schmooze: (tr ) to chat to (someone) for the purposes of self-promotionor to gain some advantage.
Craig and I often talk about how the thing we have hated most about the artistic industry is the need to talk to people in order to get a job. I don’t mean in an interview. The schmoozing. The necessary act of schmoozing. The word itself gives me hives. “Hi! How are you? My name is….” The introducing yourself at a party. Cold conversing with a director or agent you don’t know. “I’m right in the middle of this great project….” Talking to someone, anyone who might know someone, anyone, that might be of use. ” Can I give you my card? Come to my opening? Text me!” In the free lance world, the work you do is often not enough. It’s who you are and who you talk to that matter.
schmooze: “to chat intimately,” 1897, from Yiddish shmuesn “to chat,” fromshmues “idle talk, chat,” from Heb. shemu’oth “news, rumors.”Schmooozer is from 1909.
Craig and I suck at this. We don’t like to talk to people for the purpose of self-promotion, which is a fault for sure. It’s one of the reasons we never fit in within the artistic community in Toronto. It’s why I suspect we both gleefully gravitated to start our own company, so we wouldn’t have to talk to anyone for work. We just do the work. Ta da.
schmooze or schmoose also shmooze v. schmoozed or schmoosed also shmoozed, schmooz·ing or schmoos·ing also shmooz·ing, schmooz·es or schmoos·es alsoshmooz·es
We could have tried harder I suppose. We could have gone to the parties, talked to strangers, laughed loudly at openings. But it goes against the grain of who we are as humans. It’s unnatural for us. It doesn’t fit in our skin. And certainly we have lots of admiration for those who can schmooze – I am constantly amazed by anyone who can strike up a conversation with a stranger.
I think it was better for us to find out who we are as artists, rather than fit into someone else’s skin. Yes, we could have found more “successful” careers as writers and actors. Yes, we could have found more work by being different. But that’s the thing. We would have had to be different. Not who we are. Not our best selves. There’s more than one way to skin a cat and there’s more than one way to be an artist. I’m happy to be a Schmoozer Loser.
Here’s an interesting blog post about an actor who went with her own gut to be herself in a possible agent encounter and made the right choice.