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Spiral Upward: The Cycle of Improvement for Professional Creatives

Following up from my previous blogs, “Finding Your Creative Tribe” and “Building Safe Spaces”, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the very individual process a professional creative must go through in order to be present for their “tribe” or be strong enough to lead a team. Especially since doing the work for yourself, BY yourself is essential. It is the foundation of everything else we create. Consider for a moment when you visit a doctor. It is…

Building Safe Spaces to Foster Creativity

If branding is a demonstration of what we consistently do, then the heart of my professional brand is “Builder of Safe Spaces to Foster Growth & Creativity”. Looking over my track record, I consistently create safe spaces for people to talk and grow. As a massage therapist, during film school as a casting director making auditioning more fun, as a producer making directors feel more supported, my early days in television where I helped to create an internship/mentorship p…

How to Find Your Creative Tribe on Stage 32

Well, hello, there! My name is Karen Ross, but please, call me Kay. I wanted to formally introduce myself: I am an actress, writer, producer, director, and all-around free spirit. I currently host a weekly event on Clubhouse called "The Victory Round" to help creatives build their confidence by celebrating their achievements, big or small. Among other many things, I love martial arts, instrumental film soundtracks, the Bard, tea time, and am deeply obsessed with trying new restaurants. I…

Celebrating Women’s History Month and Learning from Different Perspectives

Happy Women’s History Month! Or, for anyone outside the United States, happy March! Are you sensing a theme? Perhaps one of unity through celebrating our differences? That is the goal of celebrating, after all. During the celebration, we put aside our grievances, our woes, and even our agendas to appreciate the good work that has already been done. Perhaps even a return to work? You can start your Women’s History Month celebration with our recent International Women’s D…

Stage 32 + Female Voices Rock Present: 2nd Annual Celebrating Women in Entertainment

In Stage 32's continued effort to democratize the industry, we have partnered with Female Voices Rock for another thrilling virtual event to shine the light on women in the entertainment industry. On March 8, International Women's Day, some of the industry's female leaders will be coming together to host an inspiring webcast celebrating women in entertainment. The panel features four powerhouse female voices of entertainment, including: Robyn Watson - Gannett, VP of Corporate Com…

Celebrating Black History Month and Diversity/Inclusion in the Industry

Happy Black History Month! Or, for anyone outside the United States, happy February! One of the great accomplishments of Stage 32 is providing a safe and welcoming space for creatives all around the world, regardless of age, sex, race, or creed, to gather, network, and build relationships. Naturally, as we began celebrating Black History Month in the Stage 32 Lounges, this poignant question arose - why do we celebrate? In a word… history. In the United States, since celluloid was…

How to Attract Allies in the Film Industry: The New Approach to Goal-Setting

Have you ever fallen in creative love? Perhaps you idly chat about your favorite director (like this fun getting-to-know-you post), only to discover that you both love their most obscure film the most. Over your first coffee date, you playfully square off about who has the worst set stories, but you share a laugh over the resiliency it takes to keep going. Now you're about to start a project and your new creative ally is firmly entrenched in your corner. 'How in the world did I get so fo…

Best of Stage 32 Community Posts 2021

Looking back on 2021, it's easy to see loss, confusion, and pain. If you look for it, however, I think you'll find the beauty and abundance you crave. For me, I see healing, growth, and productive friction. I can only see the many contributions of our nearly one million global members, the insightful posts of our Community Leaders, and the productive conversations with everyone in between. The Stage 32 community was built on the values that Hollywood all too often takes for granted - pos…

How to Make Friends in the Film Industry: The New Approach to Networking

A few years ago,  I had the devastating privilege of teaching television and film production to teenagers. Yes, oxymoron intended. Two things became clear early on: these students had no respect for the equipment because they were issued cameras like pacifiers, nor did they understand the value of their human resources due to the emphasis put squarely on technology above all. Guess what we did for the first week? We learned about networking. Man, were they mad. Then again, that coul…

Film Production Mentorship, Part 4: Priorities, Systems, and Leadership

Before I taught film and television production to teenagers, before I developed a comprehensive internship program within a production company, and before I shepherded freshman theatre technicians through grueling lighting hangs and late-night set strikes, I myself was mentored. I owe a great debt of gratitude to my first mentor; my mother. She is an expert in adult education and a retired computer specialist, so it may be no surprise to learn she was incredibly methodical when training …

Film Production Mentorship, Part 3: Creating Strategies as a Production Coordinator

How do you know if you're ready to level up from a Production Assistant (PA) to a Production Coordinator (PC)? PCs are not necessarily the fastest PAs, but they are the ones taking on the most responsibilities. Are you guarding receipts with your life? Do you protect the integrity of lunch orders as if they were a precious commodity? Have you started to program everyone's phone number into your phone, so you don't have to take the extra time to look it up when you have to dial it? Oh, ye…

Film Production Mentorship, Part 2: The Bottom of the Rung

Growing up, the word "nice" was a four-letter word. You may be taken aback to hear this for those who know me professionally since my reputation tends towards nurturing and empowerment. Yet my position has not wavered over the years. In a work atmosphere, I'd rather respect come before affection and efficiency before comfort. Why? We delved into the heart of it in Part 1 of this series: trust. Without it, no amount of gifts or affirmations will make up for the loss. For those of you wh…

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