The Nomadic Executive with Omar Mo - 
TNE046
Hosted by Omar Mo

You’re One DM Away From Changing Your Life - With Entrepreneur, Author, and Hollywood Director Deborah Hutchison

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On today’s episode of The Nomadic Executive, we have American entrepreneur, author, filmmaker, Hollywood director, and public speaker Deborah Hutchison. I had the pleasure to meet Deborah in person and really think you’ll enjoy her company as much as I did.

She’s worked as a casting director and or assistant director with numerous film studios including Columbia pictures, Warner brothers, and paramount pictures. Starting off as an extra in the blue brothers film back in 1979, she woke up one day with a mission. After one fated call with someone she calls her angel, she went on to cast for some of the biggest films in Hollywood in the 1980s, including, yes, weird science.

These days she spends her time working on Gutsy Gals, a venture that seeks to empower girls and women to be gutsy by using positive female role models as examples. She’s even given out Gutsy gal awards to leading individuals such as former supermodel Kathy Ireland.

Today's Guest

Deborah Hutchison

Deborah Hutchison is an American entrepreneur, author, filmmaker, and public speaker. Hutchison has co-founded several companies and worked with a number of film studios including Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, and Paramount Pictures on one or more of their films.

Hutchison has been involved with a number of movies (whether as a casting director, production assistant, or another role) in the 80s including Streets of Fire, Class, Doctor Detroit, Lucas (film), Grandview, USA and Code of Silence. In 1985, she worked as 2nd assistant director on Weird Science and the TV pilot of Lady Blue. Out of all the films she's worked on, she considers Weird Science to be her favorite.

In 2008, Hutchison began work on the animated short film The Improbable Journey of Berta Benz which was released in 2012 and won many awards. The Berta Benz project led Hutchison to her next venture, Gutsy Gals, an entertainment company that encourages women to live with clarity and courage by pursuing their dreams.

Transcript

You're One DM Away From Changing Your Life With Entrepreneur, Author, and Hollywood Director Deborah Hutchison | TNE046 TRANSCRIPT

Host: Omar Mo

Guest: Deborah Hutchison

Intro-

Have you ever heard of the movie Weird Science? For those who haven't, it was a teen science fiction comedy made back in 1985. It went on to have a television series created, based on the film that ran for 88 episodes. And there's even been talks of a sequel being made someday, starring Channing Tatum. Now you're sitting there thinking, why am I telling you all this? Well, let me tell you. 

What's up, Nomad fam? On today's episode, we have an American entrepreneur, author, filmmaker, Hollywood director and public speaker, Deborah Hutchison. I had the pleasure to meet Deborah in person and really think you'll enjoy her company as much as I did. 

She's worked as a casting director and/or assistant director with numerous film studios in the past, including Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers and Paramount Pictures. Starting off as an extra in the Blues Brothers film back in 1979- yes, that Blues Brothers- she woke up one day with a mission. After one fated call with someone, she calls her Angel, she went on to cast for some of the biggest films in Hollywood in the 1980s including, yes, Weird Science. 

These days, she spends her time working on Gutsy Gals, a venture that seeks to empower girls and women to be gutsy by using positive female role models as examples. She's even given out Gutsy Gal awards to leading individuals such as former supermodel Kathy Ireland. 

Now before we get started with the interview, I've got a review to shout out here. Trevor says, “Whether you've started your business or are thinking about growing your business, you must listen to what Omar and his guests have to say.” I appreciate the kind words, Trevor. 

And to you, my Nomad fam, I'd like to remind you to please leave a rating or a review. Every review helps this podcast become more visible to people who just may need that spark of inspiration to take the first leap. And, of course, I'll be sure to give you a shout out on a future episode. Now without further ado, here we go.

You're listening to The Nomadic Executive hosted by Omar from nomadables.com. Join Omar as he sits down and speaks with leading online entrepreneurs, remote workers and digital nomads about everything from business strategy to travel and lifestyle design. Together, we're here to help you achieve a life of happiness, health and freedom. And now here's your host, Omar Mo.

Omar:

So why don't we start with a little intro about yourself.

Deborah:

I am your, I'm a 68-year-old woman, who is still in the mind teenager life. Well, no, I would say, probably I feel like I'm always in my 20s. I'm a curious person. I'm a go getter person. I even have a company that I— Well, it's kind of a love, it's almost like a charity, called Gutsy Gals Inspire Me, because I always want to promote women and their courage and I want to applaud it. 

So, who am I? I'm an author, I'm a published author, and I am a filmmaker. I am a member of the Directors Guild of America, a woman, since 1984 when I didn't know that women didn't get in. So, I have a, I'm an entrepreneur, I would say probably, I’m like very many other women. We are problem solvers. I'm a problem solver and therefore, I think of things and then I do them. Sometimes it's too early and sometimes it's too late.

Omar:

And sometimes it's right on time.

Deborah:

And sometimes right on time and that's always a magical time.

Omar:

One of the first, like the first story that you told me about yourself when I met you in person, about the time that you had the balls to make these calls about getting in and becoming a casting director and doing what you did. That really impressed me because you're doing it in a time where not a lot of women were doing what you were doing. And not only that, not a lot of men were doing what you were doing. And you came in, played the part well, and managed to become a true real actual casting director. So, and I've heard this story as well and probably, if my audience is listening to this point, they probably have no idea what I'm talking about. So, why don't you tell my audience here a little bit of that story.

Deborah:

Okay. So, who is your audience, typically?

Omar:

So, my audience, typically, is entrepreneurs but young entrepreneurs. I think what differentiates you so much is that I've had podcast guests that are like in the middle of it, you know, in the beginning. They haven't made it yet. They're really trying to make it. Very rarely do I have established entrepreneurs. So, most of my audience tends to be very typically entrepreneurs that in the midst of it, and also nomads that love to travel, digital nomads that love to combine both entrepreneurship and travel. So, it's a healthy mix of all three.

Deborah:

Okay. So I know exactly who I'm talking to, because I was you and your entire audience back when I believed, and I still do, you can be anything, you can do anything, simply because I didn't know I couldn't. So, when you get yourselves in situations, you either, entrepreneurs, problem-solve what they need to do to take care of it. So, they invent something or they think of somehow how they can help society, or get a job, or do whatever. 

And so, I'm going to take myself back into my 20s, when I had married right out of college, that's what you did. I had a teaching degree, that's what you got. Well, no one wanted teachers. There were too many of them so you had to find another job. I happen to have fallen in love with a man who was going to medical school. So as his wife, I had to provide for all of the, for our home, and groceries and life. We did get help from his parents and I helped him going to medical school. But I had to take any job and every job, and the job that I wanted and that I was most qualified for was a teaching job. So--

Omar:

So, you as a teacher were putting a guy who was going to medical school through medical school.

Deborah:

With the help of his family. His family was helping but I did with, you know, our rent and our food. Yes. And there were no teaching jobs. So, imagine you all that came out with the MBAs and there were no jobs because you had saturated, your group had saturated the market. Same thing with teachers.

Omar:

Just so I have like a perspective of what's going on exactly, what time period was this around?

