I do not need a seminar on loneliness and loss.
I need one on Neruda’s salt-rose,
And on the photo of us among the night lights mottle-mapping our faces with all that was supposed to come:
The Thanksgiving morning in our bed, with you not knowing where the children’s warmth ended and mine began,
Among the knots of blankets and laughter and love—
And on any given night the voices rising and ebbing as if yours were the moon itself—
And the three dozen summer winds I have left dancing on your shoulders like my hands,
While you shook your head no and I used every sinew of my aching body to show you yes
Until the very end, like the moisture off your Aubergine lips evaporating to signal a sort of beginning
For those we loved to carry on, as an unkept secret, all we were.
Magdalene Anastasia Groves is a young model and actress of remarkable talent. Like others who have worked with her on the set, I have described her skills as “stratospheric,” and I have heard photographers, directors and designers say, “Magdalene nails it every time”. Yet I began to wonder what beyond her beauty and skill makes her so successful in a world where many such people fail, only to remain “Facebook famous” with no real steady income from their endeavors. After all, the aspiring entertainment and media world is littered with talented, and sometimes even very smart, hopefuls who never go anywhere. I determined that Magdalene embraces four habits that help ensure a climb upward—and they are useful for anyone working in the entertainment business:
1) Magdalene does not work for free. She values her talent and time and expects other people too. I call this “effective projection.” That is, if you expect to be valued, you must demand it. Magdalene understands the right counter-interintuitive—you don’t “pay your dues” by working for free. Everyone pays their dues by paying. She does not let flattery, friendship or a “trade out” mentality overrun her a career. Professionals are paid.
2) She builds outside expertise for advice and negotiations into her career. Magdalene does not represent herself. She has at least two fine agencies booking her print and tv commercial deals at any time. She relies on entertainment/media law advice. She reads her contracts and asks questions. She needs to know how one deal affects another so she can always keep working. Of course Magdalene has all of us competing for her all the time, but she started out with the simple notion of making every decision an informed one. Diligence is the groundwork of good decision.
3) Magdalene knows that social media is largely ineffective as a money proposition and the the improper use of it can actually hurt her career. She values her personal brand and is not interested in Facebook of Instagram wastey-pics. Yes, she is fabulous, funny, and beautiful but understands social media can work against conventional media. Ever her personal photos are managed with her career in mind. She is a professional and never gets caught up in the social media frenzy of being popular but unpaid. Her social media presence is important of course—but Magdalene’s actual presence is authentic and in demand.
4) Early on, Magdalene understood that media is a worldwide commercial challenge and that money now is better that what might be later. She does not sleep until noon waitng for what might happen. She has taken two media tours of Asia this year and made substantial compensation. While a lot of people were hanging around the Maxim Model Search website waiting for what might happen, Magdalene was getting paid and building a long-term International audience. That is a deal incentive that’s hard to match.
As a media and entertainment lawyer, talent rep, and TV Production Counsel, I have learned many interesting things but none could be better advice than the habits of Magdalene Anastasia Groves.
1. Aggregation, but component clearance applies:
c) Federal Trade Commisssion, 16 CFR Sec 255
2. Social Media may be no more Media than a beauty queen is a Queen, but:
a) Constitutes publication for all purposes
b) TOS and Legal do not always accord
c) Qualifies as advertising (FTC, RPR)
3. Employers, Insurers and the Platform:
a) Employer/Employee/Rick Sanchez
b) Media Perils Coverage questions
c) Content Ownership and Safe Harbor (DMCA)
Recent Decisions of Note:
1. Hale v. Richey (Tx. App) Facebook postings as defamation
2. Sumien v. Care Flite (Tx. App) Intrusion Upon Seclusion
3. Bland v. Roberts (E.D. Va) Facebook and wrongful termination
4. Conoco v. Gonzalez (N.D. Cal) TM Infringement by Social Media posts
5. Davis v. Tampa Bay Arena (M.D. Fla) Copyright Infringement by Social Media
FTC Considerations, 15 USC 45:
1. Endorsement is “any advertising message.” Blogs, FB, twitter. You Tube…
2. Endorsement and Testimonials treated the same
3. “Product” means “any products, company, service or industry”
4. CFR Sec 255.5 Disclosure of Material Connections
e.g. DTPA Analysis
"Any false or deceptive act" (Tex. Bus. and Com. Code Sec 1741 et. seq.)
