My name is Cara Coslow and I’ve worked on some of the most successful shows in the history of television: Cheers, Frasier, Newsradio, That 70′s Show to name four. I was nominated for an Emmy for casting an NBC/Bravo MOW. I was a casting director/talent executive and head of casting for a major television production company. After many years in casting I felt frustrated–here I was helping bring others’ jokes to life; other writers’ vision to an audience–yet I felt that, I too, had something to say creatively. So I took an enormous leap of faith and left my casting career and sequed into what is now in my third career–writing books and producing entertainment as well!
So what one thing stikes me about being a multi-tasking careered professional? That my life has not been made up of just one thing or just one choice. I could not do what I do now–write and produce–without all those years in casting; and all those years were a prologue for what I do now! I’ve never felt stuck or locked into any one idea of who I am–nor have I ever felt as though my life were the result of any one choice. Yes I’ve had to stick through some committments I would rather have blown off. But what does cutting bait and running when people are counting on you say about you? In other words–everything you do in life is part of a longer continuous journey and you don’t have to stay on just one road–just know the road you are on now is connected to the one you want to be one eventually. Interact well with the souls you meet on your journey, they’ll pop up again in another part of the forest!
” The devil is in the details” is a well known expression. Pay attention to your work–especially work you are doing for someone else in the beginning–and when fate knocks on your door and delivers the destiny you want, you will have a long line of people waiting to support you in your endeavors–because you supported them in theirs! And when there was nothing in it for you. A simple act of goodwill cannot be underestimated as one of the greatest tools you can carry in your career kit–it opens doors.
If I can reduce the secret of my success to two key ingredients they would be:
1. learn to actually do what it is you want to do--read books, take classes, practice, study. In other words: know the terrain you are navigating. knowlege, practice, and repetition create skill; skill creates confidence; confidence creates success (The first thing I did upon graduating from my very prestigious Eastern college with a degree in English, a major focus in Shakespeare, and my esoteric and profound college girl understanding of the world, was to enroll in Katherine Gibbs business school and learned how to type! I credit that one decision as being my most important career move!)
2. People only believe what you tell them/don’t let others tell you who you are-I know that there is no line in the sand somewhere saying “Cara can only go this far.” And if there were I’d rub it out! When you believe in something others will too! And you have no greater commodity than yourself. You are it! I truly know that the possiblites for each one of us are infinite. I’m a writer and I’m writing the author of my life. Even if you don’t believe in yourself 100% at the beginning–become a salesman–someone will!
At the end of the day put your worries down and rest. We’ve all been handed a fate that is ours and ours alone and living it could be the easiest thing you will ever do–if you choose to enjoy the ride.
Have a good time.
Don’t get attached to what you think are “failures.”
Surround yourself with people who you love.