33 – Quit a TV Show

I’m now working on the TV show “Let’s Make A Deal.” Three weeks ago I was working on a different show.

I thought that other show was going to be the perfect 4-month gig. It is hosted by one of the nicest comedians I know, on a major studio lot, for a three-letter network.

One month into the gig I quit because…

The following blog has been interrupted by Joshua’s common sense. He signed a non-disclosure agreement prior to working on said show and under no circumstances does he want his bank account negatively affected with the threat of a lawsuit by said company.

Prior to this, I only quit one gig in my career, and that was after 13 months at the Los Angeles Times. When I quit that place I knew I no longer wanted to be a full-time journalist. Back then I didn’t have another gig to move on to. I just knew I couldn’t waste any more time there, so I left. And I left in a boisterous fashion, with an e-mail to the entire Tribune company where I admonished the assholes and celebrated the scholars.

I don’t think I can get in trouble by simply talking about me, so here goes…

I didn’t want to quit. I loved the people I worked with. That happens when you spend an abhorrent number of hours a week with the same people. (I’d tell you the actual number of hours, but I’m sure that would get me in trouble.) From the host to the production assistants, they are some of the most genuine people I’ve worked with in TV. The only people I didn’t enjoy working with were…

Once again, the following blog has been interrupted by the lawyers inside Josh’s head. We are simply trying to keep him out of trouble. We apologize for the lack of typically fascinating content in this blog. We promise it won’t happen again, unless of course Josh makes another bad career decision.

For years, colleagues told me that talk shows are the most difficult TV shows to produce. I always thought they were bull-shitting me. They weren’t. I’ve done comedies, animation, game shows, talking head shows, competition shows, and many others. Combined, they don’t compare in terms of difficulty and stress.

I was good at the job. But I wasn’t happy. I was falling asleep on my car drive to work. When I got out of work at 1am I’d pound five beers before the bars would close. I was stress-eating and gained at least five pounds. It was the first time working in entertainment that I wasn’t happy. I chose this business for a reason; I didn’t want to be miserable if I was going to put long hours into a job like I’ve seen so many people do.

Working hard or hardly working? Clearly working hard.

Working hard or hardly working? Clearly working hard.

I really didn’t know how to quit. I didn’t want to leave my co-workers in a bind, because I genuinely liked them and went to battle with them. I gave some of them warning before I made my final decision, and they all told me that if I had something else to move on to then I deserved to make the move. That’s all I needed to hear. I rarely care what others think of me (see my full disclosure in past entries of this blog), but I did care what this batch of co-workers thought of me. Since leaving, my mind has been put at ease. I still talk to most of them and they treat me like I never left.

In the past, I’ve given up important things for my career, like relationships, friendships, and sanity, but this was the first time it didn’t feel worth it, because I was unhappy. I think people tend to forget that they are in control of their own happiness. Yes, others can have a huge impact on your emotions, but ultimately you are in control of whom you choose to be around. I didn’t want to be unhappy anymore, so I did something about it.

This is what my breaking point looks like.

This is what my breaking point looks like.

Besides growing up in the entertainment world, I’ve been doing this “writing” thing for nine years, and working in TV for six years. If this was three years ago, there is no way in “heaven” I would’ve quit a television job. Back then I didn’t know where the next gig was going to come from and how long it would take to find it. To a certain extent, I still don’t know where the next gig is coming from, but I’m now secure with where I am in my career. I am a machine. I can handle anything. I could have handled this for another three months, but I didn’t need to, which is a nice place to be.

The most positive thing to surface from quitting is that I now realize my self-worth, and that is a dangerous thing for those who want to compete with me.

*Side Note: The only other time I was forced to sign a non-disclosure agreement was when Girls Gone Wild was going to hire me to be a Casting Director. That story, ladies and gentlemen, is a tale for another day.

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2 thoughts on “33 – Quit a TV Show

  1. TONY says:

    Working overtime really tests your limits and eventually wears the crap out of you man. I worked 15 hour shifts 7 days a week for a month for one game release. The hate generated in that building at that time must still be fueling some war elsewhere.

    • theouc says:

      Ya man, people think just because we were doing something cool like working in TV in my case and working in games in your case that it would be easy to put in those # of hours. Totally not the case.

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