Sunday, May 31, 2009

Question 89: How do I get my own national talk show? I have 18+ years as a clinical psychologist.

The person who asked this question has a great resume and is working on a self-help book. Working in a niche of the self-help industry myself, I know at least a dozen million-dollar speakers who are all trying to create their own shows. These speakers have best-selling books, large followings, and connections. While I have seen some as "guests" on other people's talk shows, I've yet to see any with their own show.

I tell you this, not to discourage you, just to give you some perspective on the challenges of getting a show on National TV, for a currently "unknown" person. Television may have more political hurdles than any medium since advertising has a lot to do with the decision making process. 

Here's how to get started:

1. Get mentors in the talk show world

2. Start building a following by creating a video blog

3. Check out local cable stations for a way in or "pay to play" air time

4. Finish that book so you'll be viewed as a bookable guest expert 

5. Get on a reality show, don't wind up with Bret Michaels or Flava Flav, and then create your own spin-off (I wish this one was a joke)

Learn the politics of the talk show world inside and out. Be very specific in your niche branding. Build BUILD BUILD relationships!  

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, the Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Question 88: Is late 20's too late to join the party? see blog for detailed question

Actual Question: A friend has just moved out to LA from NYC and been offered a job at a great entertainment company but the pay (of course) is low. It's an assistant position with potential to grow but she's wondering if she should take it even though it's not exactly what she wants to do. She's late twenties so she's also worried that she's late to the party so to speak but knows she has to start at the bottom. What are your thoughts? 

You used the word "great" when describing the entertainment company. As a coach I deal with tools and strategies. My strategy for someone in her late twenties, who wants to break into the business, is to meet as many people as she can. Working at a great company gives her access to a lot of great people. If she has the tools to make something of these relationships, as opposed to simply sitting behind a desk for a year doing her job, she can really get into a great position. Then, in a year,  she can pursue exactly what she wants with 200 relationships in her rolodex. That's if she works smart. 

After working in development myself for 8 months as well as coaching clients who work for producers or agencies, I highly recommend this strategy. There are a lot of benefits. I could be more specific about the benefits if I knew what type of company it is.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Friday, May 29, 2009

question 87: Which city has the best potential in terms of finding a job (LA, NYC or Chicago)?

In order of entertainment "capitals" it goes: Hollywood #1, New York #2, Chicago #3. That said, the number of people pursuing careers are relative. The majority come to LA, next NY, and then Chicago.

Which city has the best potential? That's not really a question that can be answered. In which city do you have the strongest relationships? If none, I'd say one certain advantage LA has over the others is that everyone here is 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon to someone in the industry. Your gardner may mow Brad Pitt's lawn, your gynecologist could be married to the producer of Twilight, and your next door neighbor who you walk your dog with could wind up winning an Emmy when you didn't even know he was a director. 

New York and Chi Town, you never know who you're walking next to. 

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com  

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Question 86: What do you do if you call someone and they don't call you back?

My question to you is, did you give them a reason to call you back? FYI: calling to say "I'm available" or "just checking in" doesn't warrant a return call from someone who has a full schedule. If you called for either of those reasons, consider your objective met; they know you're available and you've officially checked in.

Now, if you called for a specific reason like, he/she told you to follow up, or you had a question, wait a week, if it's not urgent, and follow up again.  THIS TIME, tag on the end that "you know they are very busy, so if you don't hear back, you'll try again next week." Then your call is expected.

My rule of thumb in this business of "sales" AKA "selling yourself" is:
You keep calling until you are told to stop OR until you feel icky about (yes, icky is now officially a business term). 

If you are stopping because you feel "icky" leave a closure message along the lines of, "I've left 3 messages and I don't want to be a bother, so I won't call again. If you do have time to talk in the future, I welcome your call."

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com      

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Question 85: I'm watching the Housewives of New Jersey. Is it okay for kids that young to be in entertainment?

Are you asking because you're a parent of a child who's interested in being in entertainment? I'll answer with the assumption that you are. And if you want to know for any other reason, you'll have to send a more specific question.

Is it okay? Yes, it's okay. There are laws and unions to protect minors. There are even requirements for set teachers so children on sets have time for education.