Deborah:

1974. I graduated from college, I married my husband, and by 19-- and I did every job that I could possibly do from working in a department store, to substitute teaching, to any job that I could take to bring in a little bit of money. And one, and so an entrepreneur or somebody who needs to make money, you'll do anything. You'll always have your eye out for what you could be doing or what could-- 

and I read in the newspaper in about, I think it was like in 1978, I read that a movie was coming to Chicago. Now, I lived in Chicago, right in the city. A movie was coming to Chicago and it was a movie called Thief and it was starring, probably your age doesn't know who he is, an actor by the name of James Caan and it was a United Artists movie. And they wanted, they needed extras to be in the movie. Now, what's an extra? An extra is that person who no movie can be without. It's the background people that are walking back and forth, sitting in the seats in the restaurant. And so, it was paying, I don't know, $35 a night but didn't matter. It was extra pocket money. It was three or four-- I'm sorry. It was, I didn't know what they were paying. 

It was an open casting call at a hotel in Chicago and they said, if you want to be in this movie, you want to get paid, come take, get your picture taken, sign up for it and we'll see if we need you. So, I went down to that casting call and there were 500 people in line and being processed with their pictures and their information. Well, I felt that I probably would be picked. Why not? I mean, they should pick me. And I went home and nobody called me for a week or two. But on the third week, I got a call and it was from a casting director who was from Los Angeles, who was one of the two casting directors that sat at a table in the hotel with a Polaroid camera. Now I don't even know if you guys know a Polaroid camera--

Omar:

Polaroid. They’re retro now, you know. They're one of those things where you kind of look back and you use it for fun. 

Deborah:

Okay. Well, a Polaroid camera and an index card, which just wanted to know my name, my phone number, how tall I was, and if I was available during whatever times. So, I signed up, I did it. No calls for the first couple of weeks. Third week, I get a call and they say, Hey, we need you and we need you to report to, and they gave me the address, and we want you to wear, and they told me what to dress in, and we'll see you. That was it. So, I knew I was going to be a star. I mean, why not? You’re just hoping, right? So, I got my clothes on, I drove to the location, and it was a big, gosh, it's where you would hold a concert. So, an auditorium type area. And what I found out when I got there, is that I was one of the same 500 people who had waited in line to be in the crowds. So, we did four nights of--

Omar:

How did that make you feel right there? Before we continue. Like being, go having this expectation of like, oh yeah, I'm going to be a star all the way to seeing that.

Deborah:

Well, you know, you just go, Oh wow. Okay. All right. It might not be so easy but I'll figure out a way. So, I did everything they told me for four days, and I'm sure if I looked really close, I wouldn't be able to find me. It didn't matter. There were so many of us. But what I did learn on this set is I sat and I was quiet. Now, I know I don't look like the quiet person. I'm not. But there are times to be quiet. And I sat and I could feel that this was a world I wanted to be part of. 

Now, I'm going to take you back to a teacher. What is a good teacher? A good teacher is a performer because that's how she keep—right? So, I was feeling, wow, this feels good here. Even though I was one of 500 people, and it just, I felt like I was home. So, I thought, hmm, after three or four days, it was boring work but I was fascinated the entire time watching the actors, and the director, and every-- And I thought about it by the fourth day. I thought, wow, I went to a casting call in a hotel and had my photo taken, and then I had to write my name on a card with my telephone number. And these casting directors that sat and decided to pick me to be in this crowd scene, one was from LA and one was from New York. And I thought, there's nobody that's doing it here from Chicago. So, why don't I just do it? Bingo. Solve the problem, right? Why don't I just do it?

Omar:

Before you continue here, like what like interests me on what you just said there, was that whenever you were actually, as an extra, you felt this draw to what you were doing, almost. Like you felt like you belong there, like you were home. So, where did you make the connection of going from that feeling? Because most people would think, if they're listening to your story up to that point, they would think, oh she wants to become an actor or she wants to, you know, be a star in a movie. But instead, your mind went to entrepreneur, like straight solving a problem, trying to get into the industry but in a way that people normally don't. What made that-- ?

Deborah:

Very easy. They didn't pick me to be and give me a, you know, You, Deborah, would you mind walking in front of the camera? No, they never said that. Or, You, Deborah, come on over here. Could you just say this line to the star? This is insane. And I just went, wow, you know, I think this really, I'm not an actor or an actress. But I can be part of this and this world is fascinating to me. And I don't know. Why not? 

So, the why nots became now what? Got to figure out what. So, I would watch the newspaper, which, again, made another announcement, and the announcement was that another company was coming into town. Oh, I'm sorry you guys, I'm sorry, I was in the Blues Brothers, that you all probably knew. That was the movie, it was the Blues Brothers. It was Thief that I read was the next movie. 

Omar:

Oh, so The Blues Brothers was the first-- ?

Deborah:

Yes, I was in The Blues Brothers film. That's why, you know, I told the story. I was in the Blues Brothers film, that's where you all know that there was a big concert scene where everybody that's seen The Blues Brothers. Well, as an extra, we spent four days walking into the concert. The concert itself is filmed in another place, so I didn't even get to see the concert. I just had to walk in that walk. But then, I read, about three weeks later, I read in the newspaper that James Caan was coming to film Thief in Chicago. And I said, okay, well, this is probably, since I said I was, to myself, I'm going to be a casting director, this is probably where I should start.

So, from the newspaper, I picked up the telephone and I called Hollywood. I called a studio or just any studio. I just picked it. I don't know. I thought it was all the same. So, I called a studio and I said, I'd like to speak to the star James Caan. I'm a casting director from Chicago. And this lady said to me—and I’m going to set that stage for you because there were people, there were women that did nothing but answer calls and direct you to the different movies that were being done, or the studio executives, or whatever. But the set—there were receptionists, there were a number of them. And this woman picked me up, or picked up the phone and said, May I help you? And I said, Yes, this is what I'd like to do. And she said, My dear, you're calling the wrong studio.

Well, Omar, nothing like being caught, right? I'm calling the wrong studio. Okay. So I say, Okay, thank you very much. I'm so sorry. Blah blah blah. She said, No. Here's what-- you do not want to speak to the star. You do not want to speak to James Caan. You need to speak to someone in the production company. I said, Okay. Thank you very, very much. She said, No, it's United Artists is the studio and you want to speak to the production manager. I said, Oh, fine. Thank you. Now I know she knew I knew nothing, right? Because I'm just, wow.

Omar:

What an awesome lady. 

Deborah:

Okay. And she says to me, And here's the telephone number, and here's the man's name. When somebody does that to you, and this is another thing for entrepreneurs, there are hidden angels and they drop down all the time. This lady, if I could thank her, I would love to. I'll never know who she is. She just did me a good one. She just did it and--

Omar:

[Inaudible 18:19] move.

Deborah:

Yep. And she gave me that moment to pick up the phone, I didn't want to disappoint her. So, I picked up the phone and I called United Artists and I asked to speak to the production company, and I asked to speak to the production manager, Jean Levy. And he got on the phone with me and I said, I am a casting director from Chicago. I can do all of your extras. And the first thing he said is, No, you're not. Busted again. Oh well. Okay. But I could be, but I could be. And he said, I know you're not a casting director because we deal with the city, we deal with the film commission, we deal with-- you're not there. I know you’re not there. So, he said, but we're coming to Chicago, and we do, say, please come by the office, I'd love to meet you, you're kind of intriguing that you called up. And I said, Okay.

They came to Chicago, and they filmed. And I went over to meet them and we kind of became friends. And I was able to help them out just with a couple of things in the city just because that was my home. And the film ended and they went back to LA. And a week later, I get a call from this same man, Jean Levy, and he says, So kid-- I was that young-- so kid, you want to be a casting director? I said, Well, yeah. He said, Great. I need to come back in, I need to shoot a week's worth of film. I need sleazy lawyers and you can cast it, but I'm going to send in somebody to help you. And he did. And from there, I did Doctor Detroit with Danny Aykroyd, I did Hills, I did the sometimes the Hill Street Blues on one side or the other of the opening and closings, I did Grandview U.S.A. with Patrick Swayze. You know, I did over 35 films, and I did bits and pieces as they came into Chicago. And that's how it was, it was--

Omar:

You work with the same director the entire time?

