I have been caught up in a whirlwind since last September. Between film and web series projects, I have been consulting for a high-tech startup in Silicon Valley. In addition to acting and producing, I am a marketing and PR consultant to technology and entertainment companies.
I live at the intersection of tech and art and love doing both.
The high-tech yearnings caught up with me around last August. And as amazing synchronicity would have it, I have been putting things out into the universe and I have been manifesting things amazingly fast and on point – I have been consulting for this high-tech startup for about six months and have been paid well for it. I have had access to and connected with some amazing technology pioneers as well. It has really boosted my confidence that, after being out of the Silicon Valley game for quite a while, it’s nice to know that I am still considered a player. In addition, many have contacted me about partnering with them as a consultant or as a regular employee.
That said, I will be starting my Silicon Valley adventure – for the third time in my life – in June, when I move up to Palo Alto. I hate to use the earthquake analogy (being that I will be close to the San Andreas fault line once again) – but I am looking forward to being at the “epicenter” of all the technology activity in Silicon Valley.
Does that mean I am putting my acting on hold? Heck no. Why can’t I have it all? San Francisco is a great theatre town and is also a town where a lot of web series and indie film projects – my two favorite mediums – are happening.
I have made some super connections on both sides of the fence.
What about LA? And how about NY? I act in both these cities and have some great agents and managers. I am also producing and am a series regular on The Dating Life and a series regular on The Unemployment of Danny London. In NY, I recur on the web series called Which Way and am working with some other folks to develop other projects. I will continue with my LA and NY based project work.
I am so excited to embark on this journey. I invite you to stay connected here and my tech blog, here.
I want to thank everyone for your comments on my Steve Jobs posts. As a “one more thing” – as he would say – here is a wonderful tribute that his company gave him on October 19th. It is lengthy but well worth the watch.
I just realized a goof, I haven’t been putting in post tags to my posts so going forward I will be doing that as I want to share my words with more people and in that process, increase my audience numbers. I hope you enjoy reading my posts. My social media universe topics usually consist of seven (7) topics I am passionate about and I speak on regularly. They include, in no particular order:
I hope you will join me on my ride. I enjoy the journey – that’s a mantra for me – the journey might not all be peaches and cream – but I will continue to learn, become a more evolved human being and have fun in the process.
Your comments are very important to me. I hope you continue to share your insights with me. It means a lot.
Steve Jobs. 1955-2011.
Wow. I still can’t believe it. My business compass is gone from this physical realm, but not from being my business compass. You’ll read a Stevenote or few here or I will think of something very Jobsian to say, like “what would Steve do?” to something I am pondering. Those who know me, know I am a very spiritual person. And, my feeling is that he isn’t gone, but is elsewhere and he is hanging out with my mother and father someplace else and I’m just going to open the door and they will all be there, waiting, and they will say “hey, what took you so long?”.
There have been quite a number of tributes to Steve happening (Part I and Part II of my own Steve tributes are here and here). In print. Online. On TV. Apple is doing a memorial for their employees on October 18 (On a Tuesday, makes perfect sense as that is when Apple’s product announcements tend to be.). Discovery Channel is doing a tribute on Steve Jobs called “iGenius: How Steve Jobs Changed the World” (Oct. 16, 8 p.m. EST). Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, from Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters”, will host the one-hour special.
I was at Apple’s HQ last week. For me, I could feel Steve’s soul all around the campus. Eery or what? I’m glad there is not going to be a public memorial and I’m glad the family was able to lay Steve to rest privately last Friday.
The cause of his death was announced as respiratory failure. With cancer, it never seems to be the cancer itself that ultimately kills a person but some other organ that gave out as a result of the cancer. You know, I don’t know anyone who has survived pancreatic cancer – be it the cancer Steve had or the type Patrick Swayze had. We need to put A LOT of research monies into pancreatic cancer – it seems that that is the real killer. It’s tied up into so much of major functionality of our bodies – hormones, liver, etc.
I think what we all will remember about Steve is how he changed our world views – about computing, communications, Internet, the media, music…life. “For the rest of us” will forever stay in our minds. Here is a final video of SteveQuotes which are inspirational quotes, for you.
