Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Authenticity Is Key

One thing that I have always felt deep down, but believe even more strongly now is that in whatever you do authenticity is key. People can usually sense if you are full of it, don't care and/or are just doing something to get rich. I write because I like to and clearly would love to have a career doing that at some point, but it's less about that and more about doing something I feel I have an authentic/true calling to do. Now that social media is ubiquitous, it's even more important to be your true self on twitter, etc. Most people can tell if an assistant is tweeting for someone or if the person is doing it because their publicist said so, as opposed to when they are doing it for fun and to connect directly to their fans.

Here's a few examples of people who are thriving (especially on the web) because they are authentic and communicating with their fans in a genuine way.

1) Felicia Day - She is perhaps the best possible example of what I'm talking about. She's a talented actress and has always worked (Buffy, Dollhouse, etc.), but Hollywood should appreciate her and utilize her way more. A couple of years back she decided to write/create a show on the web that dealt with topics that were true to her heart - being a geek, a gamer, etc. The show is called The Guild and it's a sensation. She controlled her own destiny, stayed true to who she was and is really succeeding because of it. She's also on Twitter and her musings are pretty entertaining. Don't take my word for it, she has over a half million followers! Also check out her blog, if you are so inclined.

2) Kevin Pollak - I'm sure most of you know that Kevin is a successful comedian and actor, but he also recently started a new venture that's pretty cool. He is hosting his own web interview show and it's really great. It's similar in style to Charlie Rose, but the interviews are even longer. So far his focus seems to be mostly on actors and tech folks. Some guests he's had so far - Jon Hamm, Matthew Perry (who both have insanely good hair, not that it's relevant), Felicia Day (see above) and Alex Albrecht (co-host of the popular web show Diggnation, Project Lore, etc.). He has a website, but the chat show and his twitter feed are the two best things to follow for what he's up to currently.

The final three are people I have featured before, but they warrant a second mention because they are the epitome of what I'm talking about.

3) Wil Wheaton, who I wrote about in this post is a shining example of someone who is open and honest with his fans and completely authentic. His entire blog and writing career or at least most of it is about being true to who he is - geeky and celebrating it. He doesn't hide from who he is, he embraces it and people really respond to that. If you're on Twitter, check him out.

4) Gary Vaynerchuk, wine guru and social media king, who I wrote about here also makes no apologizes about accepting exactly who he is and making that his trademark. He's a super enthusiastic guy and that's part of why people adore him so. He has a brand new book that will be out soon. He's also on Twitter here.

5) Dana Brunetti, now a producer and the head of Kevin Spacey's company (once his personal assistant), who I wrote about in this post also has lots of people following him on Twitter and interested in what he's doing because he is talking about his job, sharing video from the Triggerstreet offices and really letting people see what his job and life is like on a day to day basis (good and bad). People respond to him and are interested in what Triggerstreet has to offer because he isn't a phony. Most people in his position would rather hold on to their power and what's special about their career and not share it with others, so that they could feel important and like they were in a secret Hollywood world. Dana doesn't seem to be that guy. If you want to see his Twitter feed, click here.


  1. re: Dana Brunetti

    I've only gotten to spend a little bit of time with the guy at various points over the years, but what struck me was that integrity. The last time I saw him, I realized that everything everyone else had told me about working in media was assbackwards. Being yourself IS the best thing to do, no matter what career path you're on. Life's too short to be anyone other than yourself. Ooh, so Zen that last one ... :)

  2. Thanks for listing me! What a compliment to be listed as authentic, couldn't ask for a better adjective :)