Ep. #91 The Club- Are You In or Are You Out?

Words That Move Me with Dana Wilson
Ep. #91 The Club- Are You In or Are You Out?
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This may be the first time we really dig into the subject of status and power dynamics on the podcast! FUN!!!  In this episode,  insiders and outsiders are under the microscope, and we approach the subject from the position of moving into a new role or industry AND I’ll point out how this power dynamic can shift during the course of ONE audition , or pitch meeting.  I hope that after listening to this episode, you focus less on meeting the dress code/ getting on the guest list/ paying the cover.  I hope this inspires you to become the VIP that you are and make the work that others want to be in on.

Quick Links:

Re Listen to Episode 75 with Smac: https://www.thedanawilson.com/podcast/ep-75-being-creative-idiots-with-smac-mccreanor

Transcription:

Intro: This is words that move me, the podcast where movers and shakers, like you get the information and inspiration. You need to navigate your creative career with clarity and confidence. I am your host master mover, Dana Wilson. And if you’re someone that loves to learn, laugh and is looking to rewrite the starving artist story, then sit tight, but don’t stop moving because you’re in the right place. 

Hello, Hello, my friend. Welcome to Words that Move Me. I’m Dana. I am so glad that you are here. Um, if you have been listening to these episodes in chronological order, then, you know, I spent some time at home in Colorado recently, and while I was there, I got to cash in on some way overdue quality time with my nieces, seven and almost four years old. And holy smokes, they’re the most special we got to play and cook and, um, watch some movies. Why is it now when I’m trying to make this sound beautiful and interesting that I cannot recall a single artful or exciting thing that we did. Everything we did was artful and exciting, including watch a couple of movies targeted towards their age bracket. One of them was Bigfoot Family. Don’t know if you’ve heard of this film, Bigfoot family and Mitchell’s versus machines. I can’t recall if it was Mitchell’s versus machines or Mitchell’s versus The machines. I actually did not double-check the titles of said films before stepping into the booth. But I do know, and I can tell you that the heroes of these films, both of them are young people with the capacity to edit video. These two heroes are like fully in their cartoon world editing in cartoon premiere pro, and they’re like dragging and dropping effects and adding the star wipe and adding, you know, like doing premiere pro, like I’m looking at the premiere pro timeline, but I’m looking at a cartoon. It was wild. I’m just kind of marveling at that because the heroes of the movies that I watched growing up spent time in malls, like at the mall and the heroes of these films spend time in premiere pro. It was fascinating me so way to go people, making family content and normalizing, making things over consuming things. Um, perhaps this isn’t a deliberate thing. Perhaps they did some market testing and found that, Hey, you know what, everybody, between 12 and 16 is a content creator these days. So we’re just making where the audience is wanting is possible, but it was just, I was moved by that. So hats off, good job people making family content. I should really be going to get on that. Definitely going to get on that. Anyways, I digress, while watching Mitchell’s versus machines, the machines, whatever it is we’re going to call it M versus M the lead character, a teenage girl on her way into film school says I’ve always felt a little different than everyone else. So I did what any other outsider would do and made weird art. And that reminded me of a topic that I have been meaning to dig into on the podcast. And that is the notion of insiders and outsiders. We’re going to save the notion of quote, weird and weird art. For another time today, we are talking about status. We’ll talk about that from the position of moving into a new role or industry. And I will point out how this power dynamic can shift during the course of one audition or pitch meeting or treatment. I think this is the first time I’ve really addressed status and like this type of power dynamic on the podcast. And I am thrilled to dive in, but first wins. Hey, today I am celebrating such a massive win. My friend, oh, I am still smiling about this one. Just chuckling here, standing alone by myself. My win is that I was invited to the Quest Crew family Dimsum a few days ago. I had a play date scheduled with, uh, our dear friend Smac from episoode question, mark, wait for it.  Yes. Episode 75, confirmed. And Smac’s boyfriend Ryan is a member of quest crew. And so Smac extended the invitation in my direction to join the quest crew as their first ever special guest at a family brunch. I called it brunch, which is basically dim sum for the record. This was my first experience with dim sum. And my first experience with quest grew as a unit in one sitting, we can call it a sitting cause we were sitting down for the most part, the actual win, the win-win, the big win of this was that we had a group share a one by one, share. Everybody had everybody at the table, stood up one at a time and had to contribute a kindness in my direction, a kind sentence or two about me. And that sentence had to be danced in the vocabulary of my favorite style, which is locking to make matters more interesting, certainly more laughable. We were not able to repeat moves. Now there are 11 people at the table and, um, barely more than 11 moves in the vocabulary of locking. I am grossly overstating obviously, but I mean, you got your wrist roll. You got your Sam Point, you got your, uh, Stop and Go. You got your Scooby-Doo, you got your School Bot. You got what else? We got, obviously, an Up lock. You got your lock lock. You’ve got, I mean, I’m going to hate myself later, but I think like, I think I’m out, right? So 11 people making up little solo, kindnesses, kindness dances, and throwing them in my direction. Um, I had to throw one at myself too, which just imagine what that looks like all in the middle of a dim sum. Whoa, dim sum restaurant in Alhambra best dimsum of my life. And that’s not just because it was the only, but simply because it was the best I am floored. I’m still smiling. Now you go talk to me about the kind of dance exchanges in your world. Tell me what’s going well, what have you eaten that you loved? You could even celebrate a win after having eaten something that you don’t love. And now you know that you don’t love that. And that can be a win as well. I know it’s kind of a stretch, but you know, I’m just, I’m extending that kindness to you. You can put that as a win. They’re willing to bet. You know what? I digress. Roll the music.  

