Fill That Well Up To The Top Please

CollageJust like a car needs to refill its tank (or charge up) from time to time in order to keep going, so do we. We can’t just keep showing up day after day, working, giving and sharing without ever taking the time to do whatever it is that fuels us back up.

For me that fuel turned out to be New York City. I’m not sure why I was surprised, I mean it was the very city where I discovered I was an artist in the first place so many years ago, but from the second I touched down for our New York adventure, until the moments returning home on the plane, I felt like I had pulled in to the universal filling station and now my tank runneth over.

I’m feeling so grateful for every experience we had. Thankful for the impromptu pitch session with our lovely plane seat mate, Nora, who seemed to genuinely enjoy our show.

Thankful for the construction guy we shared a train ride with who entertained us with his stories of growing up in New York.

Thankful to Mhairi’s dear friend Curt James, waiting on the other end of the train, who immediately whisked us away to dinner and then got us to our final destination safely, while making funny new memories along the way. Carrie Bradshaw!!! (a little inside joke)

Thankful to the lovely Anne Flournoy and her husband Mr. Green who shared their beautiful home with us even though they had never even met us in person before (She is a fellow twitter comrade and content creator of The Louise Log) and all the thought provoking conversations we shared around Anne’s breakfast table.

Thankful for the makeup artist who came to our rescue when we realized our Red Carpet event we were heading to was indeed very red carpety. (If you’re in NY and need to look all glowy and beautiful hire Sean!)

Thankful for getting to spend time with my dear friend Tim Rerucha (my co-star in The Sex Trade) and his producing partner Victoria Cheri Bennett (creator of a great new webseries ADULTish) while enjoying a lovely Italian dinner and shop talk, and the realization of how much we had both grown.

Thankful for the guys at BTR Productions for interviewing us for their Artist Profiles Series, sharing their stories and treating us to a yummy lunch.

And of course beyond thankful to Women & Fashion FilmFest for giving us a reason for coming out to NY in the first place. Their festival and conference far exceeded our expectations. Their films and panels were filled with intelligent, compassionate artists, entrepreneurs and humanitarians who truly want to make a difference in the world and in the lives of women.

The WFF gave me the opportunity to chat with folks like the beautiful, self-described science nerd, Maye Musk, about the important work her son and one of my personal heroes, Elon Musk, is doing. To chat with UN Ambassador Henry MacDonald, the spokesman for He for She, about the fact that, with the help of men, we could reach equality in 15 years instead of 81. And the chance to listen to the oh-so-passionate Fashion Editor, Ise White, who reminded us that we are not just here to collaborate, but to inspire and improve one another through our interactions.

And finally I have to say I was even grateful to NYC for the chance to grieve a bit over the latest incomprehensible act of terror in Paris inside the warm embrace of a city that understands all too well the pain of these kinds of atrocities.

I was left with the desire to read more, explore my world more and to be present to all the amazing things you can discover when you simply give yourself the space to pay attention to what is happening in the moment.

Which brings me to…

Industry Tip #31
Take the time to figure out what fuels your best work/best life, and then make sure to carve out time for it in your busy schedule.

And I’m changing it up today and leaving you with one of Mhairi’s Vlogs instead of our typical videos because this one felt apropos.


Not All Advice is Created Equal

Meme_S1E3_1After Mhairi and I had released the first season of Feathers and Toast, and were in our experimental year where we were playing around with social media and attempting to build an audience, we began receiving a lot of advice from many diverse sources about what we needed to do to enhance the show and get our numbers up, some we listened to and some we did not, because as I said before “Not all advice is created equal.”

Now I am not saying this in order to give myself and others an excuse to just throw away any advice you get that is not to your liking, in fact, I think you should listen very carefully to all advice, particularly the advice that’s hard to hear, there are gifts in there, I am saying this because advice is something you need to treat with caution.

The thing is, it is the rare person that can step out of their own life experiences, needs and wants, and listen to yours purely and deeply in order to give you unbiased advice tailored just for you and what’s best for achieving your specific vision.

More times than not the advice you are going to get will be based on the advice givers view of how things work, or the brand of success they themselves are seeking, their personal area of expertise, or the style of entertainment they like the best.

All of this information is very valuable and should not be overlooked, its just that when listening to it, it needs to be placed in the right context, particularly when you are a creator at the early stages of your vision.

The early stages are a precarious time for content creators. You haven’t even worked out all the answers yourself yet and already there are opinions about the direction you should go, opinions that are often presented to you with great confidence, as if they are fact, at a time when you are anything but confident, and if you are not careful they can alter your vision in a direction you never intended for it to go which leads me to…

Industry Tip #12

When receiving advice regarding your content (particularly in the early stages) it is important to remember 4 things:

1) Always be grateful to those who take the time to give you solicited advice. (those who give you unsolicited advice, you can do whatever you want with them :) )

2) Always consider the source (what their personal experiences and biases are) so that the information they give you can remain in proper context.

3) Give yourself permission to trust your own gut. Regardless of the stature of the advice giver, if the advice given doesn’t jibe with the direction you feel you are going, give yourself permission to respectfully follow your own intuition.

4) If in following your own path, you discover that one of your former advice givers was right along, its okay and encouraged to admit that, readjust your course and become all the more grateful.

As some of you know, this particular topic became fodder for a good portion of Season 2 of Feathers and Toast as we delved into the age old battle between Art and commerce. But even earlier on it came into play with the clip I am about to show you that comes from our Holiday Tidbit series.

We had been given advice from a senior exec in the Youtube world who had suggested we needed to incorporate topics that were trending into our show, like twerking. Naturally the Tallulah side of Mhairi was like “twerking? Does he really expect me to twerk darling?”

But after much thought, we decided, yes, let’s have Tallulah twerk, but in her own Tallulah way. The result was our most viewed video to date. I guess that guy did have a point, particularly when it comes to increasing your views.