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

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 514: How do kids/teens get acting jobs?

I have two very eager Twitter Followers with lots of questions about getting into acting. One excited young lady would like to be on the Disney Channel and the other is a mom who wants to get her son into the biz. Because they are both starting from scratch, I will give some basic starter-uppers:

1. Location: One lives in Alberta, Canada the other in NY, although I don't know how far from NYC. For Canadians, visit ACTRA and for my young New Yorker, you want to go to SAG. The Unions will give you and your parents valuable information, list of agents, and advice on steering away from scams that take advantage of artists looking "to be discovered." Many parents whose children have an agent, take them to Los Angeles during pilot season to audition for television pilots. Although these days it's possible to put yourself on video and send the link to Casting Offices.

2. Agents: Is it important to have one? Yes. They give you the "stamp of approval," have connections with studios and casting offices, and have access to the breakdown services that announce the roles for auditions. Is it something that you go after first? Not necessarily. You may want to research the "business side of the business" first, so you can approach an agent in the most knowledgeable and professional way.

3. Headshots: If you visit IMDB.com and put in a actor/actress' name (not the most famous ones because they don't need headshots. Try a secondary character on a show you like) you will see a a picture. This is a headshot. Click HERE to see mine. They are submitted to agents and casting directors. These are NOT glamour shots. You want to look like your headshot. Nothing upsets people more, than when they call you in based on your picture and it looks nothing like you. Call an agent and ask what they require as far as a headshot if you don't live in a place where there are professional photographers. They may suggest you send some personal photos and if they want to work with you, they may make arrangements for you to work with a photographer they know.

4. Unions: I mentioned them in #1. Unions protect child actors. They are very informative and have business representatives and member services departments who can answer questions before you make any decisions.

5. Attitude: While there are union regulations that monitor child actors' work hours and study time, child/teen actors are expected to be professional, know their lines, be directable, and have a good attitude. While acting looks like fun (and it is), it's also hard work. There are many adults doing jobs that you won't understand. Their jobs and reputations are on the line if a shot/scene isn't done on time. Therefore, they are depending on you to know what you're doing.

There is a lot more to learn. Obviously I can't fit this all in on a tweet, so feel free to visit my website at www.TheGreenlightCoach.com. There is another blog there, as well as the 513 questions answered before this one. I'm here to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources.

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Friday, July 30, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 513:Hi Coach, did you have anything to do with Project Greenlight?

I do not. In the entertainment industry the term "greenlight" refers to getting the go ahead on a project. Everyone wants the "greenlight" for their project. Therefore, as a career coach for entertainment industry professionals, who relate to the term "greenlight," I chose the name because I help them "greenlight their careers."

PS I loved the show Project Greenlight and had many clients who worked on it in different capacities.


entertainment industry coach Question 512: I have an idea for an episode of a show that I'd like to present to the producers, how?

That's taboo. When people want to write for a show, they give a spec of a different show. Unless you get a pitch meeting with them to pitch your idea. They wouldn't be allowed to read a spec script of their own show. Reason being, what if they had a similar story line already in the works. You could say they read your spec or pitched your idea and they stole it. There's a lot of politics around discussing an idea for a show with the show producers. That's why most people do it through agents. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just saying that the majority of the time, that's how its done.

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 511:How do I get my own cooking show?

Other than trying out for Food Network's "The Next Food Network Star?" If you have a really strong hook and no connections at all, I would suggest getting yourself a cheap video camera (like a Flip) and shoot 3-7 minute webisodes. The Flip camera plugs right into your computer and directly uploads the videos to YouTube. You can create your own You Tube Channel and then promote it on social media. Create buzz and who knows...

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 510: Should a college student be in LA or stay in Vermont where there are no distractions?

The question read, "This question is for a friend I met on set yesterday. She is a 19 yr old just in town for the summer she is interested in staying here and transferring to La City College rather than going back to Bennington college in Vermont to complete her education. She has been out to LA the last couple summers doing extra work and taking classes. Last summer an agent told her to stay in town, but she decided to return to school. Do you think it's a better idea for her to study theatre in Vermont where there's no distractions or stay here and be closer to the action?"

