#4- Korey Pollard - 1st Assistant Director

Updated: Jul 9


Korey Pollard is a 1st Assistant Director in the Director’s Guild of America and shares stories of working on Jack Ryan, The Orville, and 9-1-1.


He discusses his recovery from addiction and trauma, and his passion for education.


Listen to Korey and Tanya talk shop and finding healthy boundaries in the entertainment industry.



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Full Transcript


Tanya Musgrave:

Welcome to There to Here, it is an educational podcast where industry professionals talk nuts and bolts and how they got from there to here. I am Tanya Musgrave, the creative director here at CoLab Inc. and today I have Korey Pollard with us. He is an assistant director in the Directors Guild of America, and he's worked on shows such as Jack Ryan, Orville, 9-1-1, and also worked on The Assassination of Gianni Versace. So, please introduce yourself further and your role in the industry.

Korey Pollard:

Excellent. Thank you. Thanks for asking me. I'm Korey Pollard and I'm a grateful migrant film worker now for over 30 years. I work as an assistant director, solving other people's problems. I'm the guy that is responsible for everything and in control of very little on a movie set or a television set, and I seem to love that pressure.

Tanya Musgrave:

That's fantastic. All right, you've got to catch me up because the last time that I talked to you, it was about seven years ago and you had-

Korey Pollard:

Wow.

Tanya Musgrave:

Yeah, right. You had been AD-ing on the set of Nashville and you had a seizure and that is about the last place that I left you. So, what's happened in the last year 7 years for you?

Korey Pollard:

Well, the only solid answer I have about what happened on the set of Nashville was that it was not a seizure. It appeared to be a seizure, but they went through testing and realized that I did not have a seizure through the parameters of what was affected by whatever it was. But what definitely happened is that I seemed to have passed out or fainted and had some spasms in my body that led everybody to believe that, that's what it was. And I am discovering now, many years later the reality that, that perhaps was a complete overload from being raised in the environment that I was raised in, and then diving right directly into this position of responsibility in the motion picture industry as the guy responsible for everything, in control of nothing.

Korey Pollard:

And that it was probably a stress response because I had continually put myself in these really... I'm overly responsible and have a deep need for people's approval. So, I don't say no and I just deliver at whatever level. And apparently, that's a very good trait as an assistant director, but not for your human psyche if you don't have the rest of your life in order.

Tanya Musgrave:

Yeah, it's easy to be exploited. So, I want you to expand on that a little bit because you are writing a book now and I was able to read the intro to it, and you had mentioned a little bit about, how you grew up and stuff, but a lot of that had involved addiction and that kind of thing, so expand.

Korey Pollard:

Yeah. Well, basically, what's very amazing to me is that you reach out to me at the time that I'm working deeply on this, because of COVID, I have time every day to sit with the writer's group and just do the work. Literally, my adventure from Walla Walla, Washington as a bumpkin, to ending up in the film, Stand by Me as a teenager, to then diving behind the camera at 18 and working my way through. And so, essentially what it is, is sort of a Quentin Tarantinoesque nonlinear timeline with the impact of these certain events that have happened in my life.

Korey Pollard:

Because I've had so many amazing things happen in my life and then, so many things that are considered trauma when they happen to you at a young age, witnessing a man jump off of a building, having my father never address that it had happened, and only just in my late 40s being able to ask him the question whether or not we saw that. Being raised by him being an alcoholic and a drug addict for many years growing up. My mother growing up in an alcoholic home, none of this is their fault, but I was the recipient of the lack of life skill, the recipient of poor communication, and didn't learn how to stand up for myself.

Korey Pollard:

And so, through that event in Nashville, it began to make me wonder, why do I say yes to everything? I had been in such an incredible position on season one of Nashville. I was surrounded by producers and people that I really cared about and that really cared about me. We were moving toward getting me to direct in the second season, and at the end of the time of the first season, they fired almost all of those producers. And the new producer called and invited me back out of the group that they had fired. Everything in me said no, but out of my mouth came yes. And so, I went into it trying to win the approval of people that I didn't know and I didn't really need their approval. The opportunity to direct was gone. There was no one there anymore that was going to fight for me and that was the only reason I really wanted to go back.