Deborah:

No. You work with different directors, but you do-- I worked with Walter Hill, he did Streets of Fire in Chicago. I worked with Joel Silver, Joel Silver's a very famous producer who is a character. I did two things with him. I did Streets of Fire and then I went on to do Weird Science. So, all of you that remember Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science, I did that with her and that's where was one of the first times that I became an assistant director on the movie because I got into the directors.

Omar:

How'd you progress from that initial Jean Levy, right? That's his name? 

Deborah:

Jean Levy.

Omar:

Jean Levy. How’d you progress from working with him on a one-week Chicago stint all the way to working with so many different people on so many different film sets? Like, did he refer you to somebody else?

Deborah:

Yes. Yes. The first thing was, because there are so many things about the film business and they do like, they tend to find people they want to work with. And they'll be very faithful to you if you are good with them. And I found that by being honest, and by being fair and making sure that my people that I cast were always there, they were dressed, they knew why they should be there. I did a lot of things in Chicago at a time when movies were just coming in and they were doing large, you know, large crowd scenes. I mean, I did a movie called Lucas, with the two Coreys, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, and that was shot in a high school so I had to fill the stands. 

So, there's a lot of coordination that you had to do. And I think that I was always, I was always right there and I was very honest. In fact, there was a moment on Streets of Fire with Walter Hill as the director and Joel Silver, when we were doing a scene and I was supposed to have fire engines or something and I made-- I didn't make the mistake. My office made the mistake but my office never makes the mistake, I always make the mistake because we're all human. And I'm not going to let anybody who works hard--

Omar:

That’s true leadership from an entrepreneur--

Deborah:

 Right. So, I knew that I was in trouble because when you film, when you're doing a feature film or even a movie of the week, or a series, I guess, when you're on location, you have a certain schedule that you need to kind of keep and so that everybody falls in line. The actors are in on one day, in this particular case, the fire trucks were supposed to be there, and the police were supposed to be there. And that's me. All the background. The fire truck and whatever. And I knew it wasn't going to happen. 

And so, I walked into the hotel and into the office after making a-- I called up and wanted to speak to Walter Hill, the director, and I walked in the office, and I was shaking. I knew I was going to lose the job. At the point was, it wasn’t going to happen. Those trucks were not going to be there, those—So, I walked into the office and I sat down and Walter, big guy, and he says, Well, you know, what can I do for you? And Joel is over standing behind. And I said, I’m supposed to have fire trucks for you tomorrow and you can fire me. You can fire me but I just need you to know now that that's not going to happen, because I didn't get--

Omar:

That’s responsible of you instead of waiting to like the last second, right.

Deborah:

And that's exactly what he said. He said, you know what, I'm glad you came. And then he called his assistant director, which was sitting on his right hand and he said, bring me the production board. I've never seen a production board before. And the production board has strips and each day, it represents a strip, and on that strip are all the things that are needed per day. So, he said, Okay. Take the fire trucks out. Let's move that strip over here. And then he turned to his assistant director and said, what can we put in place of that? Because we do, they do a lot of things called cover shots so they have covers for things like that happening. What can we do tomorrow, that can be-- he goes, Deborah, thank you very much. I appreciate you coming in. And that was it. I didn't lose my job. I got-- yeah.

Omar:

It seems like it was way overblown in your head too when it came down to it because all they did was just switch it, huh, at the end of the day.

Deborah:

Yes. It was my lack of knowledge. I mean, I had no idea. And the only thing I could do was to be honest. I also had no problems in the film industry, as far as a woman. It was a business--

Omar:

It’s surprising to me especially--

Deborah:

Well, because it was a business. I walked in, it was a business, and I walked out, it was a business. It never was anything except a business. And there were times when on some films, when a producer or a dir—nah, not really a director, a producer or some executive would come to me and say, I need you to put this girl in the movie over here in this spot, and I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't do it. Because a lot of times, they would just put the girl in and then I'll take her out in the night, or I promised her that you'd have the shot. Well, if she didn't fit, I knew that that was the problem and so I wouldn't do that, and I almost got fired at one for doing that. But then I put that in my contract, that isn't what I do, I don't-- you can't come to me and tell me. I mean, the director could come to me but you can't come to me and say you got to put her in somewhere. That's just, that isn't how it goes.

Omar:

You really defended them, in a way.

Deborah:

Always. I protected them. I protect. I'll never forget when I was, when I went to interview for Weird Science, which—not Weird Science, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which I did get. I got that movie. I just sold--

Omar:

I love that movie.

Deborah:

Well, I didn't cast it because I had just sold the business to my partner and whatever happens, we were, you know, but we did get the movie. And in the original meeting, I remember saying to Tom Jacobson and Bill Coker, you know, we don't do these like bimbos or anything like that. They just looked at me like, Oh my God. Who asked her? We don't either, you know. But yes, very protective and also very educational. Everybody on set would get a magazine that we made and it gave all the different production words, and why extras were the last to eat, or why they had to be this, or what first position meant, and a crossword puzzle to entertain them. It's boring city. But that was my first company and I sold that to my partner.

Omar:

Let me get a bit technical here for a minute, right. So, from that beginning point of where you were casting director, essentially a one-man team, where did that turn into a business? When did it actually start becoming something more than just you?

Deborah:

Well, I did have a partner. I did have a buddy I that I'd asked and she was something else that I would really recommend. She was the opposite of me. I was the front man. I was out there. I talk to the producers, the directors, I came in with the deals. She was the back end. She was the brilliant part. She did the numbers. She had the team in there after we would hire people, she'd have the in calling because we work seven days if you're doing the movie of the week, we work five or six days if you're doing a feature film. Because we always have to call everybody the day before they have to appear on set. 

So, we're working all the time and she was the best because we complemented one another. She didn't care to be out with everybody. She wanted to do the numbers and then when we did, I did a, I think like our second, after we did Thief, I want to say we did a movie with Cheech and Chong, Tommy and Cheech. And it was called Things Are Tough All Over and that was for Paramount Pictures, and there was a production auditor by the name of Michael Hill, I'll never forget him. Michael taught me how to make money in the movies. And so, that's how, I think I told you at breakfast that my father who was the vice up in the legal firm of the Illinois Central Railroad, I made more money than he did.

Omar:

I remember that. Yeah.

Deborah:

It was just-- but I learned how to do it. And I learned, and it was all fair and it was all, you know, so that's another thing. Just go to people that-- just listen to anybody that wants to mentor you. Grab them.

Omar:

See, this entire time you were telling me this story, I wanted to tie it into what people can do these days, right, which I've been seeing people do. And most people don't realize this, right, but just the way that you did, you made the phone call at the right time, you got in touch with the right person, you had that angel like told you the right information at the right time, but that would have never happened if you never made that first move. 

Now, the way the internet is structured these days with social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, you know, if someone, and this is always piece of advice that I always told to people but no one ever really follows it. But if you dm or send a message on Instagram to like 50 people that you just really look up to, that you really want to work for and you just tell him, Hey, I'll work for you for free or, Hey, this is what I can do for you, there's bound to be at least one out of 50 or 100 people that will give you a chance, you know.

