Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hollywood Babble On & On #391: The 4 Noble Truths of the Furious

Welcome to the show folks...

Two posts in one day, I'm getting back into the groove, so to speak. However, someone who doesn't appear to be in the groove is former studio exec turned producer Mark Canton.

According to the indefatigable Nikki Finke Mark Canton is alleged to be using a Los Angeles eatery for business meeting while allegedly giving no business to the eatery itself. And according to Senorita Finke's sources, when asked to order something for a change he allegedly shat out a major league hissy fit, complete with cries of "Don't you know who I am?"

If this story is true, then Mr. Canton is more in trouble than he thinks, because he's forgot some key truths about being a movie producer. They're sort of like the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha, but only really shallow, and based more on common sense than any deep philosophical knowledge...

Noble Truth # 1: The Nature of Hollywood Life is Suffering

When you're a really important Hollywood person you have to suffer the constant presence of less enlightened creatures called The Normals. The Normals are the people who feed, clothe, and otherwise service the really important Hollywood people, yet never truly understand the needs, wants, and whims of the really important Hollywood people, leading to much suffering, like having your three bean salad having a taste reminiscent of angry server piss.

Noble Truth #2: The Cause of Suffering Is Ego

Of course that suffering is really caused by the Ego of the really important Hollywood people. The are blinded by ego and think that the Normals really do exist solely to satisfy their wants and whims, and do not have such things as... oh... let's say, a restaurant to run in an age when profit margins are thinner than a Rachel Zoe client. But the Normals do have needs, and ego based blindness only serves to hurt the egoist.

Noble Truth #3: The Way of Ending Suffering

First step in the way of ending your own suffering is knowing when you're ego is going to get you into trouble. Knowing that is easy.

The moment that you are tempted to say "Do you know who I am?" is the time that you should know that you are wrong, and should shut your cake-hole.

The Second Step is to acknowledge that your business is just that, your business, not theirs and that they have their own businesses that must be taken into account. The Normals don't care about your credits, your box office totals, or if you have Julia Roberts' personal assistant on your speed-dial. They have their own lives to live, and don't need you having conniptions in their place of business. It annoys them and makes you look like an ass.

So to stop the suffering, you must stop inflicting it on yourself and others.

Noble Truth #4: How The Cessation of Suffering Can Help You Even More

Using a restaurant table or booth as an office is a Hollywood tradition that goes back to the Silent Era. However, restaurants are businesses that matter to the people in that business, and you must take that second step and acknowledge that their work matters to them.

So some sort of consideration must be made to the owners and staff of the restaurant to make your presence worth their while. Either a straight cash pay-off, some sort of rainmaker deal where you attract customers, or some other sort of barter. You're in a business, and they are in a business, and the point of a business is to make both sides of a business relationship happy.

Then comes the added bonus of being both thought of as a "good guy" by those around you, and the dramatic lowering of the urine content in your food.

But that's just the beginning.

Being good to restaurant staff is a smart business move, the same that it's smart to be good to secretaries, receptionists, and personal assistants.


Because they are human too, and humans see and hear things that you don't because most other really important Hollywood people don't really acknowledge their existence in any meaningful way. Someone who treats them with a little dignity and respect can then learn things from such people that might give them some sort of an edge in business.

Remember, business is all about people getting what they want through peaceful commerce, and in peaceful commerce, and little consideration and courtesy can go a very long way.

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