Ep130: On Pursuing Your Passion (Instead of Paychecks), and Finding the Right Mentor | with Joaquin Elizondo

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There is at least one point in our lives when we make the stark realization that we no longer enjoy what we do. The passion has long-since gone, and we’re only there for the paycheck. This is what I call “The Comfort Trap.” There are few discoveries more terrifying in your career than when you realize you are just “comfortable.”

Once you decide it’s time to make a major transition, you then have to confront the fact that you’ve most likely spent much (if not all) of your career making stuff yet you’ve never focused on the soft skills of selling yourself. In the 21st century gig economy, whether you like it or not – YOU ARE A BUSINESS. And your business is selling your creative services. It doesn’t matter how awesome your work is if nobody knows you are awesome.

My guest today is editor of twenty years (and longtime friend & colleague) Joaquin Elizondo, who has adapted to change faster than most people I know and transitioned between multiple genres to land where he is now editing projects that creatively fulfill him. In our conversation Joaquin and I talk about his journey across multiple mediums, genres, and even different parts of the country to land his dream job editing Narcos: Mexico. We discuss the mindsets he uses to combat perfectionism and procrastination (which in my opinion are frankly one in the same). And we go deep into the reasons why helping others and building communities is so necessary, especially within our current times.

Whether you are looking for a mentor, career advice, or a new best friend, Joaquin is an amazing resource who is also the founder of Hollywood Editing Mentor, an amazing site I recommend for anyone looking to escape the comfort trap where you can level up your soft skills as an assistant or editor, learn how to build your network, get career transition guidance, and so much more.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • FUN FACT: Joaquin has known me longer than anyone else in Los Angeles (including my wife!).
  • The unique origin story of Joaquin’s career trajectory.
  • How he learned to make better decisions about what projects to get involved in.
  • The challenges he faced when trying to get jobs in Los Angeles.
  • The mentality he used throughout his life that has made him pursue his dreams.
  • Joaquin’s approach to mentoring his clients.
  • How he made the mindset shift from being an artist to being a business owner.
  • How embracing the learning process helps him get over perfectionism.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Redefine the term “expert” to being just one step ahead of someone else and you can provide value to lots of people.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: You’ll never succeed if you don’t take action.
  • The story of his first paid mentoring client and the feeling he got from that success.
  • What unique qualities Joaquin brings to the table from his 20 years of editing experience.
  • How he got over the fear of competition (ahem…ME!)
  • What is ‘Hollywood Editing Mentor’ and how can it help your career?

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Film & TV Editing Mentorship Program | Closing the gap to become a Hollywood Editor

Joaquin Elizondo (@hollywoodeditingmentor) • Instagram photos and videos

Hollywood Editing Mentor – Facebook Page

Hollywood Editing Mentor – You Tube Page

Continue to Listen & Learn

Ep107: Recognizing, Mentoring, and Promoting Diversity In Hollywood | with Monty DeGraff, ACE

Ep115: How to Be So Thorough You Can’t Be Denied | with James Wilcox, ACE

Ep104: How to Keep Working As An Editor (After You’ve Made the Transition From AE) | with Susan Vaill, ACE

Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold 0:00

My name is Zack Arnold, I'm a Hollywood film and television editor, a documentary director, father of two, an American Ninja Warrior in training and the creator of optimize yourself. For over 10 years now I have obsessively searched for every possible way to optimize my own creative and athletic performance. And now I'm here to shorten your learning curve. Whether you're a creative professional who edits, writes or directs, you're an entrepreneur, or even if you're a weekend warrior, I strongly believe you can be successful without sacrificing your health, or your sanity in the process. You ready? Let's design the optimized version of you. Hello, and welcome to the Optimize Yourself podcast. If you're a brand new Optimizer, I welcome you and I sincerely hope that you enjoy today's conversation. If you were inspired to take action after listening today, why not tell a friend about the show and help spread the love. And if you're a longtime listener and optimizer O.G., welcome back. Whether you're brand new, or you're seasoned vet, if you have just 10 seconds today, it would mean the world to me if you click the subscribe button in your podcast app of choice, because the more people that subscribe, the more that iTunes and the other platforms can recognize this show. And thus the more people that you and I can inspire, to step outside their comfort zones to reach their greatest potential. And now on to today's show. There's at least one point in our lives when we make the stark realization that we no longer enjoy what we do. The passion has long since gone, and we are only there for the paycheck. This is what I call the comfort trap. There are a few discoveries more terrifying in your career than when you realize that you are just comfortable. Once you decide that it's time to make a major transition, you then have to confront the fact that you've most likely spent much if not all of your career making stuff yet you've never focused on the soft skills of selling yourself. In the 21st century gig economy. Whether you like it or not, you are a business and your business is selling your creative services. It doesn't matter how awesome your work is, if nobody knows that you are awesome. My guest today is editor of 20 years and also a longtime friend and colleague Joaquin Elizondo who is adapted to change faster than most people that I know. And he has transitioned between multiple genres to land where he is now editing projects that fulfill him. In our conversation, Joaquin and I talked about his journey across multiple mediums, genres, and even different parts of the country to land his dream job editing Narcos, Mexico, we discuss the mindsets that he uses to combat perfectionism and procrastination, which by the way, in my opinion, are frankly one in the same thing. And we also go deep into the reasons why helping others and building communities is so necessary now more than ever, in our current times. Whether you were looking for a mentor career advice, or frankly a new best friend, Joaquin is an amazing resource, who's also the founder of Hollywood editing mentor, which is an amazing site that I highly recommend for anyone that's looking to escape the comfort trap, where you can instead level up your soft skills as an assistant or as an editor, where you can learn how to build your network where you can get career transition, guidance and so much more. If today's interview inspires you to step up your networking game so you can continue to build relationships with people that you admire who can open the right doors to the next stage in your career. I am excited to share with you my new, improved and vastly expanded Insider's Guide to writing amazing outreach emails. In this extensive guide, I will help you completely transform your outreach email game. So you can build a networking strategy and reach out to the right people so you can seek much needed advice, connect with a potential mentor, set up meetings and shadowing opportunities and even get referred for your next gig. In this upgraded version. I've also included a step by step template that breaks down every single piece of your outreach email from subject line all the way to the final salutation and I also provide a video tutorial with a before and after email tear down so you understand what a great outreach email should and should not include. To download your FREE guide and take your outreach emails to a completely new level. Visit optimize yourself.me slash email guide. Alright, without further ado, my conversation with editor Joaquin Elizondo made possible today by our amazing sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven, who are going to be featured just a bit later in today's interview to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes, as well as to subscribe so you don't miss the next inspirational interview. Please visit optimize yourself.me/podcast

I'm here today with Joaquin Elizondo who is a film and TV As an editor, and now I'm so excited to say the creator and founder of Hollywood editing mentor. And the one thing I want to add to your resume that you didn't add in your introduction, you also have the distinction of being the one person in Los Angeles that has known me longer than anyone else, including my wife. Oh, you and I go all the way back to the University of Michigan, many, many, many years ago. So I'm very excited that after all these years, we're finally getting this conversation on the record. So I appreciate you being here.

Joaquin Elizondo 5:30

Hey, thanks for having me, man. I'm glad to you know, finally make it here in your podcasts and go blue. I do have to say at this time, I'm not gonna miss it. We won't say how many years it's been right. But uh, you know,

Zack Arnold 5:42

we might go, let's just say it's been a long time. But yeah, you our story goes all the way back to you and I were in a scripted, I think was like a multi cam comedy class, junior senior year of college. And we got, we ended up being in the same group, writing, shooting, directing, acting, and we just got to hang out and learn from each other and we became friends. And then after college, we diverged in different directions. I've been in Los Angeles, literally, since six days after crossing walking across the aisle and graduating have lived in LA since six days after that. And you on the other hand, went in a very different path, and you're still relatively new to this side of the world on this side of the industry. So let's start from the beginning. college graduation. You want to get into filmmaking? Where do you go first?

