The Defiant Ones

How Watching HBO’s “The Defiant Ones” Can Help Your Career

Did you all see the HBO 4-part series The Defiant Ones? It’s the inspirational story of two music titans, Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, and the evolution of their extraordinary careers. Not only do you get the compelling history of Interscope Records, Beats by Dr. Dre, the ongoing saga of free speech, plus a glimpse at revolutionary artistry in the making, but also lessons in loving what you do, loyalty, and leverage!

I felt like I was in the series because my soul is completely aligned with the love that these two men have for what they do. You see, I help 20-somethings get hired in Hollywood and absolutely LOVE doing so!

I wanted to share a particular detail from The Defiant Ones, one that should matter greatly to those of you looking to work in Hollywood …

Did you guys know that Eminem was discovered by one of Jimmy Iovine’s interns? He heard Eminem live and gave Jimmy a cassette to listen to. As Jimmy says, “A great idea can come from anywhere.” Subsequently, Eminem got signed, worked with Dre, and now their collaboration is the stuff of legends!

See that, MyGrads? That’s the power that can be wielded when you’re an intern or an assistant to a person in power; you may not have actual power, but you have access to it. When you do all the tasks that you don’t consider important—like answering phones, setting meetings, and running errands—you’ll be noticed and trust will start to form. (Incidentally, one of Jimmy’s current assistants, Kyle, is a MyGrad and was featured on the GOT LIST a couple of months ago.)

KP & Snoop

KP & Snoop, Vibe Awards 2003 (yes, I’m wearing a fur and fake diamond)

To be honest, I’m not sure I understood the kind of power I had when I was at WME; I got to work with Snoop, and I gotta admit I had a hard time stepping into my own power. I thought nobody would remember me because I was so young and didn’t have real power or a client list. I’d introduce myself over and over to people I’d already met. In fact, I’ll never forget going to a listening party in the Hollywood Hills for Snoop: it was a small group and everyone from Justin Timberlake to Leonardo DiCaprio was there. I said, “Hi Snoop,” extended my hand and proceeded to go into my normal introduction. Snoop abruptly cut me off and said, “Krista Parkinson from William Morris. I know. Quit introducing yourself. I know who you are,” before pulling me in for a big hug!

From time to time, I still have to remember to own my own power. We may be interns at Ellen (to date, 15 MyGrads have had internships there), a writer’s PA on Narcos (yes, I’m talking to you, MyGrad Max!), or an office PA on Fresh off the Boat  (we’re all excited for you, MyGrad Avery), but we must know that each position, no matter how insignificant it may appear in the Hollywood jungle, can wield its own unique power.

Be sure to see the opportunities around you (the big picture) while focusing on the tasks you were hired to do (the small picture). Do them with the precision of a surgeon and people will notice you and opportunities will flow.

So, MyGrads, be sure to let me know what you are up to and if I can help you start owning your own power 😉

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