BE ON THE CUTTING EDGE OF THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY

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Monday, August 31, 2009

question 182: Is the industry really slow right now?

This is a question I've been getting for YEARS! My response has always been the same. For the people who are working, it's not slow. Whether there's a lot going on or not, isn't really the issue, because if you're not working it doesn't matter. So basically, if my answer is "yes" then you can create an excuse like, "oh, well then that explains why I'm not working." Or if I say "no," you can beat yourself up with, "why am I the only one not working?" Either way, it's a lose/lose scenario.

Therefore, instead of worrying about whether the town is busy or slow, focus on what you can be doing for your business, daily. Get into the routine of working so you always feel busy. Have meetings, do set visits, and go to networking events.

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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

question 181: I don't want to be friends with people I work with. I just want to be hired to do my job and have my friends separate. How do I do that?

I'm the wrong coach to ask this question because I'm not going to tell you how to do that. I'm going to tell you to change your attitude. I'm not saying you have to be best pals with the people you work with. You don't have to have family barbecues with them and spend your vacations together, but what's wrong with "work friends." For years I worked in offices, and while I didn't socialize with many of my fellow employees outside of the office, I was friends with them at work.

Everything in the entertainment industry takes a LONG time; development, pre-production, production, post. If people have to spend a lot of time together, they prefer to spend that time with people they like. Aren't you likable? If not, like I said, change your attitude. This sounds like a question with a built-in defense mechanism. Open yourself up to the possibility of working with people you like and who like you.

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


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Question 180: How do I become a film director?

This question was a comment on yesterday's post. Again, this is a question of art/talent, as opposed to career coaching. I don't teach you how to direct, I teach you how to get work once you know how to direct. So, I'll give you some advice for getting started:

1. Get director mentors

2. Read Sidney Lumet's book MAKING MOVIES (that was the first assignment from my directing mentor)

3. Watch/listen to the director commentary on DVDs of movies you like

There's a lot of research that can be done before you even get creative as far as reading articles, visiting www.dga.org, reading books, and researching online director forums. In the mean time, if you do have a video camera and a computer to edit on, start discovering your voice.

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

Friday, August 28, 2009

Question 179: Can I teach myself to be an editor on my Mac or do I need more skills?

This is more of a technical question than a career coaching question, but I'll give you a career coaching answer. You can teach yourself to be an editor on a Mac, you can watch their tutorials, you can even go into the Mac store (one of my favorite places on earth). The question is: What is your long term goal as an editor? Do you want to work in the entertainment industry at the Union Level? Until I know where you want to be, I can only advise you to seek out mentors who are working editors and ask them what skills you need, what equipment you need to know how to use, and anything else that pertains to the the type of work that you want to do.

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Question 178: How do I figure out if I should pursue a career in entertainment?

Research, research, research! Millions of people have dreams of making it in the entertainment industry. The majority will never do more than dream. Like in every industry, there are pros and cons to the entertainment industry.

Here are some tips:

1. Write down what you want to do in the industry AND the expectations of what you think you'll be doing in that job.

2. Write down your expectations of what it will be like to work in entertainment; the time frame until you're working steadily, the hours worked, the pay scale, and everything else you imagine a career in entertainment to be.

3. Go on entertainment industry forums and get people's feedback on your expectations.

Now, people may be brutal if your expectations are completely unreasonable, but don't be discouraged. If you truly want to pursue your dream, get lots of opinions on others' experiences working in the business. If you are still discouraged, contact me, and we can discuss your particular situation. Remember, sometimes people have their own agenda for discouraging you. I will always encourage you, I'll be realistic and honest in an encouraging way.

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why people who don't know you won't hire you

question 177: What's the most humiliating job you've ever taken for supplemental income?

Uhhhhhhh... I was saving this for my first David Letterman appearance, but I suppose I can give all of you "my insiders" the first audience. I had been in Los Angeles for two years working as a waitress and decided, "That's it! If I'm going to be working and not getting auditions, I may as well be working in a place where I'm meeting people in high places."