If The Real Housewives of New Jersey is your inspiration, I must point out the underlying implication of the "controlling stage mom." The entertainment industry can be hard on a child's self- esteem. There is a lot of rejection that isn't necessarily personal. I don't give out parental advice. What I will say is there are plenty examples of Stage Moms gone wrong (again, assuming you're a woman, didn't cross my mind that a dad is watching TRHoNJ). I'll say the same thing to you that I say to my clients: you've got to love it and enjoy the journey, or do something else. So, keep an eye on your child and be sure he/she loves it and is enjoying it.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Question 84: I don't have the reel to get work as a DP, but I'm afraid to take other work for money. Am I wrong?

The people who hire DPs are not the same people who hire you in other classifications. I don't know if the work you're referring to is within the camera department (AC, OP), as a gaffer, or something else. Unless you are working for money as another head of department (Editor, Production Designer, etc.) who are also hired by the people who hire DPs, you're okay.

Here's what I suggest:
1. Keep making money in your classification to support yourself and save for the future

2. Build relationships with the people who will know you and hire you as a DP

3. Build your reel as a DP

4. Keep the two separate unless you are 100% sure that your current crew is supportive of your desire to transition

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Question 83: How does networking at industry social events and parties ever lead to future work?

The question continues:  I hear about this all the time, but can’t figure out how this all works exactly. This may be extremely na├»ve of me, but how does this ever happen? How could an introvert who prefers one-on-one meetings, not feel socially awkward at these larger gatherings? 

The way it works is that people hire people they KNOW, LIKE, and TRUST. When you build relationships with like-minded people, it leads to work because people want to work with people they want to be around for the duration of a project.

For introverts, I suggest bringing a "wingman," someone who can act as an icebreaker for you. 

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com   

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Question 82: How do I spot bulls*#t artists to prevent wasting my time and effort?

Actual bulls*#t artists are usually pretty easy to identify. The swagger in their physiology, the tonality and speed they use when they speak, and the overdramatic name-dropping.
(when in doubt about their tonality, ask them a couple of questions they have no reason to lie about; where they grew up, if they have any pets, etc. Listen carefully to the pace and tone of the answer, then see if it changes when they start talking about a project or name-dropping)

If you are still unsure, and don't have the experience to ask questions that will surely "out" their bull, then ask someone with experience. Call a mentor, explain the project, and ask what questions you should ask and what you should have written into a contract. 
(Yes, you should have a contract even if you're working for free. If you're working for free it's for footage, right? Have that in writing) 

SOMETHING TO CONSIDER:
Most people are not coming from a place of "bulls*#t." They have a dream, like you, and truly believe in their project. The problem is most people who try to get their project going, don't realize what goes into making a project from start to finish. That's why so many projects fall apart in post... or sooner. It's not bulls*#t, it's lack of knowledge, money, resources, and relationships. 

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Question 81: What do people really want to see in a reel?

It depends on who's looking at it. There are many types of people who will look at your reel. I will address 3 types: 

The first type is the person who knows what constitutes talent in your classification. This person will be looking at your talent & skill. If it's there, then it may or may not matter if you have recognizable talent/projects on your reel. 

The second type doesn't know the nuances of what you do (ex: a writer* looking at a DP's reel). This person is looking for recognizable talent/projects, something that appeals to his/her sensibilities, and his/her medium.

The third type is looking for "his/her movie" on your reel. In other words, if his/her movie takes place in the interior of a restaurant and you're reel is comprised of a montage of interiors in a bedroom, a car dealership, a bathroom, a classroom, and a gym locker room, he/she will wonder, "Yes, but can you do a restaurant?" What are you gonna do? I know a 5-time Oscar nominee that encountered this, which leads me to...

You can't please everybody so:
1. Put recognizable talent/projects up front
2. Get other qualified people's feedback, because sometimes your opinion is biased 
3. Research your competition's reels so that the length and style of your reel is current  

*disclaimer: there are many writers who have a great knowledge of lighting 

For more tips and articles by top entertainment coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Friday, May 22, 2009

Question 80: My 2 shows have been cancelled and I feel like I'm abandoning my "family" if I take a job with a new crew. Should I just wait?

The question continues: Should I just wait to see if we get another show?