Korey Pollard:

As I woke up on the ground that day, these were the things going through my mind. This was no more stressful, it was no larger than the year before, there was nothing different except I didn't have that support of the people. So, now I was starting over trying to win approval. And that occurred to me that maybe that could be it, the doctor and I had begun to discuss and [inaudible] That's really nice, man, you could actually admit that maybe it was stress. And that was about as far as that went that year. I just went through the depression of being removed from the show, coming back to Los Angeles, and until they could prove that it wasn't a seizure, I could not drive. I thought for sure my career was going to be over, that I would never have another opportunity based on the fact that I fish flopped on a set in front of 60 people on a tech scout.

Korey Pollard:

But the exact opposite happened. I think you read in the intro, but, so many coincidences from the moment of that event in Nashville, and I don't believe in coincidences. I literally had an experience where this was actually, literally happened probably two days after we spoke the last time, as I'm remembering it now-

Tanya Musgrave:

What?

Korey Pollard:

My wife was freaking out. She was freaking out about the cost of an air conditioner and all of these things that were coming as a result of this, and I remember saying to her on the phone, "Honey, it's going to be okay. There are people in the world that don't have electricity or water. We're going to be okay even in the valley in the summertime." And I got a text from the president of Compass College of the Cinematic Arts asking if I was okay, that she had heard through the Grapevine that something had happened, and wondering if it was medically possible, if I could now come and be the keynote speaker, and it was a paid speaking gig. It was a really exciting thing. It's something I really enjoyed doing. And it was the exact amount of money that my wife had just quoted to me that they were going to pay me-

Tanya Musgrave:

Get out-

Korey Pollard:

... to fix the air conditioning. I'm like, "Oh my gosh." So, from there, I ended up speaking. Then I ended up spending a year kind of teaching and doing other things a little bit online, a little bit of different things, and then I went right back into the fold. And giving all this energy toward all these other projects, that are fantastic. All those projects on IMDb, I'm pretty blown away. Most often when I look at that, I cannot believe I was a part of any of it. But I stopped taking care of me and setting boundaries, and it took until this year to kind of step back into a place of going, "Wow, this industry will take as much as I'm willing to give, and ultimately, no one really cares." I care about the projects, I care about the writers, the actors, and all the people involved, but I might have an unhealthy need for approval and be overly responsible and need to look at this, if that makes any sense.

Tanya Musgrave:

No, no, no. That's incredible. So, it's been a lot more of... I mean, because the professional journey that you've taken the last seven years is quite notable as well.

Korey Pollard:

Yeah. That's what's crazy.

Tanya Musgrave:

But it seems to me that the book that you were mentioning, which by the way, does it have a title? And when would people-

Korey Pollard:

I don't know, I'll have to just let you know when I actually get the titles out there. We're about three quarters of the way through with the book right now, and I'm excited about it.

Tanya Musgrave:

Nice.

Korey Pollard:

The reality of what you just said is the intervening years were notable and some things that changed about that, that really... As I woke up and continued to have sort of... After being 20 plus years of kind of forrest-gumping my way through the business, I call it, I think I may have used that term with you before, where I just sort of made it through really tough personalities, really rough situations with [inaudible] What if we tried this? And I had an agent pursue me, and I thought, I don't need an agent. I don't want an agent. I'd rather not give up a percentage of my money cause I just seem to get repeat business, and this repeat business is fantastic. These people are all people that I care about.

Korey Pollard:

First, I ignored him and I refused his email requests and all that stuff. And I finally said, "Why am I on your radar?" And he goes, "Because of the quantity and the quality of your work, and I don't represent any assistant directors who work on the quality of the projects that you work on." And I said, "Why do you think I need an agent?" Because I get most of my work from repeat call. Someone calls me directly and says, "Hey buddy, we really would like your help." He goes, "I think I can get you into more rooms than you would ever imagine. I think I can get you into other meetings." I'm like, "Okay, maybe I do want to expand my horizons a little bit." So, I did it. And then came the Jack Ryan, and that was the one that defined for me the reality that I was now in a space where the boundaries that I needed to create in my own life were more important than the projects.

