Social Activism by Paul Alan Smith Shows How to Stay Engaged

With the added exposure afforded by the internet and our increasingly interconnected world, the need for engagement in social causes has never been more apparent. However, it is not always clear how an individual can take actionable steps to combat social injustice, especially within the bounds of a traditional workplace. To help our readers navigate this area, we looked to work by Paul Alan Smith, an agent and manager who has focused a large deal of his time on issues pertaining to social activism.

Personal background

Any work to address social issues is typically much more effective when it is personally meaningful to the individual activist. For this reason, it can be helpful to first look at the background of the entertainment professional and to see from where he draws his drive to produce change. As a child of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Paul Alan Smith is no stranger to political and social activism. Since his youth was spent in the San Francisco Bay Area, he became familiar with this work at a very young age and soon understood the power that can come from the concerted efforts of dedicated groups of people.

In addition to his early exposure to activism, he was also introduced to entertainment, in the form of musical theater, at a young age. This provoked a lifelong love of the art form and provided the first inklings of what he wanted to do with his life. These two influences would eventually lead him to move to Los Angeles with the goal of starting a repertory company that could create individual television content aimed at inciting social change. Though the project never materialized in its intended form, the move would help to set the stage for his career in talent representation moving forward.

Bringing people together

There are many components to successfully contributing to lasting change when it comes to social issues, but perhaps one of the most important is one’s ability to bring people together. This type of work not only helps to spread a message that one feels is pressing in nature, it also allows for the energy of many different people to be focused towards a common good. In the present day and age, this type of power is often organized over the internet, via the power of social media. However, earlier forms of this type of organization relied much more heavily on word of mouth and in-person gatherings.

This was an area in which the entertainment professional has thrived, showing a marked ability for bringing people together throughout his life. Perhaps the most pronounced example of this has been his “speaker soirees,” which he began organizing in the early 2000s. These events were inspired by his observation that many progressive gatherings carried with them a high price of entry, essentially excluding less affluent individuals from attending. To remedy this situation, the agent/manager created events where motivated individuals could come together to participate in talks by thought leaders in progressive areas. These no-cost events became wildly popular and helped further the entertainment professional’s goal of inciting lasting social change.

Change in action

Of course, this kind of change requires more than just the attendance of events and talks, it also relies heavily on actions by individuals. In this area, Paul Alan Smith has again shown himself to be a role model for others. Throughout his professional life, he has repeatedly shown an ability to take on efforts within the framework of a particular workplace to further issues of social importance.

One example of this is his effort to promote alternative means of commuting to the office for his coworkers at the agencies at which he has worked. In the course of these activities, he has helped companies establish incentive programs that cover costs or reimburse individuals who commuted to work utilizing methods other than driving solo in a car. The program helped push individuals to utilize public transportation, bicycles, carpool shares, and more. As a result, his workplaces have been able to cut down on the emission of greenhouse gasses and make a contribution to the fight against climate change.

Change moving forward

The type of dogged commitment to social change that has been displayed by Paul Alan Smith has served to set him apart from his peers throughout his career. By viewing the problems confronting society as issues that can be fixed with concerted and collective effort, he has been able to develop a penchant for thinking outside the box in everything that he does. This has led to the implementation of social programs, such as those listed above, but it has also helped color the very manner in which he conducts his work.

The most recent example of this ability has been the creation of his new company — New Deal Mfg. Co. The newly formed venture operates as both a talent agency and a management company, which is a rarity in the typically stratified environment of Hollywood representation. However, this unique setup allows the company to offer a range of additional options to its clients and provides the ability for increased partnerships with other companies. Through this increased access to possibilities, clients are better able to achieve their professional goals and further develop their careers. It’s also another example of the power of the entertainment professional’s firmly held belief that bringing one’s unique skillsets to a problem can result in a host of benefits that might have previously seemed unattainable.

When it comes to issues of social importance, we have reached a never-before-seen level of awareness throughout society. However, many individuals still struggle to find ways to turn their awareness into actionable change. Our above look at the professional work of Paul Alan Smith, and the ways in which he has encouraged social activism, can provide a helpful perspective on how to become more engaged. For further guidance on this issue, look for additional information on the entertainment professional or seek out additional examples of those who have made social change a personal goal in all aspects of their life.

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Paul Alan Smith and the Importance​ of Having a Unique Point of View in Business

Having a unique point of view is an important part of succeeding as an entrepreneur in any part of the economy. This truth strikes to the very core of what entrepreneurialism is — essentially the creation of a business that can solve a problem in a new and unique way. This line of thinking can be so important in determining the relative success of a new business idea that we wanted to take some time to explore it to better enable our readers to find success of their own. To do so, we turned to someone who has made a career out of his unique method of doing things — Paul Alan Smith. A look at the professional life of the agent and manager can give any burgeoning entrepreneur a leg up in their business endeavors.

Unique background

The first thing to look at when examining the work of Paul Alan Smith is how his upbringing and other pursuits have informed his career. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s and 1970s, the entertainment professional had a front-row seat to some of the most pivotal political and societal discussions taking place at that time. Witnessing the activism that grew out of that era not only gave him a healthy appreciation for the power of following one’s ideals, it also instilled in him a lifelong appetite for fighting hard for his beliefs even in the face of overwhelming odds.

The viewpoints of the agent/manager have also been positively influenced by his numerous travels around the world. Those travels have generally come during pivotal moments in his life where he was seeking answers or looking to expand his horizons. These travels took him to areas as far-flung as the Middle East, India, and Africa, and helped him compare ways of life across the globe. This gave him extensive exposure to different societal norms and a healthy appreciation for the ways in which our own culture colors our perception of the world around us. These insights have paid off continuously throughout his sometimes-iconoclastic career.