Steve’s death at 56 holds a little more intensity for me as my dad died when he was 56. I was 20, the age of Steve’s eldest son. I had just completed my sophomore year. My sister was 13, the age of Steve’s youngest daughter. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I moved on. It strengthened me. It built my character. I remember sitting in our living room discussing my dad’s will with attorneys and bankers, probate court, and everything — I was still in shock my dad was gone. Then, I looked at my mother and watching how this amazing woman turned into such an independent woman. I was proud. Me? I think I was independent since I was 10 years old and probably could have gone out into the world. My mother. I was in awe. Still am in awe. We became closer and friends. Yeah, we had our moments. And still think about and talk with her every chance I get. Do you ever wonder that a person dies to give us something? My dad died to give me my mother as a friend, to complete my studies, make my mark in the world and to put some type of “ding in the universe”. My mother died to start me on a path of being present to life. Steve Jobs? He’s given me back my sense of focus, living a simplistic life, and nothing matters other than those first two.
While, I am a self-proclaimed “apple-head”, having had just about every Apple product, (By the way, you must get Apple TV, for $99, it’s a bargain. And I will be a proud owner of the new iPhone 64GB 4S by the weekend.), the Steve I remember and will continue to remember is “that guy” from the 80′s who I met and who, along with Steve Wozniak, “Woz” to us, that started and gave us that magical adventure we know as Apple Computer and now Apple, Inc. Hey, wouldn’t it be cool for Woz to come back to Apple?! I do have a University of Colorado tie-in about Woz. He was at CU for 2 years, then CU kicked him out because he kept hacking into the mainframe.
Here are a couple of my favorite photos in the 80′s. The second one is a little bit small and was part of the original Macintosh launch video. Enjoy.
Steve Jobs died today. He was 56. RIP Steve.
In Part I of my “All About Steve” post, I said I wasn’t looking forward to writing Part II of this series. I knew it would be to post that he died.
I am going to celebrate his life.
He has been my business role model since I moved to the bay area in the mid-1980′s. I had the honor to meet Steve once. And I have watched with amazement what he was able to do at Apple (the first time), NeXT, Pixar and back to Apple.
There are certain things I don’t believe in. I don’t believe in “perception is reality”. You can change perception. I’ve done it many times over as a tech marketer. I don’t believe in “sacrificing for your art”. I believe that we make choices. That’s the beauty of being a human being – free will – I make a choice. If I wanted to watch TV over working on my acting craft, I made a choice. If I wanted to go to a casting director workshop instead of socializing with friends, I made a choice. And, I don’t believe in “regrets”. While I say that, I will say I would have loved to have worked with Steve either at Apple or NeXT.
Some things that make Steve stand out for me are his focus in following his path, and not letting the naysayers sway him – he was known to say “fuck em” a lot. I found his drive and being a perfectionist to get that perfect product to the masses amazing. He understood business, marketing and knew that products need to appeal to peoples’ emotions and need to have a value-added function in peoples’ lives. He was a minimalist, only focusing on the things that mattered. He was more focused on success than being right. He was difficult and not the easiest to work with – this is what he said about people: “My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” When you are driven, you are focused on the vision. That means that you have to expect your people are self-managing, do not need hand-holding and can be counted on to get their jobs done. In an old video about the Macintosh, he talked about individual contributors being the best managers. He understood people and how to communicate with them. He was definitely ahead of his time. When I am challenged with a decision, the question, what would Steve do, comes to mind frequently.
I think what I really like about Steve which is what I find in myself – never being satisfied, always searching, and trying to re-invent himself.
Steve will continue to be my business and tech compass.
I want to leave you with this quote: “Almost everything–all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure–these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
Always strive to be insanely great. Be hungry. Be foolish.
I was concerned when I first heard that Steve Jobs was stepping down as Apple CEO. But when I saw his letter to the board and the “rest of us”, that he was going to be Chairman of the Board, and Tim Cook would become CEO, I felt confident that things at Apple were well in hand. Then, TMZ shows these pictures of Steve and puts them out in the Internet universe, I was very saddened and depressed. Yes, depressed. My depression was two-fold. First, I remembered seeing my Mother lie in her coffin when she died in 2006 and quite honestly, I didn’t recognize her from the vibrant woman I saw that summer a few months before. That’s what I thought when I saw those pictures TMZ had. And, no, I’m not sharing them here. I read the “these photos are doctored” and the rebuttal “no, they’re actual photos”. I prefer to remember Steve Jobs as the vibrant man, the vibrant mind. Second, Steve has been my business role model ever since the time of my first job when I moved to San Francisco out of college in the mid-1980′s, when I really became a Mac-head in the 90′s (and yes, I even had the original Macintosh), back to the bay area in 2000 and 2001 to work in a Silicon Valley startup – to this day, still my favorite job in corporate life – to now and beyond.
