This week’s spotlight is on Penny McDonald aka Penny Mack (Creative Guru – Macnificent Entertainment)
You have worked in the TV/Music Biz for the past two decades (kudos to U!).
Q: Last year you decided to “Press Reset” and move down South. What prompted you to make that move and why?
A: I decided to leave my job and NY because I wasn’t happy. I feel like everyone has 300 % of their life to give: 100% Health, 100% Social (family included), and 100% Work. I was giving 250% to my job and unfortunately it wasn’t giving enough back in return. I had to sit down and make a hard decision. Do I leave in this uncertain economic climate or do I stay and hope that one day I will be properly rewarded? After a long hard look at my life I decided leaving was the answer. I love NY, but felt like I needed a complete new start, so I moved to Charlotte and officially started over.
Q: Is it better being in business for yourself than working for an employer; are there some advantages of being an entrepreneur?
A: Its definitely better being in business for myself, I can pick and choose what I want to work on and more importantly WHO I want to work with. The down side is hustling for the next gig. I love being an entrepreneur because I no longer run myself ragged. I work on a project and then I take a few weeks (sometimes months) off and allow myself to re-charge my internal battery.
Q: Is there anything else that you are passionate about or is it still TV production?
A: TV Production will always be my first love, especially live television. Lately, I’ve enjoyed writing a bunch of treatments and I think at the end of the year I’m going to attempt my first book.
Q: If you could go back in time and correct one mistake made on your “come up” in the biz, what would it be?
A: If I could correct one mistake (that’s funny I never use the words: if, should’ve, could’ve, or would’ve…we can’t change the past so there is no real point in dwelling on it but since you asked…) I would have not been so trusting of others. I am a firm believer in say what you mean and mean what you say, naive on my part, but unfortunately it is what I believe. Apparently that is not the case in the entertainment industry.
Q: What advice would you give to someone just starting out or someone looking to make a career switch into TV/The Biz?
A: My advice to anyone trying to break into the television industry, is to work hard and do the things no one else wants to do, you will get noticed quickly. Sometimes you have to back door the industry; what I mean by that is maybe no one in production is hiring but there is a spot in the tape library. Take it, get to know everyone, volunteer to help on some shoots, and when a position in production opens up let them know you would love to be considered. Networking is crucial, you never know who will be tomorrow’s boss.