How to, and how not to, destroy your reputation in your business, career, or office.

From: "No Kidding!" - Colin B M Wood-Senior Op Ed at "No Kidding!". 
Steemit Blogger, Blasting News, Citizen's Freedom Blog, Niume. Published-Kindle/Nook (Author), Magizines: 9-0/Wingd/PRforPeople.
Jul 30

How to, and how not to, destroy your reputation in your business, career, or office.

(A Reputation Genius — Richard Branson, Virgin Enterprises)

I chose to write on a new topic tonight, after coming across the small submission below, on Flipboard, earlier today.

Had it read any other career but Actor in the title, I may have simply passed it by.

I was quickly drawn to it’s picture and the title, however, and it immediately drew both sad and bad memories out of me, of a career once bolstered by a quickly growing jump to the top connections in the Hollywood elite of casting, and acting, eventually fizzled out after the first 10 months I lived there.

On a return to Los Angeles 10 months later, from Seattle, I spent another 5 months there, and I’m pretty sure, never saw anything but the Valley.

We struggled with no furniture, or fridge, a blowup bed and a 19-inch color television to watch the 1996 MLB Playoffs and the World Series on. Eventually, giving up to my miserableness and the fiance’s righteous unhappiness over my failings for the first 22 months she experienced with me, and listening to her for one of the few times in my self-righteous youth, we returned home.

All the way home to the area I grew up in…

…not New York City.

At 25, I had already let go of my biggest dream. Why?

Well, read this young ladies very short, but powerful note, really, to actors, and then relate it back to my title and where I take the lesson even deeper for anyone young seeking to make it to the top of their career-choices, when they have the talent, and brains, and unfortunately know it. Then continue below. This story is worth the read, and a good lesson for a friend, coworker, or child of yours.
How to Monitor Your Reputation as an Actor

I'm pretty sure that at some point in your life, someone has noted that your reputation matters in all that you do…


Marci Liroff, just posted that small story and viewpoint two and half days ago at 9:00 am, and it is a must read and memorize for all you potential A-list actor types out there. Mostly the new ones really…

Why do I tell any of you that?

I had no comprehension of reputation, or a conflicting personality at 18-years-old and had never even worked a real job, yet.

So, because, I was brought up in such a destructive way, I never learned couth, or when to keep my mouth shut, or emotions at bay, and I lived with a chip on my shoulder, contrary to the Eagle Scout-type I was brought up to be.

I came across as a stern perfectionist…demanding at times, emotional, and a downright bastard when things didn’t go at my pace, or in my timing. That horrible lack of patience, I never knew I had actually, would rear it’s ugly head and stick with me the rest of my life, to date.

Yeah, yeah, through both my marriages…

Despite, minor patience issues now, my past is surely my past now, and I arrived at a new place in my life finally, where that guy named “chip”, jumped off his hedge upon my shoulder just over the past 1.5 years, and made a dash for the sewers.

I must share with any young actor who might struggle with personality, social ability, insecurity, and the need to let everyone know they are important, that it is a direct downhill battle, until you survive 1 or 2 big deal castings, then a few years later, leave the Big Apple or the City of Angels with your tail between your legs!

Just as the writer above mentioned — partying, drugs, drinking, gambling, working to pay for it all and an apartment, and boom, you aren’t getting to auditions, or are getting high on sets, when you aren’t needed.

You then ignore yourself while spreading a holier than thou personality in the biggest restaurant in Beverly Hills, which may be a tad bit presumptuous, just because you may have starred a year in an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and on two Webber CD’s (as was my case, but already 3 years removed by that point), possibly just finished an MTV filming of a future internet sensation in 1995, and turning what may have been future movie or stage stars working the restaurant with you, and longer than you…away!

This just might cause some of them with their own connections, and accomplishments in a town new to you, to share the news about the new, talented looker who just entered our well-connected town out here, with a possible big head. Luckily, in Los Angeles, that is not rare, so I didn’t stick outu too much, yet.

It is a much smaller village at the real top than you realize, and when you do have what it takes…your name gets around quickly.

Do not let your ego take it all away for you!

Be genuine, friendly, loving, caring, empathetic.

Speak when you are spoken to and asked something, otherwise LISTEN really good. Be enthusiastic, and be courageous to be the best human being you know how to be — Actress/Actor/Professional— and throw away the real-life mask for just a stage mask, when it’s the right place and time for that.

Then, the sky could be your limit!

Don’t wait until you are nearing 50, or 60 to figure it out!

Get it straight now, and take what you want, take it seriously, work super hard, and then work even harder, and shut out everything else.

Parties, drugs, clubs, unless you receive an invite from someone that matters in your working life are off limits. If invited to something important, be joyous, show gratitude to a point, and use those opportunities to show how your mind works.

It’s your private chats about life, and who you show someone you are that’s going to land you that dream role, dream movie, dream career! Some have come really, really close, and touched it with their fingertips.