Many Facebook pages, twitter feeds and even old school print ads advertise model, spokesperson and talent searches. Sometimes these are framed as contests like on the talent TV shows. Sometimes they are glorified bikini contests. Sometimes we’re just not quite sure what they are. Some are good.
Yet some are not. Like all advertising, talent searches and contests should have rules and you should know what they are. Now if you just want to go to have a good time, great. But if you are developing a career (whether talent or production) as a step to regular work in California or New York or Milan, the whys and the wherefores are important. Wouldn’t you like to know what conditions might be imposed on you if you win? And who stands to make money off of you and why? ANd whether they are following good industry practices? These things are a reflection of you and the seriousness of your talent. Especially if you are a producer or talent developer.
Some states have Talent Agency and “Talent Search” legislation that encourages good behavior. Some do not. Regardless, there are plenty of other state and Federal Trade and Advertising rules that compel those of us who exploit talent to do so fairly.
And the longer I am in the business—either at the production or talent end—the more I see fairness related to money all the way around.
I am often asked whether I think our appetite for what is known as “reality tv” has been sated. My answer is no. But first let me say that there is no such thing as “reality tv.” All television is fantasy and that is why it captivates us and has become the dominant force in our amuse-ourselves-to-death culture. Walmart shopping is reality. A late fee on your mortgage payment is reality. Yet television is a gloryhole. Who is on the other side of that screen is not always so important as the fact that that whoever is there seems there for us. Also, while much of reality tv is deemed “unscripted,” it is certainly not “undirected.” If we could direct lives in the same manner I’ve witnessed in reality tv, everthing would be entertaining. Of course then we wouldn’t need tv.
And there is perhaps a much more osmotic factor involved: social media. twitter and Facebook posts seem real—but they are scripted often. And…have you seen how much of local tv news reporting time is devoted to recounting viewer’s social media posts? Amazing. Why have reporters anymore? That last question is a joke—I hope most of you know why.
My point is that Facebook does not have to be tv if tv relies on Facebook so much. Social media helps increase the demand for reality tv because it reinforces use of our leisure (or work time, if you’re reading this now) as reality-devoted.
I actually like it. Television was probably the first place besides politics where mania dominated thoughtfulness and—since the medium has dominated pop culture for half a century— there is comfort in Dad’s maxim that everything old is new again. I imagine it’s true because everything new is old too. Fifty years ago, competition and talent shows dominated tv. Sound familiar?
Deeks, Facie, Mr. Beauty
What’s the deal with the media doom—I mean why is entertainment always characterized as deleterious? Facebook is just the latest thing that is supposed to strip us of our humanity. Before that, radio was supposed to ruin us. Then it was TV. Next, video games. Get it? It has always been thus. Ever since Gutenberg used print to displace voice, some kind of new media always holds intellectual or emotional Armageddon either in its content or delivery. Yet somehow we are still here. We still fall in love. We still seek to learn. And we can still have our feelings hurt by mean tweets.
The present generation is not any worse off than the previous—let’s stop the recurrence of “when I was your age I walked five miles to school with a dagger in my head” right now. Each is different. Each has is own challenges. Each witnesses the invention and power of its own media. I am encouraged that we are in a process, not a resting place. Apple’s iTV will be out soon I am sure. iTunes and Facebook will be TV (and each other) so relax and be amazed.
Did you know Opera was the first multimedia experience? The plural of “Opus,” Opera means “works” and united a contemporanaeity of song, libretto, script, cosume, musical composition and community.
It must have been very distracting and have taken away from a lot more important things.
But we made it through.
Where do social media and Federal Trade Commission rules concerning endorsements connect? Let me say at the outset this is not a post about the old news of FTC blogger fines. What I am evaluating is whether a person at some point in the Facebook Fame or tweetceleb curve has a consumer protection obligation.
If you have 5000 friends or followers, I am pretty sure you do not know each of them personally. Yet what if you “push,” however indirectly, your multilevel marketing vitamin pills to them? How about a clothing line? How about re-posts for a friend’s band performance? What if you get free tickets?
I know what you’re thinking: “Thats all we need—more regulation.” And though I tend to agree with you that we need less in quantity, in many areas we may need more in quality.
Do you ever see a time when this would be one of them? I am interested in your opinion for an article I am writing. Please let me know.
I got free samples of nothing for posting this.