Another question that I can't answer for you. What I will do, is give you some things to think about:

1. How would you feel if someone from your "crew family," who like you, was unsure of the future, decided to take a job in order to support his/her family, accrue hours to maintain health benefits, and be able to continue working? 

2. Do you consider putting all of your eggs in one basket, prudent? What if the person who hires you retires, leaves the business, or stops getting hired? Can you see benefits to working with multiple crews and expanding your "family?"

3. If you accepted a job and then your "crew family" got another show, would the feelings that would bring up for you, outweigh the feelings of being out of work because you waited and they didn't get a show? 

4. Remember, as your network expands, so does your crew family's.

This is a tough decision because you do create "crew family bonds," sometimes stronger than the ones with your actual family. Personally, I am always happy for my "crew family members' successes." I never take it personally when they have to move on to keep growing. I've seen too many people put their eggs in one basket to ever make that mistake myself, though I do have a core group of people that if I had a choice, I would work with for the rest of my life.  This industry is as unpredictable as life though, and it's times like these when you must choose.

Communication is key, as is trusting your instincts, and maintaining your integrity.   

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Question 79: I am astonished by the amount of things you do each day and each week and wonder how you do it.

The question continues: ... How do you prioritize between doing one thing and another? What criterion do you use to make that decision? 

My criteria is simple: 

1. What is my "fastest path to cash?" In other words, what must be done immediately to grow my company and help my clients succeed?

2. Deadlines given to me by  others in order to market myself aka articles, seminars, interviews, etc.

3. Then I have my specific must-do commitments, like my commitment to answer a question on my blog everyday

4. Once my business "business" is done, I prioritize my entertainment industry career to-dos. I only give my entertainment career about 10% of my time. That time though, is spent working SMART, not hard

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Question 78: Can I call people for work now, even though I've been out of touch them?

The person who asked me this knows how I feel about re-establishing relationships first. While that is usually the case, that would mean that  you would have had to re-establish in April, before the up-fronts.

This person did not. This person still needs to get work though. Therefore, try these tips:
1. Acknowledge the purple elephant in the room: It's been a long time since we've spoken...

2. Research what they've been doing: I know you've been busy working on Private Practice...

3. Tell them what you've been doing: I was working on XXXXX...

4. Combine the two: It's always such a challenge to stay in touch with the people you like when everyone is working...

5. Ask what else they've been up to (this can be quick small talk, or a serious catch up)

6. Tell them why you're calling: You may have heard that XXXXX was cancelled, so now I'm looking forward to getting on a new show. Do you know of anyone who is hiring or may know someone who is?

Look, is it the ideal scenario? In my book, no. But it is what it is. And the bottom line is, it is your job to look for work and people get that. Project warmth, sincerity, and confidence. 

ps: actors, start re-establishing relationships with people now, BEFORE they start hiring for episodic co/guest stars.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach Coach, visit: www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Question 77: Is it true that if I take a vacation I'll get called for work?

The question continued...
"because I haven't taken a vacation in two years, nor have I gotten much work. I really need a vacation!"

I'm going to answer this question with a story...
When I graduated college, my graduation present was a trip to Club Med. At the time, it was the BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE. I really wanted to go and be a Club Med Counselor... BUT, the time commitment was 6 months. I was convinced that if I missed 6 months of pursuing acting, my career would be over. I did not become a counselor for Club Med. I did not book any acting jobs during that time or the four years after. 

I can look back now and see what a small chunk of my life those 6 months were. Who knows the memories I could have created.

I'm not really one for shoulda coulda wouldas, so that said, take a vacation. Create some memories. This is your life. If you get called for a job and you're out of town, refer someone you know. You get a vacation and the chance to help someone else. You only live once. Enjoy it.  

Monday, May 18, 2009

Question 76: You say I'm 100% responsible for my career but I feel I can't control anything. What do I do?

True, there are very few things in the entertainment industry that you can truly control. When you look at other industries, though, I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who struggle with the same issue; the stock market, changing technology and trends, etc. Since I focus on entertainment let's address what you CAN control:

1. Your commitment: I always say you have to act like the CEO of your own company. Are you committed to the amount of work that goes into running a company? Are you committed to creating new relationships and maintaining old ones? Are you committed to investing in your business knowledge, marketing materials, and craft? If your answer is yes, you can control how much of a commitment  you make in each area.  

