Spending Time with People you Love – Week 9

It’s week 9 of The Happiness Movement and we are in the home stretch, reporting in from this weeks assignment which was: spending time with the people you love.

I just have to say that I think this assignment should be part of everyone’s daily regimen. It seems merely even thinking of the people you love can invoke an immediate happiness boost, so no need to skrimp on this one.


Share Inspirational Content – Week 5

Obviously we goof around a lot at Feathers and Toast HQ, but we couldn’t be more serious about the benefits of joining The Happiness Movement at Live Happy and following their insightful steps to living a happier life.

Even if all you ever did was this weeks assignment alone (which was to find and share inspirational content) I sincerely believe you would see your happiness quotient go up tenfold.

I mean consider this: we only have 24 hours in a day, 365 days in a year and about 100 years in a life, if we’re lucky, and yet there is infinite amounts of information to know. I think we can agree that even if we spent every waking second of that life learning, we would barely scratch the surface of what there is to know. So knowing ahead of time that you will never ever get to it all, what information will you choose to spend your precious time learning and sharing?

I’m not a scientist but I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that if you use that time learning and sharing positive, healthy, inspirational information then in general, you will end up a pretty happy person. Just some food for thought.

And with that I will leave you with Tallulah and Marge. It seems Marge got so excited by this weeks assignment that she’s actually reclaiming her power much to Tallulah’s chagrin.


Keep a Gratitude Journal – Week 4

The assignment for this week on our journey with the Happiness Movement was to keep a gratitude journal. Marge forgot to do hers, but luckily Tallulah took the liberty of doing one for her on her behalf.

Did you keep a gratitude journal? Tell us about it.


Cultivating gratitude – Week 3

It’s funny. Ever since we started this Happiness Movement it seems life has thrown out bigger and bigger challenges to throw us off our path, and this week is absolutely one of the toughest, but I am happy to say our fearless leaders, Tallulah and Marge, are persevering anyway.

This weeks challenge was to cultivate gratitude by focusing on all the wonderful things in your life and I must admit those folks over at Live Happy are really on to something, because it is near impossible to be down when you’re thinking about all those amazing people and things.

What are you grateful for?


Digging Deep with the Happiness Movement – Week 2

Its the end of week 2 of The Happiness Movement here at Feathers and Toast HQ and Tallulah and Marge are reporting in on how they got on with their second assignment “giving people the benefit of the doubt”.

And what a week it was to practice giving people the benefit of the doubt. Am I right? 😉 So nice of the world to give us this opportunity to really strengthen our muscles. Did you give it a try? If so let us know how it went.

For those on the journey with us, your next week’s assignment is to cultivate gratitude by focusing on the wonderful people and things in your life. And go!!!


Why The Happiness Movement?

For those just tuning in, Tallulah and Marge have embarked on a 10 week journey towards bringing more happiness into their lives via The Happiness Movement and are inviting you to join in. Why? Because as my Irish grandpa always used to say, who wants the alternative?

All our joking aside, we know there are very real reasons for people to be feeling down, everything from the threat of nuclear war, hurricanes and political upheaval, to the very personal feelings so many experience with depression. It is not our intention to ignore or minimize these things, but it is our intention to say: go for happiness anyway.

We feel that joy in the face of life’s struggles is the ultimate act of rebellion, a cause seriously worth the fighting for, and we consider it our most important of missions to make sure you are heavily armed with a necessary stockpile of laughter as you head into battle.

Our first weeks assignment, as per Live Happy, was to smile more often. So here’s Tallulah and Marge, our fearless warriors, reporting in on their successes, and it looks like they made it through with only minor injuries. How did your week of smiling go? Did it change anything? Let us know here and on Facebook.


We’re shaking it up!

We’re shaking it up here at Feathers and Toast HQ.

Today marks the beginning of a new series of Vlogs featuring Tallulah and Marge, where together they will be taking on various challenges through out the year that are in line with Tallulah’s mission to “save the world one kitchen at a time.” (If you have a favorite challenge you want them to take on, please feel free to let us know.)