Importance of experience

The entertainment professional’s latest business endeavor is the recently-formed New Deal Mfg. Co. Operating as both a talent agency and a management company (a rare combination), the firm clearly benefits from the strength of its founder’s ability to go against the grain. This ability, however, would be far less valuable if it wasn’t accompanied by a lifetime of experience in the entertainment industry itself. The importance of his past experience in building present expertise is one of the major lessons that can be drawn from the entrepreneurial success that Smith has achieved over the years.

That success began humbly enough, with a move to Los Angeles in the pursuit of an idealistic dream — the creation of an independent repertory company. Though that pursuit never came to fruition, it did help lead to a career in talent representation. That career began in the mailroom of Triad Artists and quickly progressed to a role as a full-fledged agent. After that, he would move through many other positions in the field of entertainment, including work as a television executive. These varied roles helped to inform him on a diverse range of topics in his profession and given him the confidence to pursue business ideas that may be non-obvious to others.

Embracing uniqueness

As mentioned above, one of the main ways this manifests in his current venture is through his firm’s status as both a talent agency and management company. This unique setup offers numerous benefits to the film and television directors he serves. One of the biggest perks is that the company has increased flexibility to partner with other companies that are already a part of a client’s representation team. This is due to the way in which it can perform the roles of either an agent or manager, depending on a client’s needs.

This example cuts to the core of what accounts for the success of many promising entrepreneurial endeavors — embracing one’s set of strengths. Since any area of business is typically highly competitive, it’s important to utilize those strengths when creating a new venture. These strengths might lead you down a path that is altogether different from the typical way of doing business, but when a new company finds success, that success often depends on the ways in which it is able to set itself apart from competitors. 

Opportunity for expansion

This ability to embrace one’s uniqueness can also pay dividends beyond the immediate success of a business upon its creation, it can also help grow that business in new areas down the line. Looking again to the agent/manager’s career for an example, there are numerous instances of him using his passion for social activism to create positive changes in his workplace environments. 

This has manifested in many different ways, but one stark example is through his work to promote environmentally-sound business practices. This can be seen through his push to create a recycling program in his office during his work as an agent in the 1980s. At that time, these types of recycling programs were rare, but he was able to create the program without financial approval by designing it in a way that paid for itself via a reduction in waste removal costs. This type of outside the box thinking is exactly the kind of skillset that can help entrepreneurs get ahead when they’re seeking to grow a business in new and different ways.

Though some new businesses can just seem like a variation on an existing theme, the power of a unique point of view is unquestionably important in the field of entrepreneurialism. Business professionals who can embrace that thought are often able to break the mold and create something successful in a manner that would otherwise be impossible. In this respect, the work of Paul Alan Smith can be an instructive roadmap for those seeking to build a company of their own. Look to his efforts in this space to see the true power of unique thinking when it’s applied to one’s professional life.

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COMPANY LEADERS: LA’s Paul Alan Smith on How To Bring Convictions to the Workplace

Though the modern economy has provided us with a plethora of diverse career paths, many people are finding it difficult these days to select a profession that allows for the full expression of one’s convictions. While such an undertaking may seem dependent on a particular career path, it can often be more of a question of how you approach whatever work you do. To better understand this concept, we looked to the career of Paul Alan Smith, an entertainment professional who has been able to habitually integrate his work with his passion to create positive change in the world.

Early roots

One of the biggest predictors of how well you’ll be able to exercise your convictions in your work is the strength of those convictions in the first place. For this reason, it can be helpful to explore where your convictions come from. Are they the product of early life events? Influential people? Educational inspiration? Having this knowledge of how your convictions came about can help you to better understand them and to understand why they’re so important to you. This knowledge can go far when it comes to acting on these beliefs, especially if you’re meeting with initial resistance.

In the case of Paul Alan Smith, many of his convictions originate from his experience growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s and 1970s. Since this time and place became a focus of social and political change, he was able to witness firsthand what dedicated activism looked like. This not only helped to directly influence his worldview, it also impressed upon him that the efforts of a relatively small group of dedicated individuals could have far-reaching effects. That understanding, as we’ll see, was able to show up later in his life through a variety of workplace efforts to support positive change on social issues.

Start small

One key point to understand when trying to create change is that it’s okay, perhaps even necessary, to start small. Approaching change in this way can have a number of benefits, such as keeping you from becoming overwhelmed as you work to achieve a goal that might initially seem out of reach. Modest short-term goals often also have the benefit of having a more obvious route to success than one’s long-term aspirations. By chaining together a string of these smaller victories, you will be well on your way towards whatever end result you may have in mind down the line. This strategy can also help to keep you motivated along the way.

The life of the entertainment professional shows this concept quite well through his time working at his first agency — Triad Artists. At that time in his life, the young agent already had a strong sense of wanting to create positive environmental change. Initially, however, it wasn’t immediately obvious to him how he could do so in an industry that was not historically known for this type of activism. In the face of this uncertainty, he decided to take smaller, more achievable steps, to contribute to his larger aim. This led him to implement a recycling program at his company, a rarity for workplaces in the 1980s and a first among talent agencies.

Maintain perspective

Another important aspect of following your convictions is taking steps to allows those convictions to evolve throughout your life. This concept is born out of the idea that the things that are important to us might change as we get older and our circumstances change. Since this process is likely to occur whether we intend it or not, it is often a good idea to work with this change and actively take steps to reevaluate our priorities throughout our lives. This could take the form of continuing education, exposure to new or different ideas, and even career changes that can help push us out of our comfort zone. 

For the agent/manager, travel has often provided a means of shifting his priorities. One of the ways this has been accomplished is through exposure to other cultures. With past travels that have led him to locations in Asia, Africa, and Europe, he has had numerous opportunities to see the approaches people all across the world take to tackle the problems of everyday life. These trips have also often provided an opportunity for him to engage in personal reflection apart from the daily responsibilities of his work. Such a break can be invaluable for those seeking to challenge their own beliefs and allow them to evolve along with the inevitable changes in their life.

