We had the good fortune of connecting with Susan Johnston and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Susan, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
The newest business, www.NewMediaFilmFestival.com was spawned from the 2008 economic crisis/ WGA strike. Although I was born in Providence Rhode Island and moved to Los Angeles California in 2000, I was now witnessing an exodus. Most studio friends were not able to bring in the large sums of money they were making by working on more than one show at a time and hiring people to help them with that work load. Casting friends were now losing jobs to producers friends or family members of the show owners. Major musicians with multiple gold albums were either leaving the city or having a hard time paying the electric bills. So, I wanted to help. I thought about what were my experiences to date, what was missing or needed and how could I implement.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The business journey grew out of necessity and curiousity. I was on my own at 16, so I had to figure life out. Minimum wage was just not going to pay the bills, so I needed to find ways to have what I call add on income. I’d offer to help other businesses to learn and eventually partner with them on business deals. One business person in particular shared with me some valuable business owner tips – 1-you have the right to price a job out that covers the cost of doing business with a very difficult person. 2-make sure to keep the “bread and butter” business going (the loyal customers that you may not make as much money with) because that will save you in a downturn, which it did.
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 a lot to offer, so it depends on the friend. Those that like museums, I would take them to Getty. For ocean, I would go to Marina Del Rey yacht club, walk around the park there and perhaps book a sail. Or, just walk the Venice Boardwalk and then go further up the coast to one of my favorites Paradise Cove.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I really feel that everyone I meet along the way has helped in one way or another. Perhaps what not to do or what to aspire to be. Also, having conversations with people about what they do and how they feel about something rounded out thoughts, opinions, experiences as we are innately the same and different.
Bob Venturini – Toys for Tots the others are mine one is in NEW YORK at Bonhams Red Carpet, the other is in Ecuador