Few weeks ago, Modern Family co-executive producer, two times Emmy and Golden Globe winner Danny Zuker gave a speech at the Newhouse School’s convocation ceremony.

With humor Zuker talks about his experience as a writer, his unlikely debut, his not-so-long-ago year without a job, and gives seven tips he learned during the two decades he spent in a writer’s room, to keep a job.

Even though you’re not planning to work in a writer’s room I believe many of these rules can be useful if you are planning to collaborate with people.

Here are the seven rules but don’t hesitate to watch the video below to enjoy the examples that illustrate them.

  1. Brush Your Teeth [and try to smell pleasant in general]
  2. Don’t Be a Jerk [no matter how good you are, people will stop hiring you if you’re not a nice person to have around]
  3. Be The Hero [when the opportunity to save the day presents itself, take it. Try to be the person who arrives first and leaves last]
  4. Don’t Pitch a Problem Without Pitching Solutions [There’s a name for people who just pitch problems, they are called Network Executives. Try not to be that.]
  5. Sometimes it’s Ok to be Quiet [don’t talk just to talk]
  6. Don’t Get Married to Your Own Idea
  7. No Clams Ever [ = a Joke or a Situation you’ve seen a million times before]

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By mentorless| 1 Comment | Filmmakers Tools, Writing and Writers

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