Joaquin Elizondo 6:31

Well, after graduation, you know, I grew up in San Diego and Tijuana up along the border. I mean, that was you know, I had always you know, I lived in Tijuana, Mexico, all my life and you know, would commute to San Diego said to us, the US side to go to school and work. So when I came after Michigan, I came back I came back to Tijuana with my parents. And I, at that time wanted to Well, at that time, I wanted to be a dp director photography. I did not know where to start, where to look if I wanted to work and I just did not know. So the first job that I got was as a cameraman slash editor on a local news station in San Diego, the Spanish language station, and I was there for about three years. And then, you know, I realized that it was just not creatively fulfilling. Even though I was you know, I learned a lot I really was very hands on I learned about using you know, camerawork editing, was still tape to tape at that time. And the leaves were fairly new engineering, I mean, the, you know, Calvary monitors, doing live shots. I mean, I learned a lot. I think I was even a reporter for a couple of times. So, but I wanted more. It was just like I said that creatively fulfilling. After that I've worked in commercials and promos in San Diego still. And that was raw three years. And again, after those three years, I was like, man, I want more of not this is not challenging me, like I want to work on bigger projects. I still had a wanting to work in film, I just again, did not know who to contact, where to look. And I just really was focused on making money, right? I it was easy to get a paycheck, I was a staff employee. And that was just I was really comfortable. It was a union job actually, that I had in San Diego. So I mean, it was it was pretty great. But after three years being at work at that, uh, you know, TV station, doing promos, and commercials, I knew I wanted more. And so I quit my job. I went traveling, backpacking, Southeast Asia, and then moved to New York City, but no contacts just went out there and see what I could find. And, you know, I had to kind of first work in again, local TV, because I just needed to make money, right. And I had, I didn't know the freelance life, I was always a staff employee. So that was difficult. Just kind of learning that learning how to work as a freelancer. Eventually, you know, just started hustling, getting on bigger, you know, project, say, like for HBO Sports, doing stuff for Bravo, NBC, and little by little, just, you know, again, I was I was shooting and editing, and just started working on bigger projects. Eventually, I started just being the lead editor on watch what happens live with Andy Cohen on Bravo. And I think that's where I realized kind of like, you know, what, I like editing, I don't have to carry around gear, especially the humid, hot, humid, a New York summer, or in the winter. You know, it was great. And I just kind of connected more with editing. I did a independent documentary for my friend, where I really just say, I realized how much I enjoyed editing and I realized I was not connecting with videography, you know, or being a cameraman anymore. And that it was kind of that was kind of weird, because I had to realize I had to accept that. Even though that was my what I wanted to do. I was connecting more with editing. And it was sad. It was great also at the same time, right? So I was in New York for about five years. And, you know, I got tired of New York, I love it. I just can't live there anymore. I'm from Southern California, I want to be back in LA. Because obviously the work is there, right. And so I decided to move to LA again, had no job. I was a little bit confident, though, maybe because I was at a successful career in New York, I felt like I just come to LA and I could just start working boy,

though, how wrong was I it was it was very difficult. The first year in LA was extremely difficult finding work. And so when I got to LA, I could not find work and what I was doing, say like, and like talk shows, and you know, just unscripted stuff. And so I just said to myself, you know what? I'm here. I'm not finding anything, I might as well try to get into scripted, right, if I'm not really getting any work, I might as well just focus my attention on getting into scripted. Oh, how do I do that? I still did not know how to do any of that. Like I've always told you, Zack, when you did the fitness and post, you know, program, and podcast that definitely was helped me a lot in finding out what steps to take in order to get into scripted. From there, I just kind of, you know, I guess just started hustling. And and one of the big things I think the most important thing that I did was to start getting on indie features, right? And started getting that experience. I know that at one point, you I helped you out with doing a project. And you said hey, I think a job came your way a short film and you said Hey, man, I you know, I want to show I want to, you know, I'm grateful for you did for me, I'm gonna pass this along to you. I'm not guaranteeing you anything. Because you might you don't have the experience. But you know what, I'm putting your name in the hat. Well, I got that job. It was editing a short film was an action short film really cool fight sequence that it had had never cut anything remotely close to that. Somehow director assignment, Cassavetes love that guy gave me the opportunity to cut that film. And that certainly opened up opportunities for me, it didn't happen right away, but down the line, it really did. At the moment, I didn't, I didn't realize what it could do for me, right? Because, you know, it was this this little short film that was, you know, produced really well. But I just didn't think that that would lead anywhere. Of course, that gets me then on to a union feature film assisting, but simply because I knew the workflow for the Alexa mini that guy, but you know, I learned that on that job. And so that the editor hired me and this union feature film was tier zero. But you know, I couldn't pay my bills, but it got me the right experience. And then it kind of started snowballing. From there, it just started making better decisions as far as like what projects to get involved in. And that was really working on narrative projects, even though there were low budget. But started working in that eventually just started filling in filling in on more union jobs a week here two weeks there. And just started going, going, going going until eventually, I landed Narcos, Mexico. And that was my first, uh, you know, full season of a scripted TV show, and then was able as an assistant, and then was able to get bumped up pretty quickly to editor on that show. But basically, what happened was that I went, I, you know, I went through a lot of mistakes, I made a lot of mistakes, I learned from them. And it was just kind of trial and error, see what worked, see what worked. And I met a lot of people. I mean, the post community is great in LA, they helped me a lot, I certainly did not do this alone. And so after all, that, you know, this pandemic hits, I, you know, I was working on a show, obviously gets cut off. And I say to myself, hey, what can I do right now to

to create some type of income. I mean, I did not work for like six months, so I knew it was gonna be a while to create some income. And also to just create something for myself, right? I project like a personal project that I could use to help people because a lot of people helped me on my journey. And basically, what I came up with was Hollywood editing mentor. And it was based on my experience of trying to break into scripted coming to LA, not knowing anyone, and figuring things out kind of by myself, and just by just simply honestly committing mistakes, right. And so I'm taking that all that knowledge that I gained from, from the mistakes that I made, and also just talking to people, all the networking that I did, and now create a program to help people we're trying to do the same thing. We're trying to either break into scripted or advance their careers in just in post production in general. I've been working like I said, I started local news. I did promos, commercials, talk show sports. So I've been you know, in many areas of post production, right. So this doesn't necessarily apply to just say scripted television, even though that's what I work in right now. I've only been in scripted for three years, but you know, I've been I've been doing this for almost 20 years working in broadcasting and idea. It's like, it's certainly, you know, talk about many other exit areas of force production. But the idea is basically for me to, to help people because I understand what that feels like, what that journey feels like, I know what it feels like to be out there alone. And I know what it you know, we often just need someone to guide us. And so that's what I want to do to people for people. People have helped me out a lot. I have a lot of mentors myself. And so that is what I'm trying to do with a Hollywood editing mentor.

Zack Arnold 15:28

Well, as a fellow podcaster, you clearly know what you're doing. You don't need me. So that was great. Thanks so much for being on the show today. You told your story. I didn't need to say a word. I just stand back, like, Uh huh. Uh huh. Like all the beats covering all the bases, I love it. However, there's a whole lot in there that I want to unpack, we're gonna come back to this idea of where you are. Now, this idea that you can't do it alone. Because I think it's especially in post production, this it's this way universally just human existence and trying to achieve any goal. But in post production, especially we feel the sense of isolation, because our jobs are so solitary, we're stuck in a dark room by ourselves. We assume that we have to do it by ourselves, and everybody else has figured it out. But us, why can't everybody else seems to be getting the jobs that they want. Why can't I figure it out? Nobody does it alone. And you take it upon yourself to realize that I want to be that person that people can come to, to learn what are the steps that I took where you might be stuck, I was also one stuck in that place. Let me help you navigate it. So I want to come back to this place. But I first want to hit the rewind button, there's a few a few different spots that I really want to highlight that I think are going to be so important for the people that are listening, I want to go all the way back to about three, four or five years after graduation, you used an incredibly important word, you just kind of threw it out there. And you don't even realize you said it. But this is a really detrimental, dangerous word for people to use. And you said I was comfortable. I was jobs job full time had the paycheck coming in, had the money coming in. I was comfortable. And comfort is death. In my opinion. If I'm comfortable, it's time to make a different life choice. Because that means that I have I've wrong everything that I have out of this opportunity. So a lot of people get stuck in comfort. They say, well, I've got the mortgage, I've got the car payment, maybe I even have kids, I'm too comfortable. And I'm too stuck to be able to make a transition. So what do you think it is about you that when you were in that position of comfort? There were some specific thought or something about the way you're wired that said, Nope, I'm not going to stay with comfort. I want to embrace and go towards the discomfort.

