Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cultural Differences

Cultural differences.  You expect it between a goat farmer in the mountains of Afghanistan, and a blackberry wielding thirty-something in Dallas.  But I have found you don't have to go far to find significant cultural differences.

Take New York and Fort Worth.  A year ago we were in the midst of shooting Rising Stars.  The producers were from the Big Apple (and I don't mean Steve Jobs).  And a few of the crew came down from NYC having worked with the producers before.  Then we had out Texas crew.  For the most part it was harmonious.  But in working through that environment, I could see how cultural different people from the two areas are.

I am going to paint with the broad brush of generalities-- so in the upcoming conclusions, of course everyone from NYC is not this way and everyone from Texas is not this way.  So just back off!

First, New Yorkers find courtesy to be unnecessary to do business.  While Texans are slow to do business until the weather, the Cowboys, and medical problems with the body are discussed.  So communications from the NYC producers will be short, extremely direct and sometimes hard to take if you're a Texan.  "Wow, he's so rude!"  Meanwhile, the NYC producer is saying "they're so slow and verbose!" 

Texans are laid back, like a steer chewing a cud.  New Yorkers are driven, like a taxi cab down Broadway.   The problems occur when one cultural group makes assumptions about the other that aren't true-- like the NYC bias that the Texas crew isn't as good.  Or the Texas crew assuming the NYC people think they're not as good.

It's not that New Yorkers aren't courteous.  They believe that there's a time for courtesy, and it's just not now, at this moment.

There are loads of similarities of course.  Both groups love to have a good laugh.  Both groups have artistic creativity.  And both groups can come together to make a wonderful movie like "Rising Stars."


  1. To be honest haven't read a whole lot of your posts, just 1 so far, and not this one. However, I think I will be reading more at a later date(it's midnight and I'm tired). In the mean time you may enjoy something I have written.

  2. Interesting perspective on one of the many cultural differences in the U.S.

    Love the name/meaning of your blog, btw!