Commit to change 

Perhaps one of the most important allies you can have in living a life according to your convictions is a willingness to follow change when it appears necessary. Many of us are probably guilty of staying in a life situation that no longer suits us simply because it is comfortable. While the unknown aspects that often accompany change can be intimidating, stagnation can routinely be the enemy of a life lived according to your own beliefs. Embracing change can be a powerful method of combating this reality.

 In the life of the entertainment professional, change has been a constant theme along the way. He’s been unafraid to switch geographical locations, job titles, and even companies when the situation was called for. A recent example of this is his latest business endeavor, New Deal Mfg. Co. This recently founded company will act as both a talent agency and a management company and will represent a talented group of TV and film directors. Though the nature of the endeavor is out of the ordinary for the entertainment industry, it speaks to the agent/manager’s propensity towards following his convictions. 

With the wide array of career options that have come from the current state of the economy, it may seem that there is a job to fit any person’s individual beliefs. While this may be true for some, for many people the truth of the matter is that they must bring their convictions to their work themselves. The life of Paul Alan Smith makes for a great study on how this can play out in practice. Look to the above overview as a first step in educating yourself as to how this can be a reality in your own life moving forward.

More about Paul Alan Smith at https://www.crunchbase.com/person/paul-alan-smith

INSPIRERY: Paul Alan Smith, LA-Based CEO of New Deal Mfg. Co.

Paul Alan Smith is an agent and manager representing directors working in both film and TV. He’s most recently known as the founder of New Deal Mfg. Co., which seeks to shift representation to a more client-centric approach, rather than focusing on the needs of corporations. This focus is typical of the entertainment professional’s career, which has centered around encouraging artistic creativity wherever possible.

The agent/manager is also widely known for his extensive activism, a product of his upbringing in the socially and politically turbulent era of the 1960s and 1970s. That upbringing taught him the power even a small group of individuals can have if they dedicate themselves to a cause. This has manifested in his work through efforts to improve economic equality, such as advocating for employee pay. He’s also worked extensively to support environmental efforts such as recycling and carpooling programs.

Mr. Smith first began his career on the heels of his formal education in theater at both UCLA and NYU. Following that time, he moved to Hollywood in an effort to create independent television content. That naturally evolved into a role at Triad Artists, one of the major talent agencies of its time. From there, he worked his way up the ladder to becoming an agent, which led to his career in talent representation.

How did you get started in this business?

Three agencies were merging, so they needed someone to help organize all the employee’s boxes after they moved into their new space, so thanks to my ex-UCLA roommate, he arranged for me to be temporarily hired for three days. Turns out, being anal retentive served my objectives swimmingly, as I was able to look at all theses boxes, haphazardly thrown into this huge room, and devise a system that utilized the space efficiently, as well as make it mindlessly easy for the agents to locate their belongings. The next day my superiors pointed to another room, but this one was full of boxes containing ¾” and ½” cassettes. So I devised a plan to create shelves outta the boxes . . . anyhow, by now it was clear my IQ was in the high double-digit range, so the next day they asked if I wanted a job “in the mailroom.” I looked at them and respectfully asked, “How much mail do you have to keep me busy for eight hours?” (Fine, an IQ in the mid-double-digits.)

How do you make money?

I sign directors I think are talented and capable of directing television and films. (The requisites are very subjective.) When a producer is looking to hire a director, I lobby all involved to hire the one I rep. Once my client is chosen, I negotiate how much they will pay for their services. When that money comes in, we take 10%.

How long did it take for you to become profitable?

Since I had a loyal list of clients that were coming with me, we were immediately profitable.

When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?

I never gave it any thought. True, I had enough saved to keep me from being homeless if I struck out, but I had enough blind confidence to know I was better than most of the competition, at least enough to remain in business. On the other hand, I consistently reflect upon where we are lacking, both literally and in terms of industry perception. This discipline allows us to be pretty fluid and adaptable.

How did you get your first customer?

Well, our business doesn’t really have “customers,” per se, but industry periodicals covered us, so that initially helped.

What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?

Giving back to your community. Since I’m technically a salesperson, I can periodically be perceived as a pain-in-the-ass, since I’m always “hawkin’ my wares.” Therefore, it’s important that I do more than just sell-sell-sell. So, early on I’d organize weekend trips to State Parks, which morphed into Speaker Soirees and company parties. Of course, we paid for everything, and never cut corners, so they helped brand us accordingly. Even if folks couldn’t attend, the mere act of simply INVITING them was a reminder we were appreciative.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?

I had JUST publicly rebranded the entire company midway through 2019. However, by the end of the year we ran into two massive issues: one was with regard to a Hollywood union’s demands, and the other was a workplace dynamic that was negatively impacting the majority of my employees. Consequently, to deal with both issues concurrently (and effectively), I chose to resign from MY OWN company! Of course, I offered my colleagues the option to continue on without me, even saying I’d initially help subsidize them until they got up and running. They chose not to do so, and they have gone their separate ways. In the meantime, I started a new company, smaller and leaner, to focus on my own clients without the distractions of office politics. It was a brutal decision, but the correct one nonetheless, certainly for myself and most likely for my colleagues as well.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?

I work my ass off.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

Earning the trust of both Harry Belafonte and Howard Zinn.

What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?

Well, there appears to be an endless appetite to manufacture content by viewers from around the world, and since most of that content requires a director, we’re in relatively good shape. Furthermore, it’s refreshing to see the growing diversity of voices contributing to the narratives. There’s only an upside to this trajectory.

What business books have inspired you?

“All the President’s Bankers,” by Nomi Prins. “An Empire of Their Own,” by Neil Gabler. “Manufacturing Consent,” by Noam Chomsky & Edward Herman.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Never think anyone is a real friend.

Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?

I’ve mentored many over the years. Often times I warn them NOT to do as I, since being honest and ethical is seldom, if ever, reciprocated; in fact, I’d go as far as to warn them their righteousness could be interpreted as being WEAK by today’s plutocratic, greedy leaders and wannabe leaders. But I’d then go on to say this tide is reversible, so if they wanna join up and be prepared to hit back when bullies naively misread them, I would forever be loyal and supportive. And on a far lighter note, I encourage them to have patience, work very, very hard, push themselves to be the best they can, always help others and trust your employers and your colleagues will notice.