Up first is a challenge that comes from LiveHappy Magazine to join the Happiness Movement and help to spread happiness throughout the world (something the world could really use right now). For the next 10 weeks, Tallulah and Marge will be taking on the
10 suggestions to living a happier life, and will let you know how they got on in true Feathers and Toast fashion. We would love it if you would join in by taking on the challenge too. We can’t wait to hear your results.

The Vlogs are just the beginning of the changes, however. Make sure to tune in to this weeks Vlog (below) to get, not only your first assignment, but also some exciting news about our brand new show which will be coming the beginning of next year.

We are so grateful for all who have followed us on this journey thus far, and for those just getting started…welcome! There is so much fun ahead!

In the meantime: here’s Tallulah and Marge!


I’m Back! With exciting news to share!

Wow I’ve been honest in this blog! I was just looking back at it, in order to pick up where I left off, hoping to seamlessly get you up to speed, and was struck by my own honesty.

But I’m happy I was that honest because the truth can set you free. Going after dreams can test you deeply, both internally and externally, with no guarantees that you will ever succeed, often taking way longer than you think you have endurance for, and if through this blog I’ve inspired even one person to just keep on facing whatever they need to face, by being an example of what can happen when you never give up, then I am happy.

So without further ado, I am thrilled to report that Mhairi and I have pitched a new show idea (starring Tallulah of course) to a network and they have requested a sizzle for it. Yay!!!! It’s different than anything we ever set out to do, but yet somehow exactly what it was always meant to be. We’ve got a great feeling about it. So much so that we feel like celebrating.

We just finished shooting and will be spending the next month or so editing and shopping it around, but in the meantime we thought we’d celebrate by spending some time with our fans and hopefully pulling in some new ones.

Starting next Tuesday (4/25/17) we will be re-releasing Seasons 1 & 2 of Feathers and Toast directly on FB, 1 episode per week at 10pm EST/7pm PST, with a lively talk back in the comments section between Mhairi and I (and occasionally “Tallulah.”)

It is our sincerest hope that you join us there every Tuesday night, for a little hang out to laugh about the show, trade stories, and in general just have a little bit of fun.

And this leads me to…

Industry Tip # 41
When a network is generous enough to give you inside information about the type of content they are looking for, humbly listen, and then use all the creativity at your disposal to figure out how to align your content with their needs. This is the necessary “business” part of “show.”

I leave you with some BTS pics, compliments of our favorite photographer, Katie Nolan.

Shot01-022

Shot01-126

Shot01-097

Shot01-079


Oh Look A Surprise Ending

Meme_S1E6_9Its weird. As I sit here writing this blog this morning I am acutely aware that this feels like the ending to the story I set out to tell of “How We Went From YouTube to a Television Deal.”

Its not the ending I had planned. I had imagined I would cleverly be revealing to you some grand fireworks style ending where I announced our signing of a deal and where you would be able to find us on TV, but as I sit here now I realize that that type of announcement pales in comparison to what has actually happened.

See a funny thing transpired on the way to me boldly declaring that we would get a deal; I became a woman who can make deals, the rest is just the details.

Despite my willingness to publicly declare my future success, when I started this blog I was suffering from a yet undiagnosed, but chronic, case of fear (at least where my career was concerned.)

I wasn’t fearful of the work, in fact, I loved that part as you can likely tell from my endless amounts of posts about the process where I shared with you tips about development, writing, production, shooting for Improv, editing, social media, marketing pt 1, marketing pt 2, networking, and the benefits and rules of YouTube (which are all still there for you to learn from if you like.)

No my fears began where the creation process would inevitably end, that moment when you’ve done all you can do and its time to start selling. I had developed an almost phobic level fear about selling, but I couldn’t see it because every time I finished a project I would just make up another excuse that I was happy to believe and then get busy with a new project.

