Saturday, July 18, 2009

question 138: Any tips on technology etiquette? I was at a meeting with a guy who kept checking his iPhone.

Well, it sounds like you need to share this blog with him, because anyone who checks his/her iPhone during a meeting without pre-framing it with you that he/she is waiting for an emergency message is just rude! So, here are some tips:

1. Phones: don't answer them, check texts, or check emails, during a meeting, UNLESS you let the person know beforehand that there's an urgent message you're expecting.

TURN THE RINGER OFF, possibly the whole phone if you're on set. You never know how an incoming call/email/text is going to effect equipment during a take.

2. Texting while on set: do it on a break whenever possible. I know you're always looking for the next job, however you want to be careful that you're not perceived as bored or self-absorbed, so try to do it out of eyesight.

3. Email response: you don't have to respond to everyone especially if they haven't given you a reason to respond. If you do plan to get back to them, the sooner the better. And if you can't get back to them as quickly as you'd like, apologize for the lag time. When I had less than 20 clients, I had a 24 hour rule. Now, I couldn't possibly get back to everyone who emails me within 24 hours--- so sorry, if you're still waiting. I do tell clients that if it's a time sensitive issue, to write that in the subject line.

A great tip I read is: think of your technological devices as "crossword puzzles." Anywhere it's acceptable to pull out and work on a crossword puzzle, is okay to use your device.

If you have more specific issues you want addressed, put it in my comments and I'll write about it.

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

question 137: I’ve been trying to relocate to LA, from Scotland. How do I get round the catch 22 situation of requiring a VISA to work in the US...

it continues...
and first needing to secure work in order to get a VISA?

Now, I've coached many people who've moved from other countries, however, I've never had to coach them in regards to a VISA because at the point they were working with me, they were okay to work.

So, I did what I coach my clients to do... I asked others what they knew about it. Here are the two responses I got:

1. Does the Scottsman have a reel on a website? Perhaps that will help him land the job. Get some fan-base.

2. H1 Visas can be obtained, but the applicant needs to prove that they are uniquely qualified to fill the position and their skills are not easily obtained in the local marketplace. They also need to be "Sponsored" by the hiring entity...That means being paid on a W2. After a few years, the applicant can apply for residency. However, if the job ends, the applicant has approx. 60 days to find a new Sponsor or leave the country. In the IT Consulting world many people from India are pay the hiring company to put them, or keep them, on the payroll. It is a loophole in the system. I hope this helps...

After reading the second response, I wonder if the person who asked this question can get a job doing something other than directing/DPing/editing, in order to work in the US. Then create relationships with people who can hire you in your craft while you're here until you have the connections to secure an entertainment job.

My other advice is to reach out to people who've made the transition successfully and find out how they did it. You don't have to know the people, just where to send a letter. Then personalize each one with who you are, what you do, and where you'd like to be. Further explain your question about the catch 22 and ask if they'd be willing to correspond with you to tell you how they did it successfully.

If anyone else has a helpful comment, please let me know so I can share it.

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

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...