THE POINT NEWS: Paul Alan Smith Shows Importance of Personal Values in Business

For many employees and business owners, the workplace is considered an area of life where personal values may not apply. In such situations, individuals find that their work may not completely reflect the way in which they feel about the world around them. This, however, need not be the case. In fact, many professionals are able to craft a career that integrates their personal values into their daily work. To show this in action, we looked to the career of Paul Alan Smith, an entertainment professional who has consistently shown an ability to excel in his field while maintaining his own set of progressive values.

Personal history

Before diving into the key learnings that can be drawn from his work, let’s first take a brief look at the entertainment professional’s history to see how he developed his personal philosophy. Paul Alan Smith grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the ‘60s and ‘70s when political and social activism was often a point of focus. These formative years helped to show the future agent/manager that much could be accomplished by a dedicated group of individuals seeking profound change. This simple observation would eventually become the spark that lit his own lifelong efforts in activism.

Another early life occurrence that helped shape Smith’s future was his love of musicals, especially Hair. That early exposure to the power of storytelling and drama helped him decide upon a career in the field of entertainment. After studying theatre at both UCLA and NYU, he went on to settle down in Los Angeles with an interest in creating a repertory company that could produce progressive independent television. Fate eventually helped him land a job at Triad Artists, one of the largest talent agencies at the time. It was there that he not only first began his entertainment career in earnest, but also where he would begin to work towards positive change within his workplace.

Company culture

One of the first lessons to be pulled from the life of the entertainment professional is the importance of shaping a company’s internal culture. Broadly speaking, this would be the set of norms and principles by which those working at a company are expected to behave. There are many ways to shape culture, for instance through company policies that incentivize employees to adopt certain behaviors while at work. However, one of the most important ways of achieving a culture that promotes a set of values at a company is through the hiring process. To this end, it can be important to advertise the culture of a company when creating a job posting so that applicants can be better informed as to the ideas that already exist in a place of business.

Company culture has been a big focus of the agent/manager throughout the many phases of his career. In a competitive field like entertainment, this type of focus is not always the easiest thing to prioritize, but like in any other field, it can be hugely beneficial towards creating a positive a value-centric workplace. One of the ways in which he has accomplished this in the past is through his promotion of positive environmental practices at the offices in which he worked. This has included advocating for recycling programs and financial rewards for sustainable commuters.

Exposure to ideas

Another important aspect of creating a workplace that helps to promote one’s values is to gain exposure to various ways of working that one may not be accustomed to. This is valuable since it allows an employee or employer to see how others are tackling the problems that they themselves may have run into. In an age of unrivaled access to information and communication, this type of exposure can sometimes be gained through research on the internet. Seeing documentation about how others have changed their workplace can create inspiration for how one can implement similar ideas.

However, though online research can play a large role in a workplace overhaul, there remains no substitute for being exposed to new ideas in person. This has been a guiding principle in the entertainment professional’s life as he has often taken time out of his busy schedule to travel the world and see new ways of doing things. These travels have led him to far-flung places such as India, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Not only have his travels exposed him to new ideas, but they’ve also provided opportunities for self-reflection that may not have otherwise arisen in his daily life.

Modeling behavior

While formal policy implementation can have an impact on a workplace or industry, it is not the only way to help shape the ways in which a business operates. Sometimes, a more nuanced approach that involves modeling the behavior an individual wants to promote can also be quite successful. If this behavior is practiced by a person in power, such as a business owner or manager, it can show that the company has a commitment to a set of values and can have a profound impact on the ways in which employees approach their own work.

This type of behavior modeling has been a mainstay of the work of the entertainment professional throughout the many phases of his career. It also figures to play a large role in his newly established agency and management company, New Deal Mfg. Co. The company, which he has created with longtime business partner Lee Rosenbaum, will represent film and television directors with a focus on creating careers that they find most fulfilling. While the setup of the company as both an agency and management company is somewhat unique, it just goes to further illustrate how Smith models his singular outlook on life and work.

Creating a business environment that supports one’s ideals is not always easy, considering the numerous demands placed on a person in the course of their daily work. It is, however, an attainable and worthwhile pursuit for those who are willing to remain committed to their goals. The above overview of the life of Paul Alan Smith and the many ways in which he has created positive workplaces can be a good jumping-off point for those seeking to emulate his success.

RUSH PR NEWS: LA-Based CEO Paul Alan Smith and His Eco-Friendly Business Practices

As climate change threatens to irreparably change important aspects of our planet’s habitat, more and more people are becoming committed to environmental conservation. A great way to contribute to this cause is through business practices designed to support positive environmental change. However, it’s not always clear how to arrive at these practices. A look at the career of Paul Alan Smith, a socially conscious professional working in the entertainment industry, can help illuminate this idea. Read on for our overview of his work and some sound business practices that can help our planet’s wellbeing.

Recycling policies

Recycling is one of the first things that comes to mind when many people think of ways to help the environment. While this recognition is a positive first step, it’s certainly only a piece of the puzzle. While general awareness of recycling is high, implementation of recycling programs can be low in many companies. For business owners or employees, emphasizing awareness is key here. That’s because many people still don’t know exactly what can be recycled and how materials need to be prepared in order to be recycled properly. This can also extend to making sure recycling receptacles are prominently displayed for easy access.

Work by Paul Alan Smith helps to illustrate how a single employee can make a positive change in this area and improve recycling practices company wide. When he was working at a talent agency in the 1980s, he set his mind towards implementing a recycling program at his company. At that time, such programs weren’t particularly widespread, and he realized it would have been a process to get such a program approved by those above him at the company. To get around this, he searched for ways to make the program economically beneficial to the company so that there was no net cost to its implementation. With this legwork, he was able to get the program started without the need for financial approval.

