Blame Game


Krishna Devine.jpgA couple weeks ago I was doing the typical Los Angeles thing and sipping on iced tea outside my favorite local eatery. I was happy to be in a cute place enjoying the sun and taking a break from my busy film life.

As I finally took it down from eleven to ten and half, my ears couldn’t help but pick up on the conversation starting at the table next to me. I truly had no intentions of eavesdropping, but the two women sat so close to me, we practically shared a napkin. (We literally shared the salt and pepper.)

From the sounds of it, they were long-time colleagues in between production gigs. They discussed all the dramas of the crazy show people they had worked with in the past, shared laughs about sticky on-set situations—which were now fond memories—and they chit chatted about upcoming projects. One woman had tea and toast and the other chomped on eggs and bacon. From now on, I’ll refer to them by their meals.

Eggs and Bacon told Tea and Toast that she would be starting a new job soon. “We’ll be shooting it [A reality show] somewhere out east.” There was just a twinge of jealousy as Tea and Toast said, “Wow, that’s great. Congratulations. How’d you hear about it?”

Eggs and Bacon explained that a woman they both had previously worked with had hired her. Tea and Toast shook her head and said, “She hates me, I think she feels threatened because she knows I’m better than her—are they still hiring?” Eggs shook her head.

Tea and Toast nodded her head and considered this. From there, Tea was seemingly unable to stop herself from rambling about all the recent problems she was having. First she told Eggs about other people she had issues with, she complained about other old bosses, about how she lost a job because they wouldn’t update her software, how it wasn’t fair that she got sick at the end of a show and had to be replaced and on and on and on.

Sure, things happen that get in our way, but Tea and Toast listed a couple dozen instances where she was wronged. It was all I could do to keep myself from speaking directly to Tea and Toast and tell her that maybe she should stop blaming others and look at herself to see if the problems began there. Of course I didn’t say anything, but I tried really hard to push my thoughts over—in the off chance I had some awesome super power that hadn’t previously surfaced, but alas, no dice.

The issue I have with Tea and Toast (the person, not the edible items), is that I’ve known people like her. She’s the type of person who can always place the blame on someone or something else. And while sure, shit happens, if enough bad things are happening, there may come a time where the solution is to look at what we are doing or not doing to solve the issues.

When I look to hire someone on a production whether they are a coordinator, actress, craftsperson etc., or even look to work with friends on fun side projects, I always consider the person’s attitude. Will they do their best? Show up-mostly on time? Work well with others? Do they strive to be better at their craft, enjoy what they do and pitch in without complaining? Do they seek solutions instead of dish out excuses?  Do they blame the world for every injustice they are faced with?

The entertainment biz is not easy, but it can be pretty fun if we try to make it that way. Even on bad days, we need to remember to show up with a good attitude and work in a way that earns us respect from those around us. So, what’s the takeaway from all this?

The person you hired today may be the person you work for tomorrow. If you want to keep working and better yet, get recommended, be a person others want to have around. In short, STOP THE BLAME GAME and always do your best!