And most people, not most people, but a lot of people just kind of victimize themselves and say, Oh, I'm stuck in this situation, I'm stuck in that situation. You just start dm-ing people to see who you want to work with. Like if you were in this time, and let's say you have Gutsy Gals, right, and I don't want to push my idea to start getting any ideas, that's completely up to you. But let's say like there was a girl that randomly messaged you and told you her life situation and said, I really look up to you, and there's Gutsy Gals. And she said, I really, really want to work with you. Would you at least hear her out and maybe give her an opportunity?

Deborah:

Yep. I do it all the time.

Omar:

Which is amazing, right?

Deborah:

I do it all the time. And that’s the other thing with being my age, the smartest thing that I did because, you know, for all the good stories you're going to hear, I have some tough ones too, and I struggled. But this one of the smartest things I did was last year. Last year, I started hooking up with some young women who knew how to use Instagram. So, go to Gutsy Gals on Instagram. We promote positive female role models. But they can do circles around what I would be sitting here trying to bang it. And they have a wisdom and we have a camaraderie because I respect what they know and they respect what I know. So, it's really great to work with the youth.

Omar:

That makes sense. I see. And all it really is, is taking that first initial step. And as an entrepreneur, like coming from the background that you did, you had a teaching degree, you know, and you evolved into this person, obviously not without challenge and struggle, but you still made it all the way to where you were. And when you exited that business, you made a boatload of money, right? I mean, it's not always about the money or anything but you profited off of it, you know, and you've become now who you are today because of all the experiences and everything that led you up to that point. But that would have never happened if you never made that call in the first place. 

Deborah:

I didn’t make the call. That's the hardest thing, though. The hardest thing is to make the call. And I think that sometimes desperation is a lot. I mean, I just knew that I could continue working these odd jobs or I could continue working the odd jobs and take a few, you know. I don't know. Just go into my imagination and figure out what needs to problem solve and go in there and say there is, there are no casting directors doing extra casting in Chicago right now. Hello? Give it a shot. 

There isn't anybody-- I would imagine that there were several to compete with me. Maybe I wouldn't have thought about it but there was--

Omar:

No one. You saw an opportunity at a time where--

Deborah:

And you take it. You see that opportunity and you grab for it. Yeah.

Omar:

Right. So, if you had to give someone, like maybe in your position, back when you were young in the 20s or when you were 20 in your 20s, if you had to give someone a piece of advice to kind of do their outreach in a way, or take an opportunity, or even see an opportunity the way that you did, what piece of advice would you give somebody like that? Someone who’s hungry. 

Deborah:

Well, I just say that in your youth, we really, you have so much time. Go ahead and try it. What does it hurt? And if somebody says, No, I'm sorry. It's not for me, okay. It's a numbers game. You just said it, it's a numbers game. I happened to hit the right number because I didn't have the competition. It's a numbers game. And that's really a lot of it, but I think just even if you-- just make it a game. 

I can't tell you because it's very serious, but I think that if you find something that somebody needs, I mean they didn't really-- Hollywood didn't need me. They were bringing people in but then it became cheaper for them to just come in and hire me. They didn't have to put up the people in the hotels and things like that. 

Omar:

And the guy who initially brought you on as well, he saw something in you, right? He saw that you actually pushed for it and that you had to cojones to actually go and make a move. So, he kind of almost empathized with you. You know, here is this one woman who is like, you know, she actually called me, which isn't something that probably no one has ever done to me before. I'm going to see what she's about. And he was interested in you and when you actually, he bought you on that first time, and you were just kind of doing some odd jobs for him, he got to know you a little bit, you know. But that chance would have never happened if you never took the--

Deborah:

--if I never made the phone call, if I never had the lady. That angel.

Omar:

That lady. Yeah. Amazing woman, huh? You never know, the dominoes fall the right way. And what I think people are afraid of, to be honest, and why people don't do this is because of rejection. And I mean coming from a sales background myself, you're trained to face rejection over and over until you're almost numb to it. But most people, they're very empathetic. Right off the bat, they don't want to bother anybody, they don't want to do this. 

And instead of thinking that you’re bothering somebody or thinking that you're taking something from somebody, think about the other way, right? That you're actually bringing—you're human, so like you're bringing some sort of value to the other person with some sort of skill set that you maybe have and bring that to the table. And yes, you will get rejected, but they're not rejecting you as a person, they're just rejecting that moment of time in that situation that you're just not the right fit at that moment in their life. 

Deborah:

That's right. I mean, he had no idea. I mean, no way could Jean Levy had hired me with no experience, knowing that he knew I wasn't a casting director. But he did say, to your point, come on in. And he was, you know, I mean, he was an ally, he was, he became, you know, he was always trying to help, same as Michael Hill who taught us how to make money. You know, they were always saying, No, you when you go to Chicago, you have to call Deborah, she'll take care of it. 

And so, that was, you know. And I think that I was always-- the other thing is, when we did a casting job and everybody had to appear that we hired, they had to appear on set, I went out every single day. I went out on set just to make sure everything was right. And when you go out on set and you start listening, just by walking around the set making sure that all the extras were where it was supposed to be and everything, you heard other things. Like, I would hear that maybe they would need, you know, six guys with earrings in their left ear, right? Tomorrow or the day after. 

So, I just get on the phone, which was a dial up, it wasn't a cell phone, I get up and call my partner. I go, let's not be surprised. Let's have those guys with the earrings. Let's just have them ready just in case they call. They call, then we were ready, and out we would go. So, you're just kind of listening. And you're not convincing, you're staying in the background, and you're listening, especially if you don't know what you're doing. I didn't know. And I think that that's a—yeah. I mean--

Omar:

Listening gives you an edge automatically by everybody else who was trying to fight and vibe their way into it.

Deborah:

Right, right.

Omar:

And I can attest and relate completely to the entire story that you said. I mean, my own version of it would be twofold. I mean, with Michael, for example, I would have never met the guy if I never started the podcast and I had to do a bunch of outreach to a bunch of guests. Found Michael at the right time, he got me to start my agency, and now I'm starting to get clients. So, like that worked out. 

And another one, there's a massive guy named Pat Flynn who's an entrepreneur. Now, Pat Flynn doesn't go on anybody's podcasts, he's got like a top 10 podcasts in the US. I reached out to a lot of people to be on this podcast, right. 

Pat Flynn is this very like national nationwide known entrepreneur and he's notoriously difficult to ever interview, and he's got an amazing podcast. So, what I started doing is I started going on his YouTube live streams and I would talk to him here and there. He'd actually respond to the people that are on his live stream because they’re so little, maybe like 100 to 200 viewers. He does one every single day of the year. 

So, I went on and one day, I just kind of randomly threw out there, you can send these like Super Chats, and this is a fantastic story for my audience if you want to get high level guests or get in connection with any sort of high-level person out there. I sent a Super Chat, which is basically like a donation thing that you can send on YouTube to donate to a charity. I was donating to his charity. And whenever you send a Super Chat, the chat comes on his screen so he gets that above everybody else that's talking in the chat box.

So, he saw my thing in the, it said $4 donated to the charity. Nothing, right? And in the box, it said, Hey, Pat, will you be on my podcast? I love your work and I know it's a long shot but it'd be awesome if you'd come on. And Pat, he looks at it and he laughs, and he's like, you know what, send me an email. I can't guarantee it or anything but send me an email, I’ll see what I can do. So, I sent him this email, this long email about just, Hey, like I have all these good reasons, this is how I can bring you value. Like, I think my guests would love you. I love your content. I've learned so much from you. And he responds back or his VA responds back about seven hours later saying, hey, Pat would love to be on an interview with you. Let's go ahead and get a schedule. How sick is that? So, it’s a number--

Deborah:

There’s always a way. 

