When we talked, I said I’d love to submit some stuff for the show and he was very
open to it. I sent him five to ten pages of standup stuff which I thought would be
appropriate for him. He called me the day after he got it and said this is great. He
said come on board. One time I was lucky in the right place at the right time – and
asked – and had the stuff to back it up.
It was through referrals, relationships and making the effort to connect that he started
writing for Seinfeld and then continued to develop his own unique projects from game
shows to the Elijah Cup (see Jaffe Appreciative Reflection).
Marc Jaffe, dealing with his wife’s Parkinson disease prognosis, co-created a play ‘Side
Effects May Include,’ that not only involved his local community in their fundraising efforts
but also co-developed a foundation Shaking with Laughter that is raising awareness,
money, and support for Parkinson research and the funds are coordinated with the Michael
J. Fox foundation and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation. Here fundraising efforts reach the
Hollywood community where Marc’s friends in the industry extend their “star value” and
contribute time, tickets and personal involvement with his Internet auction. The highest bid,
for $17,500, was a 20-minute minute pitch meeting with Larry David (co-creator of Seinfeld
and creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm). The new freelance is about realizing that the
creation of opportunity can take place on a stage other than Broadway or Hollywood. The
ripple started locally in Cleveland and is now extending to a more global stage.
The freelance projects that these participants are engaged in usually start with a
relationally-driven recommendation that comes from people who recognize that they can
do the work at a high level – that generally know them or someone that knows their work –
and ultimately the collaborator or employer must value working with the freelancer.
Freelance is predicated on the notion that people want to work with individuals that can do
the job, but also a person that they can work with and that is extremely important. With
long hours and collaborative intimacy, a media freelancer with exceptional talent and poor
relational skills would not last long. “It is, in other words, not only about being good at
something – it is also about carefully cultivating the image of being good” (Deuze, 2008, p.
19). The reflection on the freelancer’s contribution to the project is often casually unpacked
in after-hour social gatherings. As project participant Steven Tatar notes, “Business is
about relationships. It’s face time. Let’s have a drink time. Hanging out ‘til you get it
After mixing Sesame Street for a long time, the producer with whom Bill Cavanaugh was
working with died and that temporarily ended that contract. Bill comments on the strength
of relationships to help get you a job: