( ENSPIRE Feature ) A Look Into Lolita Morrow
Author, comedian and producer, Lolita Morrow is one of the industry’s most talented and dedicated advocates for diversity in content distribution and storytelling. Lolita has performed at New York’s famous Caroline’s on Broadway, Broadway Comedy Club, and other notable venues. L.D’s southern charm and quick wit has made her a sought after personality who has hosted red carpets and moderated panel events around the country. She is also an Associate Producer for the 2019 short film Burden. Her newly successful comedy book, Think Like a Bartender: Recipes for Life was published in 2019.
Born and raised in Houston, TX, she holds a Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University, an MBA from the Jones School of Business at Texas Southern University and is a graduate of leading industry programs, CTAM-U at Harvard Business School and the acclaimed Digital Marketing program at Cornell University.
Tell me about your current role at Showtime?
My career at Showtime started in 2007. As a director on the distribution team, my main goal is to help clients acquire new subscribers and keep them happy and engaged while they are on their respective platforms. This can be through the more traditional cable providers as well as the newer players in the OTT space. One of the things I really enjoy about my job is being able to use our content (original series, movies, limited series, and documentaries) and marketing agreements to create the most successful and impactful campaign strategies to maximize growth and performance.
How did you get into this industry?
Prior to joining Showtime, my career was in the consumer products industry. I worked for companies such as Pepsi and Coors Brewing Company. A recruiter reached out about an opportunity in the media industry. Not knowing much about the role, I decided to take the interview as a learning experience. It was later revealed that my knowledge in product marketing and consumer products was very complimentary with the skill sets needed for this particular role at Showtime.
That’s great! Now, your new book, Think Like a Bartender: Recipes for Life, what is it about?
Quite simply, Think Like A Bartender is a book that takes an interesting yet comical look at the similarities of those in the hospitality industry to that of the everyday person. A couple of years ago, I was starting my standup comedy career. I realized that it calls for a lot of late nights which kept me away from my family and being my best at my 9-to-5. So I’m sitting in a bar, having a drink, when I start watching the bartender. And that’s when a lot of the ideas for the book came to mind. Bartenders must know how to cut people off, they need a strong knowledge of well versus premium drinks, they have to always be aware of what’s on the menu and what they’re serving. It was at this time that I realized this could be a funny witty book that highlights the comparisons to the everyday customer. In writing the book, I realized most of the success I have in Corporate America came from things I learned while I was working as a bartender in college. So, Think Like a Bartender, mixes two parts wisdom and one-part comedy for a cerebral cocktail everyone can enjoy. From learning how to cut people off to working through a bad day, the goal of this book is to show you have much more in common with this skill professional than once thought. Think Like a Bartender, challenges us all to tap into our inner mixologist and serve up our best selves! And for added fun, I have some of my favorite cocktail recipes that are themed based on the chapter as well as a creative illustration to support it! I also self-published this book because I wanted to maintain the creative control and wanted the look and feel of the book to be “me”. If this was going to be my first …my only book I needed to make sure that my voice, from front cover to back cover, was exactly the way I intended it to be.
Who is the book catered to?
Great question! The book is catered to three groups. It can be for bartenders (old and new) to better understand the amazing parallels between their job and personal lives. It’s for customers to better appreciate a profession that is sometimes taken for granted. And finally, it’s for everyday people remember to constantly take inventory in your life and remember to enjoy it!
What was the motivation for writing the book?
I was looking for another outlet for my comedy. I thought the idea of a book that talked about booze, bars, and business would be something most people could relate to. The goal of the book is not to encourage or advocate excessive drinking but to simply draw some creative parallels in lessons that I learned while as a bartender. So whether you drink wine and whiskey or water and Sprite, one will definitely be able to have some funny takeaways from some of the personal and funny stories I share in this book.
What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?
We all have 24 hours in a day. With that, we have to balance our daily lives and expectations others place on us. Much like a bartender, several people demand your attention and deciding who to approach next and when will determine your overall rate of success. We all stand at the bar of our lives must constantly take inventory of what we have and what we can provide.
Where can people buy this book?
Think Like a Bartender is available on all platforms where books are sold. I am fortunate to have distribution on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target and Walmart. I also self-recorded the audiobook version and that is available on Audible.com. For the right price, I can come to someone’s house, whip up a few cocktails and perform a one-woman show around the book. I’m just kidding…….. no….no, I’m not=)
What advice would you give someone looking to write their first book?
Toni Morrison said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Writing is not my favorite thing to do. However, I forced myself to embrace this process and found that the journey of writing takes you on is an amazing, invaluable experience.
Has the book opened any unexpected doors for you?
One fun component of the book was creating and producing a podcast of the same name. On the Think Like a Bartender podcast, I interview bartenders and life tenders from around the country and discuss certain chapters in my book and how it’s relevant to their career and success. I was also able to have a few book launch events and readings around the country. I’ve always embraced my personal brand extensions of being an author, comedian, and producer. All of these things are part of who I am and it is my goal to continue to use these strengths to build out my platform and become the best that I can be.
Wait, producer? Tell me more.
Well, I’m pretty new to the producing business. In 2019, I was able to be a part of the producing team for the film Burden, which was written and directed by Nathan Hale Williams. It’s an amazing piece of work that speaks to the microaggressions we all deal with and how, if not monitored, the effects can come to a head unknowingly. The film premiered at the ABFF film festival in Miami and was also a selection at the Bronze Lens Festival in Atlanta as well as the Toronto Black Film Festival. It’s truly an inspiring film and I’m proud to be a part of the team.
What’s next for LD Morrow?
I’m enjoying the ride still promoting my book and podcast. My goal is to attend a few more film festivals this summer, look for projects to invest in and try to maximize the exposure the book’s success has brought my way. Who knows, you may see me at eh Golden Globes in a couple of years=)