BIPOC Community Page -- How to Gossip about yourself

This is a great question, and exactly what this How to Make it in Show Biz thing is all about:

When you get a job how much do you share and with whom? There is no right answer because every gig is going to be different.

NDA or not - there is a general feeling that loose lips sink ships and no one likes a gossip. Except that everyone loves a gossip and loose lips haven’t sunk anything since World War II.

It’s cool to tell folks you are employed - and if it’s a 1/2 hour or hour or web, comedy or drama, kids or primetime, and what your job title is. You don’t owe anyone anything other than that. If they have follow-up questions it’s time to play coy and anyone in the biz will understand. Anyone not in the biz or new to the biz might push, but you’ll use your judgment and only share what’s needed. While it’s ok to make mistakes, it’s better to err on the side of caution, particularly within the first 5 years of show bizzing.

Anyone who has been in the business for a time will understand that you don’t want to tell all, they might even say that - it doesn’t matter - and - I know what’s going on in town - or - I want to know who else I know on your show - but I mean this for every situation you will ever find yourself in, in business and in life, don’t cave to pressures, man. Only share what you’re comfortable with.

If the show you’ve working on has been announced or it’s a show that’s been renewed, things get a little muddy. Take the lead from your Showrunner/Producer and the folks you work with.

In General:

For Writers - a Development Room is secret, a Writer’s Room is grey zone and once you’re in Production you’re clear to go.

For Crew & Production Teams - Prep and pre-production is hush, once you’re in Production you’re in the grey, and Post is cool.

But to answer Keavy Lynch specific questions:

1)You're working in a room, and a coworker asks about your previous rooms - can you say what producers they were with? Can you say which writers you were working with? The titles?

You’re in the protective zone of employment. Share what you feel comfortable with.

2) You're working in a room, the producer knows about previous/current rooms you're in and mentions one - is this now open for conversation in the larger room?

Yes, but consider everything you say quotable. Co-workers want to know what it was like to work with this person or that, think about what it would sound like if it got back to them.

3) I recently worked in a development room for season 2 of a series - can I tell people about that room, since the project is out there (even though s2 development hasn't been announced)?

I’d hold off. Wait until it’s been announced.

4) You're applying for a contest, and need to submit a resume - do you list the details of your previous jobs?

Yes! A resume is different, you signed a contract, you gathered the paycheck, you did the work. Get it on there! Every gig you get goes on your resume, even if a development room never gets a greenlight.

5) Also, when / how much can I post about these things on social media - for instance, LinkedIn?

It should go on your LinkdIn and IMDb when the job is over. Instagram etc. take the lead from your producers, coworkers and showrunner.

The most important thing is to keep confidential what actually happens IN THE ROOM. The Room should be considered a Safe Space. In the past, or in your current situation. This is where people don’t like gossips…

But I want to leave you with something very important, and the hardest part about the etiquette: LISTENING TO CO-WORKERS talk about folks you worked with:

Loose lips might sink ships in this case. People love to tell stories about their past gigs, their worst coworkers - you might have opinions yourself. Yours might conflict with theirs. My best advice is to keep your mouth shut and your ears open. When it comes to a ding dong crossing the line and saying something bad about one of your friends nothing says more than direct eye contact and a little smile.

The good thing is that this feeling is temporary, the closer we get to our 10 thousand hours, the more we get to know everyone in the biz, and the more folks get to know us the mud clears up and it’s easier to tell what you can and can’t say.

Gillian MullerComment