Joaquin Elizondo 17:34

Yeah, I think, you know, I think it has a lot to do honestly, with my upbringing. You know, for me, from a young age, I was taught to always kind of think big, right? I mean, like, that's just how my family is my parents. You know, I one of the things is, for example, like I you know, as a kid, like I mean, they I talked about college, going to big a big college as a young child. I mean, they took me, my uncle once took me to Yale University, like when I was in, I don't know, elementary school or something. Just go see it right there. Like, do you dream big, I think comes from there. I came back to when I was in San Diego, I had an uncle, who was obviously he's one of my mentors. He's always guiding me, kind of my career. And so he was living in New York. And I remember visiting him, I would visit him every month every year. And one day I was I was in Bryant Park, like an October I remember because October was unfair time of the year in in New York. And that was there in Bryant Park with him. And I was looking around his perfect fall day. And I said to myself, like I want to be here. I want to be in this big city. I just have always big dreams are big goals, right? I mean, I can't be even though it's very comfortable in San Diego, like I said it was you know, like I said, we're making good money. And I was working in kind of what I wanted to do. I mean in broadcasting, but deep down inside, I knew I was going to regret it down the line if I'd never made the move. I always have that in my mind. I think always like not wanting to regret things like I want to try it. If I fail, then I failed. But I can always say I did it. All this honestly comes from just simply my family. I think my upbringing, like I said, and so I was there in New York, and I said to myself, you know what, I got to do it. I just got to leave it behind. I can't make it perfect. I can't, you know, wait till I get the job. I just need to go back to San Diego, quit my job, and then move on. Just go for a jump, close your eyes and jump. And so that's what I did. And that's where things started. It was it was not easy. I'll tell you this right now. It was not easy. I went through some tough times. But it was the best decision that I ever made in my life. And I

Zack Arnold 19:39

love that you are in New York City at some point and you're thinking man, a big enough thing. Now I need to go to Los Angeles and I need to make this even harder and more uncertain. Right? Right. So Talk Talk to me a little bit more about first landing in Los Angeles and realizing Oh boy, this is not going to be as easy as I thought this is a much bigger ocean than I anticipated.

Joaquin Elizondo 20:02

Yeah, I gotta say it was, I think, a little bit overly confident leaving New York, I'll accept it. Because it went really well. Eventually, I was very comfortable here. I could have stayed there and be would have been really comfortable. Honestly, I just, you know, I'm from Southern California, and I just I knew where I was. That's where I wanted to be. And that's why I left. But I'll say this, um, for me, once I did that big move to New York City, I realized that fear was gone, right, I did it. I took that step. I jumped. I just close my eyes and jump, and I realized, oh, wait a minute. It's fine. I'm here. Sure I get it's a lot of work. But everything is pretty okay. So that I think to me, like I said, got me over that fear of being adventurous, trying new things, just going for it. So when I went to Wilmington, LA, you know, I knew what I wanted to be there. When I got there. And I got so many rejections and I leave and, I mean, it was hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm like, wow. Like, I even thought about, like, what would be Plan B? Because it was the first year it was terrible. I could, you know, even the stuff that I was doing in New York, the same type of jobs like I would I could not get him in LA. No one was hiring me. It was terrible. And so I did question my abilities myself. I mean, I, I, like I said, I was already looking for, for Plan B. But then I realized I don't, man, I don't want to do anything else. Like, this is what I love doing. And I have to make it work. I'm going to figure it out. But of course, I always had, you know, my support team, or like my family friends around me saying, You got this, right, I because by myself, I really broke down at times, I was close to quitting. And so if it wasn't for all these people around me, this community also I gotta say, the post community in LA, like, I couldn't have done it. So that's why it's important for you to people to surround you and to support you. And for you to go out there and look for that, say, hey, I need support. I need help. I need someone to guide me. I think it's very important.

Zack Arnold 22:03

Yeah, I mean, clearly, you and I are on the same page when it comes to support and community and providing that support and mentorship and whatnot. There's a lesson in here that I want to extract that I teach in my coaching program, I'm assuming you probably teach something similar. When people ask me like, well, what is it that made you so successful, like you've worked on all these shows, and now you're on Cobra, Kai, and yada, yada, yada? There is nothing about me, that's any more special than you or anyone else that does this job. But there's one thing that I think is the contributor to my ability to be successful in this industry, or choose any goal, whether it's, as you know, batshit crazy is becoming an American Ninja Warrior. What I'm good at is failing faster than everyone else. I fail spectacularly fast. I jump in, I get it wrong, I figure it out. I iterate and I do it again. And I think that's something that you embrace as well, where you said, I was, it wasn't perfect, I didn't have the job lined up. And I think so many people are waiting for things to be perfect. There's this idea of Ready, aim fire. And one of my favorite sayings from Joe de Sena, who's the founder of the Spartan Race. And that's actually one of the first times you and I met back in person was we ran a Spartan Race together, but he says fire, aim ready. So you just fire then you figure it out. And that's what you did. You said, I don't need to have the perfect job. I don't need to be in the perfect position. I'm just going to go and I'm going to figure it out. And I'm going to be okay with failing. And I think so many people are afraid of that, that they stay stuck and they stay comfortable. Absolutely. No, I

Joaquin Elizondo 23:30

mean, I totally agree with you. And, you know, yeah, it's the same thing with the, you know, this Hollywood editing Mentor Program. You know, when I started it, I was not gonna wait again, for things to be perfect. I was just gonna, I just started it. I'm going, I'm building the website. I don't know what I'm doing. But I'm gonna figure it out. So yeah, I, you know, it goes back to that when I left for New York, that to me, I got over all that fear. And from then on, I just took risks. I just decided that, you know, I'm not going to wait around for things to be perfect. I'm just going to go and get it myself. And if I fail, then perfect. It's a learning opportunity. And I think that just simply for me, in general, that applies to just my life in general. I just, I just, you know, that's how I learn. I have to try it. And it is, you know, I just had to try it. And if it doesn't work, then then yes, I'll just go back, like you said, and I'll figure it out. And they're there figured out. It's good. Move on to the next thing. But yes, I agree with you. I think and I think a lot of people yes. are afraid of that don't have necessarily a mentality. And I gotta say I at some point, I didn't either. But it you know, I just had to, like I said, I say all the time, it's like I just had to close my eyes and just jump I that's really it. I don't know if I go and say as simple as that, but it's just kind of it's because it's that fear, right of the unknown. But in the end, just you know, and that's why I'm here to tell people just probably you as well, I'm sure. It's like a it's gonna be fine. It's gonna be fine, but you just got to take that step.

Zack Arnold 24:58

You're going to be okay. Just I think that so many people get stuck in this idea of being a perfectionist. It's not perfect yet. And perfectionism is just another way to spell procrastination. In my mind, it's just an excuse. Because you don't want to overcome a certain amount of fear. And I used to be the same way, like everything had to be perfect. And I had to have all my ducks in a row before I would do anything. And I lived in the state of fear. And I'd spent my whole life being top of my class, like doing everything right, always known as the the top student, or the top worker, whatever it was, which is great, but it puts so much pressure on you to perform and never exhibit that you actually fail and you're human. And once I started to embrace failure, it actually got really fun. And now, I just love to fail, because I learned so much faster, and it's so freeing, but until you let yourself fail purposely, and you turn failure into a habit, you're scared of it because you want everything to be perfect. And like you're you're the perfect example, once you turn failure into a habit, man, you just start to move fast.

