Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Looking Forward to 2010

I've always admired people who've picked one profession, mastered and savored it. I'm a restless spirit, learning one job until I master it them moving onto something else, in search of something more.

I began fresh from college as an interior architect from from Layton School of Art. I rose swiftly to the top of my profession and was designing world headquarters for corporate giants like Target, Allied Mills and Toro for a pair of straight guys in the Gay world of design, Burt Richmond and Peter Cohen. I had worked my way through college selling Rainbow vacs door to door. Burt and Peter put the polish on me.

And then I hopped into commercial real estate, landing a job from one of my clients, a genius named Wes Irvine. Wes was was a party man par excellence of the go-go 80's who liked to go-go to King Arthur's Restaurant on Adams for Bloody Marys and prime rib smothered in butter. Between drinks and steaks Wes would teach me the world of brokering world headquarters and I grew richer than I ever dreamed possible.

And then I would leave Wes' employ to start my own shop and quickly got into development with the easy credit of the 80's. How easy? Easy enough for a guy with no skyscraper building experience, but more importantly knowing how to fill an empty skyscraper, marketing 3, to get a loan for $162 million for my first project. My second development project? Oprah's Harpo Studios in Chicago.

But the 1991 real crash would melt this Icarus's wings and my divorce would crack my nest egg for starting projects to Humpty Dumpty bits.

So I started looking for something new. Something that would combine all my creative power with my business power. And that something, starting with part time film projects in 1995 was producing. Eventually writing, directing, editing. scoring and self distributing would follow. My backers? Former competitors from the Chicago real estate world.

And I was doing OK, high on creating and looking for the first big strike from Kids Talk Politics when PBS, who had aired my 2000 show as the lead into the presidential debates, took a pass. I'm the kind of personality who when rejected won't be denied. It's how I win. So I started self distributing the DVD on Amazon and mastered social networking. But I underestimated how bad this economy is, and overestimated how fast we'd recover under Obama and ended up broke again, worse than I was in 1991.

For 2010 I plan to do some real estate again along with my films and ad work. I will seek to fuse all I know into one force. I feel excited about 2010 like I never felt excited about any year in my life when I will begin my 8th year in Hollywood.

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