Omar:

Yeah. Always. And that's the beauty of being an entrepreneur, right. People like you and I, Deborah, we’ll be able to see opportunities more now than we did maybe like when we were 15, 16, 17 years old. Now with experience, you can see more openings and more opportunities. I don't know how you were, maybe you saw opportunities more than I did when I was younger, but that was--

Deborah:

Oh, I had a to close magazines. I had to literally close because I could see more and I couldn't do them all.

Omar:

Right.

Deborah:

It’s amazing. They’re out there and they're still out there. You guys are in such the world now with all the technology, the stuff that you can see and do. It's the same thing. It's just that I didn't have that kind of technology and mine was just in the, you can open up a magazine and go, wait a minute, somebody can do this. Wow, that could be done. And you know, you just become overwhelmed. But you're my age, right? You can see things, can't you? 

Omar:

Absolutely, yeah. Much more now with tech, you know. As you're saying that, I mean, you're a born and bred entrepreneur, why did you decide to go, besides the fact that everyone was becoming a teacher, why did you decide to go to college and just become a teacher in the first place? I mean, to people now, colleges, in my opinion, not the way to go, you know. And you’re living example that you've been back in the 70s. Like, you went to college and then ended up not doing anything with your degree. So, why did you go through that path in the first place?

Deborah:

Well, I think, I mean, I went to a small school, small college. And for me, I think it was an independence of getting out of my house. So that was the first thing it did for me. Second thing it did, is I got to be in leadership positions. And so, it trained me for a little bit of that world. I had, I graduated with a degree in secondary education and English, but I had a minor in equestrian studies. Now that's the horse world.

Omar:

The horse world, right.

Deborah:

The horse world. But my college, which is now a University, was one of the first to offer an equestrian studies degree. I wasn't, I was too early. I mean, they were just starting. But it also gave me an opportunity to, believe it or not, I managed polo. Six months out of the year- remember, I'll take anything, right?- Six months out of the year that was polo was played indoors at Chicago Armory in the center of Chicago. Because those guys, those guys with all the money, they couldn't leave their Chicago businesses in the winter to come to Florida, which everybody comes down to Wellington Florida. This is where Polo was down [inaudible 43:20].

So, two guys leased out the Armory in Chicago, and they invited all their buddies to come and play polo, and they didn't have anybody to manage it. And someone knew- I didn't know what polo was- and somebody knew me and I guess it was my aunt. My aunt said, oh, you know my niece just graduated college. I don't know, she does something with horses. And so, those six months during the fall, during the winter, indoors, I managed polo. So, I would never have been able to do that had I not gone to the college. 

Now, I'm a trustee at that college. And the question that you're asking now, is why go to college? Well, I've asked the kids, some of them just to meet somebody, somebody that they will be close enough to. It's a, you know, it's small enough. You know, I use my street smarts from learning in college. Would I do it again? I don't know that I would need to. I mean, in your particular group, you guys don't always need to because you're--

Omar:

We have tech and everything.

Deborah:

You have tech and everything, right. But back then, it was a place to meet someone and to kind of grow up on your own.

Omar:

That makes sense. I mean, it was a different age. On top of that, you did learn skills, key skills like leadership. And at that point, like you couldn't just go on YouTube and search something up, right, and think, oh, how do I do this or how do I do that. I mean you could find mentors but probably the easiest way I would think was through college in the first place. 

Deborah:

Yeah, it was, because those were our YouTubes. We had to listen to what the teachers said. There wasn't anything. I mean, you know, YouTube's the riot. I asked for anything and you just push a button and there's the answer. 

Omar:

I mean, it's a world of information, right? Your fingertips, right? These things you can learn. I think that maybe the way that I see College is a lot different now, because any information we really need can be found on the internet, and the internet wasn't there back then. And now, we have all these different informational sources. You can literally Google something and find out exactly how to do anything.

Deborah:

Well, what you can't do what you can do at small schools, is really get to know people.

Omar:

Connections? Yeah.

Deborah:

Connections. Connections. 

Omar:

See, I have a slightly opposing view on that, however, right, and this is just my nomadic self that's coming out. But I believe people can make much stronger connections in a much shorter period of time without spending 10K to 20K a semester. If they were to literally just save up maybe 5K to 6K and dip out to a country somewhere else and just backpack through, you know. The kinds of friends, connections you’d make. 

The kind of mentors that I made whenever I was out there, the people that I met, I met all sorts of people from all walks of life. I worked for people that were engineers and this was when I had my geology degree at that point, geologists. Like, so many different types of people and some of them I still talk to, quite often, who I believe made such strong connections with.

Deborah:

You have to be a strong person to be able to do that.

Omar:

I see. So, lower effort ways, what you're talking about. 

Deborah:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, you're pretty special in doing that and will there be more people? I don't know. After seeing the Airbnb--

Omar:

The IPO?

Deborah:

The IPO today and listening to what he has to say, you know. It's no longer going to be going to the hotel, you want to immerse yourself in the community. 

Omar:

Right. 

Deborah:

As you go to different countries, people are going to be able to do kind of exactly what you're saying, by situating themselves in a home community and staying there and learning, as opposed to the hotel where you go in and you look around and you--

Omar:

And then you just stay in your room, or you go out to the pool and maybe meet somebody.

Deborah:

Right. Right. You don't get really that much of the culture and you don't—right. So--

Omar:

Yeah, I get what you're saying. I mean, as the world moves towards a more open accessible channel to like everybody, you know, as remote work becomes more prevalent, you might see people move more towards, hey, I'm going to spend two years abroad, work on some skills, maybe get a mentor in a different country instead of going to college. You might see that more. It's an important transition period, I would say, right now in the world. 

Deborah:

Yeah. Well, I think always, I loved when kids go, and they still do at our college or university, they go off for a year or half a year to another country and they study there. Study abroad is what it is. And that's what's so cool. But I think learning online is so incredible and so wonderful and I really, I think that the university can still teach the learnings but still, you know, I think it's just kind of like we said, bringing people together. 

Omar:

Well, I mean you have much more experience than I and I'm guessing more than a lot of my listeners as well. You've lived in the pre-internet era as well as opposed to internet era. Like at this point of life, if you had to give a piece of advice to somebody, the best way, about the best way to learn something and really get down to skill set or some sort of education, aside from just like hey go YouTube it, but like a really good way of like catching something on, what would be your piece of advice?

Deborah:

I don’t know. I suppose, if you really love something and because I find more people do this, they just drill down to what that is. They don't need the whole liberal arts; I had the whole liberal arts back then. Now, that helped me because I didn't know what I wanted to do and I didn't know. But I think that, you know, drilling down and getting-- if you want to be that filmmaker, then go to the film school or maybe not anymore, actually, Omar. Maybe you don't have to go to film. I mean, you guys make it in five seconds. You make videos that would take us usually take a long time, right? So, maybe I'm not the person to ask in that particular because--

Omar:

It's funny that you have that self-awareness too, you know. Like, I'll speak to people that are older than I about that once in a while, like my own parents for example, you know. When I was younger, my parents had no idea the internet was capable of what it's capable of and because of that, I came from the same background as you. Like, I didn't know what I wanted to do originally in college, and, but I ended up going to college because I felt like that was a fallback option. And although I don't regret it one bit, like you said, I met some incredible people, I made some incredible experiences, and I wouldn't give it up for the world.

