Disdain it…Walk away from it?

From Mike’s Mud Room on Discovery.com

Q: Mike:

It seems to me like you absolutely disdain anything Hollywood, or Star Quality, etc. I got that impression from past comments you have made. So what are you gonna do now that you are basically “in it”? I’ve read the following passage that you wrote:

“With Dirty Jobs, I simply miscalculated. I didn’t really think a simple show, done primarily as a tribute to my grandfather and Dad, would turn into a rallying cry for many of the virtues once associated with making an honest living. I’m gratified, but overwhelmed, and trying to get ahead of the curve. It’s a trip, and a challenge, but I’m going to play the cards I’ve got and see what happens. In the meantime, I’m trying hard to keep my friends close, and not become an as$hole.”

It seems that you are still sort of conflicted about it, but still interested. Are you now changing your mind about the Hollywood Mindset, or would you still poo poo (no pun intended) it all and turn your back on the whole thing if it got too, too big?

As for why the show is a success, I suspect it might be a little bit of the S*x Sells thing, if you get my drift. If the higher mgt still reads this board, I betcha the dollar signs are lighting up their eyes with the possibility of how much moolah can be made if they make Mike Rowe a franchise.


Hi Gail

The short answer has to do with the fact that I can’t have it both ways. For a while, I thought I could, but not anymore. Dirty Jobs is no longer a hobby or a lark or an indulgence – it’s a big business, and financially important to a lot of people other than Mike Rowe. It also takes more time and energy than I care to expend.

My ideal scenario involves delivering a modest number of Dirty Jobs over several years, spending no more that 5-6 months a year in casual production, and devoting the rest of my time to growing grapes and writing essays on my fictitious cottage in Napa. Alas, that is not an option. The business of delivering this show requires more episodes and more of my time than my ideal scenario allows. I simply can’t bully the network into ordering a number of episodes convenient to my schedule. The business doesn’t work like that. My options therefore, come down to this.

1. Quit now, while I’m alive and ahead, and go back to my old life.

2. Make the kind of deal that allows me to justify spending another year away from that which matters most. Explore the possibilities. Expand.

In other words Gail, if I “disdain” it, I walk away from all of it.

To stay, I must “entertain” it, and find a way to make another year worth the personal price. I won’t know until I ask around and see what’s possible, but all things considered, I figure it’s worth investigating. In spite of what my current resume may suggest, I hate quitting.

It’s probably not appropriate for me to share any more detail than that, but the question deserves an honest answer. All of us, at one time or another are faced with an issue at work that requires us to adjust in a way that might not be comfortable. For what it’s worth, I’m not immune to that. None of us are.


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