So, I got into the temp pool at MGM/UA and began creating relationships with all of the big wigs because I was on the top floor. After almost 6 months of developing relationships with people and discussing development, production, post, publicity, marketing, and even acting, the human resources woman told me she had a special job for me, where I'd get to meet everyone in the company. I was SO excited.

CUT TO:

EXT: MGM/UA OUTDOOR PARK AREA- DAY

Me in a stupid outfit, serving birthday cake for "Leo the Lion's" first birthday party. Yes, I put on a smile as the big execs that had treated me like an up and comer for 6 months, started barking orders about wanting an "end piece" or "just a sliver because she's on a diet," or "cut the piece from the center so I can have a piece of the Lion's head." I mean really! It was utterly humiliating.

The next week I found myself in a small windowless room with 3 other temps stuffing W2 forms. I came across Brad Pitt's in my pile and shoved it in my bra for the remainder of the day before mailing it off to his accountant (with a lipstick free kiss). I suppose that's the closest Brad Pitt will ever be to my boob.

Not the most educational blog entry, though I hope it amused you and will inspire you to share your least favorite "make-a-buck-jobs-to-survive" with this person who is clearly torn about a job he may potentially take.

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Networking Obstacles? You're not alone

There is a system for getting jobs in the entertainment industry

question 176: How do I research the new fall line up?

First, shameless plug for my friend Andrew: EVERYONE WATCH VAMPIRE DIARIES

Second, you research them in a number of ways, the cheapest, and most direct way, is to go directly to the sites and look under "shows":

http://beta.abc.go.com/
http://www.nbc.com/
http://www.fox.com/
http://www.cwtv.com/ (here you'll find the Vampire Diaries)
http://www.cbs.com/

Then there are the numerous cable networks that have original content. To name a few:
Lifetime, TNT, A&E, HBO, Showtime, Disney, Nickelodeon, Sci Fi, and check out http://www.google.com/Top/Arts/Television/Networks/Cable/ for a longer list.

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

Monday, August 24, 2009

Question 175: What does it mean when a casting director says, "great job" and then doesn't give you a call back?

It means different things from different casting directors. YOUR job as an actor/actress, is to go in prepared, and do the best audition you can do. An audition is a job. Your acting in front of people, right? So you're doing your job. Treat an audition with as much respect and hard work as you would if you booked the job you're auditioning for. Show up on time, do your job, then leave and let it go. If someone say's "Great," then great. If they don't call you in, it doesn't mean you weren't great. It could mean you get called in 7 years later, for a part that you're perfect for. You just don't know. Sorry...

Analyzing what people mean is futile. Even if you asked, you have no guarantee that they'll tell you truthfully what they meant. Confidence must come from within you, NOT others' opinions of you.

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

Sunday, August 23, 2009

question 174: How do you answer the question: "What are you working on?" when you're not working on anything?

My sister works in ad sales. There are some days that she sells an ad space. Let's equate those days to the days that you are working on a job. The rest of the days, if her boss were to ask her, "What are you working on?" her answer would be all of the appointments she's making, the new business she's working on breaking, the relationships with clients she's developing. I could go on and on about everything my sister is doing when she's not on "the" call getting the news that a client is buying ad space.

So, what do you mean "you're not working on anything"? If you aren't doing business when you're not on a "job" than you're not working right. If you are working right, then you can answer the question based on what you're working on. People know this is a freelance industry. They don't expect you to be on a project at all times. But if you're not confident about what to do when you're not on a job, then you should get coaching, because you can be "working" all of the time.

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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

question 173: What's the most professional way to let all of my contact know I've changed my contact info?

It depends on if you want to spend money or not. You can have cards/postcards made up with your personal logo (if you have one) and/or the new contact information. Then mail it out to everyone. It's just like those "We've moved" cards you get from your friends when they move to a new house. The reason why this may be worth the added expense, is because people will hold on to the card until they change it in their address book.