2. Your attitude: Politics, economy, natural disasters, work slow down, runaway production, others working when you're not, no agent, etc.,- you can't control. Your attitude toward all of the previous- YOU CAN CONTROL. Educate yourself on the nature of our industry, so you can have a good attitude, despite what ever the world throws at you. This is not about positive thinking, this is about taking control of your outlook regarding your career. If you're not optimistic about your future, then why pursue it?
   
3. Your choices: You have control over the friends/colleagues you make and keep, accepting the jobs offered to you, your reactions to what happens to you, and the decision to stay in this industry.

Our industry is no different than any other industry where there is potential to make big money. There is risk involved and in so, a lack of control. That lack of control is also the loophole that allows, unknown, unconnected, unexperienced people, to get their foot in the door and potentially make it big...

So embrace what you can and cannot control.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com   

Question 75: Why do your answers sometimes contradict themselves?

This is what I get for asking for something to sink my teeth into. Here goes...

While it may seem that my answers sometimes contradict themselves...
For example:
In one situation I inform you how to be extremely prepared
In another situation I suggest that you fly by the seat of your pants
... they, in fact, do not contradict each other because I'm speaking to different people. 

You see, there is no 1 correct way to do something. One person's obstacle may be a walk in the park for someone else. What someone needs to do early in his/her career is very different than someone who has a track record that can be turned into a marketing campaign.  

What's important is not focusing on the "contradictions" but instead figuring out which answers apply to you at this point in your career.  

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Question 74: How do I deal with the resentment I feel towards people who are working?

You've made the choice to feel resentment. You could have chosen to feel inspired by them, happy for them, excited for their success, motivated by their success, curious as to how they accomplished their goals...

But instead, you've chosen resentment. How does this choice help your career? I'll tell you - it doesn't. Quite the opposite. Resentment eats away at you causing you to have this tinge of a nasty edge, when meeting new people, answering people's questions, interviewing for jobs, etc. And then you wonder why you can't get a job, maintain a relationship, or create new ones, which then makes you MORE resentful.

So how do you deal with the resentment you feel? You don't. You make a better choice. This may not come naturally at first, but eventually, it will become second nature to celebrate other's success, and in doing so, they'll be celebrating in yours as well.

For those with an abundant mindset, there really is enough to go around.

More tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach at

Friday, May 15, 2009

Question 73: Why should I go to the LA Film Fest if I don't have a project in it or know anyone who does?

Well, let me count the reasons:
1. You need to meet people!
2. It's an opportunity to research the filmmakers beforehand and craft specific questions for them in order to start a business relationship
3. You need to meet people!!
4. People always ask me where to meet first/second time directors- this is a great place
5. You need to meet people!!!

This film festival happens once a year. It is a gathering of industry people at all levels. It is your job to be there. 

If you were a toy manufacturer, you would attend toy conventions. Consider this YOUR convention. LAFilmFest.com

Don't know how to maximize your time at a film festival? Put your question or concern in the comments and I'll address it tomorrow...

For more tips and articles by top industry career coach, the Greenlight Coach, visit
 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Question 72: I've recently suffered the loss of my spouse, is this something I should share?

First, I want to express my sincere sadness for your loss. And that is what will happen, either people won't know what to say, or they'll immediately feel sympathy. How can we not? As humans, losing someone we love is one of our greatest fears. So, allow people, to express their sympathy, empathy, and even allow them their discomfort. 

That said, you are going to be experiencing feelings that as a career coach, I'm not qualified to help you with. However, as a career coach I can tell you, that my gut reaction is to offer help. I believe this would be most people's gut reaction.

Allow people to help. More than that, tell them what you need. If you need to get working again, so that you'll be out of your house, surrounded by passionate people- tell them. 

What's important is "who you're being" when you ask for help. Many people become victims, and while understandable, it's not a quality people are looking for when they're hiring. Therefore, ask from a place of strength, even if you're crumbling inside.  Powerfully ask for help in regards to work. When you are hired, stay focused and professional. After the day is done, turn to your support system, those who create the space for you to be fragile and vulnerable. 

