The theme of this week’s episode of Show Your Work is finding the sexy in the unsexy. Or reframing what used to be considered the “unsexy” work of Hollywood. Which is basically everything that happens behind the camera.
Let’s start with the money. Usually the celebrity money stories that get the most play are the ones about how they spend their money – what they buy, what they demand, how much they have – and not really about the work that goes into keeping it, managing it, taking care of it. Last week The Cut published a fascinating interview with Kristin Lee who runs a Hollywood business management agency overseeing the bank accounts and investments of many celebrities and it’s HER work that we want to talk about, it’s her work that’s turning us on.
Not too long ago, showrunners and producers were not household names. These days, they’re the subjects of the articles and the profiles – what was previously “unsexy” is now totally celebrity… and sexy. Last week Amy Adams was featured in The Hollywood Reporter to promote HBO’s upcoming Sharp Objects alongside author Gillian Flynn and showrunner Marti Noxon. Credit to Amy, a five time Oscar nominee, and arguably the most recognizable name in the group, as she probably was the one who pushed to have all of three of them profiled together but, at least in this interview, it’s Marti and Gillian who bring the work porn. It’s not just the stars who cover the magazines now – and we, and the work, are better for it.
That’s where we find Mara Brock-Akil. Well, maybe not a cover, but her work is being highlighted in Wired alongside Oprah which is probably just as big of a deal as landing a cover. Mara Brock-Akil is the creator of Girlfriends (which happened when she was just 30!) and Being Mary Jane and now Love Is__ for OWN. No, she is not yet as well-known as Ryan Murphy or Shonda Rhimes or Kenya Barris. But that doesn’t mean her work is any less sexy. It’s very, very sexy. Her work is universal in its specificity and that too is, finally, getting the sexiness recognition that it deserves.