Korey Pollard:

And that was a real eye opening moment for me, because I had given up so much all the time to just acquiesce to serve the project, to serve this faithful God thing that I believe in by serving other people. And there became a point where I went, "Huh, so I'm on the easiest job of my career, The Middle, a TV show, half hour, it was in its seventh year that year. I literally would break down the script on a Monday morning, walk into their office by one or two o'clock in the afternoon, hand them a board, and then I would go in my office and think I was supposed to be doing something. And then three hours later, the production manager whose office was right next to mine, [inaudible] came in, he goes, "Why are you still here?" I'm like, "I don't..." He goes, "Dude, trust me. You absolutely could've gone home three hours ago when you handed in the board. This is going to be the easiest thing you've ever done."

Korey Pollard:

So, as a result, I started kind of chugging that time that I had available into these other things. But then, over the Christmas break comes the drug addict version of my personality in my career. I get a text from a producer friend of mine that says, "Are you interested in Morocco, Paris, Rome and Montreal." Sends it. 15 minutes later, my agent sends the same text. The two of them had been talking. He had a need on the Jack Ryan series, they were replacing somebody. And I took my phone and I just put it up to my wife and I said... And she saw those places and said, "Ah, yes you are." Which meant I had to leave the project of The Middle during the break in order to do that, which was the... In hindsight, retrospect, it was the wrong thing to do, but I did it. And I got to that job and it was not healthy for me.

Korey Pollard:

There was bullying in the situation, and I was so verbally abused by this particular bully, that I knelt next to the monitor one night at two in the morning and was realizing that... This was in Montreal with one guy in a hallway with a gun, and he couldn't wrap his mind around the safety concerns that I was bringing up and was... I won. I did not allow him to do something that I thought was unsafe, but the verbal abuse and the pressure that was on me from that moment forward, I thought, I'm not going to another country and putting hundreds of guns into people's hands and landing a helicopter, and approximating missiles blowing up guard shacks and doing these things with a guy that I can't communicate how one person with a gun is dangerous.

Korey Pollard:

I need to write a letter to the studio and explain that, I feel this is a bullying situation. I am not interested in pressing any kind of human resources issue, but I would like to be replaced because I'm not comfortable going to the next phase of this project with this guy.

Tanya Musgrave:

Of course.

Korey Pollard:

Well, two hours later, I stand up and two producers arrive at the set. None of them have been there all day while this verbal tirade is going on. And they were letting me know they were going to replace me. And I said, "Well, thank you." And they went, "What?" And I said, "Yeah, because I was going to write one of the hardest emails of my life, and I don't want to be that guy. But this is not an environment for me, I'm in total agreement and I apologize that I'm not the guy you thought I was, or I'm not as capable as I thought I was of doing this. But there's no amount of money and no amount of prestige that is worth feeling like I feel everyday coming to work. God bless. Godspeed." And I moved on.

Korey Pollard:

But literally, from that moment, I started to have the depression and I started to have all the, "Oh my God, I'm a failure, I'm this and that." But here I am. I stood up for myself and now it's a bad thing? That's part of my issues that I'm working out through my therapy and all of the things that I'm doing right now. It's just who I am, and took me a lot of years to be able to admit that. But as a result-

Tanya Musgrave:

No, good for you. Good for you, though.

Korey Pollard:

Yeah, well, thank you.

Tanya Musgrave:

No, seriously, I think there's so much in the industry where it's just like you have to push the hardest, you have to be the best, or you have to climb the ladder, or you have to work all of those hours because there's somebody else out there that's going to work those hours in place of you. And so, there's this mindset that there are no boundaries in order to reach the top. And when you get to the end of it and you realize that you have been carving out pieces of yourself and not-

Korey Pollard:

Yeah, emptying myself and not feeding it. And so, thank for that. And what happened... I'm so glad that, that makes sense. Conveying in the writing of this stuff is the hardest part. It's not just for people in the industry, it's the reality that we all do this, mine just happened to have been around Hollywood, so there's going to be some notables. So, what ends up happening then is I have this series of events that lead me into this space of doing... And you don't even know that I've been doing this, but I've been working with in prison education.

Tanya Musgrave:

Oh, get out.

Korey Pollard:

Working with a place called Defy Ventures, and this is all just me volunteering my time and energy-

Tanya Musgrave:

Are you serious? No, seriously, if I had another lifetime, in prison education and juvenile hall is where I would spend my time.

Korey Pollard:

Well, there is a reason that we're connecting right now, there clearly is. Because go online and look at Unincarcerated productions, look at them on Facebook, look at them on Instagram, we're working right now posting people's perspective from prison of how you might want to try to deal with the isolation of the COVID risk situation we're in right now-

Tanya Musgrave:

Get out.

