I loved the scene in We're the Millers, where Emma Robert's character is introduced to her teenage thug love interest and the glorious tattoo around his neck saying "No Ragrets." It was such a funny moment, as clearly, anyone would regret a misspelled tattoo.
Truth be told, I don't believe anyone who says "No regrets." Anyone who doesn't regret anything hasn't taken time for self-reflection or tried new things. Mistakes are sure to be made whenever someone's trying something new or stretching limits. I can't imagine anyone who'd really say that they wouldn't do anything differently.
A few days ago, I was talking to "Colorado Clint," a very successful TV showrunning friend of mine. We've known each other for over a decade, but it wasn't until recently that I learned of Clint's biggest professional regret. It's one he wanted me to share in hopes that you'll avoid this somewhat common pitfall.
The line between one's professional and personal life in entertainment can easily blur: You're on location for weeks or months at a time; you have late-night shoots; taping schedules that need to be followed; rigorous office duties (especially when you're an assistant), and there's a lot of time spent with co-workers on and off the clock. There are many opportunities for lifelong bonding in these situations, but sadly, Clint had a rocky start to his career because of an early slip up.
Only 22-years-old, Clint was an intern on the hottest show on TV. He could barely believe his good fortune at being part of this Emmy-winning show. He took every opportunity to make friends on set and help out wherever he could, as he wanted to be the best intern the show had ever had. He also happened to be so good looking that he could've easily been mistaken for another Hemsworth brother.
One of the show's EPs, "Boss Lady Betty," took a liking to young Clint. She'd have him bring her lunch and give him special assignments like having Clint bring scripts to her gym etc. and before you knew it -- BAM! BOOM! BANG! -- a fun fling ensued.
Now, I'm a little sketchy on the details, but somehow word got out about this brief office romance (doesn't it always?). Am I accusing dear Clint of bragging about the bagging of Boss Lady Betty?
You better believe I am!
When he told me this, I thought it would've been a huge win, a feather in his cap (isn't that how it works for guys?) To my surprise, however, young Clint had a hard time with his peers. People talked about him behind his back. And he was taunted when promoted to PA with everyone assuming it wasn't his office skills that won him the promotion.
In short, people didn't have respect for Clint.
As the show's end drew nearer, Clint was the first to be laid off. He was convinced it was because of the situation with "Boss Lady Betty," as he was the only one who got pink-slipped. Word followed him to the next two shows that he worked on. Clint said it took years for people to take him seriously, and, today, as an EP in his own right, it remains his single biggest career regret.
So, what was the mistake? A fling with the boss?
Or blabbing about it?
I'll let you decide.