Properly manage chemicals

Another issue of importance for those focusing on environmental issues is the introduction of harmful chemicals into the planet’s ecosystems. Unbeknownst to many employees, quite a few of the items used in a typical office environment can have a negative environmental impact if not properly handled and disposed of. This can include batteries, cleaning products, printer ink, and much more. In this regard, education is again key. Creating awareness of how these products can be harmful to the environment and how they should be disposed of can greatly contribute to helping a workplace improve its ecological impact.

The importance of this type of education and awareness is again something that has been a theme throughout the entertainment professional’s life. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the politically turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s gave him a close look at the power that comes from spreading awareness about important causes. He’s carried this outlook through to his professional career and is often found spreading the word on practices that can best benefit the environment and other issues about which he cares deeply.

Transportation choices

How we get to and from work can have a huge impact on our climate impact. This is partly due to the nature of climate change, which is largely fueled by greenhouse gasses that enter our atmosphere and contribute to warming temperatures across the planet. Many forms of transportation, such as automobiles, emit these gasses. Therefore, policies put in place by businesses to encourage employees to minimize their use of automobiles can make a huge impact on the environmental impact of a collective workplace.

Here again, we can look to work by the entertainment professional to better understand how such policies can be implemented. In the pursuit of trying to minimize the greenhouse gas emissions of past workplaces, he’s been known to propose and help implement programs that incentivize alternative forms of transportation. Examples of this have been policies that reimburse employees who ride public transportation or utilize a bike to get to work. Awareness can also be raised about such programs by singling out a specific day of the week where employees are encouraged to engage in these practices. Organizing carpools is another way in which the net impact of an office can be reduced while still allowing employees to travel to work via automobile.

Alternative energy

Another large contributor to climate change is the way in which many businesses power their workplace. Fossil fuel energy sources, such as oil and coal, result in large amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the environment. To help reduce levels of this harmful greenhouse gas, many businesses are looking to alternative fuel sources that do not produce gaseous emissions. One key area to consider here is solar power. This can be a popular choice for small businesses since solar panels can often be installed onsite, negating the need to search for a larger infrastructure providing green energy.

The collective work of Paul Alan Smith is again a helpful guide for employees or business owners seeking to implement this type of change in the workplace. Though transitioning to a new energy source may seem like a daunting task, like other issues the entertainment professional has tackled, the key here is awareness. Oftentimes, just the awareness of how much a switch can benefit a company’s environmental impact is enough to create positive change. An understanding of government programs or other discount opportunities can also help to illustrate how such a switch can even make financial sense. Education of this type can be beneficial for implementing a wide range of environmentally-sound policies.

While the state of the planet’s environment is widely considered to be an issue of paramount importance, it is not always clear how small groups or individuals can help make an impact in this area through their place of business. Looking to the above guide can be a first step in this pursuit, since it illustrates areas that can be vastly improved in many workplaces. Looking to the career of Paul Alan Smith is also a helpful guide in this space, as he has made it a focus of his work across many different companies. Those passionate about these ideas will find his work, as well as further exploration of the above concepts, to be a key part of turning their aspirations into reality.

PR NEWSWIRE: Entertainment Entrepreneur Paul Alan Smith Opens New Deal Mfg. Co.

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — This month, Los Angeles based entrepreneur Paul Alan Smith launched the latest entertainment representation firm, New Deal Mfg. Co. New Deal Mfg. Co. specializes in the representation of directors for film/TV/streaming. The innovative  company is designed to function as either the client’s manager or agent. Consequently, when a management company or an agency is looking to add another representative to its team, New Deal Mfg. Co. can offer its services to both. Conversely, New Deal Mfg. Co.’s CEO Paul Alan Smith said, “Unlike existing, talent representatives, we can offer directors the option to pick from a larger pool of agents or managers, resulting in the ideal synergistic partnership possible.” 

New Deal’s CEO Paul Alan Smith first established his Hollywood footprint in the early 1980s as a very young agent at Triad Artists; then in 1990 he was recruited to be Vice President of Current Programming at Lorimar TV, which later merged with Warner Brothers. From 1994 to 2012 Smith worked for BKWU, which merged with ICM in 2006. Smith later went on to co-found Equitable Stewardship for Artists (ESA), with the radical concept that ESA was to provide first-class representation to clients in a manner that pragmatically recognized how many agencies (and management companies) were shifting their priorities to co-owning product with their clients, opposed to simply representing their interests exclusively.

Additionally, New Deal partner Tyler Reynolds has all of Paul’s skill sets, but also brings a younger generation’s perspective, which in turn injects the company with fresh talent. His literary background as a development executive in the book industry, combined with graduating from UCLA’s acclaimed screenwriting program, substantiates superlative taste.

“I wanted to bring a far greater perspective from a younger generation’s point of view; I knew this would allow the company to be presented, therefore a partner, with cutting edge talent,” Smith said. “That philosophy is one of the key factors that brought me to create ESA, and now I’m excited to bring that same sophisticated taste and contemporary mentality to New Deal Mfg.”

Smith created ESA with his longtime friend and industry expert Lee Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum’s skills as an attorney enabled him to both run the company and help clients navigate complicated contracts in a manner few firms desire to provide. Without a moment’s hesitation, Smith again partnered with Lee in the establishment of the New Deal Mfg Co. firm. Mr. Rosenbaum has a history of running business affairs at large studios, as well as subsequently representing large studios and corporations in private practice.