Korey Pollard:

And what we are doing is Unincarcerated Productions is... Well, let me tell you how I got into it first because I can just beam about these guys. Spencer Oberg and Vic and Rachel and the folks that I'm involved with in this are just phenomenal human beings in the way that we've all come together and how this thing continues to build. From the moment that I get let go and I come home and I'm facing my depression, a buddy of mine from Nashville, Dustin Hillis, calls me and says, "Hey man, I'm coming to LA on X date." "I just got fired. Going to be there." And he wanted me to have dinner with him and a woman that runs an organization called Liberty in North Korea, LiNK. And they are essentially a underground railroad that goes through China for people who are escaping, and gets them education, and placed all over the world. Some have been placed here in the United States and gone to school and gotten out and gotten their careers together, and this whole thing, and I'm like, "Ooh, this is super interesting."

Korey Pollard:

So, we make the date. I go, "I'm fired. I'm here." Then, on the day of the dinner, I get a call from Dustin at about noon and he is weeping on the phone. [inaudible] "Are you okay? What is going on, Dustin?" And he says, "Man, you've got to come in and do this." I'm like, "What are you talking about? Where are you? Are we having dinner tonight?" He goes, "Yeah, I'm in Pelican Bay." Which is a maximum security prison in Southern Oregon and North California, it's the most remote, maximum security prison. He had volunteered with Defy Ventures to go in and judge one of the competitions, which are... They're like a Shark Tank, they can win 500 to a thousand toward building businesses. They come up with a business plan that will hire felons when they get out. And they actually have launched a number of businesses that will continue to kind of hire folks that have that mark against themselves.

Tanya Musgrave:

Wow.

Korey Pollard:

And so, he had this profound experience and really thought that I needed to be a part of it. Calls me weeping, explains to me what it is, gives me a phone number, says, "You just need to call this number." So, I call, and the next crazy thing that happens is that the voice that answered the phone on the other end of the line was a friend of mine named Danielle McMorran from Nashville as well. And I signed up to go into California city and have my first experience with them. Three days after signing up, I'm in a unrelated business meeting with an experiential studio called the GreatCo, another amazing company out here. And we were designing a haunted house for Fox. They were reissuing some classic horror titles, and we envisioned an event where you could go through and experience scenes from these movies. We created this whole thing.

Korey Pollard:

And so, we were having these meetings about it and the owner of that company asked me, he goes, "What are you doing after this meeting?" I said, "I'm waiting in downtown Los Angeles because it's traffic." He goes, "I think you should come with me to this next meeting. I'm going to a place called [inaudible] and they wanted me to consider teaching some video courses for them." So, I go on and meet the guy and then, around the glass offices on the outside, were a lot of really interesting, diverse, large, tattooed prison type people, I would say. So, I asked Mike, "What is going on there?" He goes, "Well we're hosting the first postgraduate group of Defy Ventures."

Korey Pollard:

Now, I had never heard of Defy Ventures. Dustin calls me, tells me I need to do it. I make the phone call, someone I know picks up the phone. Now I'm standing in a completely unrelated space in a span of three days and it's Defy Ventures, and I start to cry. He's like, "What is up, dude? I said, "I was just on the phone with Danielle McMorran... You know Danielle?" He goes, "You know what? Cate Hoke, the CEO is going to be here in two hours, brother, I think you're supposed to be here right now."

Korey Pollard:

And bam, literally three days later, I'm sitting talking with the CEO of this organization and walking down a road that I didn't imagine. Went into the prison, had some ideas, and from there, we actually licensed the Defy curriculum and we created a program up in Washington. All of this is within this year of me saying, "I have no idea what's supposed to happen for me. I don't have a job in the movie business." And it just continues that way, and then I jump back into the business and nothing happened for a year.

Tanya Musgrave:

Wow.

Korey Pollard:

And I ended up getting my boundaries crossed again, and had to literally stop and go, "Maybe I'm not supposed to be in this business anymore." And then, COVID happened. Is that a lot? It's like a sip from the fire hose dealing with me, isn't it?

Tanya Musgrave:

Okay. So, is your involvement in the industry something that you see continuing on? Or, the parallel side of things that I definitely see is your passion for education.

