Renewal = Growth

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Springtime in New York – renewal everywhere you look – although by the weather at the moment, you’d think we were in the middle of summer!

In television, the term “renewal” literally means getting the opportunity to begin again. In the highly competitive media world, there are few guarantees that any given show will necessarily get to move into a new season the following year.

On the first day back of filming Season 2 of “Nurse Jackie,” you could feel the buzz and excitement of cast and crew. During filming of Season 1, we thought the show was good, but the outside world hadn’t seen it yet. This year we were renewed with strengthened purpose because the collective efforts of all our previous work had been validated.

As Season 2 of “Bored To Death” began, there was similar excitement. With only 8 episodes in our first season, many people missed our broadcast launch, but then we gained momentum as word of mouth led to people watching the show via HBO On-Demand. Renewal gives us the chance to take our new audience onto the journey ahead.

In work, and in life, renewal is everywhere. Chris and I have a saltwater reef tank at home. Over the years we’ve cultivated an exotic array of live coral along with a flourishing fish community. All the creatures in the tank work together to maintain a balanced ecosystem that surprises us daily.

Last September we were away on a trip and unreachable for several days. Our dog sitter hadn’t realized how hot the bedroom was getting during the day, and had left the air conditioning off. As a result, the temperature in the tank rose, which started a chain reaction, ultimately killing nearly everything in there. When we got home we were devastated (as was our dog sitter!). The tank had transformed from a lush magical garden into post-apocalyptic wasteland.

It took considerable work, but in a few weeks we had managed to stabilize the tank’s environment. Over the following weeks we watched as the tank began to bounce back. Some of the coral returned (as did a few things we’d never seen before!), and we helped the renewal along by planting new pieces. The live rock and sand still contained plenty of micro life, so the new additions flourished quite quickly.

Watching life come back was immensely satisfying, and now the tank is even more beautiful than before. It was a great lesson. Out of any disaster lies the potential for renewal and growth.

Springtime indeed!

About The Author

I was raised in the Des Moines, Iowa, and had the good fortune to come out during my early days at Stanford University, which meant that I came of age in the San Francisco Bay Area, circa 1978! (That deserves two - !! ) I was thrilled to finally understand that piece of myself, and found many inspiring members within the gay community that helped me feel great about who I was. After college I moved out to New York to pursue a career as an actor. My 20's were fairly eventful (it was the 80's in New York, mind you) but by the end of that period in my life, I was looking for a more satisfying way to work and live. When my agent and manager both started moving clients to LA, I went, happily. Eventually I found my way into Renaissance Pictures, the production company run by Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, where I worked on "Hercules" and "Xena." After several very cool years with them, I headed back to New York, motivated by a possible position on a gay cable network (that never happened) and a new love (that most definitely did!). 13 years later I find myself happily married to my husband Chris, working on two cool shows ("Nurse Jackie" and "Bored To Death"), and living in Chelsea with our golden retriever Jezebel. During the summer we're lucky enough to balance our time between the Pines on Fire Island, and Ptown on Cape Cod. During those visits, Jezebel loves nothing more than to jump the waves after a ball, or chase seagulls along the beach. She's a good role model on how best to enjoy the simple pleasures, and as easy a child to raise and love as ever there was! (She is a golden, after all!) You can reach Brad at carpenterbrad@me.com.

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