‘Career Dreams 101’ From the Old-School to the New-School: Eva Longoria and Tamron Hall Have Turned Theirs into Media Ventures and Breakout Productions

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Who remembers the days of Desperate Housewives on TV? It was one of those shows that gave daytime drama a new primetime feel. It was like “As the World Turns” meets “The Bold and the Beautiful.” One of its stars, Eva Longoria has gone on to do big things including her new project Grand Hotel.

Then there’s the music biz. One of the pioneering rap groups, Boogie Down Productions would fuse dancehall with hip-hop. A group member back then known as D-Nice, is now doing ‘Instagram Live’ parties he calls Club Quarantine. Longoria and D-Nice are also doing their own virtual graduation events.

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Of course, who can forget Tamron Hall as a former NBC ‘Today Show’ co-anchor. She left the scene, started a family and now hosts her own talk show. They have turned their career dreams into media ventures and breakout productions. They’ve all had to make a career shift that gave their dreams new lift.

For Longoria, she got to a point of memorizing her lines, taping the show and going home. But it felt as if she was short-changing her full potential. For D-Nice, the changing music landscape made him shift gears. And with Hall, her earlier hopes of having a show were pre-empted by TV Network execs.

There’s lots to learn from them for our own next steps. As high school grads make college decisions and as college grads prepare to enter the workplace, there are a different set of circumstances. Add in the Coronavirus crisis and there is more stress. But the road from here to there, from 0 to 60 is about your:

  1. Start

The Desperate Housewives series lasted for about eight years. Longoria became a staple on the show. In a Forbes interview she shared that while she was playing her role on the show, she was also taking notes and learning about showbiz. The show was a start that she has since turned into her own production gig.

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  1. Stairs

In a line from the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes are the words “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stairs.” That’s what D-Nice and Boogie Down Productions were basically telling/selling in music, based on life in the Bronx, aka the ‘Boogie Down.’ Since then he’s climbed those stairs to new heights.

  1. Storm

The storm that today’s generation might best relate to happens on social media. A tweet-storm is when someone just goes off on a rant. But there’s a different kind of storm that can happen in life where it feels like things go off the rails. Hall had her moment in feeling passed-over but she’s handled it with class.

  1. Story

No matter the start, the stairs or the storms that come our way, career achievement isn’t simply about our status as much as it is about our story. On social media, your status is kind of a running update. In pop culture, your status might give you more swag. But your story is the difference-maker on the road to glory.

These days, almost err’body’s going through a shift in their environment. Some working from home while others try to restart their livelihoods. The next few months will see new efforts to bounce-back or reboot the game. So, hold on to the memories and godspeed in your journeys when life feels like a hard place.

Tip: The ‘stairs challenge’ on social media might be about how to dance up the stairs as something you do for the culture. But in the workplace, it’s about how to reach new heights in skills and thrills as something you do for the glory.

Talkback: Who remembers the days of Desperate Housewives, Boogie Down Productions and Tamron Hall on the ‘Today Show’?

Tracks: Buju Banton ft John Legend – Memories – https://youtu.be/t9pMjc0-Vlk

H.E.R. – Hard Place – https://youtu.be/zfHbuTG8IHE

Checkout Spike Lee and Regina King Exchanging Notes on ‘Being in The Running’ and Getting That First Shot at the Big Prize

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It’s maybe one of the biggest no-calls in an NFL game. That’s the general feeling among players and fans after the Saints-Rams championship. Even the Rams defensive player helped make the point. That turnover moment will be remembered for how it took away Saints momentum during the late stretch.

Then there’s the roll-call coming out of Hollywood with this year’s Oscar nominations. Lots of buzz around Spike Lee getting his first pick ever. There’s probably just as much attention Lee will receive if he wins as Regina King got when she won at the Golden Globes. Imagine what we’d learn if they exchanged notes?

Lee and King spent a lot of time ‘being in the running.’ Over the years Lee has produced a host of films that made waves in pop culture. But it seems he kept being overlooked by the Academy. King was a child actor on the sitcom ‘227’ before becoming a Director and making her powerful statement at the Globes.

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They’d tell the story going from no-call in Hollywood to roll-call in nominations and going from first-look to getting that first-shot in industry. They kept doing their thing even when overlooked. As they worked on their performance styles and pleasing audiences, they had love for the fans and hustle-love for the game.

Lee has produced films that raise social awareness and deliver entertainment value. Sometimes he appears on sports-talk shows debating crossover topics. King has seen roles from the small screen to the big movie sets. And she’s preparing for a new career goal in 2019 as she steps-up her game with some:

  1. School Days

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There’s the movie School Daze that Lee produced around the HBCU college scene. But there’s also ‘school days’ that King is ready to tackle. She knows there’s more to learn about herself, her craft and showbiz as an industry. That’s probably a satisfaction Lee now feels having gone down that road.