Korey Pollard:

Yeah. And the two seem to be coming together. That's what's so interesting, is we were talking about... My involvement in Washington became pretty intense and I was doing it while working on a couple of shows and then, the organization kind of got itself off to the ground where it was running well, and now it's sustaining itself and more people are getting involved, and it's working its way very slowly. It's a very painful process. And I'm still doing TV shows, and I'm still doing things. I'm doing 9-1-1 season one, I'm doing the Versace, I'm doing those other things, but I'm not feeling it. I'm just getting more and more frustrated with the boundaries they're getting crossed for me. And as those things continue to unfold, and I finally put the foot down and just go, "I can't do this anymore in this way. There's a way that I think it can be done. I'm not sure the smartest guy in the room, but I definitely been in this process for a long time and I think if certain things could change, it might be possible."

Korey Pollard:

After I left those shows, an executive that I've become friendly with over the last 15 years having worked at Fox for a long time, he agreed to have a coffee with me. Because I just wanted to share with him that it wasn't a personal thing, it was just... But I wanted to make sure that he understood what happened and what I had gone through.

Korey Pollard:

So, I said, "Here's what I've learned about myself at 50. I don't need to be in an environment where we're working 16 to 17 hours a day because there's no parameters on a particular personality that is considered the 800 pound gorilla. And I don't like the chaos of this particular project. So, I think that there are toxic personalities that I can't be around anymore. And a lot of them seem to be in this kind of running of this organization, because it just is who you hire. I think there's a place where you have to look at the toxic personalities that you're hiring and try to put together better teams. And I'm sure you don't know what that looks like for you, but because I've been on those sets for all those years, I know people that... If I put certain people together, I have a feeling there would be an amazing experience. But it's more like they just hire a person and throw them all together and expect something good to happen. And that's business. That's how it happens. So, I'm an idealist."

Korey Pollard:

And as I continued this conversation with him and then started talking about my educational portions, I said, "Hey, so where does Fox go to get and recruit from college their executives." And he said, "We don't." I said, "Well, isn't that a travesty that you don't have programs that kind of lead toward the kind of job. Consider coming to one of my educational components and see how an executive training program might be able to be made. And wouldn't it be interesting if we could do that with crew members as well, train them in the efficient ways and earmark them, because they went to a certain program that we all agree is a great program-"

Tanya Musgrave:

I guess, you could say, an unaccredited trade school where-

Korey Pollard:

Correct, or-

Tanya Musgrave:

Because who needs credentials at that point where you just enter the industry.

Korey Pollard:

Correct. And you can do it in accredited space, you just have to figure out how to... And that's the conversations we're in with Compass College of the Cinematic Arts and Grand Rapids. As they got into the bachelor program, they went further from the craft and from the actual trade part of it, which is the most important skill to get you in the industry. Then you can utilize all that theory and all those things you've done. So, all of this to say that, if anybody asked me if I had ever considered becoming an executive, and I went, "No, had not crossed my mind." And we started talking about that. And then, it came up to... I would probably be better served by becoming a unit production manager and a line producer first.

Korey Pollard:

And so, I'm in these conversations with these folks at Fox having also had the education concept, and I'm going to continue doing those things whether I become a UPM or a line producer or an executive at Fox, no matter what. And I've realized that this is who I am. I'm not just an AD that works on a movie set and disappears for months at a time, and doesn't know how to have friends, and my family suffers because I obsessively workaholicly work in that environment. That this is the package of who I am and what I can offer in anywhere. And it gave me a little confidence to go, "Okay, Fox may not buy it, but somebody will eventually, that this is a good idea." There are schools who are already working with me to implement workshops and week long and then, I've got a three week undergraduate course that eventually, I think that there's going to be a place where that impacts post COVID industry.

Korey Pollard:

Because there's going to be such a huge need, now wrapping it back to kind of that side of it, right? In the past we've done strikes, we've known strikes were coming. The writers strike that happened in 2007, people knew it was coming and there's this green light to just flood the pipeline, so you have tons of stuff. Well, this caught most people by surprise and the result is, that right at the time Fox was bought by Disney, and the conversation I was in, was we are going to have opportunity for you very soon because they are going to increase our output by 50% in one year and even more the following year. So, that's just Fox. We have so many streaming platforms, so many different opportunities that, there are green-lighting things and as a result, the issues in the industry right now currently prior to COVID, lack of trained staff to conduct the jobs in all the crafts, lack of real estate, studios and large space.

