Beware Of Name-Droppers

So let me tell you about this guy that I'll call Mike for story purposes. Mike was a "filmmaker" who said he recently moved from New York City to Virginia to make a movie. My first encounter with Mike was at a local club where he was hosting a table reading of his script. My friend Chris invited me to the venue to meet everyone involved in the "production." Between readings, Mike told stories about working with film heavyweights and super producers. I'm a musician, and at the time, I was desperate for ANY potential industry connection no matter who it was. That desperation made me jump on board without thinking twice, I saw this as a great way to get my music in a film. His stories impressed me but the more he spoke, the more suspicious I got. I told Chris that there was something fishy about Mike, but I had no proof. Chris saw stars during Mike's signature rants and assured me that he had our best interest in mind.

Long story short, I exposed Mike for the fraud he was during a recording session one night. He asked Chris and me to compose a song for his film. Once we started working, I noticed he couldn't execute simple audio functions properly. This perplexed me because Mike claimed he worked on a multitude of hit songs. Mike started stalling and began transitioning into one of his signature stories. I got the bright idea to ask him about industry people that I had made up. Mike claimed to know them all! I even made up names of fake audio plugins, and he claimed to have them all on his computer! I grabbed my phone during the rant to google his name and found accounts of him scamming actors out of money. The reports said Mike was hired to manage various actors, but instead, he stole their money. Needless to say after that night I never spoke to him again.

Assessment

Mike may have had some "experiences" with A-Listers in the past but, it was clear he exaggerated his stories. He used these names to coax people into working for him for free. He tricked the cast into coming back week after week by giving long-winded pep talks to motivate. I also I found out that Mike had been working on this film for years and had been through many groups of actors. I learned a multitude of things from this experience. First, I learned to always be on alert when someone I meet starts mentioning too many well-known names. People that do this are trying to make themselves seem more important than they are. No one cares that you are Jay-Z's brother's cousin's babysitter's uncle's barber. I also learned that time will reveal who someone is. If someone is a big deal, then their actions will show you all you need to know. I hope mike learns that fairy tales are for kids and that he doesn't need to lie to get people to work with him. Beware of the "Mikes" out there.

PS: HE IS NOT FROM NEW YORK :)

FIN

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