In retrospect, look at what Michael’s doing, right? He's 20 years old and he's all-in entrepreneur, making more money than most college graduates will ever make in their entire life, you know. So, if you really know what you want to do, there are definitely ways around getting a solid education on it. And that could be as simple as sending an Instagram dm to somebody, landing a gig in the movie business and then all of a sudden, you're making films. But it's different because we can't, or I don't ever want to say that this is right or this is wrong because--

Deborah:

Yeah. You know, it's kind of what you what you feel or what you need. And it'll be interesting to see how the educational system goes, especially with the COVID, which has shown that you can learn online. Same thing, learn online and you don't even have to go to the school. Then you don't have to pay for the room and board, then you don't really get to meet people. Where do you all get to sit down and really meet other people, you know?

Omar:

The whole socialize-- and COVID’s really made that a bit harder too, you know, meeting people. Everyone's moving to like going on zoom and having meetings, like virtual runs with your friends and things like that. And I was born in a generation where the internet wasn't that prevailing either, you know. So, it's kind of weird seeing where we are right now and how the connections, maybe not shallower, but less personal. That's the way that it feels, you know? For example, I'm a very touchy person, I like hugging. 

Deborah:

We used to hug like there was no, and it's such a sad thing because it is that connection. Don't stop. Don't stop ever hugging people.

Omar:

Yeah. Exactly. I mean, even simple things like eye contact, you know. Like, there's one thing behind someone behind his screen versus like having actual eye contact with somebody in person. It's a completely different thing. So yeah, it's like those little things. It's going to be funny to see how the world also changes in intrapersonal connections.

But here now, I feel like I'm going on tangents I want to go back to your story here.

Deborah:

They are important and I think you have to be in—Yeah. I think we do have to get back to touching and looking at people and talking to them because we all need that connection. But, yeah.

Omar:

Absolutely. So, moving forward here then. You sold the business, and we're going to bounce back to that for a minute, you sold the business, what happened after that? Up to where you are now?

Deborah:

So, prior to selling the business, I started deciding that I wanted to be in the Directors Guild. And so, I would volunteer my time to be a production assistant on top of running my business. So, I would now make the deal with the production companies. If you hire me, you get the casting services but I come on set and I work as a production assistant, so that I can learn about the filmmaking, which I did. And then, being in the Midwest, there was the Midwest union of the Directors Guild, and then you have the Los Angeles division of the Directors Guild, and you have New York. 

And I went to, I learned a lot and I went to apply to be in the Directors Guild in Chicago, and I got turned down. I got turned down. And then I went, did another film back, I applied, Chicago turned me down. So the third time, I thought, okay, well, you know, this is ridiculous. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do, so I applied again and they turned me down. On the fourth time, I was positive I was going to get into the Directors Guild. I had the champagne in the refrigerator and they freakin’ turned me down.

Omar:

Resistant.

Deborah:

So, I went to a second unit cameraman that I worked with on several films by the name of Bill Birch. And I went to him and I said, Bill, I cried last time. What am I doing wrong? And now, I never thought about it as being a woman, that never even crossed mind, and I don't think that had anything to do with it. And so, he looked at me and he said, Well, Deborah, do you remember that time when I wasn't ready for the director and you had some extras, and you knew I was in trouble and you did some things with the extras so it took longer so that I could get my stuff done and the director never knew that I wasn't ready or we couldn't get it? I said, sure, I remember that. Yeah, we cover for each other. He goes, we cover for each other. 

And I just want you to know I'm going to tell you exactly why you didn't get in the Union. He said, because the union is made up of Chicago directors. They do commercials, they do industrials. They don't do features. And they're afraid that you're going to come in and want to take one of the-- they're going to have to hire you because I was coming in as an assistant director, not as a director, so I could just assist. 

And so, I said, oh my god, I don't want to work for Chicago directors, I only want to work on the films. And he said, great. He said then, I need you tomorrow morning. Get up. I'm going to tell you to go to five places, go in, sit down. Look at these guys, they're all directors, they’re all famous directors. They were doing the McDonald's commercials, the Burger King commercials, the Where's The Beef commercials. They were-- and he said, just go in, say hello and leave. Okay. So, I walked in and I said hello. Hi. Okay. Yes, [inaudible 55:35] yep, nice meeting you. They did not give me the time of day, except that it was nice meeting me. I turned around and walked out. 

Next day, I celebrate. I got in the Directors Guild in 1984. 1984, I got in. Had nothing to do with being a woman. Not that there weren't reasons later on or what I'm not saying. Women had a hard time. But it was never about that, it's they didn't want to hire me because they wanted, because they knew that they, I was, I wanted only the films, and they only wanted me to work on films that came in. So, it was perfect. 

Then once I got that job, I realized how freakin’ hard it was. It’s a hard job being an assistant director. You're the first one on the set, you’re the last one. You got to know everybody, you got to move trucks, you got to move people, you got to do all sorts of things. And it was fun. And I said this is really great, I am moving. I was getting divorced with my first husband, I’m marrying my second husband and I said you know what, I'm moving to LA. I am going to produce.

So, I went to Hollywood and I sold a-- we did a pilot on something that I called Night School, about the night brothers and their love life in between. And then, we did a pilot and we didn't make it. Went down to one of two. In the end, the beach comedy was chosen, not Night School-- the school comedy. So, I had a number of those. 

I did a movie of the week called Bluffing It. It was about adult illiteracy. Why that? Well, because Barbara Bush was in it that time. Her husband was the president, she was advocating literacy. Okay, that might be good. So, we did a treatment on Adult Literacy and--

Omar:

Did you get to meet George Bush?

Deborah:

I didn't get to meet George Bush but I can tell you that this was a time, this is going to go way back for any of your, the parents, only the parents are probably that your audience, is going to know this. There was a time once when the movies were not only movies of the week, not only paid for by a sponsor, but the airtime was bought by a sponsor. And Nabisco of Nabisco cookies, Nabisco sponsored the movie was called Bluffing It. And it was with Dennis Weaver, and it was about an adult illiterate. Now, I beg you to find my name on any credit, but if you leave-- very, very, at the very end. I think they gave me one but you better look quickly because it goes fast. 

So, there was just a matter of, I came in, I had the piece. That was great, but they were going to put me down behind, and it became harder and harder to get movie sold. Because by the time I started doing all of this, the studios were only working on movies that were blockbusters in foreign countries. So, a lot of times, everything that we saw was really made because they were going to make the big sell outside the United States and there was—

Now, you go back and you say well why didn't I-- ? Well, people will say, well, why Joel Silver? Walter Hill? They do those things. Joel was blowing up things all the time. And I didn't want to make those kinds of movies. So, I couldn't take them anything. What I wanted to make, they wouldn't.

Omar:

 Just didn't like the movies? Is that why?

Deborah:

I wasn't into the action badass guys were blowing up buildings. I would never bring them that movie. I brought the adult illiteracy; I brought a movie that – mine was, if there was a guy that could beat his wife, there was a woman that could beat her husband. So, I would take it. Well, let's do the perfect wife. This woman is abusing her husband, you know. No, we can't put that on, Deborah. What do you—ah! You know, so, it became not so much fun for me. And I said that the this was not-- once it becomes not fun, then it's time to go.

Omar:

Right.

Deborah:

And so, that’s--

Omar:

Kind of what it is.

Deborah:

Yeah.

Omar:

Movies that made an impact, also, from what it sounds like.

Deborah:

Yeah. I was just not into the shoot them up or whatever, although I appreciate it. I loved all the films that both Walter Hill and Joel Silver have done. I mean, they’re pretty spectacular. But it was not, I couldn't bring that to them because that isn't what I loved. So, it was, but then you know, I was, at the same time, you know, I was creating products. So, that kept me busy, you know. 