Korey Pollard:

Now that's an easy solve because I've been involved with many practical projects where you don't have a stage, everything you do is shooting on location and that's great. But the reality is, the business is growing so fast that there is a need for larger amounts of stage space, and that's not just the United States, it's all over the world that this is the problem. So, this is a booming time and is going to get even busier, I believe, after this period, and there's going to be a lot of unqualified people doing the work.

Korey Pollard:

And as we were talking about also prior to this call, this is going to be a place where they start to look at the reality that, a lot of the old equipment that we've been using isn't necessary anymore with LED lights and the high capacity chips and using low... The sensors can now take less light, but we still lug around our fossil fuels. We still lug around those, because we've always done it that way, and they own all that equipment. But this is going to be a time of liquidation change. [inaudible] is going to take a lot of big 800 pound gorillas that think they're the creative masters out. We are at the precipice of a brand new Wild West in the business and in our culture.

Tanya Musgrave:

Oh yeah. This is going to change so many things like what we were talking about before. I mean, just little things like the [inaudible] that are completely self-sustainable that don't need [inaudible 00:26:25].

Korey Pollard:

[inaudible] Look them up, they're amazing. [inaudible] is what they're called. He is amazing what he has done, Andre.

Tanya Musgrave:

The amount of technology that has come from a necessity of, even just this particular COVID situation, but in education, panoply. The previous interview that I did was a professor, David George, who did a lot of work on panoply, and he hadn't connected the dots that said potentially, this could reduce the amount of people on set. So, with your passion and education, with your experience in the industry, where do you see your landscape changing from here, and taking both of those into a post COVID?

Korey Pollard:

Well, I'm super excited about it because I have been grateful to be on the huge projects that I get to be a part of, and how many people are employed and make their living that way. But at the same time, there is an incredible amount of unnecessary waste of resources and confusion that happens from that. So, I want to see myself as a person that, if in fact, Fox does open the door for me to unit production manage, and what's beautiful about the way they're talking about that is... I'm going to do a little visual aid for you here. So, the studio hands you this book. It says, "These are the people you can hire to rent equipment from." And then, the quote comes back and you hand the quote to the studio and they say, "We can't pay that." Yet, now I'm in the middle, but I can't negotiate. The unit production managers used to go negotiate. The UPM that you hired was the dude that had all the contacts. That's not the case anymore.

Korey Pollard:

So, I told them that, and they said, "Oh no, no, no. We're going to give you an accountant. We'll take care of all of that. We want you to be out from behind the desk solving problems." So, I hope that for me post COVID that I move into hopefully, even smaller projects to prove these models. Because I just believe there's a more efficient way to work, and an enjoyable way to work. And the pressure that I was feeling in those environments on the huge, huge projects, and people operating in fear versus building a team, because I pride myself on trying to build a team and create a cohesive unit where everyone feels responsible for their department and wanting to help the other departments. Not the battle, draw the lines, we need more guys, it's taking more money.

Tanya Musgrave:

Yeah. Well, honestly, it's not just the cohesiveness of the team, it's essentially building up a holistic crew member-

Korey Pollard:

Correct-

Tanya Musgrave:

... that is mentally healthy in a way that the whole entire nature of the beast could change because people understand boundaries and say, "Hey, you know what? No, that's not okay." Where I am sacrificing so much more of myself. And when you create that base level of mental and emotional health, it's something that can change so much more than just [crosstalk 00:29:15].

Korey Pollard:

No, it is. And what's so interesting that you say that is, I have been noting that exact change in basically, your generation and the generation under you that are coming in the industry, where when they told us on 9-1-1 on a Thursday or a Friday, you're going to be working on Saturday or Sunday. A lot of people just go, "Okay, that's what we're doing." This younger generation started to teach me, "Dude, you're crazy. You just keep doing what they're telling you to do without questioning. What is wrong with you? You're a pretty cool guy. You're pretty aware." Then you go, "Oh this can change." So, I'm glad that you see that as well, because I really believe it's going to take people like you and podcasts like this, and people that are reaching toward this industry to hear someone's experience like mine, which I hope comes out very clearly in the book. Because what you just said is exactly the intention behind what I'm writing-

Tanya Musgrave:

That's amazing.

