#WFH Diaries: Tara DeVeaux of Wild Card Creative Group
As confinement continues in most parts of the world, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Tara DeVeaux, CMO of of Wild Card Creative Group in Los Angeles.
Give us a one-line bio of yourself.
Former homebody. Future explorer.
Where are you living right now, and who's with you?
I'm in L.A., it's 75 degrees, sunny and I have a backyard so I can leave my home without a mask and not be overcome by anxiety every time someone sneezes or coughs. I have two 17-year-old boys at home with me. Between "home learning," NBA 2K and Call of Duty, I'm pretty much sheltering in place all alone. I hear them rummaging through the fridge at about midnight like the nocturnal creatures they've become.
What's your work situation like at the moment?
We were never a WFH culture, so there was a lot of skepticism about how this might work, but there's more collaboration now that we're all home than when we were in the same building. Everyone is focused on supporting each other and figuring out how this new normal is going to change our global culture and the audiences we serve. We've taken on a pro-bono project for LA Promise Fund to help local families who are struggling. We're very focused on how do we come out of this better than we went in—healthier as work family and as a company.
Describe your socializing strategy
I'm on the phone constantly. Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime. I've done a couple of Scenester parties, which allows you to share your screen and watch Netflix with a group. Not quite like going to a movie theater but better than nothing.
Other than that, I'm on a social media hiatus with exceptions made only for LinkedIn and D-Nice.
How are you dealing with childcare?
Ha! Thankfully, not an issue but I love seeing my co-workers' kids interrupt calls. Reminds me that no matter how stir crazy I may get, I'm still blessed to have (almost) grown children.
What are you reading?
Manchild in the Promise Land by Claude Brown. Shout-out to Spike Lee for the reco.
What are you watching?
Last Dance (isn't everyone?), Little Fires Everywhere, The Plot Against America, Defending Jacob, and I'm late to the game but just got into Fleabag. WOW.
What are you listening to?
One of my besties creates a Spotify playlist for a group of us every day. Today was #40.
How are you staying fit?
My rituals keep me sane. Up by 7. Go for a quick run. Get home and do a home exercise routine. I love that Nike Training Club is now free. It's so good to see brands stepping up and doing their part.
I also do a six-mile socially distanced walk with two friends every Sunday. One of us is in the street and the other two are on the sidewalk, single file. We all wear masks and gloves and have to yell so we can hear each other but it helps keep us sane.
I'm determined that Covid-19 will not turn into Covid-19 lbs. once this is all over.
Have you taken up a hobby?
I started reading for fun again, does that count?
Any tips for getting necessities?
Don't leave home without your essentials—mask, gloves, sunglasses, wipes or hand sanitizer. I sanitize my hands before I touch my card to pay. The sunglasses keep me from inadvertently touching my eyes. I bring everything home and put the bags on the floor, then proceed to spray everything with Lysol and scrub the produce before I put it away. Then I wipe down all surfaces the bags touched. Needless to say, it's an ordeal and I only get necessities when absolutely necessary.
An awkward moment since all this started.
I was on a call with my team and had on a big sweatshirt and no pants. I was sitting in the yard and a huge bee flew past. I jumped, the laptop slipped off my lap and well, you can guess…
Best work email you got since all this started.
"You're hired." From a new client.
An aha! moment since all this started.
Realization that I like people a lot more than I thought I did.
What's your theory on how this is going to play out?
My last day in the office was Thursday, March 12. At the time, I didn't think I'd be back until June, and that's still my best guess. What I didn't predict was that "back" wouldn't really be BACK. I'm sad for the people we've lost to this pandemic but also for the innocence we've lost. The hugs we gave fearlessly upon greeting old friends. The excitement and camaraderie of watching a summer blockbuster or concert with hundreds of strangers. On March 12, I thought we'd get that back by June, but we won't and may not for a long time.