How to be a successful multi-screenwriter

Since author Emma Gannon published her book The multi-script methodWith widespread praise, there has been a growing cohort of young professionals exploring the idea of ​​a portfolio career: juggling multiple roles, or pursuing a passion project or side job alongside a paying day job.

One person who has made a virtue of being a multi-screenwriter is Yureeka Yasuda, a Japanese-born businesswoman whose projects span the worlds of art, food and drink, journalism, and luxury retail. Born in Japan to an art dealer father, Yasuda moved to suburban New Jersey in the US when she was just two years old, before returning to Tokyo to study at an international school at age 13. “It was there that I learned to fend for myself. to be proud of who I am,” she reflects. “At first, I felt that in the US she had been too Japanese and in Japan she acted too much like a Westerner; It took me a while to realize that being a mix of cultures could be my strength.”

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Yasuda, who studied anthropology in college but was never particularly drawn to academia, got her first break when she tracked down the owner of an American tea company, Harney & Sons, to persuade him to sell a particular cinnamon blend that was being sold. convinced that it would work fine. in the Japanese market. “I tried this amazing tea at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York, I really believed in the product and wanted to sell it in Japan,” she explains. “So I went to see Michael Harney speak at a forum, and then I stayed after the session to meet him in person.” She was still in her early twenties at the time, but she convinced him to accept a one-year contract, distributing to local stores throughout Japan, and her product worked brilliantly. “He became the pioneer of flavored teas there, because previously the Japanese had only been drinking green or roasted blends.” Under Yasuda’s leadership, the Tea Time Company operated several stores and events throughout Japan, including the opening of Harney & Sons’ flagship boutique in Nagoya.

It took me a while to realize that being a mix of cultures could be my strength.

Throughout her time working in tea distribution, Yasuda also worked as a freelance columnist for titles such as Forbes Japan and the online art collector’s bible Larry’s List, taking advantage of the knowledge and passion for art that he had inherited from his father. People started contacting her for advice on what to buy and collect; Initially, she was resistant to the idea of ​​following in her father’s professional footsteps, but the more she traveled to galleries and art fairs around the world, the more she realized that she had a knack for spotting a investment piece. “It just felt natural to start help people interested in art, and in the first month alone, I sold a lot of paintings,” he recalls. “I wasn’t looking for collectors or clients, but a lot of my friends were intimidated by the art world, so I started taking them to galleries to help them strike up conversations…” In 2017, he founded his art consultancy company Tokyo Art. Office, and has been running it successfully ever since.

Still, Yasuda has never lost his love for tea, and in 2020 he launched a new company, Sayuri, whose goal is to bring artisanal Japanese matcha to an international audience. Having previously graduated as a tea sommelier (a six-month process that included blind tastings, demonstrations and written exams), he believes that the ritual aspects of tea-drinking culture are absent in the Western world. “In Japan, tea is considered an art form, along with calligraphy and flower arranging,” he explains. “I know we’re all busy and don’t have time for tea ceremonies every day, but just making yourself a bowl of matcha or a cup of tea can be really meditative.”

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Saying no is much easier than saying sorry: knowing your strengths and weaknesses is really important

Balancing his nascent tea empire (Sayuri is soon to launch at Harrods, and Yasuda eventually hopes to grow the brand internationally) with his responsibilities as an art dealer, which includes a series of commissions for hotels and restaurants, must be quite an act. juggling. but Yasuda has developed strategies to handle the multiple demands on his time. “When someone asks you to take on a project, don’t respond on the spot,” he advises. “Take a few days to think about it, because it’s much worse to let someone down later on; saying no is much easier than saying sorry. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses is very important.” His other recommendation is to harness the power of your network whenever possible. “It’s important to keep talking about your passion, because you never know who’s listening to you,” he says. “It got to the point where I’m pretty open in terms of asking questions and exploring ideas with other people.”

Finally, never apologize for having a wide variety of interests. “Some people build a career based on a particular skill set, but I feel like mine is just being myself and being able to connect the dots between people,” says Yasuda. “And I think the world is embracing that idea too, with so many industries and genres cross-pollinating. I am happy that we have finally reached that place.

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