Korey Pollard:

Is to go just lay it out there, warts and all, embarrassing things and all, that I've stupidly done and go, "Now how does this apply to you in the insurance office? How does this apply to you working at the hospital?" Wherever you are, we all need those healthy boundaries. And at the same time, creating a loyalty to the organization that says, "Ah God, yeah, cover yourself, bring somebody else in. We love you, we want you back." But there's such a fear that you're going to get replaced. And today, I'm comfortable in saying, "I don't care."

Tanya Musgrave:

So, a lot of what you've been talking about is this post COVID. Hopefully, this will happen and this is what I can see happening. So, I want to see what your present is looking like. How has it affected your day to day? Because I know that a lot of my friends are actually non-union, and so they aren't being taken care of necessarily. And I don't know, are you being taken care of?

Korey Pollard:

No, no. They're advising us on what are possible ways of us being supported through unemployment, all those things, which has always been disastrous for people in the industry who are in the union because I get residuals. It sounds like a big deal, 50 cent, $2, a hundred dollar for a big... These checks that come quarterly, and those have constantly disrupted unemployment for me to the point where I have just stopped trying to do it. So presently, I have worked really hard to be a man that takes the beginning of the day and the end of the day in silence, meditation, let's call it. And I do a real inventorying process at the end of the day of what could I have done better? Did I do something that's stepped on someone's toes? Is there something that I need to apologize for? Just to kind of keep my world cleaned. It's a 12 step program thing that I've learned through my recovery, but I also am writing the migrant film Workers Anonymous, The 12 Steps for the people dumb enough to want to do this for a living, which is, just this process of being present can help you sleep better at night, be where you are.

Korey Pollard:

So, I came into this COVID time thinking, "Oh, it's going to be amazing. All right, I'll do this. I'll do all these things." And I have these lists and lists and lists. And the only thing that lasted on the list was the book now. There were scripts, there were all these things that I was going to do. And as each day has unfolded, I'm putting less and less on my plate to get done for something that I think is going to affect after COVID. And I'm being more present to what is happening today in my home with my 19 year old daughter who's home from college and taking a general ed courses online right now. Being available to my wife who up to this point is an influencer. She's got 3000 followers on a thing called We Are Midlife. And figuring out how she can realistically engage in this environment, because she's got advertisers sending her products that just... She goes, "It's inappropriate right now." The way that I am spending my time in a structured way is A, getting out of bed and making it, putting on clothes more days than I don't, showering, doing all of that regular stuff, being doing yoga.

Korey Pollard:

And this one hour a day writing group that I'm doing on Facebook through Anna David and her Launch Pad, is what they're called. This amazing self-publishing groups who teaches educational things [inaudible 00:33:27]. There's about 15 of us doing that on a daily basis. So, I'm learning, as the yoga was becoming the thing and the writing was becoming the thing, and then I injured my back picking up a Dustbuster. Literally, had a spasm, I haven't had a back problem in, I don't know, 10 or 12 years. I haven't had anything. So, suddenly I couldn't even do the yoga.

Korey Pollard:

So, presently, I'm working at being present and not obsessively writing 10 hours a day, but spending one hour, and then maybe I'll get an additional hour if it's super inspirational at that point. Then I'm unplugging from my self centeredness and trying to be available for my daughter. If she needs help with college courses, I didn't go, but I'll try to help any way I can. Cooking, maintaining the house, keeping routine, and just being present, and going to have to accept the world that comes out of this when it comes out. Because we can't... No one knows, it's unprecedented.

Tanya Musgrave:

Exactly.

Korey Pollard:

You can sit here and theorize all you want.

Tanya Musgrave:

Exactly. Yeah.

Korey Pollard:

We don't even know when.

Tanya Musgrave:

So, it's very interesting that you say that because the last two episodes that we've recorded, I remember when I first got into this, I was like, "Oh, this is going to be great because we're going to get all these perspectives from people and how it's going to possibly change things in the future." And there is that kind of side of things. But at the same time, after that second one that I recorded, I remember reading a lot of these articles about, you know what? It's okay to not do anything right now. It's okay to not be constantly looking at the future. And it's a very US thing to overwork and to push, push, push. And maybe this is coming back to our original conversation about just being healthy and making sure that we have a correct perspective on things, or a healthy perspective on things. And so, I was curious then, with that balance, where do you think that it is best for artists to position themselves right now?