Congratulations. I am so happy for you and I am so chatty, I suppose my win should have been huge successes with my voice pathologist who has been helping me tremendously. I think I could get better about breathing more and talking less with that said before we get into the episode, I need to make not one but two prefaces. Prefaces number one, the word cool will be used a lot. In this episode, you may experience semantic satiation, shout out Ted lasso. A semantic satiation is when a word is used so much that it begins to lose its meaning. Cool. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool. I actually think it would be very interesting to live in a world where cool has no meaning. I’m giving you this warning because if you happen to be listening to this episode at a party, which you might and you are of legal age, you might choose to play a drinking game and have a, a sip or a shot. Anytime you hear the word cool. You might even decide to have a party just so that you can do that. I support you, but I would prefer that you do something more productive, like maybe 10 push-ups or crunches or stanzas of poetry every time I say cool. Um, or you could simply listen and let cool wash away into meaninglessness. That’s preface number one. Preface number two is that I don’t actually believe that there is a quote unquote cool kids club. I don’t believe there is any single inner sanctum of people in the entertainment industry. I don’t even think that there are many cool kid clubs. I simply think people like to work with their friends, people that you know, people that you know, you have shared values with and people whose way of operating is similar to your own. That said for the next several minutes, I will be talking about clubs, the cool kids club. And I’m just telling you right now, before I do that, that I don’t think they exist. However, this metaphor, this thought in my head might be a useful device. I really hope that it is true story. This is not a third preface, by the way, this is just an intermission before the first act. I do not love clubs, never have. Even in my prime club going age, I did not like going to clubs. I would much prefer a house party, a barbecue, any place with a loud boombox play in the jams that doesn’t involve, like number one, a cover charge, number two, a line to get in, number three, like bass that is so low. I can feel it in my knee caps, um, or a dress code. So there that’s, I think that’s probably pretty much, oh, also like a $13 drink. That’s watered down. Not a fan.So Bing, Bing, which is big bang, bang. I don’t like clubs moving right along into the first act. If the cool kids club was actually a club, you would probably find yourself waiting in a line to get in. You would probably wind up paying a cover unless you’re on some sort of list. You might possibly make your way to a VIP section. And then if all goes, well, eventually you go home. You go to bed and you wake up the next day in this analogy, in this metaphor, I’m going to start by making a comparison between the rules and cost of entry to this club, to the rules and cost of entry to quote unquote, the industry or like the cool kids part of the industry.  I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I have witnessed in certain circles. It is truly as simple as wearing cool sneakers or simply having cool stuff to be welcomed in to the inner sanctum. The, the king of cool might actually talk to you because you’re wearing cool shoes or have a cool watch or you’re driving a cool car or using a cool purse or in my case, a cool backpack. Dammit. I love good backpack. And if you have a good, if you have a good backpack, chances are, I will talk to you about it. I’m not saying I’m the king of cool. Let’s back up. Do I actually think this is cool? Do I think it’s cool that you, you might evaluate someone’s worth or worthiness based on material possessions? Do I condone this type of behavior? No. Duh, not really. No, but have I seen it happen?  Yes. Have I considered actually paying the cost of cool sneakers or a watch or you know, something else material simply to ease my way in? Yes, absolutely. Is that wrong? No, I don’t think so. I think it’s, I think it’s neutral and sometimes it’s worth the cost of sneakers to have a zero friction entry point to the people and places that are interesting to you. However, I will say this buying the cool shoes, car, watch backpack, house, yacht. I think you see where I’m going with. This is a very slippery and costly slope. It’s a slippery slope. It’s an in slippery slope that very well may lead you to an unhappy life at, at worst at best. Maybe walking around in shoes that aren’t that comfortable. Let’s put the metaphor aside. You can look the part into the club, but I don’t know that that’s do you see how I said metaphor side? You can look the part and get in to get into the group or to get into conversation, but looking the part won’t last. If you don’t love it, if you can’t afford it and if you can’t live that way, right? Can you imagine having to abide by a dress code for the rest of your life? Hm, no. Thank you. No, thank you. Now let’s consider the guests list. Shall we? It’s possible that even without meeting the dress code and without paying a cover, you could get into a club simply by being on the list or being someone’s plus one. Now this part of the analogy is pretty self-explanatory entry by association or cool by association. Many of you have already benefited from this. I sure as hell know I have. Can you think of a time you got in somewhere on someone else’s arm, so to speak, or have you ever helped others to get in? How do you do that? What does that look like for you? And how do you feel when that happens? What is actually happening there? Are you grateful? Are you gracious? Are you extending a kindness? It’s something to think about that. I find fascinating. So on the, on the entry point, sometimes it’s being on the list.  

