As most of you know, Mary and I got a puppy this year. Her name is Buffy and she’s just about the best puppy ever. We take Buffy to the dog run every day and, despite her diminutive size, we let her play with the big dogs in the big dog run as opposed to the small dogs in the small dog run. Buffy likes to play rough, just like her poppa.
The other day when Mary and I were watching Buffy play, we noticed that the KidScreen Summit is sort of like the small dog run of the entertainment industry. It’s somewhat kinder and gentler than the conferences that are geared towards grown-up media and it has less of an attitude than Los Angeles where all the big dogs do their business.
But the analogy didn’t stop there. Having spent my entire career in the kids’ media business, I noticed that the personality types of the small dog run have direct correlations with the types of people one often meets at KidScreen, MIP Jr., or even at my beloved Prix Jeunesse.
So, at the risk of offending the few friends I have left in the industry, I’ve made a list of just some of the types of small dogs that you’re likely to encounter at KidScreen this week. Any resemblance to small dogs or delegates living or dead is purely unintentional or coincidental.
The Growler – He’s a defensive little pooch who assumes you’re trying to take advantage of him just because you want to hire him. He answers every e-mail with a reference to his manager and agent as if this will impress you.
The Queen – Her decades at the dog run have left her so smug that she doesn’t feel she needs to play with the new dogs or even return their phone calls. But if you look into her eyes, you can see that her aloofness masks her fear that she’s no longer top dog.
The Paw - This unfortunate canine has been trying to impress everyone with the same few tricks for years. He means well, but he just doesn’t understand that tenacity without talent will never get him any real attention.
The Hydrant - This uninspired dog assumes that reading every article and attending every event related to the small dog industry will one day make up for her utter lack of creativity. She’s quite popular with the duller dogs.
The Blow Hard – This self-absorbed old bulldog is spending his twilight years recounting every hole he ever dug and every bone he ever chewed. All the younger puppies listen to him politely out of respect for the dog he once was.
Well, those are all the kids’ TV breeds I could think of on this pre-KidScreen Saturday morning. I confess that I see myself in quite a few of them, though I’m not at liberty to tell you which ones. I’m sure there are a few pooches I’ve forgotten, so feel free to add your own dogs in my new and improved comment box below. I look forward to seeing all of you at KidScreen. And, remember, when you’re at the Hilton, please don’t forget to pick up after yourself!