Leesa Dean on Shooting Yourself in the Foot

bullet-in-footAdventures in Digital Series Land – Chapter 110
by Leesa Dean

Been working like a psycho, trying to bang out these mini-episodes and it’s been tough.  Wanna have 35 in the can before I return to final animation production on the new series—hopefully within 2 1/2 weeks. It’s a lot.

Meanwhile, in the midst of all of this, I spoke with a friend whose script recently made it into the first round of a prestigious competition.  She wrote about it on Facebook and when I congratulated her, she minimized the achievement. That mini act of self-deprecation stopped me in my tracks and I thought I’d write about it. Mostly cause it’s something I used to do all the time. Until recently.

Why? Three reasons:

1- I had some success at a pretty young age and was used to people’s jealous reactions. It’s normal. It’s part of show business. It’s hard to take. I thought if I trivialized the good things that were happening to me, it would minimize some of the personal backlash.  (Spoiler Alert: It Didn’t.)

2- I come from the kind of family where it’s mostly considered bad taste to crow about success.

3- I was kinda socialized to be that way as a woman. It’s a subtle thing, but I’ve learned that part of being successful is acting successful and if you’re female and act successful, you just might get called a bitch. Or arrogant. Sad, but true.

Ultimately, I learned the hard way, in business (and in life) it’s a fatal mistake to be self-deprecating. And trivializing an achievement is just that. If you tell people, “Yeah, I won a Pulitzer, buuuuttt, it’s really no biggie”, people will believe you. And treat you that way. Like you’re somehow not deserving of that accolade. I’m not suggesting bragging about achievements, but own them, deal with jealousy and ultimately people will treat you accordingly.

On a final, unrelated note, Will Keenan is leaving his post as President of Endemol Beyond USA. Will reached out to me two years ago when he was still at Maker, offering me a contract there. It not only meant a lot to me that he believed in Chilltown but we really hit it off. Sadly we couldn’t come to terms contractually so the deal with Maker was not be but have stayed in touch. He’s a great guy and has done so much for the digital community. He wrote on FB today that he already has new plans in the works and whatever they are I’m sure they’ll be spectacular.  I wish him well wherever he goes.


Leesa Dean is the creator of CHILLTOWN TV, a digital series to reckon with. Learn more about Leesa and the series HERE

About ChilltownTV

I'm primarily a writer. Sold a few series to tv networks and production companies but never had anything get on the air. So I taught myself how to animate and completed 3 digital series, launching two. The first, Chilltown has been named one of "Five Web Series That Should Be on Your Radar" by ABCNews/Univision and a "Show to Watch" by Tubefilter. The second, Lele's Ratchet Advice Show, garnered a fanatic cult following. As a result, I now do Lele's 60 Second Wrap Up, a weekly comedic entertainment report (which I write & perform) that airs on urban radio stations Rhythm 105.9fm and the Just Wake Up Morning Show on WWRNfm.

One thought on “Leesa Dean on Shooting Yourself in the Foot

  1. ChilltownTV says:

    Thanks for posting LB & Munchman!

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