Sometimes my world just seems to stop when I interview someone. What they're saying seems to "speak" to something that I've been scratching around in my mind like a mosquito bite that just won't go away.
That happened to me recently, and relates to my new short film, THE BEAUTY OF DISASTER, a romantic dramedy with a twist of magic.
At the time, I was chatting with Don Benson, who is president and CEO of a radio station group called Lincoln Financial Media. Don is someone who always seems to wake up on the sunny side of life, a "man of sartorial splendor" who doesn't mind if a dog rushes up and jumps on his impeccable suit. That's how Lincoln's SVP and CFO, Laura James, described him to me.
The significance of Don's optimism really struck me when I asked him about the important lessons he's learned over his career. “I try to spend more time capitalizing on the strengths of our people – maximizing what they’re great at, rather than over-focusing on their shortcomings,” he said.
“It’s really interesting to me that the people who are the most challenging to manage are often our best performers," he added.
Don's philosophy reached me at a time when I had a problem I just couldn't solve. About six months ago, I'd gone into production on BEAUTY, which features some gifted performers, including two pictured above: Katherine Henly (left) and Amelia Mathews.
BEAUTY is about two sisters whose love for each other is tested by a psychic swindle and a detective who threatens them with a nice long stay in a prison hell hole.
I had a lot of fun researching the film on the streets of New York, visiting fortuneteller joints and talking with police detectives about their occasional scams. And the film shoot went exceptionally well. I was blessed with an extremely talented director, Nicole Gomez Fisher, who's won some best director awards for her first feature, SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES.
The entire BEAUTY OF DISASTER cast and crew are not only highly talented, but they also really enjoyed each other. There was a lot of laughter on the set, despite long work days and minimal sleep.
I was on an amazing high after the shoot ended. But I crashed to earth when I had a blowup with a friend. This festered in my mind for months, until the interview with Don.