New Deal Mfg. Co. representation client list currently, but limited to, includes the following:

  • ADAM ARKIN: Recently Executive Producer/Director on “Get Shorty”
  • FRED BERNER: Executive Producer/Director on “FBI: Most Wanted” (including the direction of the pilot)
  • CHARLES BURNETT: Academy Award Winning director
  • JOE CHAPPELLE: Executive Producer/Director on “Godfather of Harlem”
  • ALLEN COULTER: Pilot director on “Get Shorty,” “Ray Donovan,” “Damages,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Extant,” among many others
  • JEAN DE SEGONZAC: Pilot director on “Law & Order, SVU”
  • ARTHUR FORNEY: Executive Producer/Director on “Law & Order, SVU,” “Chicago Fire,” Chicago PD,” “Chicago Med,” “FBI,” and “FBI: Most Wanted”
  • ED FRAIMAN: Executive Producer/Director on “The 100”
  • MARK HOROWITZ: Executive Producer/Director on “NCIS”
  • JIM MCKAY: Pilot director on “Bosch” and writer/director/producer on “En el Séptimo Día,” winner of the John Cassavettes Independent Spirit Awards, as well as recipient of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • NIELS ARDEN OPLEV: Pilot director on “Mr. Robot,” “Under the Dome,” “FBI,” and “Midnight Texas,” just to name a few. Additionally, Niels directed the feature “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” as well as the acclaimed film “Daniel.”
  • MICHAEL PRESSMAN: Executive Producer/Director on “Chicago Med.”
  • ODED RUSKIN: Pilot Director/Executive Producer of “Absentia,” Season One. Director/Executive Producer of the soon to be released 8-episode Hulu series “Fertile Crescent.” Additionally, Oded directed both seasons of the hit Israeli series “False Flag,” as well as “The Baker and the Beauty.” These two series have been bought internationally, as well as being remade in the USA.
  • JOHN SHOWALTER: Co-Executive Producer on “Supernatural.”

New Deal Mfg. Co. also works with the following impressive and prolific directors, many of whom also produce: Heather Cappiello, Sheelin Choksey, Milena Govich, Elodie Keene, Leslie Libman, Tess Malone, Jono Oliver, Carl Weathers

About Paul Alan Smith:

Paul Alan Smith was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, much of his professional work is informed by the social and political activism he witnessed as a child of the 60s and 70s. Thanks to his efforts, this push for social change often finds its way into the policies of the companies at which he’s worked, including recycling procedures and incentives for alternative transportation options.

The industry veteran first became interested in a career in entertainment after seeing “Hair” in his youth. Following that, he studied theater at NYU and UCLA, and also further reinforced his social views on the world by traveling the globe and getting a sense of how different cultures lived.

After his formal education and exploration of the planet, he moved to Los Angeles with the goal of creating a repertory company that could create independent content for television and speak to the social and political dynamics of global society.

Contact:
NEW DEAL MFG CO.
6363 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 650
Los Angeles, CA 90048
310-853-4200

SOURCE Paul Alan Smith

THE GLIMPSE: Work By Paul Alan Smith Show How to Make Social Impact

By many counts, social concerns are becoming more and more prominent in modern society, with the advent of the internet and social media bringing these concerns to the forefront of the public eye. In light of this, many people are now seeking ways in which they can have a greater impact on the issues they care about. To help us better understand how one can integrate their existing work with a drive to better their community, we looked to the life of Paul Alan Smith, an entertainment professional with a penchant for encouraging social and political change.

Personal history

Before diving into his work, let’s first look to the background of Paul Alan Smith, as this can help give an indication as to why he has been so committed to activism over the years. Though born in Los Angeles, he grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during the politically turbulent ‘60s and ‘70s. His experience witnessing activism firsthand throughout his youth helped to inform his views later in life, creating a firm resolve to work towards social and political change wherever possible. This resolve has been further supported by both his travels and education in entertainment. His formal education saw him studying Theatre at both UCLA and NYU, though his love for the craft goes as far back as early childhood when he first fell in love with the musical Hair. His travels in life have seen him visit places across the globe to gain a firmer understanding of different cultures and their approaches to life. These journeys included time in India, Europe, Africa, Israel, and Palestine. Many of these locations have been repeat destinations for the entertainment professional, serving as places to be visited when he needed to reset and gain added insight into his own life.

Integrating work and activism

For many people, one of the challenges of engaging in activism is the context of their work situation and how it precludes them from living their life fully in accordance with their own values. In this area, efforts by the agent/manager can be quite informative. Though the field of entertainment can be quite competitive, with many people keeping the whole of their focus on ways in which they can get ahead, Smith was still able to create work environments that would help further his social and political values. An example of this is his efforts to institute recycling efforts in past workplaces. Even in ‘80s, when recycling was not always a commonplace practice, he was able to convince employers that it would be worthwhile from both an environmental and monetary standpoint — more recycling meant less trash and less money spent on waste disposal. Later in his career, when he started working to incentivize alternative transportation options, he was again able to institute policies that were not only beneficial to the environment but worked within existing fiscal constraints for the company and employees alike. These types of considerations have helped contribute sizably to the success of his efforts.

Encouraging gatherings

Another way to help move culture in a positive direction is through the spread of ideas. This is one of the reasons social media has helped push many political issues into the public consciousness. Never before has the spread of ideas been so easy, with more information on a given subject always just a click away when browsing the internet. However, though these technologies make the spread of information easier, they are still somewhat lacking when compared with in-person communication, which can often help a person think about an issue in a way that online communication cannot. Cognizant of this dynamic, the entertainment professional has made in-person gatherings another means by which he has helped spread social and political ideas. This work has included organizing events he has called Speaker Soirées. At these gatherings, members of the entertainment community could gather to eat, drink, and listen to orators who had interesting ideas about the world around them. Past speakers included Gore Vidal, Condoleezza Rice, Budd Schulberg, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee. In addition, leaders of organizations concerned with political and social activism would also come to speak on pressing issues at the forefront of their work.

Gaining control

While the above examples show how you can incorporate activism into your existing work, it is true that a certain amount of control over your own destiny helps to make these efforts easier to complete. An example of this from the agent/manager’s life has included his ascension through the ranks of the companies at which he has worked. Once it was clear that he could deliver results to his clients and employers, he was in a better position to negotiate the terms of his employment. These negotiations often involved acknowledgment of his ability to run his office in a manner he deemed to be socially conscious. 

