Hey Industry, WTF?

So I’m sitting here at 2:30 in the morning, and I’m going over an email that my girlfriend is sending to potential representation, and I have to be honest: I’m just at my wits end with this shit.

Understand my background a little bit. I’ve been a semi-professional entertainer for about 12 years now, 5 of which being in the music business, and the last 7 in comedy, writing, and acting. In addition to these creative endeavors, I’ve also held positions as a District Manager, Regional Manager, and Director of Operations for several companies, both private and publicly traded, and have been part of building one of the most recognizable brands in the world. I’ve hired and fired hundreds of people, opened and closed dozens of businesses, have built countless power points, training materials, and facilitated presentations and meetings time and time again. 

I don’t say all of this to toot my own horn, only to give a frame of reference. 

Between Neda and I, we’ve met with a half dozen agents, managers, and producers in the last 2 years, and the level of business prowess, or lack-thereof is fucking ASTONISHING to me.

I haven’t met one person that gets to meetings on time, responds to emails or phone calls professionally, or even seems an ounce prepared for meetings if they do show up to them, and these are the so-called “gatekeepers” of the industry. 

Don’t challenge any of them on any of this by the way, because they have the managerial courage of a 16 year old shift manager at an Arby’s. If you challenge their work ethic, commitment, or even their knowledge of the current industry climate or trends, they’ll “ruin you before you get started.” 

Don’t worry though. All confident powerful business professionals react this way.

It’s a fucking joke. You’re a joke. 

Renting an office space in Hollywood, and calling yourself an agent or a manager, or a talent scout doesn’t make you a big swinging dick. If you were a big swinging dick, you wouldn’t have to prove it. You’d be standing next to your marquis clients on the red carpet, and wouldn’t need to tell everyone. There’s a reason everyone knows who Josh Lieberman is. There’s a reason they don’t know who you are. 

Now I’m sure to some people, this looks like a bitch-blog from a bitter comic who is having difficulty accepting where he is in the business. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, I’d like to be further along, but I also know that I haven’t worked as hard as I could, and certainly intend to work harder in the coming weeks and months. I’ll know, when my life is nearing it’s end that I “left it all on the field” in hopes of my life meaning something to the world; leaving something for the world; and being someone to the world. 

That’s all I want you to do, gatekeepers of dreams. I want you to leave it all on the field. I want that “hotshot” kid, who has more ambition than he knows what to do with, who makes more mistakes trying than taking the easy way. I want the gal who spends hours on the internet looking at clips, and reading tweets and blogs, and that still gets goosebumps when she truly discovers a new talent, doesn’t just cherry pick whoever the had the hot five minutes at Montreal this year. Even the old “battle-axe,” who’s been in this industry long enough to know who’s got it, and can tell me why I don’t. It’s ok that I don’t, because he’ll actually tell me tangible things like “you’re too fat, or too white, of too fat, or too faggoty.”

He’ll say things like that, because he’s old, and he doesn’t know any better.

And I’ll love it because it’s honest, and I’m 30 and I can handle it. It hasn’t slowed me down yet, and it won’t any time soon. 

Some might say “Josh, a blog like this is career suicide.” Might be true. But I believe that if you read this and get pissed off, it’s probably because you’re one of the lazy shitty people this blog refers to. The good ones know I’m not talking to them. 

They’re probably not reading this anyway. 

Posted on November 26, 2013 .