Don't share what's going on in your life if you are so fragile that it will guilt-trip people. But when you are ready, when you can handle it, I think it's okay to share what's going on in your life if you're coming from a powerful place of wanting to keep going and stay connected to what you love to do. 

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Question 71: Is it appropriate to approach someone after they've spoken on a panel or Q&A?

It is appropriate IF you are being professional. 

Consider these tips:
1. Know what your objective is before approaching the person (be sure it's something he/she can say yes to, or a comment that is appropriate and MEMORABLE).

2. Be aware of the body language. If he/she keeps backing up, don't keep moving forward. GIVE PEOPLE THEIR PERSONAL SPACE!

3. If you ask a question, listen and accept the answer, whether you like it or not. DON'T debate someone in order to meet your agenda.

4. Know when it's time to say goodbye and walk away.

5. Take note of all of the mistakes the group around you is making. (I just threw this one in so you can meet the person and learn a huge amount about networking in a miniscule amount of time)  

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Question 70: Would you represent me? (asked at the agent panel I spoke on tonight)

Even though this isn't my typical format (taking a question someone asked a panel of agents as opposed to submitting directly to me), I felt compelled to address it, so that you will learn from this mistake.

The actress who asked the question, prefaced it with a little history about her past agency and how it was closed and then asked... and then there was the "uncomfortable pause..." you know the one-- when you've just put someone (or in this case a panel of experts) on the spot and he/she doesn't want to say yes, but doesn't really know how to say no politely... 

This is no different than meeting someone at a networking event, talking to them for an hour, and then suddenly asking for work. It's that same "wall" that goes up. The hour that you just spent, building a relationship, just went down the drain.

Resist the urge to ask a new contact for work. People need to know you, like you, and trust you, before they will hire you, or take you on as a new client. If you're talking business, they know you're looking for work, if they want you, they'll ask you. If an agent sees something in you during that first conversation, believe me, they'll approach you.     

Before asking for something, put yourself in the person's shoes and think, is this something they can say YES to? Remember, people's jobs, reputation, and paychecks are on the line. It's not personal, they simply have to 

KNOW YOU, LIKE YOU, AND TRUST YOU..

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com  

Monday, May 11, 2009

Question 69: Should I do a sex scene for a non-union production?

I have to apologize to the girl who sent this, for making her wait until Question 69... I couldn't resist.  

Wow, this is not the kind of career advice that I ever thought I'd be giving. Definitely NOT in the career coach manual.  Just goes to show, you never know what kinds of questions you'll get when you open it up.  So, back to the question at hand...

When I first entered the world of acting, I chose my roles based on if I'd be able to sit on the couch next to my dad and watch with him. If the answer was no, I didn't take the role. 

No one can answer this question for you. Non-union, union, A-list director, unknown director... the bottom line is, how do you feel about doing a sex scene? Plenty of actress' careers soared after doing nude scenes. Others can't be found anywhere on Mr. Skin's website, yet have outstanding resumes. It comes back to making that list of the pros and the cons. Here's some questions, hope they help:

1. Is it an EXCEPTIONAL script? 
2. Will the scenes you're in (other than the one in question) be defining for your reel? 
3. How will the scene be shot?
4. What do you know about the producers, director, writer, other actors? 
5. How would you feel if the scene was splashed all over YouTube and Facebook?

We've come a long way from Leave it to Beaver (sorry... I don't know what's gotten into me tonight). Good luck with your decision. 

For more tips and PG articles, by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit: www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 
 


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Question 68: What do I need to know about the Upfronts?

Here's the Wikipedia description of the upfront: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upfront

In the North American television industry, an upfront is a meeting of television network executives with the press and, more important, with major advertisers. It is so called because it signals the start of an important advertising sales period, allowing marketers to buy commercial airtime "up front", or several months before the season begins.

In the United States, the major broadcast networks' upfronts occur in New York City during the third week of May, the last full week of that month's sweeps period. The networks announce their fall primetime schedules, including tentative launch dates (i.e. fall or midseason) for new programming, which may be "picked up" the week before. The programming announcements themselves are usually augmented with clips from the new series, extravagant musical numbers, comedic scenes, and appearances by network stars, and take place at grand venues such as Radio City Music Hall or Carnegie Hall. Most cable networks present earlier in the spring since they usually program for the summer months; press attention to these announcements is usually much lighter.