The free way to do it PROFESSIONALLY, is to send it out by email BCC ( did I say BCC? Because if I didn't: BCC!!!). People tend to do this when they change only their email address. I am one of those people who is guilty of not updating these when I get them, putting them in an inbox file titled "updated contact info," and forgetting all about them. That's why I prefer the aforementioned card, because I will save it until I add it. But that may just be me.

With email, you also run the risk of it disappearing into the email ether, but we run that risk everyday...

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

Friday, August 21, 2009

question 172: I want to take a year off to make money but everyone says that I'll be starting over when I come back. True?

Who am I to argue with "Everyone?" Im me, so I will. The reason many (not "all": notice I'm putting the huge generalizations in quotes, so you can recognize when you're using that language) people have trouble breaking back into the industry after they've been out for a year or more, is because they don't maintain their relationships.

They usually leave the business for a stable job, not expecting to return, only to find a few years later that their calling is still tugging at them, and their contacts have dried up. Or they leave for personal reasons like an illness, an ill spouse or child, to take care of an aging parent, relocation for any of the previous reasons, and other less common reasons.

Obviously, if it's the personal reasons, it's usually the last thing on a person's mind to be maintaining relationships, so when he/she comes back it is a lot like starting over, but not quite.

In your case, however, you want to make money, create some savings, and come back. That's really no different than people who have side jobs, it just sounds like you're committing mentally to a specific, high-pay job as opposed to a side job, where people feel half in and half out.

What this all means to you is, you work, make your money, save, AND continue to maintain your relationships, obtain mentors, and go to networking events (if you're job is local). If it's not, and your contacts ask you why you moved, tell them it is for personal reasons, and you will be back. If you stay put, and get offered a job while maintaining your relationships, you can always ask for time off or quit (unless you've signed a contract).

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

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Question 171: I am so sick of hearing about how much competition is out there! What do I do?

Stop listening! As an actress, I was told not to move to LA because there was too much competition. I made the move anyway and at first, I was intimidated. Then, I spent my first two years in an acting school with 24 people in my class. Of those 24, 12 were girls, of those 12, 8 were my age, of those 8, 4 had a similar look to mine (notice I did not say type), of those 4, 1 did her homework, learned her lines, and took her acting career seriously. Suddenly, the competition didn't seem very competitive at all. Especially, because she was (and still is) an adorable red-head, with a giggly-girl-next-door, personality, which really isn't in direct competition with my type. Could be why after all of these years, that girl is my oldest friend out here. Like-minded people stick together. I cast her in my TV show, as soon as I had the chance.

Here's another example: I was the in-house Career Coach for the Cinematographers Guild for 7 years. There are over 7,000 members. I coached 1,000 of them. I know pretty good average. Yet when you think about it, 1,000 people have the advantage over the other 6,000. Break it down even further: of those 1,000 people they were broken up into approximately 10 different classifications. Lets examine one of the bigger groups: camera operators. Lets say I coached 200 camera operators, of those 200, 100 met with me regularly, of those 100, approximately 50, committed to overcoming their fears and obstacles, followed the tools, followed through on the strategies, and are now working regularly. Of those 50 working regularly, some work in TV, some on features, and others in commercials. So of the 7,000 members, how many are camera operators? Maybe 1,000 since they're such a big group and how many have the EDGE of the specific tools to generate work? Not that many if you break it down by medium.

So, don't get caught up with your competition. Be the best you can be at what you do, and get the edge.

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

question 170: I'm having trouble creating my personal brand because I don't believe what I'm writing about myself.

I happen to know that this person is in my tele-seminar group where we are covering this topic in great detail on our call today. So, being that he's not the only one who has this question, I thought I'd share it with all of you.

