This question comes in from anonymous.
Which Shows Have You Liked and Disliked the Most?
Every show has had its ups and downs. I really liked the teams I worked with on American Dream Builders for NBC and Project Greenlight for HBO. Since we spend so much time together on set (12–15 hours a day), I tend to value the teams I work with above the content we create.
The most difficult subject matter I had to work with was on Lockup for MSNBC, a documentary series about inmates in jail, because each inmate’s story was so heartbreaking. That show taught me a lot about myself and my ability to empathize, and I’m grateful for that.
The moments that I disliked the most — and they have nothing to do with the content or quality of the shows themselves — are the hours that I spent cleaning dishes on the cooking shows I worked on as a production assistant.
After we graduate from college, we tend to have pretty high opinions of ourselves… but television production squashes that quickly. I spent eight or more hours a day cleaning dishes on shows like Top Chef, MasterChef, and more before I got any opportunities to show what I was capable of. Those moments broke a lot of people down and caused a lot of people to quit television at the production assistant stage, but I knew that if I could turn that frustration into gratitude and make it past those moments, I could do anything. And I was right.
It turns out that these types of obstacles are in place in many industries to check our egos, and to weed out people who don’t really want to do what it takes to be successful.
I was grateful for the opportunity to work in television, so even though cleaning dishes for eight or more hours a day was difficult and sometimes demoralizing, I was happy to have such a crazy opportunity as working on a television show, and I was willing to do anything to stick around.
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