I think his views of the whole user experience, marketing, aesthetics, computers, high-tech, and life are amazing. He is amazing.
I have really been thinking about this quote of his a lot over the past week:
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
I was thinking about my own life. I know Steve has been vilified as a tyrant, dictator, egomaniac, rude and other negative descriptions. It’s ironic – driven people are looking for excellence. I loved this comment of his: ““My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better.” Personally, in my life, where I have had successful marketing and financial careers and reached the management table quickly, and even as a producer, I have found that there are people who think I might be curt, etc., but I am driven to excellence (less on the perfection angle these days, but it creeps up now and then) and a true Capricorn at that. Unfortunately, my response to people’s comments that “I am too strong”, “too curt”, whatever dig, was to be apologetic and in a performer’s words, to play small and give up my power. My husband will tell you that I ended up internalizing a lot – having an inferior, low self-worth moment.
I’m taking Steve’s words to heart – it is my path, my life, noone else’s. I’m not here to live my life and make my choices based on someone else’s thoughts or comments. The bottom line is what I think I should do with my life is the only thing that matters. That’s my bliss. My enlightenment. I’m letting it rip! Oh yeah, the recent changes that I have implemented to my physical self – changed diet and exercise, mental self – always striving to be present to life every day and being self-sufficient, and my spiritual self – living in my heart center, don’t hurt. And that’s a pretty full day.
Love and Light.
This article posted in The Coloradan, The University of Colorado’s alumni magazine. I’ve never been in the “Sweet 16″ before. Amazing feeling. All the 2011 alumni award honorees were amazing. Truly honored to be part of this group.
I’ve heard and read a lot lately about actors saying that they had to “sacrifice” for their art. In researching the definition of the word, it says that sacrifice is the destruction or surrender or loss of something for the sake of something else. Why do we have to lose something for our art? Doesn’t it just come down to choices? I choose to commit fully to my actor craft and my actor business because that’s what I want, not that I have to give something up for my art to get what I want. It comes down to mentality. Half-full. I want so I do. Half-empty. I have to give something up to do. It all comes down to mentality and choices.
My “bible” is on my desk and I refer to it every day. In it is everything that inspires me to focus on my actor craft and actor business.
On page 1 is that famous Abraham Hicks quote: “…your real work is to decide what you want and then focus upon it. For it is through focusing upon what you want that you will attract it. That is the process of creating.” Below that, I pose a question to me: What Did I Do Today To Move Myself Closer To My Goals?
What did you do today to move yourself closer to your goals?
In January, I briefly wrote about writing a post about books in my bookshelf. I’m going to give you a taste of my favorites – My Top 10 List of Spiritual Books and My Top 10 List of Acting Books. Here they are in no particular order.
Top 10 List of Spiritual Books
Top 10 List of Acting Books
1. Acting From a Spiritual Perspective
2. Self-Management for Actors
3. Acting In Film
4. One Less Bitter Actor
5. Improv Wisdom Actually this book and Acting From a Spiritual Perspective could really be on both lists!
6. Acting For The Camera
7. Acting: The First Six Lessons
8. The Actor’s Audition
9.True and False
10. How To Stop Acting
What are your favorite books?
We either lead with our heart (We love) or we lead with our head (We fear).
Case in point. I have been reaching out to indie filmmakers for the past year. This has been a laborious process but one in which I wanted to pursue. And anyone who knows me knows that I am very strategic with everything business-related. This is the reason I am successful with every business venture I have pursued (Actually, I think my success is more a measure of the fun I have!). I took this project on because I wanted to expand my entertainment industry network and reach out to, connect with and build relationships with indie filmmakers I admire.
One of the filmmakers I met with sent me a note recently because he realized that he knew me from about three years ago – he was part of the artistic team of a theatre company I had auditioned for. He told me that they wanted me to join the company but one of the company members, who had a similar type as me, was dead set against it because “we have Susyn’s type. If she were to join the company, she would be taking work away from someone else”. That is a “glass half-empty” response. A “glass half-full” response would be “She’s talented. We’re going to have a stronger company with her in it. Let’s invite her to join our company.” It was nice to know I was talented enough that someone was threatened by me. A compliment in an off-beat sort of way.
Why all the fear? There’s enough work for all us!!
The entertainment industry is very subjective. We can’t control whether we book a job or not, or whether somebody likes us or not. So, why focus on what we can’t control? Let’s focus on what we can control! And putting the Golden Rule into practice is a good place to start – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
I think more love in the world is a pretty cool thing. Let’s all lead with our hearts. Pay it forward, baby!