Korey Pollard:

Well, I really think that especially in the entertainment motion picture television realm and the need for good content, there's so much good content out there that's written that doesn't ever get across the table, because it's been that closed circled wagons, small [inaudible] boys group, whatever the group is, you know what I mean? But it seems to have been impenetrable. Do the good work now don't give up on the things that you've written in the past. There's a lot of people available right now. You would probably see that people would be more apt to look at things right now, I'm not saying submit things unsolicited, but the relationships that can be built in a time like this where people are completely isolated and more open is incredible. And the thing that has served me the most creatively and professionally has been the days, times, and relationships I've built with people that have become mentors, because I respected their work or respected how they did their work, and having had the opportunity to meet them and ask them, how did you get to this perspective? Not, how do I become you?

Korey Pollard:

What have you been through to get to where you are? I want to understand that. I'm not asking you for a job, I'm asking you for an opportunity. So, with that in mind, any creative person who's got somebody that's inspired them, has lit their passion, I would work at trying to just reach out and not be creepy? Because I have a feeling you might have a chance to extend... I think your previous guest actually said a very similar thing and I thought it was really apropos, the reality of how many people are sitting talent-wise, nothing happening. And again, for those of you that are out there that have access to a lawyer or can... Lawyer to lawyer submissions work. If you figure out who the lawyer is, if a studio or a person that you want to connect with, a lawyer to a lawyer is taken very seriously. Just so you know. Does that make sense?

Tanya Musgrave:

Yeah.

Korey Pollard:

I feel like I talk too much.

Tanya Musgrave:

That's the nature of a podcast. So, that's why I have you on the podcast.

Korey Pollard:

Thank you. Okay, good.

Tanya Musgrave:

No, but do you have any additional thoughts that you can think of that is pertinent to right now, that you might've wanted to mention earlier? I don't know. [crosstalk 00:37:47].

Korey Pollard:

Well, for me, again, the reality of creatively doing what you're doing, but at the same time, the physical thing, it's really important to move. And I didn't over move and hurt my back, I just had some freak thing that caused me to even have to slow down to be in a more present, which I'm grateful for. But the thing that has helped me the most has been the way that my wife and I have taken some of our yoga classes together out here in my den. And she takes one sometimes alone in there, I take one. Figuring out that it's okay to not have every minute be together and it's okay not to isolate completely and ignore the people that are in your life during this time as well, and to stay connected. So, finding a really nice balance between what you do emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically at this time has been profound for me, especially after hurting the back and seeing the ways in which I use people, places and things to escape what's really going on in the moment with me.

Korey Pollard:

And so, now with the back being hurt the last couple of days, I've been just doing the writing and doing a lot more just quiet contemplation. The only thing I've voraciously consumed on Netflix has been Ozark and I only allowed myself to watch two episodes... Well, I talked my wife into three at one time, but we just finished that season. So, I'm not even doing what I thought I would do, which is obsessively watching movies and-

Tanya Musgrave:

Not even Tiger King?

Korey Pollard:

Nope. I am actually going to steer clear... I grew up with people like that and I pretty well traumatized by them enough that I'm not sure I need to go there. And I'm enjoying not seeing it, but knowing a gist of what it is and seeing all the memes, and especially the Trump ones, those are killing me. Have you seen those where they got him as the guy? Anyway, no, I'm not going to do it. I hopefully, will make it to my grave with saying, "I did not watch Tiger King."

Tanya Musgrave:

That's the best. Well, thank you so much for your time. Thank you for joining us. So, if you want to follow along and make sure that you get updates about the potential book that is going to be coming out, and you want to be on the lookout for the educational platform that Korey is involved with, you can follow him on Instagram @migrantfilmworker and also look him up on Facebook, and go ahead and mention CoLab Inc. or myself and he will engage with you. So, don't pass up the opportunity.

Korey Pollard:

Don't pass it up.

Tanya Musgrave:

If you enjoyed this interview, you can follow us right here and check out more episodes @colabinc.org and we will see you next time on There to Here.

Korey Pollard:

Thank you so much, this was fantastic.



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