Of course, even the most favorably negotiated employment situation still can leave room to be desired. That is one of the reasons that the entertainment professional ultimately decided to go into business for himself. He is now opening his own firm, alongside business partner Lee Rosenbaum, known as New Deal Mfg. Co. The firm will serve as both a management company and agency to his dedicated group of film and television directors. The unusual move to create a company that handles two different aspects of representation is just one more way that he is bucking trends to create a work environment that he feels makes the most sense. 

With the modern era affording unrivaled access to new ideas, social and political activism is seeing a newfound degree of interest. This type of activism, however, is not always easy to incorporate into one’s life, especially while working in a restrictive employment situation. The above examples of the ways in which Paul Alan Smith has engaged in activism while navigating various working environments should be instructive for those seeking to accomplish something similar. Those interested would do well to follow the entertainment professional’s career for continued examples of how to live according to one’s beliefs in today’s working world.

BUSINESS TIMES: LA-Based CEO, Paul Alan Smith, Creates Custom Career

Work is one of the biggest parts of life for most people. If you like your job, that can be a good thing, but for those who are unhappy with their employment, it can be quite the opposite. Though the latter may be prevalent in modern society, there is still hope to be found in the myriad of ways to create a career that is tailored to your unique strengths and desires. In order to illustrate this point, we looked to the work of Paul Alan Smith, an entertainment professional who has worked in a wide range of roles, customizing each in different ways.

Early life

To better understand Smith’s motivations for tailoring his work in the way he has, it will be helpful to first look at his personal history. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, much of his early life was spent witnessing the political activism of the ‘60s and ‘70s. This left a deep mark on the future agent/manager, impressing on him the importance of developing a set of beliefs and working to help them become better reflected in the world at large. This theme would be pronounced throughout his life. Another aspect of his early life that helped shape his efforts down the road were his experiences traveling abroad. After studying Theatre at UCLA and NYU, he opted to engage in these travels to help broaden his horizons and better respect other cultures of the world. His travels at this time included time spent in Europe and Israel/Palestine. Later in life, he would again incorporate traveling into his life by taking trips to both Africa and India. These journeys not only afforded him the chance to see new ways of doing things, but also provided time for self-reflection and personal growth.

Starting his career

After his formal education and travels, Paul Alan Smith decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a dream of creating independent television content that could better reflect society at home and abroad. This move proved to be fortuitous because it eventually landed him in the mailroom of Triad Artists, one of the major agencies operating at the time. Though promotion at agencies can often be slow-moving, the young professional was able to prove his worth quickly and was soon moved to a position as an assistant. After excelling in that role, he became an agent with a roster of clients of his own.

This trajectory of promotion is one of the clear lessons that can be pulled from the entertainment professional’s career. While promotions can be difficult to attain, they are certainly possible through the aid of hard work and knowledge about what one wants to achieve. For those seeking to emulate this type of success, it can be helpful to take time to analyze one’s own goals in life, and to see how they best relate to their work. If there is a great disparity between one’s line of work and their ultimate goals, it may be worthwhile to acknowledge that fact and see if there are other positions available that could provide a better fit.

Importance of flexibility

A lack of rigidity in one’s plans can also be a huge boon when crafting a custom career. This concept showed up time and again in the entertainment professional’s life. Though he first became known for his work as an agent, he eventually opted to transition to work as an executive to see how that side of the industry functioned. This switch happened when he took a job as Vice President of Current Programming at Lorimar TV. While the job ultimately became a lesson in what type of work he didn’t want to do, he was able to more fully understand his own strengths from the experience.

This same sense of flexibility can be a benefit for anyone seeking to make the most of their work environment. Maintaining the ability to switch companies allows a person to more fully investigate their line of work and their own ability to compete in different fields. Even if such a switch turns out to not be the best fit, it still provides an employee with invaluable experience and will show future employers that they have the ability to utilize a variety of skill sets in different work environments.

Workplace activism

While there are a large number of benefits to customizing one’s career, perhaps one of the biggest is the ability to work in an environment that can cater to one’s personal beliefs. That has been a major goal of Paul Alan Smith in his various career endeavors. His social and political activism has manifested through his work in a number of ways, such as through his implementation of workplace recycling and commuting campaigns. These efforts helped to change the environmental impact of his offices via programs he set up with his employers.

Changing one’s office environment to help support one’s belief system is something that can be done without the need for a promotion or outside recognition. Depending on the type of program you are trying to implement, this type of work can be free or perhaps pay for itself with some creative planning. This type of effort can not only work to further the cause of your choice, it can also help you feel that you are conducting your work in a manner that is more in touch with your values.

While job satisfaction can vary depending on a wide range of factors, one area that has a large impact is how much one can tailor a career to fit one’s needs and desires. As we have seen above, this can be accomplished in a variety of ways such as through promotion, workplace activism, and career changes. These endeavors are all reflected in the life of Paul Alan Smith, who has developed a reputation for conducting his work in a socially conscious manner not often found with other agents and managers. For this reason, looking further into his career can be an instructive experience for those interested in emulating his working style.

IDEAMENSCH: Interview with Paul Alan Smith

Never take any client for granted. Those you represent come first. You can never alienate or disrespect your base. Without a reliable foundation, you can never move adroitly

Paul Alan Smith is an entertainment professional living in Los Angeles, CA. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, much of his professional work is informed by the social and political activism he witnessed as a child of the 60s and 70s. Thanks to his efforts, this push for social change often finds its way into the policies of the companies at which he’s worked, including recycling procedures and incentives for alternative transportation options.

The industry veteran first became interested in a career in entertainment after seeing “Hair” in his youth. Following that, he studied theater at NYU and UCLA, and also further reinforced his social views on the world by traveling the globe and getting a sense of how different cultures lived.