My mentor, James Malinchak, tells a story about Mahammad Ali that I'll have to paraphrase: A reporter asked Ali how he became the "greatest fighter in the world." Ali replied, "Because I told them I was."

So, James tells the story much better, but the point is the same... like Michael Jordan, known to most as the greatest basketball player of all times. He wasn't always known as that, but when he decided that that's who he was going to be, the actions he took; practicing, leading his team, being a positive role model, made him the greatest basketball player of all time.

How does this apply to you? Who do you want to be when your dreams have come true? What do you want the press to be saying about you? Start there, with just that knowledge, and live up to it. You don't share your personal brand you live it, starting now and that's how people will perceive you.

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

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

question 169: My biggest challenge is maintaining the relationships I've created once I get work. Any suggestions?

Sometimes, I save questions for when I'm in the perfect situation to answer them. It's 7:21am. No, I'm not usually up this early, especially when I'm on vacation (you substitute work). Yet, I know I have work to do to maintain my relationship with you. I've committed to blogging an answer to a question everyday. Therefore, I got up early this morning to do my work, before I go out and spend the day in wine country (you substitute on set ).

It's a decision you have to make. This blog will take me 15 minutes max, to write and post on Twitter and Facebook. What can you do in 15 minutes? You can call an East Coast contact (because it's 10:25 am there). You can email a contact and tell him/her that you're working and you wanted to make the time to see how his dog is feeling, if she got the job she'd been waiting to hear about, or if there's anything you can do to help him/her.

The BEST time to maintain relationships is when you're working because you're not calling to ask for work. So you can full-heartedly make it all about them.

The decision you make is what you have to look at. Are you deciding that you're too tired? Are you deciding you don't have time? Are you deciding that you choose to get immersed in your work and can't get in contact.

OR will you decide that you can find 15 minutes each day to reach out to someone? To get up 15 minutes earlier, reach out for 15 during a long "waiting-period" (you know what I'm talking about), find 15 minutes during lunch, and/or maybe even 15 minutes on your way home if it's a decent hour.

The choice is yours. You've got to decide what you're willing to commit to. My advice- commit to maintaining relationships while you're working (it's what all the cool kids do).

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

Monday, August 17, 2009

Question 168: I get motivated for a short time and do stuff and then I take off and then get motivated again. How do I act consistently?

This is an obstacle that many independent contractors encounter. People who have 9-5 jobs have a set schedule, an office destination, and accountability. Because you don't, you have to put systems in place. Accountability works for me. You have to figure out what works for you. Ask other successful independent contractors what they do, and try different methods until you find the one that works.

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

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Question 167: If I live in a small town and don't want to move to Los Angeles and want to work in the entertainment industry, where can I move?

It depends on the level/quality of work you want to be a part of. While Los Angeles is the entertainment hub, you can also find union work in New York, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, and Chicago. Some cities in New Mexico, Colorado, North Carolina, Hawaii, Utah, and Louisiana have union work. Don't be fooled by the term "right-to-work state." Florida, which is a right-to-work state, has a very strong union presence. When in doubt, call your union.

If you're not in a union (yet), and the quality of work doesn't matter to you, there are filmmakers in most cities. Even in a small town, with a little bit of equipment, you can create content and a presence on the internet.

This is a pretty general answer, as I don't know what you want to do in the entertainment industry. If you have further questions, put them in the comment section.

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

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Question 166: what if people are discouraging me from sitcoms because it's too hard to break into?

What high demand job where you can make a lot of money isn't hard to break into? People who are successful are successful for a reason: Determination!

Okay, for more than one reason:
1. Determination/drive
2. Perseverance
3. Action in spite of fear
4. Willingness to do the work
5. A strong support system

And in many cases:
6. Talent/skill
7. Strong people skills
8. Willingness to learn
9. Going the extra mile
10. Belief in themselves

Feel free to add your own in the comment section. People can find reasons to tell you that you can't do something... that's easy. Your job is to find the people, who knowing your challenges, support your dreams and help you figure out "how" to make them come true.

