We had the good fortune of connecting with Harris Goldberg and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Harris, how do you think about risk?
First, I’m not a fan of risk. I hate it. It scares me. BUT… it’s a part of every aspect of existence. From any decision to walking across the street. I live with the uneasy feeling. That it’s always out there, waiting to strike. I also know, without taking quite a lot of it, I would never have succeeded in the entertainment business. I took the risk of moving from Canada to Los Angeles. I took the risk of working without any income. I took the risk of doing it alone. The risk of calling agents, managers, buyers, studios, networks cold. The risk of writing original material on spec. For a fellow who despises risk, every step has been fraught with some kind of risk. Sometimes it paid off extraordinarily. Sometimes it failed miserably. Sometimes I made the completely wrong decision. Sometimes I was in the right place at the right time. There was no certainty. Ever. But I also had no choice. If I wanted to compete in the business, make movies my life, I HAD to take the ongoing risks. Was there a price to pay? Absolutely. Good and bad pay-offs. All you can do is keep your eye out for it, accept it when it happens, enjoy it when it pays off, quickly move on when it nails you.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Everything for me stems from screenwriting. Coming up with a compelling story and character that, (hopefully), cannot be denied in the marketplace. The key is learning to find, then trust that inner voice that gives you the distinction. Separates yourself from the pack. Is this easy? Anything but. Took me years and years of creating and searching to find that voice. Longer to trust it. Listen to it. Use it as a guide. Screenwriting is a lonely existence. Except when you’re writing. In that world. Following those characters in whatever story they are moving through. The loneliness comes AFTER you write. The waiting, selling, hoping, more waiting, and ever-present looming rejection. However, when it does come your way, there is no more satisfying feeling.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Los Angeles has changed a lot since I moved here. I would show a visitor more of the natural beauty hidden within the hustle and bustle that most associate with the place. The hidden hiking trails on Chessboro. Lunch at “The Inn Of The Seventh Ray” in Malibu. Two days in CARMEL-BY-THE-SEA. Two days in LA JOLLA.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father. Enough said.