Paul Alan Smith got his first job in the industry in the mailroom of Triad Artists. He would go on to work his way up the agency ladder before transitioning to work as an executive at Lorimar TV. These experiences helped him fine-tune his understanding of his strengths in the field and eventually allowed him to focus his efforts on representing clients full time.

He has now opened a new firm, New Deal Mfg. Co., which will act as both an agency and management company for advancing the careers of film and television directors.

Where did the idea for New Deal Mfg. Co. come from?

I looked around at the trajectory of Hollywood representation and concluded individual artists were losing both creative and financial leverage. At the same time, the quality of individual artist representation was shifting from client-centric to company-centric. Both these revelations were of concern to me. Furthermore, I was confident articulating the systemic reasons, despite their being controversial — even for the artists themselves to broach!

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start my day like a farmer, but instead of a rooster screaming to get my butt outta bed at the crack of dawn, I have a cat who evidently feels eight hours without being brushed is borderline sacrilegious. Fortunately, however, I had a paper route starting at age 12, so the concept of getting up and immediately working comes naturally. As such, I begin communicating with clients and producers in the Mid East and Europe. From there I make my way to the East Coast here in the US. Then on to Chicago. By the time my office is open, I am ready to shift my attention to reviewing everyone’s priorities for the day. The one trick I have to maximize productivity is to incessantly review my computer in-box, which functions as my “to-do list.” I am constantly trying to knock off everything there. The key is to pragmatically prioritize. Since our business is very, very fast and unpredictable, one must be ready at any given moment for an issue to arise that will detract you from your original plan. I would liken this to being in an ER; it is just the nature of the gig. Again, if there is any real trick, it is having the ability to see the whole field and quickly implement a game-plan to address the issue at hand.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Often times I first run it by Lee Rosenbaum, whose brain is so big I am constantly reminded of how I am comparatively a moron. Lee’s background is law, so his advice time and again challenges my rudimentary thinking. From there, however, I can find the path to begin executing it. This often results in my running it by confidantes, who usually are encouraging, but often introduce me to potential obstacles. Once I feel ready to put it out there, I usually pick up the phone and start implementing it without ever looking back.

What’s one trend that excites you?

The diversity of folks around the world who are being heard more and more. As such, there is an openness from others that may have been incapable in the past. When I imagine this broadening, I can’t help but hope the ramifications will be reminiscent of the Renaissance.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am extremely disciplined and have an excellent work ethic. Consequently, I am not afraid to get my hands dirty. Time and time again you must be very tenacious and fearless. You simply must focus on the objective at hand, probably just like a great soldier does. I guess you could call it “constructive myopia.” (Yes, I just made that up.)

What advice would you give your younger self?

“Have patience; remember, the concept of time for someone in their 20s is much different from someone in their 50s. Take a beat. Know that things must play out. Have the confidence to sit back and wait to watch things unfold. Also, listen closely; you need not be heard. Your opinion isn’t necessarily additive.”

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

Hollywood is quite conservative. Moreover, Hollywood has never been a leader in social movements and never will be — quite the opposite, in fact. If one critically examines how the powerful and wealthy actually handle things, it can be revelatory.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Pay your employees an ACTUAL living wage. Create as healthy an environment for employees to work in as possible. Remember positive reinforcement is very cost-effective.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Never take any client for granted. Those you represent come first. You can never alienate or disrespect your base. Without a reliable foundation, you can never move adroitly.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I advocated hiring folks prior to doing a proper background check. As such, I was bamboozled early on by an ex-employee who had a history of problems, which not only cost lots of money, but also lots of sleep. Now, I have more people involved in the hiring of employees; what’s more, I defer to other people’s instincts far more than my own. I just had to come to terms with the fact that I am not good at it.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

WARNING: I’m giving this idea as something you should NOT consider implementing, not because I am being protective of me but ‘cause I am being protective of YOU. In other words, take this idea and jump up and down on it until it becomes rhetorical mulch: Don’t ever assume there is a positive correlation between responsibly and ethically manufacturing and distributing product and a greater number of customers. The latter have yet to apply any energetic cost value to their monetary bottom line. I know, sucks. Maybe one day. But I discourage you from betting on it. Sorry.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Predictably, I have a twisted answer: When I go to the bank, I often ask for $100 in fives. This way, I have a good denomination to either tip someone generously and frequently or pass on to a homeless person. Why? Well, first of all, over-tipping is good for the economy. The working class puts their earnings back into the economy at a far higher percentage than rich folk. As far as the homeless go, well, if I were in their shoes, I know I’d definitely appreciate the bread!

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

Variety Insight. While they are far from perfection, they help us with much needed information. Many big firms hire folks to gather intel, but for a relatively nominal fee, we have access to a good 70-80% of that info.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

“AN EMPIRE OF THEIR OWN, How the Jews Invented Hollywood.” Any historical context is invaluable, of course; moreover, it is imperative to know the foundation of one’s industry. So, while Jews are proportionately far, far less than they were 20 years ago, let alone 40, the ramifications from the Eastern-European-Ashkenazi-Jew’s assimilation back in the early 20th Century continue to influence the Hollywood “zeitgeist” profoundly. Yes, even amongst the gentiles! Reading this book helps one understand why the early moguls remain such a haunting force, both culturally and economically.

What is your favorite quote?

$400,000 to direct a pilot.
Ohhhhhhh, you mean the other kind of quote, like from Shakespeare . . . or Kim Kardashian?
Hmmmm, Howard Zinn’s “You Can’t Be Neutral on a Moving Train” is a goody. Herb Caen from the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “When In Doubt, Print It; When In Print, Doubt It.” Something like that.
Still, $400,000 to direct a pilot would be a big favorite!

Key Learnings:

  • If Herb Caen were still alive, he would repeat his famous quote after perusing this!
  • I don’t consciously, pre-meditatively analyze my actions or inclinations very deeply or profoundly.
  • I sincerely feel things are farrrrrr more boring without comedy, sarcasm, cynicism, and bitterness — even if they are construed as “unprofessional!”