Like I wrote yesterday: KEEP WRITING. The business part you can learn on the way.

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

Friday, August 14, 2009

Question 165: I'm interested in writing for sitcoms but I need a day job in LA before I move there. It's a Catch 22. I can't even get a PA job. Help!

Okay. The advantage of being a writer is that you can have any day job and write during your free time. So, you can relocate out here, get a job in your current profession, and maintain financial stability while building your contacts to get an "industry" job.

PA work isn't really the most direct job for a writer because production assistants tend to be focused on production work. Ideally, I'd recommend (in this order):

#1: Writers' assistant on a show. This is the "PA" of the pre-production world. Here you'll be delivering coffee and scripts, depending on the show you could be in the writers' room, and you'll be in a good position to create relationships.

#2: An assistant for a writer with a deal.

#3 An assistant/intern for a production company that produces television.

For these jobs, like most, you really need to know someone. That's why I suggest you focus on getting a livelihood job, building relationships, and then going after an industry job. ALL THE WHILE WRITING. Always be writing!

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

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Question 164: Is sending someone you kinda know a birthday card brown nosing?

Is it your intention to "brown nose" or do you truly want the person to have a happy birthday? It's all about the intention. It's okay to send a card for the double purpose of sending wishes and staying on the radar. Personally, I love to get cards. It's always nice to be remembered, and while Facebook birthday wishes are easy to send, the extra effort in sending a card usually doesn't go unnoticed. The more personal the card, the better.

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Question 163: Yesterday you said to meet 100 people. How do you maintain all of those relationships?

Ah, great question! So you're at the DV Expo in September, you meet 300 people over the course of the 3 days, and from those, keep 100 cards because they are the people you "connected with." Now it's time to maintain the relationships. The key is to break it down into manageable chunks.

Here is a 7-step plan:

1. Take a few moments after meeting someone to write down personal notes on his/her card so you can easily remember what to refer back to.

2. Compose a general "nice to meet you" note.

3. Prioritize your business cards by people to whom you want to contact first.

4. Divide the follow up of 100 people by a 5 day work week (20/day) or 2 weeks (10/day) and divide the cards up accordingly into a neat piles of 20 or 10.

5. Plan the hour or two into your schedule for the week (or two)

6. During your scheduled time, personalize the general note for each person, based on your notes. This can be by email or in a greeting card*.
(*More personal, and my preferred choice, if there's a physical address on the business card. These can be bought in advance or even ordered with your name on them)

7. Send them out.

THE BIGGEST MISTAKE is asking for work or reminding them you're available in this note! Tempting as it may be, stop yourself. Create the relationship FIRST, work will follow.

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Question 162: I hear you're the Keynote speaker at the DV Expo. Very cool! You know I'm a director, should I go?

Everyone in the entertainment industry should go! It's a Digital Video Expo which means, anyone who works directly with digital video, wants to work with someone who works with digital video, and/or wants to meet someone who works with digital video AND may know someone you want to meet, MUST BE THERE.

Not only will there be cool techie stuff to check out, there will be educational programming (including yours truly doing the keynote speech on "the business side of the business"and a breakout room on "the keys to success at a networking event.")

And of course, in my book, the number one reason to attend the DV Expo is because it is an opportunity to network with thousands of people. That means that you can potentially add 100 new contacts to your contact list. In question 157, I was asked the "minimum number of people one should know." I answered 100. I broke that number down over twelve months. You can meet them ALL in 1-3 days!

Get your butt to the DV Expo!

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

Monday, August 10, 2009

question 161: What do I do with the contacts I met at ITV Festival?

You follow up with them. It takes 3 conversations to create a relationship. You've met them once, now you have to have 2 substantial conversations (where you don't ask for work), over the next two months, in order to maintain the relationship.

Contact them regarding something you spoke about or ask for some business advice and guidance. If anyone asked you to send something to them, be sure to do it!

