He challenged me on the script for ‘Man and Wife’ about this particular aspect of this
one character. I fought him for about four months. I didn’t believe in it or see it his
way. Then an idea coalesced in my head about this one character and it was what
he said. I finally saw what he was talking about and it made the entire script sing.
He’s more like my therapist. He’s very smart about story. I don’t think all managers
are like him. This guy is great for characters.
Alan would describe his manager as a personal trainer for business and writing. Because
the industry has become so hard to get work, “You need as many people working for you
as possible – as many fingers out there searching to find work.”
Diversification for Self-Preservation; Name Brand Clients Add Value
Carol Beck, a videographer, acknowledges that her career is sustainable at this point in
time – “I certainly go through ups and down with the economy. I’ve weathered this
recession much better than a lot of people I know in similar roles.” When I asked Carol,
how she managed to survive the storm she humorously, insightfully comments:
Because I’m better – also, because I have a diversified client base. I made the
mistake early on in my career of letting one client become 70% of my business.
That client went belly up. It was really a rough time. I learned it was important to
diversify. It’s important for the clients you work for to also have a diverse
portfolio. I had a lot of automotive clients and we know how that turned out. If all
your clients are automotive, it’s not good. If all your clients are pharmaceutical, it’s
not good. You want diversification – automotive, hotel work, and technology. It’s
very rare that everything will go down at the same time. I did a big job for a client that
specializes in mortgage placed insurance. Guess when that goes way up – when
there’s a lot of repos. They have big bucks to spend on media. So you want as
many companies in different industries represented.
Carol’s cultural observations about the big client winners and losers in the recession are on
target: “With the recession what went in the toilet? Consumer electronics cars. People
are always sick so it’s good to have health client. In fact in a recession, people spend more
on booze and professional care. Things to make themselves feel better.”
Carol mentions that it is helpful having nationally recognized clients when it comes to her