Camille Solari is a world-renown writer, comedian, television creator/director and holds both the USA, Canadian citizenship as well as New Zealand residency. She was the first woman in television history to perform stand-up comedy fully pregnant on national television on The Arsenio Hall Show in 2015 and has headlined in over 13 countries around the world. Since her debut on The Arsenio Hall Show with George Lopez, she created a television pilot with her daughter Charlie called ‘Charlie’ on Roku and Amazon Prime Video.
Camille is the showrunner, writer, director and plays the stand-up comedian mother on the series. The show had its first run on Roku (3 million viewers) and is now in its 7th season on Amazon Prime Video and Fox Television’s Tubi – garnering over 5 million viewers. Camille has written, acted, directed, and produced dozens of television and feature films for the last decade for the following networks Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Comedy Central, Universal Studios, Hallmark, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox to name a few.
She currently stars in, directs, and produces the new docu-comedy series ‘Kiwis Coming Home’ on TV Three in New Zealand which is also available on Amazon Prime Video. Camille has a new comedy podcast/video podcast at The Laugh Factory Hollywood called “Around The World in 80 Diapers’ where she interviews celebrity comedians who have traveled the world doing stand up comedy as well as a look at comedians with children and what it’s like to raise a child as a comedian parent. It will be available on Itunes.
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We’re happy that you could join us today! Please introduce yourself to our readers. What’s your story?
Camille Solari: Inspired by classic comedy legend Lucille Ball, I always admired and looked up to the slap-stick-style comedy of Lucille Ball and have always tried to work that into my stand-up comedy both on stage and in film & television. After I showcased at The Laugh Factory in Hollywood, Arsenio Hall picked me to be a comedian on his television show The Arsenio Hall Show and he called my act “Camille Solari and Her Future Child.” My career blasted after appearing in front of 8 million viewers and as the first comedienne to do stand-up comedy as a showing pregnant lady on national television.
After this, I created a television show called “Charlie” with my then baby Charlie Dean and we have been on television for the last 7 years. My second daughter Blade Dean also appears on the show along with our Boston Terrier Dog “Rocky” and my husband Hamish Dean. It’s a family affair! I directed and hosted a television series called Kiwis Coming Home during the first year and a half when Covid started in New Zealand which is still on the air. Most recently I directed an exciting episode of Charlie which is a music video about bullying called “Don’t Pop My Bubble” starring my daughter Charlie who experienced bullying and wanted to write a song about it. I also have a new podcast coming out filmed and put out by The World Famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood where I interview comedians who do stand up all over the world and live as a comedian parent.
Tell us about 2 things that you like and two things that you dislike about your industry. Share what you’d like to see change and why.
Camille Solari: One thing I like about my industry (being an artist) is you are in control of your creations and I love that. One thing I don’t like about my industry is that you are in control of your creations – ha ha – I just like to create, create, create, I don’t like to have to wear other hats like marketing my projects, I rather have someone else do that, and often times I do have someone handling that for me but sometimes it falls back on my lap. When it falls back on me, I have to take responsibility for the tv pilot, or series or whatever, and I have to roll up my sleeves and get it sold or distributed which happens sometimes.
Richard Branson once famously stated “There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.” and Stephen R. Covey admonishes to “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers. What’s your take on creating a great organizational culture?
Camille Solari: I always try and treat everyone on set as I would want to be treated. Sometimes it’s a challenge when you have a production assistant who is lazy, because when I was an assistant to different celebrities laziness was never an option. I have always had a job or worked and I never once opted to get “un-employment” checks – if I found myself without a job I would get creative and get new job, or create work for myself, sometimes it was not very glamorous, but even in having work you don’t like, it makes you try even harder to make your dreams come true because there is inspiration with having work you dis-like. I would say to myself – “Come on Camille, stay up later writing that script, meet more people so that you can find someone to produce your movie, and I did.
Production is the basis of morale, if you are busy working you are happier, when you are lazy, your morale goes down and it’s almost like you have less time to get things done because you’re busy doing nothing. They say if you want something done, give it to a busy person.
How would you describe your company’s overall culture? Give us examples.
Camille Solari: My company is Camille Solari Productions. We make TV shows. The #1 factor in hiring a videographer is first their attitude – are they positive and wanting to do a good job or are they arrogant? I much prefer an upbeat director of photographer who has a little less experience but a creative flair then a well-seasoned director of photographer who is horrible to be around. An upbeat person can learn fast, I rather be more hands on and have to “check the gate” each take than deal with a jerk. Life is too short!
It is believed that a company’s culture is rooted in a company’s values. What are your values and how do they affect daily life at the workplace?
Camille Solari: I love working with upbeat creative people. It’s a dream. It’s like working is time-less without effort when you have a team like that. I want everyone to have a good time.
Every organization suffers from internal conflicts, whether functional or dysfunctional. Our readers would love to know, how do you solve an internal conflict?
Camille Solari: It can be tricky, if the conflict is simply two different opinions that is easy to result. If the conflict stems out of say someone who is working for me who has a hidden resentment to women directing – that is not so easy, that fight cannot be won, it’s too deep-seated. I make a mental note to myself to not include such personalities in future projects. That is pure invalidation, and there is no room in the work place for that. It gets in the way of creating great projects.
According to Culture AMP, Only 40% of women feel satisfied with the decision-making process at their organization (versus 70% of men), which leads to job dissatisfaction and poor employee retention. What is your organization doing to facilitate an inclusive and supportive environment for women?
Camille Solari: Well, I am in the minority as a woman director and women comedian. I am happy to make decisions and also happy to listen to reason if someone feels something could be done better. I love ideas, it’s all about how they are presented. Is the person telling me because he thinks I am idiot, or is he(she) telling me in a way that is purely constructive and creative?
We’re grateful for all that you have shared so far! We would also love to know if there was one thing that you could improve about your company’s culture, what would it be?
Camille Solari: Hollywood is the most cut-throat (I think) business. Very few get anywhere in their careers. Some make it big big big, and some have minor success. There is really is no way to tell, even with nepotism, though that helps a lot, but sometimes not. The only thing you can do is just create create create and flourish and prosper, that is the only way to success. It would be great if you could just have a clear path to success in Hollywood but of course if that existed too many people would apply.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Camille Solari for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Camille Solari or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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