A Holiday Letter to My Fellow Reality Pros


‘Tis the season to fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air.

And what pictures we’ve had this year, all brought to life through the painstaking and time-consuming process of crafting an often instantly forgettable product.  We don’t all labor on hits… many of us trade our lives for the chance to work on the kind of shows America loves to enjoy in the background while they vacuum the rug or cook dinner.

Our cats and children may barely know us thanks to late nights in edit bays and offices, our neighbors not remember our faces owing to months-long out-of-town gigs or the fact that 90 percent of our waking hours at home are spent sleeping, rushing to do laundry, or packing and unpacking suitcases.

Still, for all that craziness — would we want to do anything else?

The real gifts, I find, are the friendships we’ve made in meetings, the field, and sitting in the dark trying to figure out how we’re going to address a note about lip flap when we only had one camera in the field.  We treasure the bonds formed during the high points of working on a hit, the death throes of a project that should never have been greenlit, the rush to turn an hour-long show into a two-hour show, the sudden decision to whittle that two hour show down into a series of half hours, and the eventual pre-airing cancellation of something that’s eaten precious months of our lives at the expense of our spouses’ and children’s birthdays.  The dull chest-ache of too many eight, six, even four hour turnarounds is just the bow on the box.  It’s the friendships that matter and make it all so weirdly worthwhile.

As we enter 2014, please know how much I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work with or for you, and that I feel — as you probably do — that there’s a lot more fun to be had out there together.  I wish you all the best for a safe, happy, and productive new year.

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