Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where has this blog gone? 

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Balancing Dreams

I've been blessed to work in the industry I love, on and off again, for the past 12 years. For the most part, it's been after the day job, but on occasion, I have found myself getting paid to do what I love to do. Whether it's multimedia design, music production, or writing, I've always found a way back in. This blog is about how to watch for opportunities and is geared at the up and comer who thinks the only way to break into your dream is through the front door. Not entirely true, though there are many who have. But I've always been the type of guy to find those small ponds to become a big fish in. And when the opportunities come around, you tend to stand out in the crowd. Case and points...

I will keep this short because the story of how I got to my first, official L.A. pitch to a major television production company is rather long. The point being, I used an unorthodox way to get there. Follow the path --
1. Saw a very funny comedian on Comedy Central before he blew up.
2. Emailed his booking agent by mistake to do his Web site.
3. Ended up doing Web sites for all kinds of comedians.
4. Through my work ethic and relationship building side, was able to become friends with many of the comedians.
5. Through one comedian, met his business manager. This person also turned out to be the father of a famous film actor.
6. Did a Web site for his wife in exchange for reviewing one of my film scripts.
7. They liked it enough to recommend me as a writing partner to the famous film actor.
8. Ended up writing several TV episodics, treatments and screenplays together.
9. Through one of my comedian friends, ended up doing a Web site for a former agent to a major East coast acting agency.
10. Our friendship allowed me access to some of her friends in the industry, one of which was working high up at a major television production company in Hollywood.
11. Set up a meeting and made my first pitch.

It's a roundabout way to get there, but if you're sincere about helping others, they will help you in kind. A LOT of work was done at a discount or even for free in order to a) prove I had the chops, or b) in exchange for a favor of some kind. But I maintained the relationship because most of these guys were just interesting people and more kind of people.

Music Production for Global Dance in Greece:
This one is actually more cut and dried. I have a friend who is a very popular DJ. When we were younger, I helped to create a pretty tight knit group of producers/entertainers in Denver. As we all came up, my friend continued down the DJ route while I went into music production. I eventually released a record on a small label out of L.A. and he went on to become a really popular club DJ. Through the years, I would help with his Web site and he would offer up opportunities to play my stuff it was right for the clubs. As time went by, my music production fell by the wayside. But now, as I'm more seasoned and we're not so hungry for opportunities, my friend has once again given me an open door to present some original tracks. So, come next June, with any luck, you'll be hearing 1 or more of my tracks, co-produced by another friend, being played in Greece at one of the world's biggest dance parties. And with even more luck, that song will get picked up by other DJs and we'll all be rich.

I don't know if I have any particular message to all this, but there is one point to make here. If you're in it for yourself, you may find that you will end up by yourself. I know of MANY instances where that is true! Especially as the stakes get higher. But if you're interested in creating long-lasting relationships, friendships and partnerships, and care about everyone's success, your chances grow exponentially for success.

Do your homework! Don't be that guy who wants to break into screenwriting and hasn't taken the time to study how a script is put together or how a 30-minute television episode is formatted. And don't be the guy trying to break into the music business with the mentality that someone else will mold you and carry you on their backs. People are looking for mutual benefits. You hanging off my coattails is not my idea of mutually beneficial. Have something to offer, be about the success of everyone around you, and watch those who are out for themselves.

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Sobering Return for Kurt Iverson

For my first blog back in the world of online blogging, I struggled to encapsulate the experiences I wanted to talk about. So much has happened and has been learned in both my professional and entertainment worlds. But some have caused nothing but personal anguish because really, they're about the pain of working with certain types of people. Discussing and venting and pondering these situations literally took me nowhere. Granted, the people they were aimed at will always be the types of people they are, so I gladly move forward.

Then comes the myriad of choices and topics available to discuss on this open forum, this place that is all mine yet available to everyone and no one. Do I talk about martial arts? Do I attack the conservative right wing with liberal jibber jab? Do I get on my religious soap box? Do I link this somehow with my online portfolio at Does this become a digital resume "All About Kurt Iverson?"

"They say" that writers should write what they know. Well...I know a lot about a lot of things and at the same time, very little about everything. So I will write about the processes and experiences that have brought me here today and will take me somewhere tomorrow. The knowledge gained and the lessons learned, careful not to use names and tread on the egg shell egos of some. Careful not to get too opinionated because I am all too aware now that the vast majority of readers are not necessarily aware of the fact that I am not an authority of the world. Yet we all still find ways to personalize the experiences read with "He's totally talking about me," or "Yeah, I think he's totally talking about me!" So I apologize in advance if you happen to be one of the lucky few that is struck with paranoia and singles themselves out in one of my tyrades or one-sided discussions.

To the rest, I invite you to once again join me as I traverse the waters of the entertainment industry and corporate life and share the knowledge I've gained for up and comers or those that want to sympathize!

And as I move forward, I will move in reverence with the wisdom of Sun Tzu:

"One who knows when he can fight and when he cannot fight will be victorious."