Kindness - an interview with Deirdré Dix Hunt, Founder, TV producer, Director

Since her first entrée in Hollywood as a PA for CBS News Anchor Connie Chung, Deirdré Dix Hunt has solidified herself as a game-changer in the industry. As the head of Edge of a Dream Company, her business is expanding to elevate established brands by creating new strategic alliances, entertainment /digital partnerships and developing diverse and inclusive opportunities.

She got her DGA (Directors Guild) Card while working with the late Johnny Carson’s production company. Johnny Carson believed in empowering women.

She is a rescue dog Mom and she lives and works in Hollywood, but her heart is in Missouri. “There’s no place like home,” which is why her hashtag is #showmegirl. Here is Deirdré on kindness.

Q. What does kindness mean to you?

A. Kindness to me is doing the unexpected to put a smile on someone's face.  It is an act of compassion and caring without any expectations in return. In the last few weeks, I have been experiencing kindness in ways I could have never imagined. My Dad has been in the hospital and is now in rehab. He will not be coming home. While this has been the most painful times in my life, the kindness and compassion I am receiving has touched me in ways I can't explain. More importantly, the kindness that our family is receiving from my Dad's medical team and caregivers is nothing short of extraordinary. His doctors, nursing team, and caregivers define kindness. Whether it be something as simple as fluffing his pillows, or sneaking me an extra cup of ice cream, my heart is so full from the simple acts of kindness. Kindness reminds me of the goodness of people and shines a spotlight on your soul. Kindness, is simply sharing love.

Q. How are you sharing 21 days of kindness?

A. Since I saw you in SF a few weeks ago and you gave me the challenge, I decided to play it forward and invite my friends to join me. For me, I've been paying more attention to people around me. I was recently in LAX (Los Angeles Airport) and struck up a conversation with a really nice lady. As we stood in the long line of Peet’s Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf to get coffee, I found out that she was on her way to her 50th class reunion.  She had just lost her husband and this was her first trip solo. By the time we reached the counter, she shared with me that she was starting a new chapter. So when I ordered my chai tea latte, I decided to order one for her and a chocolate croissant (which she's told me was her husband's favorite). When I paid for it and stepped back, she was sobbing in line and gave me the biggest hug of gratitude. I told her I knew her husband was with her on this trip and that she was going to be the most fierce and fabulous woman at her reunion because she looked like she had just stepped off a red carpet. Her smile between her tears gave me such joy.   That morning, my simple act of kindness which was merely conversation and chai, also got me a new friend.  We exchanged information and plan to get together when she returns so I can hear all about the reunion.  

There have been so many random ways in which I shared kindness, over the last few weeks, but I see it as just being me. I am, however, more present with my surrounding and the people around me. 

Q. What will you do to share kindness today?

A. Just this morning, I decided to buy Starbucks gift cards for my Dad's care team just because they have been so kind to my family and then I opened my computer and got an email from you. No coincidence that kindness and wonderful people are in my life, wether I am sharing kindness or receiving it — sometimes  it shows up in the form of the email.

Q. Favorite example(s) of how others can share kindness?

A. I'm always in a coffee shop and often times pay for the coffee for the person behind me. It always turns into a kindness chain and people love it — I call it spreading the love.

I run into homeless people all the time. I always feel that many times they are homeless because of circumstances beyond their control and that many of us are just one illness or job loss from being homeless, so I show compassion, by buying an extra case of water, or umbrellas. I don't give money, but I try to heliport with items that may be useful.

Mentoring is big for me. Most people just want access to information and opportunities. I enjoy mentoring so much.

Q. Today I celebrated…

A. another day with my Daddy.  

Q. I am grateful for…

waking up this morning. My family. My husband. My friends. My health. My life...

Q. Someone I would like to recognize for showing me kindness.

You — Monica Phillips!!!!!  Several weeks ago when I reached out to many of my relationships to ask for assistance in expanding my resources in Silicon Valley, you not only responded, you did the unexpected. Just being YOU, always a shining light of encouragement, support and kindness, you put together an extraordinary list of incredible women. And, if that wasn't enough, you took the time to write to those women and introduced me via email. ALL of them responded, which is a direct reflection that they also think very highly of you. And when I tell you these were some incredible accomplished women in leadership roles, my heart was dancing with gratitude and excitement. So I want to recognize YOU for being such an amazing fearless and supportive friend. I know many accomplished people, many of them are women. I actually have clients that are some of the most successful women in business. Many of them "talk the talk" but don't really mean what they say. All too often, women block other women. In this Times Up era of women speaking truths, myself along with many of my circle of friends, have been on the receiving end of women (yes women) blocking their path to success and power. Whether they are operating out of fear or jealousy, I've witnessed first hand, how women hurt other women in the workplace. Agism, sexism, racism and unconscious bias is not just regulated to men. I've seen young women, smart and beautiful enter the workplace with great ideas and aspirations, only to be shut down and have their dreams deferred. I’ve seen women over 50 be pushed out the door because management feels they are no longer valuable. I've seem women, passed over for promotions they've earned. I’ve seen the brightest of women young and old, be pushed into the background and underpaid for a job they are outperforming their male counterparts on. Yes, we must continue to celebrate and recognize those champions that are changing the game. I am so blessed to have you, Monica as my friend and cheerleader. Together we are changing the narrative for how women can work together,  create success for each other individually and collectively. Your kindness is unmatched. Your kindness is like glitter — you sprinkle it on your friends and it's hard to brush off. Even when you change clothes and shower, there is always a little piece of glitter that sticks. That's what kindness is, always present somewhere on you.  The best is yet to come for us both. Together we are unstoppable!!!! So yes, I am recognizing my phenomenal kind, fearless glitter-filled and brilliant friend — YOU!!!!!!!

Q. What I do to appreciate myself?

A. I give myself my own pep talks. I also treat myself to a day of rest. Sometimes I splurge on great facials because I appreciate having great skin (thanks Mom) and experiences just to say, Deirdre, "you've been working hard, and you deserve to treat and appreciate yourself.

Q. I am so glad that I get to… 

A. always remember that I witnessed history when Barack Obama was elected as the 44th President of the United States. I am equally glad I got the chance to meet both he and his wonderful wife Michelle Obama.  And, I am glad that I get to wake up every day and experience life.

Q. What do you do when your day doesn’t go as planned?

A. There are many days that do not go as planned, so I jut keep it moving anyway.

Q. I am inspired by…

A. people that stand up for their beliefs no matter the cost. They are game changers and history makers. Some are known like Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou and Harriet Tubman and the Obamas. My unsung inspirations are my parents Drs. Julius & Bette Dix, Mr. Dailey (my high school teacher), Lee Thorton (first Black White House Correspondent), and Connie Chung (who I was assigned to in my first job out of college at CBS News in LA).

Q. A dream I am currently focused on fulfilling is…

A. creating a digital pocket guide for young women pursuing jobs in Hollywood. I want to share all the things no one ever told me and give them "the inside secrets" that will help to ensure their longevity and success. I want to level the playing field, especially for young people of color.