Why subscribe?

Gain powerful insights and inspiration (and perhaps a few chuckles) with an emphasis on compassionate leadership through storytelling and illustrations drawn from my past experiences working behind-the-scenes with celebrities; my present experiences meeting inspirational and brave local entrepreneurs (my kind of celebrity!) in Prince Edward County, Canada, and through deep dives into powerful books and other resources on positive leadership.

About me:

I’m visual artist, a writer and seasoned marketing and communications professional with almost 30 years of experience working in the arts. My primary focus was working on filmed entertainment from studios that included Miramax, The Weinstein Company, New Line Cinema, Lions Gate and more recently, Netflix. I’m also the co-founder of Pioneering Women, a not-for-profit mentoring association for women working in the arts.

I refer to myself as an “Accidental VP” because I never, ever, had any intention of climbing a corporate ladder. Back in the 90’s I reluctantly ascended the ranks in Canada’s largest film distribution company - in one of the most ego-driven industries in the world, and landed in the role of VP of Publicity and Promotions, a role that actually terrified me at first.

Over the years, reading everything I could get my hands on about positive leadership and observing the behaviour of celebrities, film executives and journalists (and those associated with the celebrity PR game in general) taught me many valuable lessons on how to lead, how NOT to lead, and how to stand up for myself. I learned and believe whole-heartedly that leading with kindness will take you farther than being horribly rude or ridiculously selfish ever will - I have experienced it all.

I've logged some pretty good stories (and lessons) from the entertainment business over the years and in truth – most are fun to tell. I’ll be sharing those stories here in this space as quickly as I can write and illustrate them!

I currently live in Prince Edward County, Canada with my husband Tim and our dog, Walt. My site is www.theaccidentalvp.com.

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Subscribe to The Accidental VP by Susan Smythe-Bishop

A collection of stories and illustrations with a focus on the power of compassionate leadership from someone who worked behind-the-scenes in the entertainment industry for over 30 years.


A visual artist, writer and seasoned marketing and communications professional with almost 30 years of experience working in film, TV, theatre + co-founder of Pioneering Women, a mentoring association for women working in the arts.