Is it Googleability, Bingability? Through much work and many conversations I was selected as a trend expert for the Dr. Phil show. While scheduled to air January 20, 2010, "Trends For 2010: The Good, The Bad And the Ugly" was filmed in front of a live studio audience January 11 -- just prior to the Haiti tragedy.
I consider myself a professional trender of purpose focusing at once on the chaos happening in our society, and the tremendous opportunities we create. While I gave the content of this show my innovative directional spin, I admit that only a small part of it got through to the millions of home viewers watching Dr. Phil on January 20.
Though filmed prior to the earthquake, it ended up airing when Haiti was most in need and Obama was being questioned on his first year anniversary. On the show we were shown looking at people struggling with serious media addictions ... A mother addicted to Facebook and Farmville, and a young woman who stalks actresses online via celebrity blogs, copycatting their lifestyle choices 24/7. If only I had the chance to discuss trends such as small living, innovative low carbon lifestyle or perhaps even how the economic and earth changes are moving us more toward meaningful living.
It is a time of external and internal chaos in which we may understandably turn our heads and look elsewhere for distraction, and yes, celebrity blogs and much more are on the rise for this very reason. Yet I strongly believe we are also seeing a trend of normal and extra normal people persevering and surviving as living reminders of the growth, evolution and triumph that can occur in challenging times. The movie "Precious" is one such story that stands as a strong and honored example. The volunteers and our own donations to help with the crisis in Haiti are others. To his credit, Dr. Phil focused recently on the heroic survivors of Haiti.
It seems it is important to scale back from extremes, live simpler lives filled with meaningful connection to personal contribution than distraction. Positive, pleasurable and destructive escapism will always happen, particularly during times of challenge. Also most important currently is bringing each person fully present to deal with the issues at hand. Attention, tools and commitment to our community, country and global issues are being awakened in us through tragedy and crisis of economy and earth.
After filming the Dr. Phil trend show, back stage stood the young celebrity admirer who stood supported by women all around her. While I did not say it on stage, I did put my arm around her briefly and whispered how it just may now be time to live her own dreams and no one else's. She has full permission and we certainly each do, to bring what we have to the table during these times of great change.
Kudos to Dr. Phil and the female producers of the show who voted me into this trend episode knowing my focus is more on the positive future than the scary, sensationalist one. While it is one thing to have women viewers continually witness other women in distress on the show, it is another to have three female experts - one on stage and two in the audience to counterbalance and "represent" another path.
For me, it was a personal moment to visit the palm-lined, historic Paramount Picture Studios of Hollywood; the dressing room with my name on it, the door opening, arm holding, hair fluffing, makeup caking and wardrobe styling ... Not to mention all the interesting people I would not normally meet, like the male makeup artist who worked with Pamela Anderson for all of 19 years and the hair stylist who had worked primarily on The Young and The Restless (many stories there). On exit, how about the town car waiting and the door held opened gracefully as I almost slipped in ... Wait, this is not my town car, I drove myself there in my hybrid!
It was all over in a flash, and rightly so. Time to get back tasks at hand.
A special thank you again to our editor Elizabeth Adams Of ElizabethAdams.biz!
Next blog waiting in the wings:
An interview with Jerri Chou of Lovely Day, TBD, All Day Buffet and The Feast Social Innovation Conference--How young people are making a difference through creative and socially innovative business models.