Keep notes on your contacts and conversations.

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

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Question 160: I'm an actress and my boyfriend doesn't want me to kiss anyone in a scene. Is this normal?

I TOTALLY went through this when I graduated college and my boyfriend at the time didn’t want me to kiss guys during my scenes in acting class. Yes, it’s normal. No, it’s not realistic. You may get cast in a role where you have to kiss someone. It’s your job. If you’re kissing Brad Pitt, it’s one of the “perks” of your job. Kidding… no I’m not.. yes I am.. sort of…

You always hear actors say, “it’s not romantic/sexual at all. You’re surrounded by people… etc. etc.” Here’s the thing, I did a film where for weeks in rehearsal I was SO attracted to my co-star, I couldn’t wait for the scene where I got to kiss him! I think we did two takes and the kiss was as sexless as a high-five from a bag lady (yeah, I don’t know what that analogy means either, it’s late). The irony is, what the “significant others really should be worried about is the intimacy and attraction that can form between actors when they are playing parts where they are in love (or lust). The job of an actor is to really feel the feelings of love and the line between feelings can get blurred. So, the kiss should be the least of your boyfriend’s worries. But don’t tell him that, because that won’t help your cause. Trust is the key to a good relationship… I think. Who knows, that’s why I’m a career coach and not a relationship coach. Good luck with this one.

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

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Question 159: How do I get someone who is working for free to get me the work faster?

You really have no leverage when you’re not paying someone. They are working for free which probably means they have other work to do to bring in an income. If you have a deadline, pre-frame that up front, discuss the schedule in detail, and be sure they can agree. Have a back-up person just in case.

You are not the only one with this question. The key is good communication and having back-up plans so you don’t get frustrated with a person who is trying to help you. You also have to know when it’s time to pull the project from the person and go to your back-up plan. If you wait until the very end, when there’s just a little to do, people can get very sensitive about sharing a credit. I repeat, good communication.

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

Friday, August 7, 2009

Question 158: what day of the week is best to call someone?

You’ll never know until you ask. And even if they tell you: “Thursday is best for me,” you may still catch them on a Thursday where everything is upside down. Call people when you think you’ll get them in and then ask them if it’s a good time for them to talk. If they say that it’s not, ask when a good time for you to call back will be.

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

Thursday, August 6, 2009

question 157: what is the minimum number of people I should know?

why are you asking about minimums? It sounds like you want to meet as few people as possible. I always suggest a minimum of 100 people to my new clients who only know a few people. That works out to meeting less than 10 people per month over the course of one year. I encourage them to be strategic about who they meet, in other words, focus on meeting people who can hire you or know people who can hire you.

That said, I'd like to address the "wanting to meet as few as possible." There are so man GREAT people in our industry to meet. I know what you're thinking, I've heard it all. People in each classification have their schtick: Editors: we like to be alone in dark rooms. Camera: There's a reason we're behind the camera. Writers: we write so we don't have to talk to people. Actors: I'm fine when I'm in charater, but I don't want to meet people if I have to be myself. And on and on...

I've heard every classifications reasons for not enjoying meeting people including the old faithful "I'm shy." The bottom line is, it's necessary for your career, so instead of filling your head with reasons you don't wa"nt to meet people, ask yourself, "Who can I meet today, whose life I can change for the better?" Ask better questions and you'll get better results.

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

question 156: What's better: calling a person or emailing a person?

In earlier questions I talked about creating rapport and communication. I wrote that communication is broken down by: 7% the words you say, 38% the tonality with which you say them, and the rest of the 55% is your physiology. Therefore, the best way to communicate with someone is in person, then by telephone, and lastly by email (I'm sure you've had a situation where someone misunderstood an email because they couldn't "hear your tonality" and didn't realize you were making a joke).

That said, whenever possible, ask the person how they, specifically, like to be contacted.