Putting my first husband through medical school, and then getting divorced, and then him getting a big practice, and me getting nothing. I was able to get some money that I had spent during our lifetime together, which was about $100,000 through seven, eight, ten years of marriage. And that's what he was going to give back to me as he stepped into a big practice. And it's okay, it was his hands. I mean, he was doing it. 

I had my own little company, I was fine, but he wanted to stretch it over a long period of time, over ten years. And then, it was monthly, and then he'd forget to pay me. And then, as a problem solver, I said, okay, wait a minute, wait a minute. You agreed with a judge that you're going to pay me, so why aren't you paying me? And I did all the column or I do a little bit, you know he's on with his new wife and-- So, one day, I was sitting at the kitchen table and I saw a department store bill and I said, oh, I think I'll just bill my ex. I'll make it a bill.

Omar:

That's where the idea came from.

Deborah:

Yes, that's where the idea came from. So, then I did bill your ex and then I was on the covers of all the magazines, and then I would, covers in magazines, and the people were talking about me. And it was a simple, just a reminder, it was paper, it's paper product. I mean I have, it's so pathetic. At the time, it worked. It was a bill. But women weren't ready for it and technology hadn't come ahead. So, there was a painful, as an entrepreneur, there was a painful--

Omar:

Well, it’s always like that whenever there's something that fails.

Deborah:

Yeah. There was a loss and so, you know, that was kind of hard. And then I had got another partner and we did something called Survival Tactics To Unbreak Your Heart and we put all of this, all these unique things in a box. And we wrote a little book on The Guide To Getting Even... And we had two things in there: how to get even with your ex. And I got in trouble with the post office because I use the post office to send a lot of magazines, that's one of the--

Omar:

Good, though. It brings a polarization into it, right? So, [inaudible 1:02:56]

Deborah:

And but getting even better was. I gave you a list of 100 places to meet a new Prince.

Omar:

Nice. So, double whammy. Nice.

Deborah:

So, you know, you try to have fun and then that goes away and then you do—and then I thought I was going to retire and I was done. I moved from Los Angeles up to Santa Barbara. And I wasn't going to do anything. And some crazy lady, who was really a nice, nice smart lady comes up to me and says, in Santa Barbara says, oh, you're a producer. You're a producer. And I—yeah. But I said I don't do that anymore. She said, well, I have these children's books. I want you to do one for me. I want you to do this. 

To make a long story short, when you're in the film business, people think that you can do all of these things. You really can't. I worked under people, right? Even if I had a project, I worked under. People tend to think if you're in it, that you can do it for them, but you can't. And so, she gave me a book and I turned it down. I said, I don't do this. 

And three years later, I think she was stalking me and she said to me, oh my god, did you look at my book? No, no. I really, I don't do it. She said to me, I sent it. And then she did, and Omar, she sent me this children's book and it was called The Improbable Journey Of Berta Benz, and it was the story of Karl Benz’s his wife and how she, in fact, was the reason that we know about cars today. Because she worked alongside with him and she took the drive in the middle of the night when both of them, she and Karl Benz, were forbidden from driving their car anywhere because it was a threat. It was technology. It was a threat to horses, it was a threat to children, it was a threat to the world.

Omar:

She made this into a children's book?

Deborah:

He made this story into a children's book because it was a true story. So, it was the story of Berta Benz, the wife of Karl Benz of Mercedes Benz. And when I read that children's book, I remember getting into the shower and just melting down. I said, oh my god, there were all of these women who got no recognition now. I had this book and I was doing, making this movie before in Hidden Figures came out. This was so powerful. And so, not knowing how to do this, always having the umbrella of somebody. 

I called anybody that I knew in Hollywood and I said, would you make this movie about Berta Benz? I have a children's book. And they said, what the? Are you kidding me? Okay, you want-- all right, Deborah [inaudible 01:05:41].

Omar:

You really pushed for it though, huh? That's awesome.

Deborah:

You're pitching me a watercolor book that you want to animate about a real woman from history, and you think that this is going to be good? Okay. No, no, no.

Omar:

Did it pan out?

Deborah:

--and no. So I said, the only thing you can do in 2008, when the market was crashing, I took some of my money, thank god, before the market crashed, and I pulled it out and I said, Okay, if nobody's going to make it, I will. I will. And I made the most beautiful little movie about this woman, and I used talent from the community, and some of the characters, some of the talent played two or three voices, and we [inaudible 01:06:35] together. I won two gender equity awards with it. I won an animation award with it and--

Omar:

What’s the movie’s name?

Deborah:

It's called The Improbable Journey Of Berta Benz. And I think it's a-- Who's got it now? Somebody-- it's in distribution somewhere.

Omar:

I wonder if we can find it online. That would be amazing.

Deborah:

You can find it. I don't know if you can find it online. Well, you probably can. 

Omar:

It's like an indie film, essentially, right?

Deborah:

It's a little short film. It's a short-animated movie and it was, you know, I co-wrote it. I didn't know how to write a script before. I co-directed it with the animator who was brilliant. And it's a different kind of animation, it's 3D. It has the capability of 3D and this, we were doing it in 2008 and 2010. 

I have to say that I just sent the movie to a mentor of mine, who, and I think this isn't happening, well, probably not with you all because you guys are so young. But what seems to be happening right now is we all have enough time to sit and, and as we're going through our Rolodex’s to clean them out when doing things. We go, Oh, I remember that person. Oh, I like that person. 

So, out of the blue, yesterday, two days ago, I get a note from a lady who I had pitched this movie to and she said, Hey, you know, I always remember how enthusiastic you were about the movie and whatever happened? And I said, well I made it. And she said, Well, could I see it? I said, yeah. You know, I can get it to her. And so, she wrote back and she wrote me, I just got it today, and she said you should be proud of yourself.

That is like, you know, when a mentor-- oh my god. I want to say where were you when I needed the help years ago? I just didn't pick up the telephone and call her, everybody. I didn't think. I didn't think. Connections, connections, connections. I didn’t think.

Omar:

Yeah. It was almost like a kind of like a rebellious streak, right? You just went, you know what, I'm going to go for it.

Deborah:

Yeah. I'm going to go for it, I'm going to make it, I'm going to spend my money, I'm going to do whatever it is, and I'm going to make this happen.

Omar:

And you did, you know. You did it. 

Deborah:

And I did. 

Omar:

It's a go-getter type move, you know. Most people would dream about it or they talk about it, but they won't do it and you did it. So, that’s--

Deborah:

And Gutsy Gals came out of the fact that when you make a movie, you're gone. You're gone from your friends, your family, whatever. You're just totally a tunnel vision. And I wanted to, I just kept a little newsletter called Gutsy Gals and then Facebook-- Instagram has Gutsy Gals and Facebook has Gutsy Gals Inspire Me. It's all connected and I just kept that and I would just tell people about different Gutsy Gals and things like that, and I just keep it and do it. And-- yeah.

Omar:

It’s a good brand. It's a living embodiment of who you are as a person yourself, you know. And you're able to inspire women all around the world event-- I mean, I'm hoping that's what the end goal is too. I think that is, at least for you. But eventually, when it starts going bigger and bigger, you'll see how many people you end up inspiring through Gutsy Gals.

Deborah:

Well, it all goes back doesn't it, Omar, to the one lady.

Omar:

To the one angel lady.

Deborah:

The one, yeah, who just believed in me before I did. [Inaudible 01:09:58] out of it, she was going forward. And you know, it really has to do with people helping people.