Joaquin Elizondo 25:57

So it's so true, man. I know it sounds weird to say right to be like so comfortable with failure. But no, it does make sense. Because once you do you get over that fear. And you just go for it and things don't things will line up. Honestly, it might take work usually does. Always always does. I

Zack Arnold 26:13

just want to make 100% it's going to take a war

Joaquin Elizondo 26:18

which now I understand, you know, what you were talking about, about putting all this work because it is it is work. And it but you know what, look, if you want these things, I mean, it's everything it's worth you don't have fighting for is gonna require work. Honestly, it applies to our careers, our relationships, to anything. That's what it is. And so now now I'm just conditioned. I mean, I've always been a hard worker, that's, again, going back to my upbringing. But now it's like just kind of eliminating that fear. It's so liberating. We're talking about this idea of failing and moving faster, there's a couple of fun things that I want to point out for you that you might not be aware of. But I'm very well aware of, if you were to take our paths, because really, we were standing at the starting line, essentially the

Zack Arnold 26:58

exact same day, we went in very different directions, right. And we are here now. And you can look at my path, look at yours, and you can compare the two. But one thing I'd like to point out is that you got a credit on a Netflix show before I did. So there's that. And now that you're podcasting, and by the way, everybody that's thinking, oh podcasts, well, that's not hard, you just got to record somebody on a microphone and upload the mp3 file or not easy, which is something that you and I talked about when you first started, it took me 17 episodes, just to get somebody on the show that wasn't a buddy of mine in my hiking group. And in seven or eight episodes, you already have multiple Emmy winners, the once again, you've beat me to the punch. So I don't even know where we're gonna both be in five years from now. The curve is just shooting straight up for you right now.

Joaquin Elizondo 27:46

Oh, well, I mean, you know, um, and, you know, it's like, it's, it's, this has been very fascinating to see how Hollywood editing mentor has taken off, and how people have been receptive to it. Um, you know, honestly, for me, I talked about this with my friend Auggie about this idea of no wasted work, you know, I've done so many things in broadcasting and in media, you know, I've, you know, I honestly, back in the day wanted to be a radio host radio DJ, like, back in the day, I was, you know, I was I did radio and W CBN. And at U of M, you know, I have my own radio show, you know, I said I was a cameraman, I've learned, I've always I've learned all these skills, right? So that I can apply to this creating this program, right, I can just simply do it, I can do a lot of stuff myself. So I've been able to kind of move it along, I don't have to really depend on a lot of people. So I can just kind of, you know, move in a movie, but I think, say with regard to like, the podcast with the with the guests, you know, I just I've been able to build a network here in LA, pretty quickly. And so, you know, I'm just I'm grateful to know a lot of these people and to become friends. You know, I just I like I've always enjoyed talking to people. I like making new friends. I'm always curious to hear more than anything people's stories. Right? I just I like to learn, I like to soak up information. And that's the thing about, you know, hollywood editing mentor program. And just in general, how I learned. I this is the approach that I take, I learned from other people like their experiences, right. And what I learned is that, you know, I can take bits of information from everyone, see how you did it, because there's no set path to doing this, or maybe really anything, everyone has to find out their own path, discover their own path, there's no set formula. And so what I learned was that I could have to take kind of bits of information from people and see what works for me, for my personality, my work ethic, everything. And that's how I've, you know, taken that information, and then kind of say, in this case, broken to say scripted, and that's kind of the approach that I take also with my mentorship program. It's the same as a disclaimer that I get, it's like, hey, there's no way of doing this. But I can just tell you what I did what I learned from it, you know, and just take What you can what you find useful from this. And then of course, we can talk about your situation that can help you and guide you along the way. But in the end, you have to figure out what works for you. And honestly a big lesson for me and always share this, you know, I'm interested in fitness, obviously, I learned a lot from exercising, like to me, I mean, when I was I still run, when I started running, you know, doing half marathons, marathons, I injured myself a lot. And I used to follow a lot of you read a lot of articles on what to do, how to, you know, like, say, what, how to, what to eat, how to train this and that. And it's, you know, those things work for certain people, right. But my body was reacting differently to those things. I had to find out what worked for me and I injured myself again, mistakes, committee mistakes. I had a lot of injuries. But I learned I learned and finally I said, All right, I see what you're saying here, I'll take this, I see what you're saying here. I'll

Zack Arnold 30:49

take that. And then finally, you know, decided what works for me very, very similar to my approach as well. It's eerie, how much you and I have in common, we could not have more different upbringings. But as far as the way that we're wired, there are so many similarities, it's downright your what what I'd like to get into more now is specifically Hollywood editing mentor, and I want to do it from a couple of different directions, we could easily go down the rabbit hole forever on assisted editing and TV editing and all that stuff. And I want to direct people to your site and your story if they want to go deeper into that. But there are two aspects that I want to look at with Hollywood editing mentor, one is going to be you making the transition from an artist to entrepreneur, because I think there have been a lot of people over the last seven, eight months that have had this Stark, terrifying realization, oh my god, my entire livelihood is dependent on other people's projects. Now what do I do, and as a freelancer, that fear is always there. That's not new to the pandemic, the pandemic was just throwing gasoline on something that was already apparent, which is I can only support myself when other people need me to work on their stories and their projects. And you decided, you know what, I'm going to figure something else out. And I'm going to build something from the ground up. So I want to first talk about that, then we're actually going to talk about the program. But first, it's going to be that transition from artist to entrepreneur. So a lot of people that I've talked to that have reached out to me, I've had this conversation countless times, they all think the same thing. Well, how can I help anybody? I'm not an expert. Like I, I, nobody's gonna pay me for anything. Like, I'm just a guy, or I'm just a girl, like, why would somebody come to me? And even more importantly, who do I think I am? to help these people? I struggle with life, I struggle with all this. So who do I think I am to start a business? You and I work through some of this very early during the pandemic and had some of these conversations? So share with us what your mindset was when you decided to make this transition?

Joaquin Elizondo 32:46

Yeah, well, first of all, you know, this happened, I see the beginning of the pandemic, the I knew I wanted to do something to give back. I just didn't know exactly what it was right. And then so that's when you and I had a conversation. And you kind of helped me to find that. And the biggest thing for me at that time was I felt, you know, especially talking about mentoring, they do have to monetize this right to make money off of this. I quickly learned that, you know, what, wait, if I what I hold information that there's value to it, that it has value, and so therefore, yeah, it's it's not wrong to say, to ask for money for my knowledge for my services, right? That was the first kind of big kind of hurdle that I had to go over because it was just a, you know, a mental thing, right? Or a mind thing where it was just like I told myself, I don't know how I feel about this. But you and I talked and that I was over that pretty quickly. But then, you know, after that I was I always knew I wanted to have some type of business something for myself. I mean, I always thought about like, say like, uh, you know, I love coffee, I wonder like a coffee shop, what are some What can I do, right? But then I started noticing that, you know, prior to having the mentorship program, even, you know, when I was still in assistant, I had a lot of people come up to me or write me through, you know, social media, asking me, hey, advice, how do I get into scripted? I was, I was doing it, you know, and I enjoyed it. I would I would, you know, meet people for coffee, I would write emails respond to everyone, because I really did enjoy it. And I understood what it felt like to be on the other side. Like I knew that feeling. And it was it had been pretty recent. I guess I'm always pretty sensitive to those things. I just I know people, I felt the pain, you know, and so I understand what people are going through the same thing I want to help. That's just who I am as a person. You know, I then little by little I just kind of started you know, figuring that to figure things out, right? I just had started listening to podcasts, reading articles, and shape changing my mindset, you know, now to see being an artist to now say, you know, you know, business owner, right. I had to just kind of learn and that was just really Really, again, committing mistakes, reading articles, and just soaking up as much knowledge as possible. And I learned that, you know, I guess yeah, we are experts if we know, I mean, you don't have to be completely know everything right. But I, but I know enough. I mean, I know a lot I've been, I can certainly guide someone, and that has a lot of value. I, you know, we can be experts, we don't have to know, everything, you know, about, you know, whatever it is that we're, we're teaching. I mean, we know more than next person, I think that really makes us experts, right. I mean, like, there's someone that probably knows more than me, you know, like I'm saying, but I mean, it doesn't count doesn't mean that I can't do create a business based on my knowledge. And then, you know, I quickly realized that when I said, Hey, you know, what i did it i went from, from, from not having any experience to landing it, you know, in scripted landing in a new city. And I went through the steps on that, and I did it, I accomplished it. So, of course, I have a lot of knowledge to share. And that certainly has a lot of value. If I would have encountered, I'd say at the beginning, if I would have seen that someone offering those, you know, services from you know, back in the day, trust me, I would have right there, paid for it. And, of course, there's someone that's speaking right to me. So yes, no, I mean, like, it's it, but it is now changing that mindset. I think, also, for me, just simply, you know, now, you know, obviously getting older might just, you know, I'm really just kind of my priorities are different, I my goals are different. But it is changing kind of this, this mindset, that really, you know, it needs to happen. And to me, it just really was, you know, like I said, just talking to a lot of people reading a lot. And and then just creating this problem, just going through the motions. Again, I'll say it again, making a lot of mistakes, a lot of mistakes, but I knew I was not gonna wait till things are perfect. Because if I did, what probably wouldn't even have launched the website by now, you know, so I just needed to go for it. Here we go. We'll see what happens. Of course, as I go, I'm making changes. You know, even with the podcast, I'm learning, you know, just better workflow, you know, better questions to ask. I feel much more comfortable on the mic. I mean, all these things. It's like, I don't stop learning man. From from, you know, and I text you. Hey, man, why did you tell me there's so much work? Because every time it's like,

