Posted by Karen "Kay" Ross

Merry Happy, Stage32-ers! Yes, you read that correctly. There is a way to wish someone well without wishing anything at all. As we slip away from Autumn (in the Northern Hemisphere at least), and into the "holiday season", I wish you all the very merriest! Happy, that is. Not Kate Nash's "Merry Happy", although it is a "Kate" inspiring this preamble. As I listen to Kate Winslet sharing her acting secrets (THANK YOU, RB for this Sunday's Coffee & Content Blog!), I am reminded of the intricate balance of collaboration. "It's so important to let the preparation go because... you have to leave so many blank spaces for other people to fill" she advises, with her lovely British accent. Thanks, Kate! There is now a greeting that encompasses your wisdom of preparing for the best, but letting go so others can fill in the gaps.

So, wait... "Merry Happy" means... we perfect scripts only to break them down for production? We shoot the most epic footage only to chop it up in post-production? We hurry up only to wait? We prepare only to let go? YES! Yes, yes, and a most bittersweet yes. We creatives, especially in a collaborative process, are the strongest and most vulnerable. We must be well-versed in as much as possible, have enough integrity to push for our visions, yet remain flexible enough to receive worthy adjustments. How do we do it? How do we even start the collaborative dance to attempt the balance? We dip a toe into the unknown.

At Stage32, we push ourselves into those beautiful, uncomfortable, but nurturing situations that encourage growth. Our November Write Club is a great example of how we challenge ourselves, and in doing so together, make each other stronger. Even our script services team - Jason, Angela, and Nick - work hard to circulate a wide range of executives, both new and familiar, so you have top-level feedback. Amanda and Harrison of our Education division have reached out and snagged some amazing mentors to speak and teach. And our Director of Content, Taylor, is a mix and mingle master! We stretch ourselves for our own balance, but also to provide you guideposts along the journey. We've got our front and your back. And from your posts, I can see you have each others' as well. Can you think of a merrier happy?

Our top posts today embrace trying something new, asking a question from a new perspective, or simply inviting new people to join their project. It's so inspiring to see these little moments of bravery that can add up to big moments of creative production! It starts small - a post, a comment, a direct message, an email exchange - but it can lead to so much more! Just be sure to have your talent or crew deal memo handy. Here are the top 10 posts you should jump in on without delay!


Top 10 Lounge Posts  Merry Happy Prepare to Let Go

  • I love it when screenwriters ask about writing character details from actors - what a great perspective to pull from, since they eventually have to read and interpret the script!
  • Did you know that after webinars, Amanda and Harrison start posts in the coordinating lounges so attendees can comment, ask questions, and even network with each other? Now I want to go back and watch the webinar, the comments are so encouraging!
  • This expert composer shares what he's learned and earned since delving into producing. New territory doesn't mean you start as a novice!
  • Speaking of producing, COVID compliance and insurance have been hot topics, but what is the stance of the unions about signing waivers? Weigh in!
  • A voice actor relates to other talent by asking about audition preparation - actors can learn from so many similar disciplines! Share a technique, and a pick up a few with the visit!
  • What a lovely bit of encouragement from a casting director to actors - and a generous offer to give feedback! Check it out!
7) Seeking Projects for Production (shorts AND features) 
  • Because sometimes the best way to find what you're looking for is just to ask! Just be sure to read what this producer is interested in.
8) Hello (Reaching out to build a team) 
  • Speaking of being direct, this is another member looking to build a creative team. And isn't that what we all want?
  • And if offering for others to join you doesn't work, you can always join them - this one is a fantastic opportunity to work with an experienced editor!
  • The merriest happy of them all - talk about preparing to let go! Manipulating outdoor light is the epitome of "work with what you've got"!

Honorable Mentions:

1) The Saga Continues! Into Post-Production and the final days of Production with Johnny K. Wu 
2) The Itch to Pitch: Because what is a script but preparation for a pitch 
3) Video Game Soundtracks: Reflecting on Opportunities Through New Media 
4) 442 Hz: Because I don't know the answer, but I know someone here does 
Merry Happy, y'all!

About Karen "Kay" Ross

Stay Connected Inspired and Creative with the Stage 32 Lounges
K. Ross is a graduate of Colorado Film School and Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She’s a screenwriter, actor/director, and producer based out of Los Angeles. Originally from the DC area, she’s written and produced several short films, hosts "The Pre-Pro Podcast" aimed at teenagers interested in media, and is currently developing a slate of new material, including a coming-of-age TV Pilot set at the Renaissance Festival and a feature film about how "compassion fatigue" affects everyday people. She enjoys acting, directing, and being interviewed, just like her fun-loving mentor, Kevin Smith. She loves opportunities to work with inclusive, diverse, and driven professionals.

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