Omar:

I wonder if you can meet that one angel lady today and tell her what you've been through and how much has happened since then. And now that you're paying it forward, all because of her, in a weird way.

Deborah:

All because of her. Yeah, yeah.

Omar:

That would be, I mean, that would be an incredible thing. Have you ever tried getting in contact with her, by any chance, or even trace her back?

Deborah:

Long ago. I have nothing to base it on. I have nothing, except for maybe, you know, trying to find the--

Omar:

At the studio, you know, maybe make a call and say, hey, who’s working here around this time? I mean, they must have some. This is me, just my dreamer side coming out, you know, but who knows?

Deborah:

You have a great documentary to go around and find out what was going on. I know, it would be a lot of fun. All I know is that I have appreciated her, and I tell this story every time somebody ask how did I do it. I did it because the universe delivered her to me. And if ever I can deliver to somebody else, and there are a lot of things that the universe delivers to us without being, I'm not woo woo or anything like,. I'm just saying that people drop down all the time in front of you. And if you are so busy looking over here and you don't see that they're trying to give you the gift, because I can tell you, Omar, there's a million people that I never took the gift fromAnd I look back and I go, wow.

Omar:

I know exactly what you mean. I see it all the time. I mean, you don't have to go, actually, you don't have to go anywhere to really see opportunity every single day. Every single day, there's something that you could do, or make a move that you can make that can entirely change the course of your entire life. And especially with the internet, the opportunities are just boundless, you know. It becomes a point of just which ones are you going to pick and choose, which ones do you really want.

Deborah:

That's right. And that's where I have to close the magazine, right? What can you? And to me, I tried to do it all, not good. I fought it, everybody. I said I can do it. I can have this business over here and this one over here, and this one over here, and everything. What's happened is, I got quiet during COVID. I'm able to take each one of them and finish them off, and it's a really special moment and it’s very, very cool. Look, can you do it? Yes. Because they might all kind of blend in, and that we've never even talked about family and friends, but everything kind of blends in and-- but you still have to get the team behind you for--

Omar:

I think as, if you're a new entrepreneur, it's probably better just to focus on one thing. Especially if you're just starting out, you don't know the ropes, you don't know where you're going. You just seem, oh this is an interesting idea, that's an interesting idea, let me try everything. But once you're a seasoned entrepreneur and you've been doing it quite a while, you know where you can focus your energies a lot more easier. And, you know--

Deborah:

And then [inaudible 01:13:11] those spots, right?

Omar:

Exactly. And then you just outsource the rest without getting too technical there but, yeah, that's exactly it. Like for example, I'm doing my podcast and I also have a podcasting business on the side, so they both mesh pretty well together, so I know I can focus my energies on both. 

Deborah:

What’s the podcast businesses? Is that helping others do podcast and things?

Omar:

It’s just basically helping B2B businesses, SAS companies, different business, finance youtubers, influencers, setting up their own podcast, and then generating a bunch of content for them from that podcast or any other sort of pillar content. So, it's been doing pretty well and I enjoy it a lot. That's the main thing.

Deborah:

Yeah, if you have fun with it. Yeah. Well--

Omar:

Exactly. You had a really good point there, too, earlier and I forgot to mention it whenever we were talking, but the fact that you said that you stopped enjoying it and you had to get out, right? I mean, you might, if you wanted to, you could have spent 10 more miserable years in it but where's the fun in that? Where's the happiness in that? Sure--

Deborah:

Well, yeah. And when you're beating yourself up against the wall, what are you doing? You're not looking out and listening to what might be handed to you because you're so busy going after—Let it go. Let it go.

Omar:

Let it go.

Deborah:

Let it go.

Omar:

That's a good piece of advice to come on to the closing here then. Before I let this get too long and my podcast listener start to lose attention, I want to close off with two rapid fiery questions here, right. One is a question that I pretty much asked some variation or another to all my guests that come on here, and the second one is just out of my curiosity. So, start with the second one first. What would you say was the coolest most known movie that you worked on during your time in the film business?

Deborah:

Probably Weird Science.

Omar:

Weird Science.

Deborah:

Probably Weird Science.

Omar:

And what made it so great for you?

Deborah:

Because not only did I get my company to be able to do the casting on it, we did all the background casting for everything in Chicago. I got to be an assistant director, right, which was my first time, and I got to put my new husband in the movie.

Omar:

That's awesome. Triple win right there and--

Deborah:

Triple win, yeah.

Omar:

Yeah, that's good and it's a very solid reason as well. I'm surprised I haven't heard of that movie, however, but--

Deborah:

You haven't heard about Weird Science?

Omar:

I haven’t. I want to, maybe I have, like let me just google it while I have you here.

Deborah:

You have to. It’s about the two boys and this sexy hot--

Omar:

Comedy sci-fi. And it got a really good rating too.

Deborah:

Yeah. 

Omar:

You know what, I'm going to watch this now that I know that you were the casting director in it. What role-- ?

Deborah:

Assistant Director. My comedy was the casting at the end, the extra casting in Chicago. It's either Rosen Canoes in casting, or casting Chicago, or Deborah Hutchison. I never know because I just used all sorts of different--

Omar:

What's your husband's name so I know to keep an eye-- ?

Deborah:

I don't think you'll see. I don't think [inaudible 01:16:21].

Omar:

Oh, he’s an extra?

Deborah:

Yeah, he's just an extra.

Omar:

Okay.

Deborah:

He’s in the driving, he’s in one of the driving scenes.

Omar:

I get it. Cool. So yeah, I think I'll watch it now that you mentioned it. It'd be interesting to see and keep that at the back of my mind that you had a part in that or you had a play in making the movie. 

And the second and final question to close the podcast off, that is, I mean, and this is a fantastic question to ask you, I believe. You’re 68 now, you’ve lived an incredible life. Full of diversity, full of challenges, full of struggles, full of lots of lots of wins. What would you say, and this might be hard to put into one lesson so maybe you can say a couple lessons as well, but what would you say, if you have to give the youth of our day, a lesson or two from all your experience? Being able to condense that into one or two lines, what would you say?

Deborah:

It's easy. If you're not confident, get confident. You want beauty? To win, I say get confident. That exudes a beautiful picture. I don't mean gorgeous this way; I'm just talking about get confident, be enthusiastic, never stop learning, stop and listen, and be yourself, and stay true to yourself. That's what I’ll tell you.

Omar:

Those are fantastic pieces of advice. Yeah, I can resonate with all.

Deborah:

It’s really easy.

Omar:

That was amazing. I really love that episode. Thank you so much for coming on today, Deborah.

Deborah:

And thank you so much. 

Outro-

You made it to the end of the episode, nomad fam. Remember to leave a rating or review. Your feedback helps take this podcast to the next level. It's funny how things are sometimes. Your review could start a butterfly effect and literally end up changing someone else's life for the better. So keep that in mind. 

The guests are about to get crazy these upcoming months including yes, Pat Flynn, sometime in January. I appreciate every single one of you, the Nomad fam community. It's been a great ride so far and we're only getting started. So, make sure to hit that subscribe button and stay along for the ride. 

One final thing. If you've made it this far, I want you to shoot me an email at omarmodigital@gmail.com. I would love to sit down and connect with you with a one on one. I want to know who you are, what you do, your story. Everything about you. Because if you've made it this far, you've probably been listening for a while. So yeah, shoot me an email. Anyways, thanks for listening. Speak soon.

Thanks for tuning in to the Nomadic Executive. If you enjoyed this episode, take a moment to leave a rating or review. Your feedback helps us reach others who need a spark of inspiration. See you next time.


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