Zack Arnold 37:15

all you have to do is upload an mp3 dude. What's your problem?

Joaquin Elizondo 37:19

I know exactly. Right. But yeah, it's it's been a it's such a learning experience. But yeah, I don't think anyone has to know I don't think anyone has to I understand because I was there. I do get it. But yeah, you don't have to necessarily be you don't know everything. You You know, you already have enough knowledge to share and that you know about whatever topic it is that you're saying you want to talk about our teach, you know, but it's like that has value that certainly has value.

Zack Arnold 37:46

Yeah. And what you embody so perfectly that I think, is something we don't talk about in this industry, or frankly, any other industry is how to redefine the term expert. People think an expert is top of their field degrees certifications or a mentor right like Walter merge. He's an editing mentor. dodi Dorn is an editing mentor, Thelma spoon maker editing mentor, right? These are experts. But the way that I've redefined expert in the way that I teach it in my coaching program, is that an expert? Is anybody that has gotten to where you want to be next? So would anybody say that a night assistant editor? That's an entry level at an unscripted company as an expert? Well, of course not. Unless you're the college kid that just got out of school that desperately wants to be a night assistant editor at entry level, doing logging at an unscripted company, then that person is the world's foremost expert on the knowledge that you require next. So I say that number one for anybody listening, that's thinking, well, it's great that Joaquin was able to do that. But he's on narco. So of course, he's an expert in that field. I'm not an expert at anything, you are an expert to somebody, I don't care where you are. If you're a college kid, you are an expert to the high school kid that isn't sure how to manage his first year of college. So you need to rethink and redefine what you think an expert is. If you're thinking to yourself, Well, what value could I possibly bring to the world? Just find the right people that are saying, How do I find the person that's here, if you're there, you become their expert. And now, you rephrase that and think, if I'm here, and I want to get there, who's my expert going to be? That's how I redefine the word expert and or mentor. And I think that that's absolutely key and crucial. And that's exactly what you've done. You didn't say, I'm an expert editor. You said I'm an expert at telling you how to transition from this little tiny niche of being a scripted assistant editor or getting into scripted from somewhere else. And those transitioning from assistant editor to editor because you've done it so for somebody that's just a step or two behind you, you are their expert. My sincerest apologies for the interruption in the middle of this interview, but if you are a content creator or you work in the entertainment industry, not only is The following promo not an interruption, but listening has the potential to change your life. Because collaborating with Everast is that powerful. Here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Evercast co founders, Brad Thomas,

Roger 40:12

an award winning editor, Roger Barton, living this lifestyle of a feature film editor has really had an impact on me. So I was really looking for something to push back against all of these lifestyle infringement that are imposed on us both by schedules and expectations. When you guys demoed Evercast for me that first time my jaw hit the floor, I'm like, Oh, my God, this is what I've been waiting for a decade,

Zack Arnold 40:37

I also had the same reaction when I first saw Evercast two words came to mind game changer. Our goal, honestly,

Brad 40:43

is to become the zoom for creatives, whatever it is, you're streaming, whether it's editorial, visual effects, Pro Tools for music composition, LIVE SHOT cameras, it's consistent audio and video, lip sync, always stays in sync, whether you're in a live session where you're getting that feedback immediately, or you can't get it immediately. So you record the session. And you can share those clips with people on the production team where there's no room for any confusion. It's like this is exactly what the director wants. This

Roger 41:08

is exactly what the producer wants. What matters most to me is it makes the entire process more efficient, which then translates to us as creatives who spend way too much time in front of computers, we get to shut it down. And we get to go spend time with our friends and family.

Zack Arnold 41:23

The biggest complaint and I'm sure you guys have heard this many, many times. This looks amazing. I just can't afford it.

Brad 41:28

Tesla had to release the Model S before they released the model three. So by the end of the year, we are going to be releasing a sub $200 version a month of efficacy for the freelancer, indie creatives, anyone who is a professional video creator outside of Hollywood,

Roger 41:44

I think what we've learned over the last few months is that this technology can translate to better lives for all of us that give us more flexibility and control while still maintaining the creativity, the creative momentum and the quality of work.

Zack Arnold 41:59

I cannot stress this enough Evercast is changing the way that we collaborate. If you value your craft your well being and spending quality time with the ones you love, Evercast now makes that possible for you and me to listen to the full interview and learn about the amazing potential that Evercast has to change the way that you work and live visit optimize yourself.me slash Evercast. Now back to today's interview.

Joaquin Elizondo 42:23

Absolutely, yeah, no, I mean, that's the thing. It's like, you know, I learned that even me, because Yeah, exactly. That's who I I, back in the day, I remember. I was when I was in New York, there was a one of the companies that I worked for, I knew the like the general manager, he was from the same town that I was from, he was very successful. And I said to myself, I want to learn from that guy. Right? He's comes from the same town, we speak the same language, like how did you do it? That's as simple as that, then so I ever asked them, Hey, could you be my mentor? And he said, Yes. And because I always have known that, that it's like, hey, you're successful, you did it. I want to learn from from you. Right. And like you said, it's like, then that person becomes you're the expert that for you. And so yeah, I mean, like now, for example, you know, the obviously the, you know, the way we learn, I think has changed a lot, especially through this pandemic. I mean, now I, you know, going through, I don't know anything about like, say good cooking, or building things, whatever. There's so many people you can find and, you know, there, you can find their YouTube channel, you can find their courses or whatever, that's when we're going through this new kind of, you know, era of learning in it, but it makes sense. Yeah, I want to know, this person doesn't have to have, let's say, millions and whatever followers I mean, like, you know, this guy can, you know, knows how to, I don't know, Bill furniture? For sure. I want to learn for that guy. He knows more way more than I do. But you know, so Yeah, I agree with the way he described it. It's um, you know, say my case for example. Yeah, I can certainly I've been through the process it worked. So I can certainly teach you all about it and and, you know, kind of guide you because I've been there I've been through you know, trenches I you know, I can

Zack Arnold 44:05

certainly talk about it. I think the other key to that I want to go back to this so important is this idea of consuming information versus taking action. I saw this firsthand with you. I talked to several people right when the pandemic started that were in a similar places you they reached out, and they said I've always thought about kind of doing my own thing. I really admire what you've done with the podcast and now you're teaching courses you're doing the whole thing that's great. helped me to do the same thing. So I had multiple conversations with people but with you within about a month it went from I'm thinking of this to Hey, dude, I got my website. I've got my first play pay client. I'm doing my thing. I'm like, What? Like it took you It took me years to get to this point why Keens got a business in a month. But the key here is you said I listened to podcasts, I write articles, but you took action. And the vast majority of people that are out here trying to do this that might be listening right now. It's consume, consume, consume, consume. Nope, I just got to watch One more course or one more YouTube video before I can really dive in. And you said, No, I'm just going to build it, I'm going to suck, I'm going to fail goes back to this whole theme of the conversation is you decided to fail first and fail forwards. And within a month of you and I having the initial conversation, you're like, yep, just gotta pay client. And you're probably not making a living off of it yet. But tell me about the mindset shift. Because this is such an important one, I had the same experience, where I'd spent years with what I call a really expensive hobby, which is me with fitness and posts where every month I just took money, and I threw it into a fire. Here you go, here's my money, just kept throwing it into the fire. thinking to myself, this is a passion. This is a hobby. But my mindset changed the first time somebody paid me $97 I'm like, Oh, my God, this completely changes the game. It wasn't even 100 bucks. When I got that $97 charge, and I got the email. I said, This changes my life. If I can repeat this and do it over and over and over. Talk to me specifically about the moment where you went from I'm going to try to do this thing to Oh, my God, somebody just paid me real money.

