Part of our mission here at Daily Fuel has been to illuminate life and early career insights for our readers. As part of that continuing purpose, we're excited to announce our new blogger, Christian Zilko, will be providing first-person accounts into one young professional's journey. Enjoy.

Trust Your Partners

As I left my senior prom, I found myself chatting with my high school’s retiring headmaster. I mentioned I was going to college in Boston, and he was very congratulatory, but he asked one thing of me. “Promise me, Christian, that you won’t become a Red Sox fan.” I assured him I’d do nothing of the sort. Last night, I lied awake in shame, knowing I had betrayed him.

While the Detroit Tigers remain my first love in the world of sports, I’ve admittedly become something of a Red Sox fanatic this October, due in no small part to the presence of the entire 2014 Tigers roster on their team. Suffice it to say, this is a very good week for me. While I’ll understand if he can’t, I hope that my headmaster is able to show forgiveness. Which happens to be the topic of today’s blog! How’s that for a segue?

Hardcore Daily Fuel fans might remember some blogs I wrote during the summer about the search for a perfect writing partner. I discussed the bad relationships I had with former partners, and how lucky I feel to have found my current one. Long story short, most of my long-term career plans involve writing TV shows with my best friend from high school. We’re developing two pilot scripts that are progressing quite nicely. But before that, I had two experiences with other partners that ended rather unfortunately, which made me realize how important it is to pick partners who you trust and respect. As I select collaborators for other endeavors, I always keep those lessons close to my heart.

But this past weekend, I found myself in a difficult position. As a side project, I’m writing and filming a web series (that I’ll hopefully tell you about soon). I’m collaborating with a different friend from college, someone without a background in TV writing, but whom I have the utmost respect for. The project has been moving along very well thus far, but it almost ended on a dime on Friday.

In a pre-production meeting, my friend revealed some extremely problematic information about our filming schedule. I have to be vague out of respect for their privacy, but there was a significant problem that should have been shared with me much earlier. I was upset about the potential implications for the show, but even more hurt by the fact that my friend would keep something from me. I felt deceived, and wondered if I had made a third bad partnership decision.

The problem is unpleasant, but not insurmountable. And as I reflected, I determined that my anger at the situation was not greater than my respect for my friend. And I came to realize that there is another layer to successful partnerships that I hadn’t yet considered. As great as it is to have someone you always click with, it is even better to build professional relationships strong enough to survive turbulence. Sometimes, the ability to forgive one another is the most important act of collaboration. My creative partners have allowed me to thrive in ways that I couldn’t on my own, and I’m sure they’ve overlooked my flaws at times. It’s only fitting that I overlook theirs too.

The show will go on…I just hope that my high school headmaster is equally forgiving about my embrace of the Red Sox.

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Don't look for a partner who is eye candy. Look for a partner who is soul food.
— Karen Salmansohn
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