I didn’t know it at the time but starting this blog was the beginning of the end for my 15 years plus phobia because I had given myself no way out. As I inched closer to having nothing left to do but sell I got squirmy, seriously squirmy, like a caged animal squirmy, but with nowhere to go, and lots of willfulness and camaraderie (thanks Mhairi, Stephanie, Anne and Shonda Rhimes who doesn’t even know she helped but boy did she) I pushed through.

I doubled down, bought books that inspired me (The Year of Yes, A Carlin Home Companion, The Comedians, Sick in the Head and Small Screen Big Picture), and finally took the time to develop some important sales tools like pitching. I got serious about networking and really honest with myself about some pretty serious career missteps that needed to be corrected.

I faced my fears head on and what I was left with was that feeling one has after breaking the spell of a bad relationship where you’re suddenly able to see things you could never see before, only the bad relationship was with me, and what I could now see was that I’ve had the ability to do everything I’ve ever wanted to do all along. It was me that told myself I couldn’t and like it or not there is just no way to sell people on the idea that you can, when deep down you believe you can’t.

So that’s where I sit now. I know in a way I’ve never known before that I can do whatever I set my mind to and that its only a matter of time before Mhairi and I succeed in our mission to produce & distribute what will become a beloved show about a girl who saves the world one sandwich at a time.

So without further, here is your last…

Industry Tip
If you want something, declare it, and then be willing to do whatever it takes to make it true.

And I leave you with a song that just about sums it all up. Enjoy!


The Importance of Getting Clear on What You Want

morningdriveI am two weeks in with my 40 Day Networking Challenge and I don’t even know where to begin to tell you all that has changed. I don’t even feel like the same person.

I’ll admit for the first 2 days I was in an all out panic, feeling like a caged animal, not sure if I would ever break free, but thanks to my flat out refusal to veer from the path, I learned 2 very important things:

1) I am already surrounded by amazing friends who are happy to help, I just need to ask.

2) The odds of getting help dramatically increases, if I can be clear on what I am asking. (For e.g. I’m a writer/producer with a new single cam comedy and I’m looking for an experienced Director to attach. One simple sentence that anyone can repeat, understand and share with others.)

Now getting so clear that I can effortlessly blurt out that one simple sentence? That’s a whole other story, particularly for those of us transitioning “from Youtube to a Television deal.”

The thing is that in the Independent/Youtube type world its quite normal to be the Writer/Producer/Director/Camera op/Actress/Editor/Social Media Guru/Web Designer etc. Its just accepted that you often wear all the hats and its okay to have a bit of multiple personality disorder, to be a dabbler, but in TV it is not.

In order to be successful in TV and not get kicked off your own project, you sort of need to pick your best lane, the lane where your strongest talents are and drive in it, fast, because everyone else is and they are really good at their specialties.

This is where I found myself these past 2 weeks, staring straight into the reality that its time to choose. What are the talents that make me indispensable? Which are most important to me? Who am I going to be?

Do I want to be an editor? No. A social media guru or web designer? That’s easy, no. Do I want to be an actress? Oooh that’s where I stumbled.

In my school girl fantasy that answer has always been a solid yes. I love acting. It’s fun, challenging, personal, intimate, all things I love. Why wouldn’t I want to do it? But as I sat here contemplating what it would mean to both push for and then literally be the Holster character in our show, much to my own surprise the answer came back as a no.

It hit me that even if I could convince a network to cast me rather than some name talent, if I’m brutally honest with myself, being a professional actress and all it entails is not a job I want. All the image pressure, publicity, the dressing up, the photo shoots, and on and on, is really not my thing. I feel much more at home, in my jeans, yes and potentially even flip flops, running a set or a writers room. That is my area. That’s where I shine. Where I belong. I am destined to be a Showrunner.

Suddenly there was relief. I can’t explain how good it felt to lighten my load and finally just choose a lane. Suddenly I could really see who I am. My value. I have been writing for 20 years and producing for the last 10. I can do this. I am a contribution. Now all I have to do is get out there and meet people. I know exactly who I am and what to ask for.

Which leads me to…

Industry Tip #39
For effective networking, you need to be able to express who you are and what you need in one sentence. If you can’t, its time to get more clear.