Angelo Bell: The Chasm Between Professionalism and Ego

Or, to quote an assistant LB once worked with: “We’re all aspiring to be assholes.”



by Angelo Bell

I’m watching a reality TV show that is a powerful, real-life illustration of the chasm between members of groups/partners with different levels of commitment and professionalism. Some people ‘get’ the entrepreneur factor, they understand the nature of the business. Some just don’t. They get caught up in small details and never understand that it’s dumb to stress over phase 5 when you haven’t gotten to phase 1 yet.

I think, if you find yourself lagging behind and not making headway in your career or profession, it’s time to look inward to identify some problems. There’s a saying that, “Common sense isn’t so common,” and I’ve witnessed big, bold illustrations of it, the impact of such,  floors me.

In a single week I’ve had conversations with a very successful executive producer who, although she was very excited about a project, was very settled and deliberate in her approach to doing business — one step at a time, one hurdle at a time. On the flip side, I almost lost my cool trying to educate someone in the strategy of picking and choosing your battles: when you want something from two behemoth organizations, let them draw swords, fight it out, and come to an agreement. You simply move on after they shake hands and write out a check for you.

People get caught up in name-dropping, and assuming titles that they haven’t earned. People get caught up in declaring self- importance, and assuming they have connections and clout where they have none.

At the end of the day, you can be the artist who has stuck to his guns and now no one has seen his work, or your can be the professional who finds and exploits win/win situations and employs a little give-n-take to get the job done. You don’t have to sell out (as some may call it), if you were enough of a professional  to develop multiple projects to the GO stage, and you weren’t putting all your eggs on one basket, i.e. one film, one script, one pitch, one score, one crowdfunding campaign…

What else have you got? If you’ve heard those words before, hopefully you’ve learned to actually, have something else at the ready. Perhaps it’s another script, short film, or pitch concept. If these words make you shudder, it’s time to put on your big boy/girl shoes and get back to work.