At a recent party I ran into a Show Runner of a Network TV Series I’ve known for a while. And he looked like Shit.
No surprise. I’ve known him for two decades and during that time he always looked like shit. He’s been the Executive Producer on three TV series — one show running for three years; the other two for five years.
His physical health was no different than almost all the TV show runners I’ve known over the years — most look like shit as well.
Being Creative and working that creativity for a multi-million-dollar entertainment franchise takes its toll, whether you're a show runner on a TV series...
Or being the main brain behind a brilliant Video game franchise, like one of my favorites, “BioShock.”
Recently, the Franchise Game’s Designer, Ken Levine, closed down the company that had been producing the game. He told the people who had been financing the successful game franchise that he had enough, and was going to start working on “smaller, more entrepreneur driven games.”
Because the process of working on every new incarnation of the Video game had taken its toll.
“I saw a picture of me when we first announced it (the development of the latest BioShock video game). That was 2010. And then I saw a picture of me after I did an interview on NPR when we shipped it… in 2013. And I look 10 years older. It changed my life in terms of what it did to my health, and what it did to my view of making games, and my relationships with people. I'm not a happy person. I have crushing anxiety all the time. Which is crazy, because I wake up and I look at my beautiful wife and my beautiful dog and my beautiful home and the beautiful people I work with and these things I've created and these fans, and I say, 'How the fuck can you be unhappy?'"
In the Entertainment Business, despite what you may have heard, when the Devil wants to make a Deal, he seldom negotiates for the rights to your soul. Actually, the Prince of Darkness usually ends up focusing on the terms of the contract that bind creative people to sacrificing their good physical and mental health in exchange for career success. Satan’s lawyers refer to these sections of the agreement as Standard, Reasonable and Customary terms of any Entertainment deal.