Joaquin Elizondo 46:05

Yeah, no, I remember that moment. Really? Well, I remember my first you know, mentee, you know, who paid me to for my eight week, you know, mentorship program? Who actually, I was just talking to her, you know, before you and I started recording this? Yeah, the first time, she said, when she hired me, I was like, I was like, wow, like, you know, this, I hadn't, I had not made a sales push I the website was, you know, was not complete. I had my picture a couple, you know, lines of text. And so when that when she said, damn, I want to hire you. And we started doing the, the the program. And then, you know, she was she was a recent grad from, you know, Chapman University had just graduated, was looking at, you know, move to Hollywood and, you know, work in post. And so when he started going to the, through the, through the classes, and I first of all realize, well, there's a lot I certainly, yes, I can teach a lot, there's a lot of stuff to go through. I don't think a week is gonna be enough. She did not finish the program, and got her first job. When that happened to me was like, I mean, I think I don't have kids. I feel like that's what a proud parent feels like that that feeling. Because he didn't he didn't get to finish it. And she was able to get her first job in post production in Hollywood. You know, obviously, she did the work, she did the work. But it was through my guidance, right, none of the stuff that she was not aware of any of the stuff that I had talked to her about. I showed her and she was able to get that job, even before we finish it to me, I said, All right, like, this is it works. Right? And I just that feeling that I had I mean, like, I can't describe him, I just did that way, this way. I say this, like, just like a proud parent. Right. And that definitely motivated me to keep going. And then I got the next you know, client, and then you know, none of none from not making really any this organic. I have not, you know, was not making, you know, heavy sales push or anything. I mean, it's just happened organically. You're right. I don't, you know, can't live off of that, you know, but the saying that at that moment, the beginning, that's what really kind of motivated me to say, Hey, you know, I have a lot of knowledge to share. And then so as I just started going to writing articles, people reacting to it responding to it, they just right out of the blue. Hey, you I love what you're what you wrote, you know, I love your podcast, like that was great. Everyone, you know, kind of connects with a different guest. To me that that that motivates me a lot. I always tell people that support. When I see Wow, people are like, I mean, I have had, like, parents of someone like, like the people I work with, or like guests on the show. Contact me, you know, parents, like say, Hey, I just love what you're doing. Thank you. It's like, wow, I just, it just I don't know. I mean, I never, I guess thought I always thought of post production as just simply editing. And but now seeing this side of it. I'm sure you understand of helping people. Is it you know, mentoring is so I mean, it's just so fulfilling, so gratifying. I mean, it's just it's a different feeling. And I knew that it was something that I was always wanted to do. And I just like, I just like the feeling of it, to be able to say, I can help people.

Zack Arnold 49:27

Yeah, I can relate to all that. I mean, the the proud parent moments happen all the time. And they're essentially what keeps me going. And I think that it's so important for anybody that's listening to this right now, that's thinking to themselves either I might want to start my own thing, but I'm afraid to start it or whatever. But now I have to go from being an artist all of a sudden becoming a business owner that's really really scary. It's a slow progression. To this day. I'm still balancing, editing Cobra Kai, and doing what I'm doing which just if you look at my calendar, you find out how batshit crazy it is to try and balance All these things. But the way that this this, this machine keeps rolling, it just starts with that one outreach email, there are at least three distinctive times I remember where I said, I'm done. This just this isn't yielding results. This is so hard. And I'm just not getting where I want to get or I had this idea of where I'm supposed to be. And I wasn't. And then as I'm going to turn, turn off the the websites and the podcast is just too much work. And then being email in the inbox. I just wanted to let you know, I listened to this episode, I had no idea that standing desks were even a thing, I tried it out, I feel so much better. It's like you changed the whole way I work. Damn it. Now we got to keep doing. I can't quit now. And then that's just this snowball that rolls down the hill. And now at least on a weekly basis, I'm getting messages in our slack community just got an interview and got a job on this huge show on this big show. And I finally made this transition like it's just like gasoline on a fire. And it's so much fun. And I think that's kind of going back to the question of well, who am I to think that I can do this, the the business model that you've taken on is very similar to my business model, where we only succeed if we provide a tremendous amount of value to people. And the vast majority of that value is free 98% of the people that I help never pay me a cent. And it's the same thing for you. But those 2% they're the ones to help keep the lights on. So we can provide value for the other 98%. And I don't know if you've had this experience, but I still to this day had this experience where people say, Oh, that's so nice of us to be doing the podcast and writing the articles like that. That's so great that you offer offer that service and help all of us and like, Yeah, but you do know what's a business, right? They have no idea that I generate any income whatsoever. But the just the impression of it is that I'm doing it as a public service. That to me is the perfect sweet spot where I'm doing everyone a public service and providing value, but it also helps me support myself because the more I grow, the more public service I can provide, which is exactly what you are doing.

Joaquin Elizondo 52:01

Yeah, no, I totally. I mean, yeah, I totally agree. I mean, first of all, yeah, I gotta say, just like you, there was certainly moments where I was like, man, like, it was like a week. Every week is different. And, you know, at times, yeah, I was like, Man, this is not working out, you know, and then the next week, I would get a, you know, an email or comment. They're like, all right, no, well, you know, it is is great. And so I kept going, it just goes back and forth. Right. But, uh, yeah, no, that's, that's just kind of it's, it's, it's, it certainly has been, again, a learning experience. I started creating, you know, and I still do, I mean, the plenty of free content. I mean, in the end, because, like I said before, that's what I used to do. I loved meeting with people and robeck, you know, reply to every email. You know, I don't want to stop that all the sudden, see, like, oh, now Now you need to pay me right to talk to me, or no, no, I still want to do it, I still want to help people, if you want to go, you know, further into it. And you know, have a more one on one, you know, relationship. And then by all means, let's do it. But, you know, I do genuinely like helping people out. I mean, that I want to give out as much, you know, free advice as as possible, for sure. But I also do want to give opportunity to people to say, if you want to, you know, dive deeper into this stuff. Certainly, you know, there's that opportunity, you know,

Zack Arnold 53:22

well, there's a story that comes to mind. It's a parable that I'm sure I'm gonna butcher. But are you have you ever heard the story of Picasso on the napkin, and not familiar with it? So like I said, I'm going to butcher it, because it's been paraphrased in so many different ways. But it said that Picasso was having lunch with someone, and they asked, hey, do could you draw this thing, like some image or whatever it was, and he just drew it on a napkin, it took him a few minutes. And the person looked at and they said, This is amazing. This is gorgeous. He said, if you'd like it, it'll just be $15,000. And they said, Well, are you crazy? It took you like five minutes to draw that. He said, No, it took me 30 years to draw this. Right. And that's the part that people miss. They think that our value is all about the amount of time that we're giving. And no, it's not about your worth this amount of minutes or this amount of hours. It's here's the value that I bring to you. It's not just well, wait a second, I thought we were only meeting for 60 minutes. And when I talk to somebody else that does this other thing that's for 60 minutes, and they charge this sign about the time what value and expertise Can you bring to the conversation, which goes back to anybody thinking, Well, I'm not an expert, again, yes, you are, you can provide value to the right person, if you find them. And that was one of the things that I wanted to talk about next, where you and I dove deep into this process. You realize I want to make this transition. I want to go from being an artist to being an entrepreneur or combining both because you're obviously not giving up the artistry and the editing, but you're combining these two, and all of a sudden you get a taste of what it's like to start working with somebody. But then the question becomes, yeah, but how do I actually help people? What do I do? I'm so stuck, like, how do I do this? And the simplest answer is that you ask. So talk to me a little bit more about your process. process of learning, how can I actually provide value? Because so many people get stuck at this point?

