?
Is anyone really happy?
Why can't cars drive themselves?
How can there be a Baskin Robbins in Beverly Hills that I've never noticed?

How about you?