1. I had dinner with Bruce Pask of the New York Times last night and we got talking about paying your dues. He was telling me about how he sees all these young assistants coming through who work for about six months then want to do their own shoots – invariably they get themselves into a scenario with a difficult photographer or a celebrity client that goes bad and they don’t know how to handle the situation. He said that he’s so glad that he paid his dues and worked from the absolute bottom up over a period of 10 years, and now, after being in the business 20 years he’s in a prime position. The moral of the story is that raw talent will never trump experience. We have the shortest attention spans, we’re inundated with quick fixes and our world is focussed on overnight success stories. But there are no true overnight success stories. They don’t exist. Look at Justin Bieber – that overnight sensation took 10 years in the making. Pay your dues. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Earning it will taste sweeter.
2. On the flipside, do you know what’s incredibly normal? Having performance anxiety. Frank Sinatra told Larry King that every time he went on stage he’d have a moment of utter panic where he’d wonder if his voice would be there, if he’d be able to hit the notes, if he’d remember his lyrics. Anxiety helps to remind us not to take our talents for granted. The key is in not allowing the anxiety to paralyse you from making your move when the time is right.
3. On the awkward scale, listening to a couple’s Skype conversation is way up there in the red zone. It’s not my fault – these walls are paper thin and everyone hears every little sound.
4. Don’t get intimidated by people who you think are cooler than you. They’re not.
5. What is going on with Entourage this season? I was expecting big things and so far it’s been a bust. Highlights include the Ari Gold and Dana Gordon romance, every time Johnny Drama opens his mouth and the promise of big things for Turtle; lowlights include Vince’s incredibly boring rehabilitation arc, Vince’s incredibly boring film script idea and Vince’s incredibly boring comeback. Make something happen, dammit!
6. I made my first New York City clothing purchase yesterday – an indigo marle crewneck sweater from Club Monaco. That store blows my mind – it’s hands down my new favourite chain.
7. Proving, once again, how incredibly small this world of ours is, I have run into no less than five New Zealanders since being here.
8. I have had nothing but exceptional food since landing in New York. It ranges from the cheap – $2 hotdogs and $1 slices; to the unhealthy – apple and cinnamon pop tarts from Wholefoods; to the best beef tacos of my life at Barrio Chino on the Lower East Side; to unbelievable steak and a dessert that consisted of squares of chocolate that you dunk into a pot of peanut butter at St Anselm in Williamsburg. Despite my advanced years, my parents never cease to lecture me on the benefits of a balanced diet. Looking back on that list, mine doesn’t sound so flash. It might be time to invest in some vegetables.
9. I’m late to the game, but I just downloaded Watch the Throne about 20 minutes ago. I’m listening to it as I type – first obsession: Frank Ocean’s hook on No Church in the Wild. “What’s a mob to a king? / What’s a king to a god? / What’s a god to a non-believer / Who don’t believe in anything?” Something about it reminds me of this Baha’i story that I always loved. $17.99 well spent. Get in there.
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