I am a choreographer.
Bet you didn’t know that.
(There’s a whole lot of shit you don’t know about me.)
I’m also a DJ and a dance instructor. I can draw blood (it’s called a phlebotomist) and I used to be a medical assistant for a dermatologist. Yup. Pick your mouths up off the floor, ok? I’m not as dumb as I look! I actually can do a plethora of neat crap that only my closest friends and family know. I was a Musical Theatre major at Michigan State University, the Drama Director at a summer camp in Algonquin Park, Ontario…and I love to sing and dance. I am a great dancer and a good singer. I can act, too. But I wasn’t fantastic enough to get anywhere.
But I was talented. Still am, sorta.
I can remember when I was choreographing and directing my plays I used to hate when I didn’t get the credit I deserved. I wanted everyone to know that what went up on that stage was MY work…my blood, sweat, and tears. It’s tough when you are in the creative industry and don’t get credit for what’s yours. I remember this one time I worked my ass off on a show, literally choreographed the entire thing, and when the program came out on opening night my name wasn’t there. They left me out! Actually, they had another girl in my place that didn’t do shit. Ok, she did something but it was like shit.
Even worse, when someone else gets credit for the amazingness that you are, and the outstanding work that you did.
Back then, I was young and stupid. I didn’t say a word I just sat there seething…
But I swore that day that I would always give credit where credit is due.
I would make sure to always give props (be honest and forthcoming) and be careful when working on a project. I would take ownership of what is mine and not one bit of creative ownership unless I wrote it, choreographed it, or it came out of my mouth. In fact, being a writer, I make it a point not to watch certain TV shows that have similar content as my TV pilot, so I don’t “subconsciously” write it. It can happen by mistake sometimes and you don’t even realize you’re doing it! People ask me all the time if I watch “Divorce” on HBO or “Splitting Up Together” with Oliver Hudson. The answer is always no. It’s too close to my genre and I never want to be called out for creative plagiarism.
So, you can imagine my dismay when I see my work, words, or my ideas being used or published as someone else’s. Right? Can you even imagine how fucking sick I feel when I open an email to see “The Secret Sauce to a Relationship is…” or a phrase that I’ve coined as my own or something that I’ve said or done recently? And sure, I get it! You can’t copyright an “idea” but come on, y’all. You know in your heart when you’re stealing someone else’s shit.