1) My first writing job was as a copywriter for CNN public service announcements on the radio. I tailored the copy for each advertiser. I didn't get commi$$ions either, but my bosses did!
2) I don't understand the mistrust-of-youth vogue. I was a child in the 1970s where, depending on the situation, kids were the sanest ones in the room. Sometimes we mistrusted the adults. Don't hate, congratulate. It's never easy.
3) The O.J. trial did something to journalism that's never gotten back right. In college, we were taught to never editorialize lest we be fired. When newscasters started snickering and adding, "Must be nice!" when reporting on O.J. golfing in Florida, it was a bad start. This was before the verdict. Moral: Just tell the story.
4) Janice Dickinson was the first celebrity to be nice to me when I first got to L.A. She really is nicer than that.
5) I used to have Prince dreams. Nothing sexual, but he always understood me and dispensed advice to me in monotone riddles that empowered me. As Wendy Williams would say, "A friend in my head."
6) I once had credentials to meet Jane Fonda at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. I got to the front of the Academy and turned right around and went home. I didn't want to meet her and get faded. I love her work too much. I know, I know. There's always next time?
7) Photoshop is out of control. If you didn't look that young when I bought your album in 1980, then what is the point?
8) My first headshot, my hair was fried on the ends from a blend of crackling lights, summer Chicago humidity and hair spray. When I went to get my whole hair mass airbrushed in its entirety, the retoucher told me. "You want to look like your picture when you get there. Leave some flaws in." I listened.
9) It really is who you know sometimes. Not the douche-y way, it's just that people in entertainment don't have the time to get to know new people, so they rely on the reference of people who can vouch for you. Then you get to know them. Doesn't happen all the time but it sure happens enough.
10) I never understood or liked candy corn. It's the lima bean of the candy family.
11) I love Baby Boomers but I also want to shake a few of them. They were so fly. There was a bluntness and sexy style to them back in the days. Was it the '80s that made them flip? I'll get back to you on that one. It's baffling. Y'all used to be hot, wtf?
12) I worked two days on a CBS crime show in the very late 1990s. The lead actress of the show told the timid lesbian P.A. she was hungry and wanted a sandwich. The P.A. asked what she'd like on the bread and the actress pointed at a smorgasbord of craft services and said, "I want that, that, that-and-that!" She never said what 'that' was and the P.A. sweated bullets. Less than a month later the show was cancelled. The lead actress had to make her own lunch. Hmmmm....
13) Some - not all - of your icons will disappoint you when you meet them. Pick carefully!
14) Ernest Borgnine is still my favorite interview ever. He was nominated for an Emmy in his late 80s and during the interview he went off-topic and said, "Karl, you know sometimes you can work so hard and you come home and you feel all alone and by yourself. But it's the work that saves you and it's a lot better than busting rocks! It's the work that gets you through." I put the phone on hold long enough to cry silent tears. Wisdom I never forgot.
15) When you have love, real love, you can do anything. I had it and hope to have it again (props to Bebbles!).
16) What assistants get paid right now--and I'm not one now, but I was a decade ago---is really a shame. The threshold used to be $28k with room for advancement. Paying $22k a year now, even in a recession, or-worse-making a job that hard an 'internship' is really taking advantage. Yes, I said it. If you have ever been an assistant, you know better.
17) It used to be the media had the last word--but now with social media, there are options. That's kind of nice!
18) You can be nice and survive.
19) I love stage work. I will do another play. There's nothing like it.
20) People will surprise you. If you're in this business, hang on and don't give up. It's never the same power structure twice. Stay in the line and you will get to ride the ride.