Automatic Stop

Yes, I’ve had a few drinks. And yes, I got my karaoke on. “Jessie’s Girl,” if you must know. Why?

I was promoted. To Executive Producer. Sweet, right?

I don’t mean to gloat, I’m just excited. It’s rare one get’s an email written about them and sent around the company. I’ve said it for years: my boss is a fine advocate and mentor. I’m lucky. And I’ve said it more than once tonight, “Stick around long enough here and they gotta’ find something new to call you.”

Truth is, I’m stoked.

I was offered a job at the MTV when I was 25-years-old. I was kinda of on the fence as to whether I should take it. I was afraid it would corrupt me, change me inextricably. I was worried it would be like high school, all cool kids and scenesters. So I went camping 13,000 feet in the San Juans to think it over. Seriously. I fasted, drank tea made from twigs, and wrote in my notebook. The last night, I had a dream where Allison Stewart said, “Is this what you want?” All true, I swear.

See, though it’s true that I watched MTV every day after schools, and though it’s true that I grew up reading Kurt Loder, I’m a little bit more of a PBS mind in an MTV world. I’ve never really liked what’s popular; I’ve always liked what’s good, what resonates, what feels good. And MTV is all about The New, and all about The Rating. It is a business after all.

Fortunately, it’s a creative place. For a massive global entertainment corporation, we’re still able to take quite a few risks. We’re encouraged to throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks. We talk about the audience, and the music, every day. In the end, I’m serving myself. That is, myself as a fourteen-year-old, there on the ratty couch in the tv room watching Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, JJ Jackson (God rest his soul), Alan Hunter
and Martha Quinn.

But little did I know I’d be here nearly a decade later.

I had a few beers to celebrate the achievement. Ok, and one shot of tequila (thanks to Rahman and Sha). And I rocked the karaoke. I was surrounded by my colleagues. Hipsters and scenesters? Not really. Just a diverse, hard-working and hard-partying bunch. Good people, all.

At the end of the night, though, it was me and an H & H Bagel. A guy needs some carbs, after all. Or at least something other than booze in his stomach. Friday morning I fly to Ft. Myers for some QT in with my fam in Naples. Am I stoked? You bet. My plan? Sitting there in the sand and doing absolutely, positively nothing.


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