Joaquin Elizondo 55:04

Well, first of all, you know, I like to tell people, I need to also improve, you know, myself and work on myself in order to provide a service. So and offer guidance, right. So I'm constantly also always, you know, learning about myself reading books, and, you know, meditating, everything I put in that work with me before I can obviously then offer that to someone else. I'm constantly doing that. But yeah, no, I it's a it's a, it's about Yes, asking a lot of questions. or asking a lot of questions to people telling them that, hey, I'm here to listen, right? I'm here to listen. And I because I know what it feels like you want someone just to sometimes just listen to you. That really, that's what it is, I had this conversation with one of my mentees, it's like, sometimes I just want to just someone to hear me. And then I can bounce ideas off of, you know, especially someone who knows what I'm talking about, say we work in the same area, you know, sometimes that's all it is. And so, I like to just and like I said, I enjoy, really enjoy listening to people talk, I enjoy hearing stories and other people's experiences. And so that's what I do. I like to listen, I like to ask a lot of questions. And then, you know, now, like I said, I've been doing this, you know, in general for, you know, working in just in post media for like, for close to 20 years, I've been many scenarios, things that you I mean, they don't teach you this stuff in school. I mean, like, this is stuff that you have to you have to actually have to live through, you have to be in that room with that showrunner specific situations that there's no way they're like, recreated right, your whatever, if you're dealing or stuff that you're dealing with the abbot or anything, it's these things that I've been through, that I can certainly talk to talk about, and guide you through. And that's, I think, again, that's where the, the value is, right? I mean, this because it's not this is a now because I, for 20 years, or close 20 years of experience that I'm bringing to this, even though for example, let's say I've only been in scripted say for you know, what, three years, but you know, I've been dealing with producers for, like I said, you know, almost 20 years and been in crises, you know, situations, I work a lot in life TV, that worked in New York, you know, and I see la San Diego worked in Mexico. I mean, there's a lot I bring to the table, right? There's certainly I can speak a lot about many situations. I've been in also like, just the, the more personal kind of emotional things, because I you know, like I said, I've, I've been through I've been through those, you know, panic attacks, anxiety attacks, all these things, I've been through the financial stuff that, you know, I mean, it's like, but this is just, you know, experiences I've acquired over so many years. But so yeah, I really just like to discover what people I like to build relationships, and discover who people are, and so that I can best serve them. And, you know, there's all my program, it's all you know, it's custom tailored to their needs, to the mentees needs. And, you know, it's just, it's a lot about listening. So having someone there to really be tolerant, and, you know, in, and to be understanding, and to be, you know, like I said this, the kind of someone that can hold your hand, right. And that, that's really important because I, again, it's just what I needed, when I was doing it, I understand being in a situation.

Zack Arnold 58:29

So now I want to talk about the elephant in the room, this is going to be a fear that a lot of people have, and the elephant in the room is that you're my competition are doing what I'm doing. And you're going after my clients and you're taking money out of my pocket, how dare you you're you're trying to do what I do. And a lot of people get their this thought in their minds. Why should I do this, but other people are already doing it. There's no more space for me. So why didn't you have that fear? Why didn't you think to myself? Why would I mentor system editors that want to make the transition to editor somebody else's already doing it? Why did you overcome that fear?

Joaquin Elizondo 59:06

Because I overcame that fear, because I just knew I could put my own twist on it. Right? It was my personal project. And so, yeah, sure, you can have say many different people doing the same thing, you know, but everyone's gonna do it differently. Right, we're all gonna have our different ingredients or our formulas. And so there is plenty of room for for more people to join in and do this because everyone's gonna put their their own spin on it. We all have different personalities. People are going to serve people are going to connect with us, like some people are going to connect with me. Maybe some people are going to connect with you like it's just it's just like any other relationship, right? I mean, it's just, you you're just going to connect with different people. And so there is definitely you know, room say for more competition. Or, you know, other people kind of, like I said, doing the same thing, because, you know, we're all gonna kind of put our spin on it. But yeah, no, I, I know you're talking about. I mean, you know, but, uh, but yeah, I mean, that's I just knew that this was just kind of a I want to put my own spin on this, you know, I my own flavor. And so that's that really is what I'm, you know got me over that fear? Did I think about it? Absolutely dude I, of course I mean, I'm glad you brought it up. Um, so I call this the elephant in the room. Exactly. And, you know, we had never, you know, really, you know, thought about it, right? I mean, but I mean, it was just always kind of like, Well, yeah, you know, I'm gonna, I'm just gonna do my thing. My thing, you know, I'm not studying and thinking about, say, what you do? You know, I have not say taking your program, right? I mean, I've obviously you and I talk a lot. And you know, you know, we share ideas and whatnot, but, and I just do your podcast, and I read your articles. But at the end, it's like my I, I focus on myself, I just said, Just do what you do. Do your way that don't don't don't think about anyone else. Nothing, just just do read about what you want to write about, you know, do the podcast the way you want to do it. That's should be I think the focus for anyone, just focus on your idea. and execute it. Don't think about anything external. Don't worry about the competition, just, if you start worrying about the competition, that's where you're gonna stumble. And so it's important to just focus on your idea and just execute.

Zack Arnold 1:01:25

I love that. That's actually one of the the core key mindsets that I teach in my program was that you have to learn how to run your own race, something I've seen in many, many Spartan races, and they even talk about I went through like a private Spartan event where they take you behind the scenes, and they have top trainers that are teaching you the tricks of the obstacles and whatnot. And they say that everybody gets so caught up in going through the race and looking at everybody else and say, they're not doing their burpees or how come they're doing it this way. And they get so caught up in it, that they're wasting all this energy, just run your own race, focus on what you're doing, not what everybody else is doing. But I think the other key here is that you're doing it differently than I am. You are serving different people that have different stories that are going to say, you know what, Zach talks about a lot of the same stuff, but Watkins, my guy, he's, he's going to get me more, and we're going to connect more. And the way that I see it, so if I'm looking at it from my perspective, and somebody is asking, Well, why would you have Joaquin on the podcast? And why would you potentially take somebody listening, that's like, I was going to give Zach money. But now I'm going to give it to Joaquin instead? Well, I'm going to tell you why I would do that. I believe that a rising tide lifts all ships. And the better I can make you, the more that's going to encourage other people to do the same thing and provide value to others. That's the first part. The second part. This is something that I've learned from my ninja training. I heard this from a big name ninja. And this is a very pervasive mentality. And it's very unique to the ninja sport. This is one of the reasons that I gravitated towards it is that you see them, they're encouraging each other, they're helping each other. There's no competition, it's not a matter of there's no trash talk. It's not the WWE or professional sports. And one time somebody asked like, why, why do you guys encourage each other and actually give away your secrets. And they say, it's because if I'm going to be number one, I want to beat somebody else on their best day, not their worst day. So the better I make them by default, the better I have to make myself because my competition gets better. And I don't see us as competition at all. Like I don't see it that way, which is why I want to support you as much as I can. But even if I did, the better I make you the more that forces me to get better too, because now I know that you're on my coattails, and I got it, right. And that's not the way that I see it. But I feel that if I can support you, other people are going to feel like, oh, maybe I can do this too, then all of a sudden, this just becomes a thing. Because when I started this, nobody was doing this in our field. It's not like I didn't invent the wheel many people are doing in other fields. But nobody was doing it in this one. So if you can do it and encourage somebody else to do it, now all of a sudden is a thing. And now we can all support each other. That to me is really exciting.

