Over the course of my adult life, I’ve had to reinvent myself a number of times. Each time I began the transformation by knowing it needed to happen. How it actually happened often involved “Chance.” This might look as though you’re leaving your fate up to the cosmos, but I think it’s more about taking the time to learn the lessons in front of you.
When I first realized I wanted to move from acting towards producing, I had absolutely no idea how I was going to do it. As it turned out, a seemingly random connection with another actor during a day of extra work led to an opportunity at a production company – Renaissance Pictures, run by Exec. Producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert.
What started as a phone campaign to help promote a pilot, eventually led to my working as Rob Tapert’s assistant. I worked at Rob’s side for three years while he produced “Hercules” and “Xena.” I traveled back and forth to New Zealand a number of times, and I learned a great deal about making television.
Once “Hercules” and “Xena” began to grow into franchises for Universal, I became Director of Marketing and Merchandising for Renaissance. The position gave me invaluable experience with the various Studio department heads, but I soon realized that I had advanced myself right out of actually making the show.
I got offered a job with a group hoping to put together the first Gay television network. It seemed an ideal opportunity. I’d be producing, and I’d be on-camera talent. Taking the job would mean a move back to New York, but I had just met Chris, who was living in Boston at the time, so I happily rushed my transition back East. The job, however, disintegrated before my eyes. I had ended up leaving Renaissance and all I had built there, only to end up back East without a job prospect in sight.
On a chance visit from one of my Renaissance coworkers, I found out that Sam was about to shoot a film in New York.I got hired to work in the production office as Production Secretary. My days began by cleaning out the office fridge, followed by endless answering of phones and taking lunch orders. It was challenging to be there, but it was a great crew, and I realized that I had become part of something again.
That job led to a production office position on Season 2 of “Sex and the City.” Needless to say, I learned a lot. On Season 3 of “Sex and the City” I made the move over to Post, where I started gathering the new skills and building the career that would serve me so well today.
I could never have predicted the path I would travel, but looking back, I understand why I had to cover that ground. Chaos can appear to have order, or vice versa, it just depends on your perspective.