Chances Are – How You View Them

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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.

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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