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Question 155: I got offered a job on location for a long time (6mths-yr). How do I work it out with my family?

First, congratulations on the job offer! Now you have what I refer to as an A-List problem. Some people relocate their family for the year and rent out their local place. If that's not an option for you, the alternative is to have your family come out to visit, you come home to visit when possible, Skype, and most of all... good communication.

1. Talk to other people in your classification who go on long location jobs and ask them what they did right and what they'd do differently.

2. Ask your wife and kids what their concerns are about you being gone for so long, so you can put their minds at ease.

3. Make a plan for a family (or spouse) vacation when you return*
*planning a vacation can sometimes be a work magnet. Let your family know this in advance so you set it up to be a win/win. If you go on vacation it will be great, if you get another job it will be great.

Location work can be a great strain on a family if there isn't good communication. There are plenty of other jobs in this country where a spouse/parent is on the road for long periods of time like truckers, fishermen, pilots, military, and cruise ship personnel. In those careers, the family knows what to expect. It's important that entertainment industry families know what to expect, as well.

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

Monday, August 3, 2009

question 161: What do I do with the contacts I met at ITV Festival?

You follow up with them. It takes 3 conversations to create a relationship. You've met them once, now you have to have 2 substantial conversations (where you don't ask for work), over the next two months, in order to maintain the relationship.

Contact them regarding something you spoke about or ask for some business advice and guidance. If anyone asked you to send something to them, be sure to do it!

Keep notes on your contacts and conversations.

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

Question 154: How old do you have to be to break into the business and do you need a degree?

No, you do not need a degree for most areas of the entertainment industry. People who tend to have them are executives, agents, and creative people whose parents made them go to college to have something "practical to fall back on." If you know specifically what you want to do in the entertainment industry, it is very important for you to train in your skill of choice and be up to date on all technology that applies to your craft. You also need to invest in understanding the "business side of the business." That's where I come in www.theGreenlightCoach.com

How old do you have to be? That depends on what area of the entertainment industry you want to be in. Infants and beyond can be actors. Most other classifications that pay, have labor laws that pertain to age. I'm making an assumption that you're young, so I will say, that if you have the opportunity to intern as a youth, it's a great opportunity. If you want to be more specific about what you're interested in doing, I can give you a more specific answer.

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

Sunday, August 2, 2009

question 153: Does the same apply to TV? There's so much to watch and so much of it's bad!

This was a comment/question in response to yesterday's question. And the answer is a little different. The answer in TV is: YES definitely. That said, you don't have to TIVO and watch every episode of every show (except 24. YOU MUST watch every episode). But, you have to watch just enough to know the genre, pace, characters, style, etc. (pertaining to your classification).

If you're a camera operator and you get called in to day play on Desperate Housewives, it's going to be a very different style of operating than 24 (yes, that's 2 plugs for my favorite show). An actor going in to audition for House is different than auditioning for MadMen.

Even in reality, there's a difference between editing The Housewives of Orange County and Top Chef. Like yesterday's post, it's research. It's your job to know what you're talking about in your area.

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

question 152: I work in movies but I don't go see movies. Is that bad?

I suppose it depends on a few factors. I recently coached an editor who spends most of his time in a dark room editing movies and in his spare time wants to do something else. Can you blame him? That said, you are the CEO of your company and you have to make the best decisions for your company. If the CEO of McDonald's wasn't staying current on what was going on in the fast food industry, he wouldn't have kept it competitive. Now McD's serves coffee drinks and "healthy choices." So, do you want to be up to date and current in your industry?

I love romantic comedies, but to me, the classics are Pretty Woman, Working Girl, and While You Were Sleeping. When some of my clients hear this, they reprimand me for missing the classics of their generations. If I'm going to continue to market myself as the "romantic comedy girl," I have to at least give these older classics a chance (even though nothing can beat Pretty Woman!)

Unless you have a specific reason, like the editor, why wouldn't you support the people and the medium that keeps you working?

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