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 40 Day Networking Challenge Begins Now

Shot08-022AYou know that whole saying “If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes”? That’s right where we are now in our journey of “How We Went From Youtube to Television Deal.” It’s time to make a major change.

There is nothing like simply declaring that you will achieve something, to put you on a collision course with the very thing that has always stopped you, and, for me, that thing is networking. Boom. There’s my road block. Only this time its got flashing lights and a not so subtle sign across it that reads “Make no mistake, there is no avoiding me.” I might have been blind before, but now I see.

I can see that I have spent the past 20 years completely satisfied with my own excuses that “I am just not that good at the networking thing.” No need to try. Not my area. And instead, wildly overcompensating in the areas of creativity (writing/producing etc), all while attempting to convince myself, and anyone who would listen, that as long as I’m good enough at my craft that my lack of networking skills won’t matter.

The trouble with that is, its just not true. Networking really does matter. And avoiding it will only lead you to becoming that weird lady who could have been.

The even harder truth is that I have had several projects over the years that likely could have gone to television. Great projects, created with some amazingly talented people, but as always, when it came time to sell I had no people I could sell it to. I let them and myself down.

I hadn’t spent the time to build relationships with industry execs, and as it turns out, industry execs don’t spend a lot of time listening to the ideas of people they don’t already have relationships with. They have plenty of creators they do have relationships with and they are busy listening to them.

So what did I do about this? I went back in my shell and created more.

Starting today this pattern is over. Done. I owe it to my amazing co-creator Mhairi, to our show, to my family & friends who have been rooting for me, and most importantly to myself, to once and for all face this fear head on and win.

In light of that decision, and in light of the fact that this is way past due, I have decided to take radical action. I have cleared my schedule and will be committing to a 40 day challenge.

The plan: for the next 40 days I will meet as many industry executives as possible (and that includes everyone from executive assistants to studio heads) and spark relationships with them that I will then maintain for a lifetime. Like the oh-so-brilliant Shonda Rhimes, I am going to starting saying Yes! (Thank you Shonda – deeply and truly)

Does this scare the bejeezus out of me? Hell yes it does. But am I going to do it anyway? You better believe it. I welcome any and all support. If you have someone you think I should meet, please share. If you’re a fellow artist realizing you are just like me, get on board.

Which leads me to…

Industry Tip #38
Content creators must spend at least 33% of their time actively building a network, or they will have no one to share their work with when its done.

And without further ado. I leave you with this great interview from BTR Productions where I share what its like being a female comedy writer in Hollywood and why I am so excited about our show.

We are Expanding To Television!

mhairinhollyDear Feathers and Toast fans,

Mhairi and Holly here, the producers of Feathers and Toast, and we just wanted to take the time to send out a deep and heartfelt thank you to all of you who have watched our show and played along with us for the past 2 years on social media. Your constant encouragement and hilarious banter with “Tallulah” has meant way more to us than you will ever know, you have literally become part of our story and we really feel that it is because of you that we have entered a new phase in our shows development, the expansion to television.

Yes, you have heard correctly. We are currently in the process of making the leap to television by expanding Feathers and Toast into a 1/2 hour comedy that centers around the one and only Tallulah Grace and her rag tag crew (Diego, Holster & Marge) as she attempts to become as important as she is sure she was always destined to be.

Tallulah’s cooking show, “Feathers and Toast,” will still live on the web (and yes there will be future seasons) but now through the television show you will also get to peek inside her world “behind the scenes”. We are calling this new show Tallulah, Darling.

We’ve just completed a pilot script and started working with a lawyer, so will be quite busy over the next couple months shopping for the right production company to collaborate with but we didn’t want to leave you hanging in the process so we have decided to bring you along for the journey.

Starting this week we will begin a weekly Blog and Vlog to keep you entertained and in the know. Every Wednesday you can expect a Vlog from Mhairi where she will be sharing with you her own special brand of tips for how to create a life you love (and yes, you can expect more than a fair share of Tallulah-isms to pop out) and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays you will get a Blog from Holly where she shares real Behind The Scenes stories from the last 2 years of creating Feathers and Toast, along with industry insider tips for those who might be looking to create their own shows.

For those of you that don’t want to miss a second of the fun its probably best to officially SUBSCRIBE (there is a form to the right of this page and also at the bottom of our home page depending on where you are reading this from) and then you will receive our Blogs and Vlogs right to your inbox. And for those of you that simply don’t enjoy getting frequent emails (we totally understand) its probably best to UNSUBSCRIBE now. You will still be able to see our posts on Facebook and Twitter and can check in here on our website for some binge reading and watching whenever you like.

Mhairi continues to perform as Tallulah with Cabaret Versatile, hosting, miming, singing in French and making a ham sandwich live on stage in their monthly residency at the Sofitel hotel, Beverly Hills. So if you find yourself  in the area darling, please swing by to shake a cabaret tail feather and cocktail it up to the nines.

Again we just can’t thank you enough for being the amazing and supportive fans you have been and so look forward to sharing this next phase of the journey with you.

With love

Mhairi & Holly (aka Tallulah & Holster)