Entrepreneurship is a word that has always fascinated me. When I came to Hollywood 25 years ago, I realized very quickly that most people who work in the industry must be entrepreneurs. Nothing is given to you, especially if you are a stranger with no connections. The fact that people can take ideas and turn them into tangible, valuable things is very appealing. This is what I love about movies and art in general.
After working very hard to be an actor, I finally found some success in independent film. I worked on a half-dozen or so films, shot a few commercials, and appeared in one or two forgettable TV shows. I had some strange experiences along the way, and at one point I decided to make my own movies.
Making a movie is a monstrous task, especially when you do it independently. I wrote and produced two feature-length films from 1997 to 2001, which were eventually distributed on Netflix. I realized from this experience that the only way to do anything in Hollywood was to do it myself.
After fifteen years of doing this, with limited success, I decided to try other things. My business background led me to ask the simple question about my time in Hollywood: where is the return on investment? Since I have always had one foot in business and the other in art, I had to consider this question, and the long-term implications of ignoring it.
I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and came up with an acronym, T.I.T.S., which I taped to my computer monitor as a daily reminder. The acronym stands for Travel, Invest, Teach, and Shoot. These were the four things I wanted to spend my life doing. Travel had become an obsession for me, and 92 countries later, I have not lost my love of strange places. Investing came naturally to me. Finding companies to invest in has become like play, and watching money grow is fun. Teaching is the career I was meant for. I love the interaction with students, the story-telling, the lightbulb moments, and the relationships I have developed over the years. It is wonderful to think that I had some small part I helping young people find their success in the world. Shooting refers to my artistic endeavors, which started with movies and short films, web series, and other fun things, and now includes painting, digital art, and whatever appeals to me. Perhaps it is time to change the acronym to T.I.T.A., but I like T.I.T.S.
I have found a new entrepreneurship opportunity in art and travel. There are many websites that allow an artist to set up an online store, upload art work, and place it on an array of products, like shirts, cups, phone covers, etc. This is my new project. All my paintings and some travel photos are for sale as wall art, posters, tablet covers, pillows, etc. It is an exciting new project, and you can find my store on REDBUBBLE.
I am also selling my original paintings on ETSY. There are 40 paintings for sale, and I hope to place them in new homes over the next year. If you like a painting, but do not like the price, send me an email with an offer and I will get back to you within 24 hours.
It’s amazing to create things from idea to product. Give it a try. Set up your own shop on RedBubble or ETSY, and become an entrepreneur.