Sometimes it’s looking the part, but most of the time getting in comes down to paying the cover in real clubs. This is usually money, but in the metaphor, the cost of entry to me is either information or skill or both. And you’ll probably not get in without one or both of those, two things, information and skill. And that is what I want to talk about. That’s what I want to remind you of. That’s what I want to remind myself of. I think many people forget what they have to offer. They think the club is there to offer them something fun, access, excess, but the club would be nothing without people in it. In real life, people think that the in crowd, the top, you know, working person in their field can offer them something. Maybe it’s fun. Maybe it’s more access, usually it’s work. And that is what people focus on instead of focusing on what they, the outsider can offer the in crowd.  When I first made my way to LA and began my professional training. Yeah. I’ll call it professional training, like training to be a professional dancer versus training to be a good dancer. I think those are different things. I knew what I could offer in the character department. I knew what I could offer in the skill department, pretty broad, but general training in many different styles. Very good with counts, quick learner, great memory. I knew I was reliable. I knew I was sober. I wouldn’t be hung over or strung out. I knew I was at very least a little bit funny and a lot, a bit friendly. So I led with those qualities and I think those are the qualities that got my foot into the door, or like the entryway, like up to the coat check of this club, this metaphorical club. And then eventually I made it my job to really have information insights and like Intel straight up intelligence that other people didn’t have to remember things that other people didn’t remember to expose myself to things that other people didn’t expose themselves to. This means cross training. This means cross culturing. That might be in misuse of that word. And I think in the long game, it’s those qualities and skills that are probably what got me into the metaphorical VIP section. And what I’m learning now is that from both sides of that red rope, the grass is greener. On the other side, the inside of a VIP section looks a lot like any other corner of the club, except for usually there’s less room there. There’s people doing stuff. There’s a red rope around them. They look out into the masses at the movement, drawn to certain things, looking for certain things, looking at talented people, looking for entertainment, looking for beauty. Now the metaphor might get a little bit unsavory here, but I do think that that’s more or less what happens from inside the VIP. We look out on the other side, there’s people looking in wondering who’s there. How, how are they very important people what’s really going on in there anyways, what I’d like to hypothesize and someday prove is that anything you can do inside a VIP section, you can also do outside of a VIP section. I’d like to further extend that hypothesis to say anything you can do in the club, you can do outside the club. Do you see where I’m going with this? You can feel important. You can feel exclusive. You can do all of that with more space from outside, outside the red rope and outside the club walls, you can have fun. You can dance. You can network. You do not have to be in the cool club. And certainly not in the VIP section to make moves, to enjoy yourself. You can really truly feel important, feel exclusive and feel good about yourself with more space from outside. Here’s another interesting thing about the red rope. You have to leave the roped off area at some point to get anywhere else. You have to leave that VIP section to go pee, to get a drink that isn’t vodka and orange juice or cranberry juice. That’s sitting on your table to get fresh air. You have to leave the very important person place. And then what, once you’re outside of the red rope, are you only a minorly important person, a slightly important person, a regular person, hysterical to me that a person’s value would be determined by the placement of a red rope or a red wall. If I were to broaden that statement to include the dance sphere, the red rope, the inside or outside the club does not determine your importance unless you think it does. Let’s keep moving through this club analogy. We’re almost on the other side. I promise. Think about the day after you went to the club, you probably wore heels. Everyone listening probably wears heels to the club. Um, your feet probably hurt. You may be feeling hung over, but how do you feel? How do you feel the day after going to a club or a big event even do you feel awesome because you enjoyed yourself? Do you feel awesome because you had proximity to someone you think is special or famous or very important, do you feel awful because of lack of sleep or overindulgence in something, do you feel awful because perhaps you compromised a personal value to fit in or to get in true story. I have judged myself for pretending to enjoy myself at clubs. I have secretly hated on myself for singing along to lyrics of songs that I don’t like. And for dancing to music that I don’t like, I’ll be real. I have judged myself for judging the DJ. Where is this going? Sometimes? What looks like fun is not actually what’s happening. The person that you are looking at on the other side of that red rope is possibly dare. I say, probably punishing themselves in some way, moral of the story is you can punish yourself or praise yourself from inside the VIP, from outside the VIP or from outside the club entirely. And the beautiful news is that you get to decide, you get to decide if being in there is important to you. You get to decide how much you pay to get in. Or if you pay to get in, you can decide that meeting a dress code is totally okay with you. You can decide on committing to that now and changing your mind about that later.  