Many, like me, who bumped shoes or sneakers with elite talent managers, studio directors, techies, A-list, and B-list stars in New York City, and Hollywood, are now sitting miles away from our biggest dreams, and it was all because of…


Okay, I am stretching the truth a little on me, to fit the point of the story. I worked a heck of a lot in theater, and some in television and film (without even trying hard to break in), and it was in NYC I made my bad name for myself at the Dutch Apple Dinner Theater, before my return to the Apple at going on 20-years-old, and in Starlight Express at 21/22 years old, 1991/1992.

Yet, as Marci states in her letter above…the offers, the leading roles, and the callbacks for Broadway kept coming in, but hence, after possibly 20 to 25 callbacks for Broadway leading roles in 1990, and 1992 to 1994, I was never cast in a NYC Musical, after the success of Starlight Express.

Once again, here is an example of where my cockiness/ego, and lack of patience hurt me, giving up on NYC or starring on Broadway, because I believed I deserved to be there already, obtuse to my reputation and personality.

I had finished my final day in Bochum, Germany, after 15 months there, and 400 performances, with an unmistakable bang literally of a door on the entire directorial team closing night of my cast, and I never had an idea, to this day, if it ever harmed me in NYC, but I’d be foolish to think not.

I did not have that issue in Los Angeles. I had a different issue there, and it was drugs and gambling.

I had to work 6 to 7 days a week at the most popular and attended restaurant in Beverly Hills (which will go nameless, and now out of business, and of course, I was always pushed to be at the top of whatever I did, growing up), even living my dream serving the cast/crew party for the Apollo 13 opening, and the cast/crew party for Unstrung Heroes.

The list of whom I touched toes with at these parties and while working there, as well as spoke with, and was complemented by, would be shocking to some.

But, not to a cocky 25-year-old. I believed I belonged, I believed I was their peers all the way…Well, I was! I had…IT!

But, I could not control the other IT in my life for about 6 months, and worked so much to pay for my habits, I only auditioned once, for Miss Saigon, a musical, not a movie.

I was finally being considered for the role of John, after I had had several callbacks in NYC, by the same casting directors, for Chris, and then proceeded to fail yet another dancing call back.

That being due to my years of laziness and lack of energy to take and learn dance so well, other than A.M.D.A. classes, that I could handle auditions. It was pure laziness, and health issues, as I’ve come to find, because in shows I was cast in, my dancing skills were pretty decent, after learning the moves.

I blew off some major party invites with important people…

I avoided the auditions I was more right for because I convinced myself I wasn’t good enough in my head, opposite of what I portrayed on the outside. So, I skipped several movie/television audition opportunities.

After a free Dodger Game, being behind the stage of a popular new TV Show, meeting the star, and the director, going to a party with Rose and George Clooney, and this manager who wanted to mold me into his next Hollywood A-lister, so he told me, just as he did with several others, including Jim Carrey, I messed it all up.

Bit of factoid: Jim Carrey got his first major movie role, other than the teen television movie he did about a disturbed young boy, as one of Nick Cage’s buddies in Peggy Sue Got Married, which my mom’s cousin’s husband Paul Gurion (The Seventh Sign), directed.

This manager I was growing to like, and have hopes with, even had a connection to a family relative of mine, who had his own connections. My opportunities were actually busting out of the seems in Hollywood.

However, I was so unsure of myself, I took what was almost definitely a harmless situation with a 72-year-old major Hollywood elite manager (mind you he was Letterman’s closest friend in L.A.), and quickly worked my way out of his place, after an odd feeling that got me with something he did. I will not say he did anything wrong, now, as I have no idea if the gesture that made me nervous had false intentions, or were just an old guy being sweet.

Anyway, I hightailed it to my car, back over the hill to the Valley and told my fiance (1st wife), we were leaving Hollywood, and going to Seattle.

I acted like a 15-year-old kid, instead of an entertainment veteran in my 6th year of performing. I ran off scared, of nothing really, and that was really the end of the end of that opportunity to reach deep into the inner network of Hollywood.

But, as they say, there are a million more stories just like mine in L. A. and NYC.

But, I hope my sad state of a story about who I once was, teaches many not to become one of those stories.

This story and lesson doesn’t just pertain to performance youngsters and adults, but anyone in any business, where growth and opportunity come from complete genuineness and diligent hard, happy work!

It’s actually simpler, than what you make it when you are young and foolish, and think you need to be someone your not, when all a director wants to see and meet is you, once they’ve already seen your talent, and look.

Then, it becomes about who you are, and who knows you or doesn’t, and how experienced or raw you are.

A troublemaker though?

They don’t often get through unless their behavior shows through after they have already hit stardom. One day, I just might return to the place I really actually loved being in and I know I still carry the talent for, but only if the ability and opportunity ever arises. I will do it all right a second time around.

Be sure to take heed from an old man’s sharing of, “How to, and how not to, destroy your reputation in your business, career, or office.”

The desire for success still lingers on…

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