Joaquin Elizondo 1:03:59

Yeah, no, totally. I mean, you know, it thank you honestly, is that you know, because, you know, obviously, it's funny that we're doing it here, right and on the podcast. But yeah, no, I agree with you. I think it's like it's important just for everyone, right? It's like, I think going back to this idea of comfort. Um, I certainly recognize it, I need to kind of every once in a while, I think kind of check myself and cry again, you know, whatever I'm doing, how can I get better because it could easily get comfortable with something. And so I do recognize that at times I need to, you know, encounter new challenges or something to just get me going right, I don't want to I don't want to just get comfortable with things. So I think Yeah, no, certainly. That's that's important. Right? And and this Yes, idea again, again, I think it's connection like I certainly see like for example, the stuff the, the the podcast, the hosts that I listened to or like, you know, people who are out there doing courses or YouTube videos, I recognize who I connect with, right? I might watch say two people doing this talking about same thing. I'm sure gonna connect You know, more with the other one, right? The other one one person than the other. So, you know, it's, it's, you know, it's important to find that person that you truly connect with. And yeah, if we can get more people to, you know, again, he said more people start doing this, then more people that people could other people could connect with, right other students, mentees, whatever you want to identify them as. But yes, you create more options. And it's just like, you know, people are going to find we know what they're looking for, with, with I think, personalities and just the product, you know, because everything, everyone's gonna just do it differently.

Zack Arnold 1:05:35

Well, speaking of the product, and mentorship, and everything else now is the shameless plug portion of the show, where if somebody is listening, and they say, Man, I think Joaquin might be my guy, he seems to get me and I'm looking for that mentor, or quote, unquote, expert. That's where I want to be next. Talk to people about how they can find you, and talk about all the various services, skills, everything that you cover, like, just do the shameless pitch for Hollywood editing mentor,

Joaquin Elizondo 1:06:04

man, so yeah, hollywood editing mentor can be found at Hollywood editing. mentor.com, there is a lot of, you know, free advice on there, I have a lot of, you know, written articles, a lot of video tutorials, say on, for example, from like, how to join the union, how to build your, you know, scripted TV project and avid, I've had, you know, you know, guests, you know, writers on there, such as a oggy, Rex hatch. And so there's, there's that I have, obviously, the podcasts on there, where I talk to, you know, a lot of Emmy winning Emmy nominated editors and assistant editors, I'm going to be talking to other people, you know, who are working in post, and just sharing their stories, again, it's like, the way that I approach things is like, I just like to share stories, just so you can see that everyone does it differently. That's a big, you know, what I teach, a big part of it is saying, hey, like, everyone has their own journey, just in just listening to these people, and see how they're doing it. These are all very successful people, like, listen to those people, and maybe and then look at the people who are not doing and see what what they're not doing right and just compare, see what works, you can you can clearly see these things, you know, so what I offer those as,

as my services, I do offer at the moment, a four week and an eight week mentorship program, where you know, we meet once a week for, you know, a certain amount of time. And so we go over, whatever the mentee wants to talk about, for example, it could be say, if you want to focus on the hard skill, so you want to work focus on learning avid, see the script, you know, Assistant Editor workflow, we can do that, if you want to learn more about the soft skills, we can talk about that say like, you know, time management, building relationships, communicating, you know, say with your editor, resume building, all those things, or a mix of both, whatever it is, and, you know, basically, you know, want to make sure that I address the issue, say that you're dealing with, right, so it's very custom tailored. And it's a four week or eight week program. I do have a private community, where all of my mentees consistently meet and talking, you know, whether it be about say, someone knows about a job, or you want to just share some funny stories or industry news, anything, it's about building a community where we help each other out, I want to take the networking game, you know, make it take it to the next level, take it, you know, make it different, just I am all about building relationships and building a community. I'm working on putting together some online video courses, some people might not want to do the one on one coaching. And so I want to make a offer, you know, online video courses that people can just kind of go through them at their own pace. I will also working on putting together group classes if people prefer to work say also one on one but more with a group, right? I'm putting that together. And so but everything can be found at Hollywood editing. mentor.com Like I said, I am someone here that has been through a lot has experienced that a lot has committed a lot of mistakes. I can save people a lot of time. That's what I tell people. I wish I you know, I can it's like one person I worked with, he simply did not know had did not have a Facebook account, did not know that networking game, say on Facebook did that, you know, had never used it. All I did was I showed him how to do it. I showed him these things. Right. And he was his mind was blown. He's like, Oh my god, this is the community that's out there on Facebook. And they discovered so many things. That, you know, that could be months a year, someone discovers that maybe never because you're just like, I don't want to open a Facebook account right or whatever it is. But this idea of saving someone so much time. Honestly, I'm telling you from my experience, I wish someone could have saved me. I mean, I took me over a year to write to get into scripting I mean, like, if I could have done it, you know, when, two, three months, wow, look all the time I've saved right and Time, time is money. And so I tell people, this, I want to save you time and stress. And I just give you, here's what you need to know, don't look at, you know, just package it all in, here's what you need to know. And let's focus on that and just go for it. Right. And it's, it's someone here that is understanding of what you've been, you're going through because I've been through it. I know that feeling of access had been out there alone, and not having someone guide you, I know the importance of that. And here's someone that's here to listen to you and give you advice. And hopefully we can build a relationship and you know, see, honestly, we can stay friends, you know, become friends and you know, and connected for forever. You know, I mean, this is a dia is right is to meet new people to build a community and we definitely want to help each other out. So, you know, that's, that's, that's, that's what the the Hollywood editing mentor program is all about, again, finding Hollywood editing mentor.com and, you know, I'm just, I'm happy to I enjoy I enjoy it. That's the thing. I've discovered through this process that how much I just, honestly, I enjoyed working with people, it's something that I just I truly like, I like meeting new people make new friends. So this is a space a space for for you to come. You know, it's it's safe. It's it's, you know, somewhere where you can just kind of, you know, share whatever's on your mind. And, and you'll have someone just bounce ideas off of one other person. And connect, hopefully build a connection.

Zack Arnold 1:11:38

I love it. You're looking for your new best friend, hollywood editing. mentor.com lucky. So glad we finally got this on the record. I can't wait for people to listen to it, and be inspired by your story, hopefully be inspired to work with you. So thank you so much for being here today. Appreciate it.

Joaquin Elizondo 1:11:53

No, thank you. Second, I see like I've always told you, I'll say it again, thank you for everything that you've done for me, and how you've helped me out. I truly, you know, thank you for you know, I cannot thank you enough. Honestly,

Zack Arnold 1:12:06

you bet I'm more than happy to help. And like I said, the better I make you the better it makes me in return. So it's all about always getting better. At the same time, the rising tide lifts all boats. So thank you so much for being here.

Joaquin Elizondo 1:12:19

Thanks for having me that before closing

Zack Arnold 1:12:21

up today's show, I would love to ask for just a couple additional minutes of your time and attention to introduce you to one of my new favorite products created by my good friend Kit Perkins, who you may recognize as creator of the Toko mat. Here is a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Aero driven co founder and CEO Kit Perkins, talking about his latest product, New Standard Whole Protein.

Unknown Speaker 1:12:45

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Zack Arnold 1:13:06

They think well, I don't want to get big and bulky. And that's not what this is about. to me. This is about repair.

Kit Perkins 1:13:11

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Zack Arnold 1:13:44

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Kit Perkins 1:14:02

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Zack Arnold 1:14:16

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Guest Bio:


Joaquin Elizondo

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Joaquin Elizondo has almost 20 years of experience as an editor and currently works in the world of feature films and scripted TV shows in Hollywood. His most recent editing credits are Narcos: Mexico (Netflix), and the feature film, Soundwave, now available on Apple TV and Amazon. Before arriving in Los Angeles, Joaquin worked in unscripted television for several years in New York City where he edited content for HBO Sports, NBC, Telemundo, and was the lead editor on Bravo’s late-night talk show Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

Joaquin majored in Film & Video Studies at the University of Michigan and grew up in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. As someone who has sought out and benefited from mentoring, Joaquin is now taking on the role of mentor by helping aspiring editors and assistants in navigating the path to achieving their career goals. He created the Hollywood Editing Mentor program (hollywoodeditingmentor.com) to provide guidance and support for those trying to break into or advance their careers in post production.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”