This is simply another way to think about the in crowd to think about what you’re willing to exchange to get in and to think about how much power you have from outside. Now, I want to talk about this notion, this, this idea of power in the power dynamic in inside versus outside. You probably are assuming that the insider has more power and you’re probably right in most cases. So I want to talk not about that, but about this moment, this very, very quick moment, when that power dynamic switches, this happens in almost every successful audition or pitch, or even in making a treatment when asked to pitch or make a treatment for something or audition for something.  There is someone else who gets to decide whether you are allowed in to the job or not. There is an insider and you, the subject, the auditioner, the pitcher are outside trying to get in, but something beautiful can happen during an audition, during a pitch while making a treatment. And that is the shift where the outsider convinces the insider, that they are, what the insider wants to be in on that they are the person that can help the insider create an inside world that makes outsiders drool. And so within one hour, within one meeting within one PDF, an outsider who knows how to introduce themself, a person who knows how to inspire someone and a person who knows how to reassure someone. Those people have in, in my view, even more power than an insider because they are both. They are a person who is outside enough to see from a 30,000 foot perspective, not from a tiny confined space behind a red velvet rope, but from way out there, they can see they can operate freely.  They can move quickly. They don’t need to be stifled by the rules of the club. They have the ability to begin to switch or to remain the outsider. They have the best of both worlds, cheers, to being an outsider who can inspire the insiders to be more like outsiders. I now, now insider and outsider. Those are starting to lose their meaning. You know, it’s a great way to demystify a topic. Just have a podcast where you say nothing, except the topic like insider outsider, insider outsider, insider outsider, and then the topic will have lost meaning. And therefore, uh, the audience will have lost interest. I’m sorry if I lost you. Wrap it up Wilson. I hope that after listening to this podcast, you have less interest in meeting the dress code, getting on a guest list or paying the cover and more interest in knowing so deeply that what you do is incredible.  Whether it’s looked at, from the inside or from the outside, remember that the grass is always greener. Those inside the rope are looking outside. I hope that this episode has also reminded you that there is a generation of very young and assumingly capable young batch of artists on the come up. So let us not be concerned about whether or not we are in or out of the cool club and let us be concerned with our work, with our skills and with the information that we seek and the information that we share with that. My dear friends, I bid you ado, I’m going to go hit the club. Kidding. Not funny June is that it? But I said it there. I’m just going to let it rest. Really. I probably won’t see a club probably for the rest of the year. Maybe if you get me to a club, congratulations, there better be live music.  That’s all I’m saying. Get out into the world, get into a club somewhere, the club, your club. I really, I get myself into a hole. I just dig and dig, trying to make these wrap-ups. And here’s what I’m just, I’m just going to say it. Keep it funky. I mean it, oh, and holy smokes. How have I made it all the way through an episode where I say the club this many times and not mention the only club I remember enjoying myself in thoroughly deeply into the wee hours of the morning. FunkBox New York. I miss you. I miss you so much. I, you know what? I would buy a ticket to New York just to go to funk box. I said it, it might happen. Now. You have it. That is my word. That is my word funkbox. I’ll see you soon. Funky people. I’ll talk to you later bye!

Me again, wondering if you ever noticed that one more time. Almost never means one more time. Well, here on the podcast, one more thing actually means two more things. Number one thing. If you’re digging the pod, if these words are moving you, please don’t forget to download, subscribe and leave a rating and review because your words move me too. Number two, I make more than weekly podcasts. So please visit thedanawilson.com for links to free workshops and so much more. All right. That’s it now for real talk to you soon. Bye. 

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