Troy DeVolld Tells Us the Secret of Life (& Showbiz) Success

by Troy DeVolld

Last week, I spent a little time watching the Dodgers lose to the Mets with a couple of guys who are really at the top of their game.  One has had a show on the air for more than two decades, the other was a producer who’d had a great career and finally struck real gold on one of the most successful sitcoms of all time.

Neither one had a thing to prove to anyone. They’ve played the game and won it many times over — but if you subtracted their success, they’d probably still be the two most relaxed, genial guys in the room.

Here’s the takeaway: You’ve got to be that person now, on the way in and on the way up.

It’s not enough to work hard.  You’ve got to be likable.  When things get rough, you’ve got to handle it without blowing up or pointing fingers.  You’ve got to have a degree of humility and figure out how to couple that with sometimes having to chase things down, make tough calls, or hold people’s feet to the fire in the name of getting the shows out.  You’ve got to own the times you screw up and keep things moving.  No matter what, remember — IT’S NOT ABOUT YOU, IT’S ABOUT THE SHOW.

I know, because even after 15 years of doing this, sometimes I still trip up.  You will, too. Bravado doesn’t get you anything. Execution and likability will.

Be the person they want to bring back, and you’ll be able to keep building. Be the person who drives them nuts or lets them down, and you’re sunk.

Remember this above just about everything else on this blog, and I promise you you’ll have a better career for having done so.


Troy DeVolld is a longtime LB buddy and one of the masters of the reality TV genre. This article originally appeared on his Reality TV blog. And while you’re thinking about him, why not buy his book, Reality TV: An Insider’s Guide to TV’s Hottest Market?