No one can be successful in Hollywood without someone giving you an opportunity and/or taking you under their wing at the beginning of your career. Lisa Lindo gave me the opportunity but Mickey Freiberg really took me under his wing when that door was opened.
Mickey became an agent at ACME Talent & Literary about a week or so after I did.
He was already a veteran and a legend in Hollywood, Mickey "Cowboy" Freiberg, last of the old school agents. He had done it all and repped the biggest stars until he got sick of babysitting them so he switched to literary and was just as successful at that side of the biz.
I honestly had no idea what I was doing in the beginning. I was brought in because I knew comic book people & book authors and could sign them as clients.
Our mutual love of books connected Mickey and I and he became a true mentor to me during my time there. He taught me the fine art of literary deal-making in Hollywood and much more.
Once I brought him a book that I thought would make a great movie and he told me I would just embarrass myself if I tried selling it in Hollywood because it was too big,crossed too many genres. So a couple weeks later right after I optioned the book to Tom Cruise and Paramount Pictures he walks into my office and says:
"Congratulations, I knew you were smart enough not to listen to me. Always stick with your gut instinct and don't listen to anybody else if you believe in it."
It was the best advice I ever got and I apply it in my work every day.
The last deal I ever did as an agent was with Mickey.
He signed the life rights of the last men, transit police officers, who were rescued from the rubble on 9/11 2001.
When everyone else in town was saying it was too soon to sell a 9/11 project Mickey shared their story with us and soon after I pitched it to my client (and another huge mentor in my life) producer Debra Hill. She jumped all over it and long story short that project became the film WORLD TRADE CENTER directed by Oliver Stone.
Mickey's rule "don't listen to anybody else if you believe in it." was enforced successfully once again.
Mickey was a loving husband & father who was incredibly proud of his kids and justifiably so. I am proud to be able to say he was my friend, partner and mentor at an important time in my life. Rest in peace Cowboy, and thank you.