Dru Radovich of STX Entertainment- also 1/2 of the cult comic brand but Like Maybe- talks defying the job-odds without a Bachelor’s Degree, using comics and T.V. as a vehicle to address uncomfortable topics, and being O.K. with not knowing all the answers.
How she turned a dream internship into a real job:
“I started in film at Endgame Entertainment. I was a baby intern, and I was also the intern who would never leave [laughs]. After the summer, I wanted to stay, so they promoted me to receptionist where I was assisting three people and also running the intern program. It was funny because I was so young, younger than a lot of the potential interns who were interviewing.”
Her open-mindedness is how she found her place in the industry:
“When I was ready to leave Endgame, another intern I knew had moved over to Universal Pictures, and she put my resume up for Adam Fogelson’s desk, who was the Chairman of Universal at the time. I had no idea who he was when I walked into his office, but luckily we fell in professional love [laughs]. The competition, especially somewhere like Universal, is insane. There are graduates from all the Ivy Leagues with amazing resumes, and here I was, this Santa Barbara City College kid.
I moved over to NBC to work in Digital for a bit, and that was around the time Adam joined STX Entertainment, so I ended up following him there. I’m really big on loyalty! I jumped back into film while working on his desk again, and now two years later, I’m back in Digital and T.V. Film was always so glamorous, and I felt like I belonged there. I loved all the fun people I got to interact with, but I never found the perfect fit in that genre. Digital wasn’t a path I saw for myself, but I’m such a Digital kid, so once I embraced it, I knew it was where I was supposed to be.”
One hip hop class was the reason she ended up partnering with Arianna on But Like Maybe:
“As for my side-hustle, I have my But Like Maybe endeavors. At STX, my coworker Brian Phillipson is a publisher and has a comic book company. He asked if I’d ever want to write for one of his comics, and that same day, I’d been creeping on Arianna’s [founder of @butlikemaybe] Instagram. I didn’t have her phone number, we were just friends on Facebook after we took a hip hop class together a while ago [laughs], so I sent her a Facebook message asking if she’d be interested, and she said yes. What’s so funny is neither of us has any business creating comic books. I did the graphic design [for the books], and I had to completely teach myself how to do the whole thing using this crazy software. I still don’t even know how it works [laughs].
The Instagram @butlikemaybe is all Arianna, but anything that is plot-driven, like the comics, is the two of us together. When I was first looking at the Instagram, all I could think is, “What’s this girls’ story? She’s me! I want to know more about her!” So that’s what we do really well together, add more color about her life.”
How she and Arianna are taking But Like Maybe to the next level:
“Arianna works in fashion out in New York, so last summer, she came out to L.A., and I wanted to give her the “Hollywood experience” since I grew up in the studio system. I set up a bunch of generals [ed. note: meetings] with CAA and all the agencies, and we thought the meetings were casual, but then people ended up showing interest in working with us. Now, we’re signed with CAA and are looking at going into T.V.
Instagram is so ‘instant,’ so playing the long game, like when you’re putting together a T.V. deal, is hard. We’ve all gotten so used to instant gratification that when a deal is all “hurry up and wait,” it can test your patience [laughs].”
Why comics are more relevant than ever:
“When I first started working on the comics, I got a bunch of How-To books since I had never been a comic book reader as a kid. I still remember one of them said, “When you look at a photograph, you see the face of another, but when you look at a simple drawing, like a comic, you see yourself.” That’s when it dawned on me why I felt such a strong connection to Arianna’s drawings.”
But Like Maybe is really a coming-of-age story:
“Arianna and I write around themes, so for example, one conflict we’ve explored is the feeling when you accidentally “like” your crushes ex-girlfriend’s photo on Instagram and how in that moment it feels like World War III. Seriously, what’s worse than that? I can’t think of anything [laughs]. The main themes we focus on are panic, rejection, and overcoming tough situations. Arianna and I are both still growing up, so But Like Maybe’s story has those notes of ‘coming of age.’
Arianna and I both are all about working through discomfort and rejection- topics that no one talks about, but everyone goes through. Self-love is important, but so is knowing when not to text a guy back [laughs]. We’ll see But Like Maybe explore both bigger, universal themes, but still deal with those funny settings she’s become known for, like your Uber driver being your therapist when you’re drunk.”
How to get comfortable with being uncomfortable:
“I think there’s a lot of uncomfortableness around not knowing the answers. I can’t even count the number of times someone has asked me to do something, and I’ll agree on the spot as I furiously Google whatever it is they’re asking for [laughs]. The older I’ve gotten, though, the more I realize no one has all the answers, and the more comfortable I’ve become with asking questions. Especially when I was an assistant, there’d be situations like, “Dru, where’s my lunch?” And I’d say, “It’s almost here,” as I am in the middle of ordering it. It’s not lying per se, but more just pretending your life is not complete chaos and you have it all together, even if you don’t. But it’s OK to be chaotic! It’s OK to not know all the answers. Life is a little like a rollercoaster, and you just have to keep riding it out because it will take you where you need to go.”