A few months ago, I mediated a family business dispute and they paid
me well. I deposited the money in my business account, shifted some of
it into a tax account and just let it sit there. There is always an
internal debate on how I can best spend the money I make as a mediator
in order to market my company, Magnum Mediation most effectively.

Then my partner Carol and I went to the Laemmle Cinema in Claremont
and we watched a succession of well-made slides advertising local
businesses. They were preceded by a QR code for the company that those
businesses have to pay to publish those slides. Carol suddenly
suggested I copy the QR code which brought me to the relevant
production company. I contacted them the next day and we set about
negotiating fees, duration and number of appearances of my
yet-to-be-constructed slides, and the number of days or weeks they
would appear. They were very obliging, dropping their fee when I
booked more weeks and consenting to non-consecutive weeks so that I
could cover the two weeks over Thanksgiving and the three weeks over
Christmas and New Year.

Then I had to create the slide. As I mentioned in a previous
submission, my prior profession as a professional actor meant I had
agents in London, New York, and Los Angeles, who marketed me to the
best of their ability. Now it was up to me to market me or, more
exactly, Magnum Mediation. Luckily, I had experience with graphics
dating back to the early days of desktop computers and was able to
cobble together a text-heavy graphic that I thought did the job. But
according to Carol, who is the campaign manager for a major charity in
Los Angeles, it wasn’t. She dutifully but sweetly tore my masterpiece
to shreds, forcing me to confront my not-insubstantial ego and admit,
under some duress, that she was right. I then submitted myself to
further profitable humiliation by asking a dear friend who is the
publisher of an Inland Empire newspaper for his advice. I girded my
withering loins, anticipating his helpful criticisms which were
guaranteed to cement my own diminishing opinion of my creative
faculties. “How’s the resolution?” was all he asked. That was it, but
it turned out to be an astute question because when I eventually
turned in my slide to their spec department, the first thing they came
back to me with was my slide with the resolution increased to
professional standards and it looked amazing.

So, if you happen to be in Claremont from November 17 for two weeks or
December 17 for three weeks, why don’t you take in a slide or two and
maybe a movie as well at the Laemmle and look out for that
extraordinary slide advertising Magnum Mediation, please? Then email
me at [email protected] and let me know what you think of my
slide. But…be gentle. “