We had the good fortune of connecting with Pamela Jaye Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pamela Jaye, every day, we hear/read about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
In 1992 I was taking classes in the Wisdom Teachings [the physics of metaphysics] from Georgia Lambert at the Philosophical Research Society. Our assignment was to figure out a way to put those principles to work in our regular work. Though I’d always been interested in mythology, it was something on the side back then as I was producing and directing commercials, documentaries, music videos, corporate and military films. How to put esoterics into that? Then I recognized that the archetypes, the chakras, group dynamics, and symbolism were all at work in stories and media. I began to consult on people’s stories and film projects using a mythic approach, started giving presentations and classes, and also did Personal Mythology and Image Consultations for individuals and organizations, plus have written six books for media-makers. It’s been great to meet so many interesting people over the years and to work on so many fascinating projects in a wide range of genres, topics, and industries. More and more people are interested in mythology these days so my work continues to evolve and expand.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What sets MYTHWORKS apart from other consultation businesses both in and out of the media industry is the use of mythology and the Ancient Wisdoms to enhance and enrich people’s lives and projects, be they writing, media-making, science, business, or the military. I’m most proud of being able to present the timeless tools often seen as a bit “woo-woo” [archetypes, chakras, symbolism, myths] as actually very practical approaches to communication, leadership, personal awareness and character development as well as into the craft of story-telling, be it books, scripts, visual media, non-fiction, marketing, etc. Other people’s enthusiasm for myth and story and the imagination is responsible for where my business is today. Like starting most businesses, it wasn’t easy and I also kept on producing and directing for fifteen years. At first the difficulty was getting potential clients to see the value of using the mythic tools even if their story wasn’t obviously “mythic” or they had a medical practice or some non-media profession. Getting involved with the Army Think-Tank and an aerospace industry think-tank helped to lend credence and gravitas to my presentations. Feedback from that showed me that even in the most seemingly non-imaginative systems there were many people who were imaginative, creative, and visionary. MYTHWORKS presentations gave them permission to talk more about it and do more about it. Networking played a big part. Thanks to friends and colleagues I was introduced to and invited to speak at universities, film festivals, and story conferences around the world. Getting books published by Michael Wiese Productions helped a lot as well. I’ve also self-published two books on mythic story craft. Lessons Learned – Really listen and be willing to explore new ideas. There are many ways to present concepts, principles and actions. Because of my studies in Comparative Mysticism and lots of reading about mythology I realized that there is a universality about the Mythic Themes, Archetypes and Symbols. Tailoring my work to the specific audience or client has made all the difference in opening the doors to an exchange of ideas. Along those lines I last year gave a presentation at the Mars Society Annual Convention on using the ArchePaths to select people to go to Mars. You never know where your business idea may take you. Stay in Touch. I haven’t advertised in over 25 years. Most of my work comes from repeat clients, direct recommendations, word-of-mouth, conferences and festivals, and videos on YouTube. We put out a newsletter every month or so and that keeps us current with those readers. I’d like the world to know that you can take the spark of an idea and with the help of friends and colleagues keep developing it into something of value for others and something that is rewarding for you. Even the most seemingly obscure idea may well be just what some people need and want. It has been my good fortune to appear as a myth expert on some interesting projects including the Special Features on Fox’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, Microsoft’s “Age of Mythology” game, and the documentary “American Jedi”. MYTHWORKS is focusing more on Personal & Organizational Mythology using the ArchePaths of the Warrior, Scientist, Magician, Clergy and Lover to help people understand where they’ve been, where they are, and where they want to go next. It’s quite exciting and I’m looking forward to doing lots more of that.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d start by exploring Griffith Observatory and then have dinner at Yamashiro Restaurant overlooking the sparkling lights of the LA Basin. In Hollywood you simply must take in the famous celebrity restaurants Musso & Frank’s and the Formosa Café. A visit to the Getty Villa Museum at the ocean’s edge and then down Pacific Coast Highway to Chez Jay restaurant across from the Santa Monica pier. Sushi in Little Tokyo is fun and delicious.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
People I’d like to thank for helping create my company — Georgia Lambert, Wisdom teacher extraordinaire. Monty McMillan, business partner and dear friend who suggested “Applied Mythology” as part of the MYTHWORKS name and is our head of Public Relations. My mentor the author and script consultant Dr. Linda Seger, and career coach Judith Claire. Production Designer Cynthia Charette was my first client and I consulted for her on a number of major studio feature films. Lt. General Lon Maggart [US Army, Ret.] invited me to join a think tank at Fort Knox and welcomed the mythology presentations, giving me a great opportunity to adapt the esoteric teachings to practical use in leadership and communication. Publishers Michael Wiese Productions for bringing four of my books for media-makers out to the world. Many, many other friends and colleagues and clients over the years have helped make my work enjoyable and rewarding to me. It’s so great to see people using the classic story tools of Mythic Themes, Archetypes, and Symbols to express themselves and tell their own unique and timely versions of timeless stories.
Other: http://filmcourage.com/?s=Pamela+Jaye+Smith https://www.stage32.com/profile/98792/about
Portrait photo of Pamela Jaye Smith by – Kate Rubin.