  1. Challenge Days

King realizes that her goal will come with some challenge days. These aren’t just days of a social media challenge which can get out of hand. Folks are doing crazy stuff for no good reason. The challenge days King expects involve doing big stuff for greater results. Such challenge days can bring greater meaning.

  1. Tough Calls

With the Saints game, one view is that the no-call was a tough call to make. That’s maybe why the NFL plans to consider whether pass-interference plays will be subject to video review in the future. There’re tough calls to make when it comes to being in the running and getting your first shot at the big prize.

  1. Pitch Calls

Over the years Lee has probably done a few ‘pitch calls’ where he’s made the case for his next project. A part of stepping-up her game means King will have to do the same. Making the pitch often involves figuring-out the niche. That helps with opening new doors and bringing new ideas to the marketplace.

The Vegas bookies will give the odds-on favorite for which team has the best chance to win in the Superbowl. The showbiz talkers will get into the nitty-gritty on who’s got the best chance to win in each Oscars category. Lee and King know it’s not an easy road, but they meet the challenge by taking a shot.

Tip: Showbiz & sports stars know success is in having love for the fans and hustle-love for the game.

Talkback: Is it time for Spike Lee to win that big one and for pass-interference calls to be reviewable?

Tracks: Buju Banton – Not an easy road – https://youtu.be/5JQcn9w_PUk

Ella Mai – Shot Clock – https://youtu.be/RR1_p1zjeSI

Sterling K. Brown & Kyrie Irving Tell Their Stories of Test & Triumph in Ways That Give us More Oomph!

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Who knew Sterling K. Brown would win for Best Actor in a Drama series? It’s been 19 years since that last happened for an African-American actor. The winner then is someone who shares a similar journey as Brown. But of-course, Brown wouldn’t have had enough time to tell that story from the Emmy stage.

His acceptance speech was cut short by show producers. He and Kyrie Irving will get lots of opportunities to tell their stories of test & triumph in the coming months. Irving is set to play for a new team in the Boston Celtics after leaving the Cavaliers. Their stories make some wanna cheer Brown and jeer Irving.

For Brown it’s been a wild ride of playing parts that gave him more experience and exposure. For Irving it’s about trying to take on a new role of team leader without Lebron James in the picture. Their career moves and landing those dream spots remind us of having to “stay in fate and stay in flow.”

This made more sense to me from a recent trip. We departed on time, had a fairly calm flight and were moving right along to our destination. Then the pilot announced that we’d been circling for a while as the air traffic control wasn’t ready for our arrival. He said we’d be in a holding pattern for another 15 minutes.

That happens with airplanes as it does for dreams yet to unfold. As fate would have it, there’s a place for which our dreams will land. But sometimes the venue where we’re supposed to land isn’t quite ready for our arrival. There may even be some clouds in the area that’s causing reduced visibility.

There’s no reason for the destination to change. Similarly there’s often no reason for our destiny to change either. So we go through a holding pattern until the right circumstances to land that gig. That’s how Brown might describe his fate as a student from Stanford to NYU to Emmy winner as his acting idol.

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Irving sees his decision to move on from the Cavaliers as a fresh start. Yea he won an NBA championship but now he wants to make a ‘destiny turn’ and land his dreams somewhere else. Whether working on that career breakthrough or on landing that next dream spot, the key is staying in flow.

That’s been the latest chapter of my own story. Having done ten years as a Computer Engineer, 5 years doing community radio, two years as Community TV host and many years as an author, commentator and blogger, that next dream spot seems to be just a ‘holding pattern’ away from my career destination.

After going around in circles but staying in flow, the pilot announced that we were cleared to land. The usual reminder of returning seat-back to upright position and returning items to overhead bin was made. Within 10 to 15 minutes we landed at our destination and the passengers started clapping in unison.

That’s kinda what Brown experienced when he won for Best Actor. His peers shared their excitement. He landed his role on NBCs This is Us after having a breakout role in FXs People vs O.J. Simpson series. Let’s see if Irving can change jeers to cheers by deliver an NBA championship in Boston.

Tip: To talk and walk like a winner is to keep your passion on point by staying in fate and staying in flow towards your destiny.

Talkback: What’s it gonna take for Irving to bring a championship to Boston or for Brown to land his next dream role?

Tracks: Buju Banton – Champion – https://youtu.be/TsrKloxhfaw

Marques Houston – Circle – https://youtu.be/0sS4zJNp_10