The Thrive Questionnaire with Melissa Orton

How an ICM TV Lit Agent writes the script of her own life, and helps to bridge the divide between NY and LA.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed?
Melissa Orton: I let the alarm go off, start reading a script or pages from a client and then try and get motivated to start the day. After being in NY the last two years where I always had time to read in the morning, I crave that time daily.

TG: What gives you energy?
MO: I’m a sucker for a spa – specifically a great Korean spa! Recharging on the weekend is a priority and after a little relaxation, I’m always energized and ready for the coming week.

TG: What’s your secret life hack?
MO: Tuning into Real housewives – it is my way of zoning out and unplugging once or twice a week. The mindlessness of the show helps my brain wander and think through what projects and opportunities can be built for clients or what I can do to continue to grow into a better agent.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
MO: Anything Joan Didion. I fell so in love with her style and the way she writes about California that it made me fall in love with the state before I even knew I’d one day call it home.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you?
MO: Sadly yes, it’s on the nightstand and I tend to wake up in the middle of the night to check it from time to time. It’s rather unhealthy, but that’s the territory of being an agent I guess.

TG: How do you deal with email?
MO: I try to answer every one!

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it?
MO: Check out Instagram, look at the news, maybe walk over to the mall for a coffee.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why?
MO: Anymore…all the time. For better or worse there is never a down time in TV. It’s always moving.

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it?
MO: Can’t think of a big failure I’ve had recently, but I do try and be honest with myself when things need to be adjusted or could be better.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
MO: “Don’t sweat the petty things and don’t pet the sweaty things.” (George Carlin)

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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