The Urban hipster/Creative Influencer are like the Jocks, they are definitely a part of the popular crowd. Rarely have I seen these people in high power positions but they are strong influencers. And their proximity to those in power is unmatched. So don’t let their laissez faire attitude or model bored expression fool you. There are keenly aware of everything that goes on around them and can smell a “wannabe” a mile away. You can’t convince them you belong, they simply decide. Over twenty years ago, I met my first official urban hipster/creative influencer, Gary Harris. Because of him I work in the film business.
I was hanging out in Philadelphia when I met Gary who worked in the music business. When Gary invited me to concert with promises of going back stage, I stupidly said, “How can you do that?” The next day, he raved about the concert. I knew I had been both naïve and little snobbish. So when he invited me to Will Smith’s birthday party I quickly accepted. It was quite a spectacle. Laughing and drinking champagne with Will Smith, PDiddy, Andre Harrell and Russell Simmons who were not yet household names for being trailblazing pop culture icons. Gary and I became great friends. We spent hours on the phone discussing film, TV and music. When I told Gary I was moving to Los Angeles and planned to work in the music business, he immediately balked, “You like to read and are visual, you should be in the film business”. Through a lot of good networking, I met a creative influencer, Desiree DaCosta. At the time, Desiree was Eddie Murphy’s assistant. She recommended me for my first film job as an assistant position at a famous actor’s production company.
How do you fit in with the urban hipster/creative influencer? Don’t doubt their influence. Their closeness to power is not always obvious but don’t assume it doesn’t exist. I learned that lesson early from Gary and didn’t repeat with it with Desiree. Second, be yourself. As creative beings, this clique responds to authenticity. If you are nerd, jock or a cheerleader, don’t try to be of them. It’s not just what you do that gains acceptance by them, it is how they feel about you. This clique is very trusting about their gut reactions to people, places and things. What is their soft spot? They want critical recognition. Let them know their insight or suggestions was helpful to you. Perhaps their recommendation of book or film made you stand out in a conversation or inspired you to change a character in your script. A little acknowledgement goes a long way. What happened to Desiree and Gary? Desiree has been happily married to actor, Blair Underwood and is a stay at home mom. When Gary is not writing fascinating blogs or forwards for books about the business, we spend hours on the phone talking about films, TV and music (http://insideplaya.wordpress.com).