During last week’s livestream on the joy of fitting out, I was asked about “the end of the co-star level role” in light of new health and safety requirements on set, as production (and everything) comes back in a post-pandemic (or in a “managed pandemic”) world.

(Here’s the exact starting point of that conversation.)

When people speak in broad absolutes, sweeping generalizations, and especially ones that trend toward the less-empowered option, the scarcity-mindset setpoint, the lack-based mentality… I offer this: ALWAYS BANK ON THE MORE CREATIVE CHOICE.

See, storytelling has been going on since the beginning of time. There are elements of the hero’s journey that will always factor into how good stories are told. There’s not going to be some virus or the health policies that follow that will WIPE OUT the core ingredients to storytelling.

Of course, I’m biased because I work in casting on the show that won the 2019 Emmy Award for its innovation (more on that here), so being innovative about how we WILL get things done is a part of how I do business.

But that’s true of all successful creatives. WE GET CREATIVE.

We’re no strangers to losing a location and having to find another one, stat. We’ve all worked on projects where money fell out and we had to make things work on a tighter budget. We lose an actor due to a scheduling conflict. We can’t get the rights to the music we thought we were going to be able to use. You name it, we’ve dealt with it, and WE WILL ALWAYS MAKE IT WORK.

Because the show must go on.


Yes, there will be changes to the HOW of it all, but you can bank on the fact that the WHAT of it (the core of storytelling, the act of putting entertainment out into the world) won’t go away.

Just like in 2001, 9-11 changed HOW we travel and in the late ’80s, AIDS changed HOW we have sex, in 2020, COVID-19 will change HOW we gather as groups and the hygiene level of everyone’s collective experiences.

Remember, there used to be a time when doctors delivered the news that you have cancer while they smoked a cigarette right there in the examination room. They smacked a newborn baby on the butt and then lit a cigar with the dad who was exiled to the waiting room.

Today, of course, babies continue to be born… just not into the same environment as in the 1950s.

Change is a part of life, but when people are fatalistic (like in the case of “the end of the co-star” example in last week’s livestream), consider the STOPPER they’re providing (and why).

Tyler Perry is gearing up to shoot complete seasons of two of his series in a month each, starting July 8th. He’ll have everyone — cast, crew, support personnel — on location at his studio in Georgia FOR A MONTH per series. Each season’s shoot itself takes two and a half weeks. Boom. There’s your living, breathing, shift in a business model, right before your eyes. (Details.)

Always bank on the more creative choice.

And when you’re feeling STUCK, ask *yourself* what’s the more creative choice that YOU could make.

I’d love for you to share your thoughts with me below. Got an example of how the more creative choice will always find a way? Let’s jam about this!

Oh, and speaking of jamming: The first-ever SMFA Summit goes live on Friday at 10am PDT and you can learn all about it, meet my very favorite people who are guests in this inspiring offering, and sign up to join us FREE at SMFAsummit.com! Be sure to share this with your friends! It’s gonna be AMAZING! You won’t want to miss a minute of this guide to making it in showbiz!

All my ninja love,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.

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  1. Kellye Rowland May 18, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    This email I just got put the biggest smile on my face that its seen in a little while tbh. I have also been reading a lot of articles about the demise of the “entry-level” roles for actors without a lot of tv credits, and really feeling the wind taken out of my sails. Until I read your email. And remembered that not all of us are gonna take the previously scaffolded tier route anyway. I’m gonna ‘buck up lil camper’ and start thinking of how many ways I can continue to get to YES and not focus on the perceived “no”s that might not even be real. Thanks for the boost. 🙂

    1. Ninja Erin May 19, 2020 at 11:09 am

      Love this, Kellye!! ❤

  2. Jessica Dardarian June 1, 2020 at 7:24 pm

    This is so true in our world today! With the Covid-19 pandemic that feels like it’s neverending, we need to find ways to stay creative, during these tough times.


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