What do you need to know once the shows have been picked up?

1. Soon after writers and crew are hired

2. As the writing staff are working, it's a good time for actors to be planning their strategies for episodic work

3. Executives are VERY busy getting everything lined up- not a good time to be asking them for their time

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Question 67: How do I stay in touch with people while I'm working? I usually get absorbed in what I am doing.

Here's how the actual question read:
You said about looking for work, "the best time to make calls is while you’re working."  Could you talk more about that?  I usually get absorbed in what I am doing and don't think to be reaching out to people during that time.

The reason I say that is because:
1. You're not calling for work, which puts you and the person you're calling at ease
2. You're far more confident when you're working, so it's a great time to be talking to people
3. YOU'RE MORE MARKETABLE when you're working! Suddenly people want you... the domino effect

Back to your question. Like you, when I tell people to make calls while they're working, I usually hear:
1. I'm too busy to make calls while I'm working
2. I don't want to look like the guy/girl who's always on the phone
3. I'm too exhausted from work to even think about making calls
4. If I'm just there for the day (dayplaying) I want to look like I'm totally focused on my job
5. I don't want to make people who aren't working feel bad by calling them to say I'm working

I could address each of these individually (and if you'd like me to, please write that in the comment section), instead I'll give you the bottom line.

If the best time to generate work is while you're working, you must be contacting people despite numbers 1-5. So, here's how you make it happen:

1. Set a goal for the day; the number of people (even if it's 1) you plan to contact. It's like making a list for the grocery store- you're focused on the items on your list, because you wrote them down. 
You're absorbed and not thinking about calling because you're not focused on it.

2. Now that you have a goal, create a plan; decide when you will contact them. Spread it out over your drive to set, your lunch hour, your breaks, your drive home (obviously being considerate of what time it is).

3. Know your call objective, so you can preface your conversation by saying, "Hey I'm on set and only have about two minutes, so I just wanted to...," and then get to your objective.

4. As part of your plan decide HOW you will contact them. If calling them just isn't possible, there's email, texting, social networking sites like Facebook. Instead of staring at obstacles, seek out ways to make it happen!

I'm sure this post has opened up even more questions for you, my wonderful inquisitive readers. So feel free to post them in the comment section and I'll get to them all.

For more articles and tips by top entertainment industry coach, the Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Friday, May 8, 2009

Question 66: Is Facebook a good place to network?

This is a question that came up at a networking breakfast I attended yesterday, and the speaker steered the participant in another direction. 

In the famous words of Ron Burgundy AKA Anchorman  "AGREE TO DISAGREE!"

I think Facebook is a GREAT resource for networking ESPECIALLY for all of you shy people out there who hate going to networking events.

Here are just a few reasons to use Facebook for networking: 

1. Helping your social network:
- A client needed a DP to shoot his short film, starring recognizable talent. I posted it on my status, and he received more than enough responses, set up interviews with some, and hired his DP.
- A Camera Operator needed a Camera Assistant ASAP. I posted it on my status. The job was filled within minutes.

2. Creating deeper relationships with people:
Facebook gives you the opportunity to post about work/business, while also allowing them access to your personal life. Post photos of your family, pets, hobbies, etc. so people can learn what you have in common. 
They also get a sense of your personality. By reading your status updates, they will see if you have like-minded interests, similar sense of humor, share a love for Jack Bauer, etc.

3. Overcoming the distance obstacle:
If you don't live in Hollywood, you don't get to be in people's faces as much as necessary. This allows you to be a part of people's lives, wherever you live. 

4. Meeting people you want to know:
I "friended" a large number of Camera Operators who had mutual friends. I'd known their names, from my years of being the Career Coach at The Cinematographers Guild, but I'd never met them. This year, at the SOC Awards, I met them in person, recognizing them from their Facebook pictures, and walking over saying, "Hey, Facebook Friend!"    

I say GO FOR IT! 

for more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit: www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 
 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

question 65: What is the best way to get into Development and work your way up?

I started as an assistant, became a development associate, and then started my own production company. Others in our office started as unpaid interns. Some people make the move from an agency to development. Then, I’ve met people who’ve come from completely different industries and their interesting skills combined with excellent interviewing has landed them a job in development.
 
This no single “best” way to get in. Therefore:
 

1.    Focus on building relationships with people in development

2.    Master interviewing skills

3.    Read books on script analysis, writing coverage, and studio executive biographies 

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit: www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Question 64: Since I freelance and move around a lot from show to show, when I do know if it's time to get rid of some old gigs on my resume?

Great question! It's time to get rid of old gigs when your resume becomes more than one page. In our industry, when people are looking at your resume, they are looking for what stands out. That may be:

1. A recognizable project
2. A recognizable person (who hired you)
3. A reputable production company
4. A special skill
5. A-list talent you've worked with

and in some cases...
6. A reputable school (or the school they went to) 

If your resume is longer than a page, weed out what stands out the least and/or what you don't want to represent you any longer. 

Publicize your strengths, weed out your weaknesses.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit: www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Question 63: What should I ask as starting pay?

Because I don’t know what you do or the starting pay for anything other than what I’ve done, here are my suggestions:
 

1.    Ask 5 people who hire people who do what you do, what they pay someone with your credentials

2.    Ask 10 people who do what you do what they would ask for if they were in your position

3.    Call the union that represents your classification and ask a business representative

for more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit: www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 


Monday, May 4, 2009

Question 62: Part 2 of yesterday's question: How do I sell an idea for a script or project?

This is a GREAT question for mentors. If you have questions about mentors, let me know.
So, for now:

1. Know that you can’t protect an idea, so you have to be smart about it. You can protect a script and a bible for a project... to an extent.

2. Know who you want to sell to. Do your research. Make sure the company who has produced your genre in the past is still interested in the genre.  

3. Know that there are proper channels to take when submitting material. If you have representation, they will set up pitch meetings for you. If you don’t, you may be able to get an entertainment attorney to submit for you.

For more tips and ideas from top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Question 61: If I make projects with friends or want to sell an idea for a script or project, how do I go about selling it to someone to produce?

I’m going to answer this in 2 parts because a finished project is different than an idea. 

 
Part 1: How do I sell a project I made with a group of friends?
There is no one way to do this.  Here are some ideas:

1.    Submit it to a festival (film festival for films, ITV.org for tv or webseries)

2.    Put it up on YouTube and create buzz

3.    Screen your project for decision makers

4.    Create a website and sell corporate advertising space

5.    Submit pitches for an article on your project to papers & magazines  

 
Part 2 How do I sell an idea for a script or project? Tomorrow...

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit www.theGreenlightCoachblog.com 
  


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Question 60: Which industry (film, television, commercial) would you say is easiest to get work in?

They are all equally as easy and as difficult to get in to.  Did that sound like Yoda? No, I'm not trying to do a Jedi mindtrick on you. The business tools and strategies for breaking into each area, are the same. The people and companies you target are different. 

The quantity and quality of your business relationships in each area will determine your fastest path to work. Here's how to determine where you're starting out:

1. Make 3 lists, one for each area

2. On each list, write down who you know 

3. Next to each person write a number 1-5 based on how well you know them

4. Circle in green, each person who can potentially hire you

If you don't know anyone and you're starting from scratch, decide which area you are most passionate about and target people who work in that area.

for more tips and articles by top entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit: www.thegreenlightcoachblog.com 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Question 59: Question: How do you know who to contact about getting a job when the job you want is not posted on any website?

I wonder how you found out about a job that isn’t posted on a site. Whoever gave you the lead is where I would start.
 
Let me rephrase this question to help a larger scope of people.
 
How do you pursue a job that you want, when there’s currently no opening?
 
You create relationships with as many people on the show/project/company as you possibly can. This way when a job does open, you’re top of mind.
 
Tips:

1.    Create a target list of 10 shows/projects/companies

2.    Contact 1-5 people per show/project/company as a mentor

3.    Continue to build and deepen the relationships


For more tips by entertainment industry coach, The Greenlight Coach, visit:

www.theGreenlightCoachBlog.com 

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1280: I grew up in India and as a result English is my second language (cont'd)

"I grew up in India and as a result English is my second language. I  am looking to improve my comprehension when I read my text book...