Well, I didn't go to school in Vermont or LA, but I can tell you, no matter where you go to school, if you want to be distracted, there's always a way. So, let's leave distractions out of the equation. The bottom line is, does she want a college degree to fall back on or does she want to be in Los Angeles splitting between her studies and getting a jump on her acting career through networking? It's a really big decision, one that she will have to make by weighing the pros and cons. I can tell her that there are ways to create relationships from Vermont, it's different than creating them in LA. I'd have to know more about why she's torn, why it's not an obvious decision for her in order to coach her to come to her own decision.

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Monday, July 26, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 509: How do I deal with producers changing their mind after I've been hired?

The question read: I was hired last week via a phone interview for a job. I got a call yesterday saying that the producers changed their mind and decided to go with someone with more credits than I have. I was a bit stunned. What is the best way to deal with a situation like that? I don't want to be like a deer in headlights nor do I want to be the person who screams their head off at them. Where is the middle ground in a situation like that?

Unfortunately, there's really no way to avoid the "stun." It's human to get excited about a job and then to have the rug pulled out from under you, is disarming. Your best road is always the high road. So, definitely stay clear of the screaming route. The middle ground is to see if there's a way to maintain the relationship. I know it can be hard when you're in the midst of getting an "emotional punch to the gut," BUT I have worked this road with many of my DPs who've had excellent interviews, didn't get the job, and maintained a relationship with the interviewers (producers, directors). This has led to a number of them either getting the second picture, or being brought in on the original picture they'd interviewed for when it didn't work out with the original hire.

You just never know where handling a situation with appreciation and grace can lead to.

Actions to take in this regard:

1. Tell them you're still thrilled that the project is a go and you'd love the opportunity to see how shooting is going (or be invited to a screening, etc).

2. Thank them, wish them the best, and let them know should their circumstances change, and they find themselves needing your assistance in the future, you are happy to jump back on board.

And just for your own sanity... keep a little notebook for all those names to whom you want to "unthank" during your Oscar acceptance speech :-)

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 508: How do I reinvent myself?

As a long-time radio exec and current morning DJ who is trying to reinvent himself at Forty-(mumble) years old...I'm trying to get myself out there to direct episodic TV. Just finished a TV pilot I shot on my own dime that I want to get to the right folks. Have a number of good contacts, but still feel a little...unfocused. What's the best way to start accessing the resources out there.

One of the best resources is mentors. I interviewed a director for Greenlight Mentor Series who moved up from being a Steadi-cam operator. Another came from the movie-of-the-week & promo world. There are many ways to break in, so you want to learn about the politics of it all.

If you have a DGA branch where you live, go in and meet with them. Also, network with their members so you can go with them as guests to DGA events.

You say you have good contacts. You have to be specific about that. Are they people who can hire you as a director, refer you as a director, or something else?

What specifically are you feeling unfocused about? How to direct an episode of network TV? If so, that would be a mentor question. Or are you unsure of how to get your pilot seen by networks?

If you can give me some more details I can better answer your question. (just put the deets in the comment box below)
For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visitwww.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 507: Is it worth it to make my own film with my own money?

You'll never know unless you do it. All I can tell you, as someone who's produced many of my own projects, is that in my experience, each one has led to more opportunities, more exposure, more credibility, and more amazing people that I want to work with over and over again.

I can tell you when I produced my own, I had amazing mentors and I surrounded myself with department heads who were all more knowledgeable than me AND I LISTENED TO THEM. Put your ego aside and do what's best for the project to get the most professional work you can create.

If you can get someone else to produce, someone who's really good at it, that's a great experience to.

Be sure to manage your expectations, which means: decide what you want your outcome to be. If it's to make money, you better have amazing development mentors who can tell you if your script is up to par. You'd better have outstanding talent in every department.

The odds are not on your side as far as being a break out indie, but that doesn't mean you can't be one of the exceptions to the rule if the story is there and the talent is there to back it up.

Good Luck!!!!

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

entertainment industry coach Question 506: Can someone who's worked in the industrial video world transition to tv & film?

You actually have an advantage over the people who want to break in and have zero experience. People transition to all areas of entertainment from all kinds of different industries. Lots of lawyers become writers, cops become actors, and yes, industrial videographers have made the move to tv & film.

Read my previous blogs. It's a lot to catch up on, but not everything will apply to your path so you can skip over those.

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 505: I've been at this for 12 years. How long does it take?!

Correct me if I'm wrong, but this question seems like it's more of a frustration than a question. If you've been at it for twelve years, you know there's no time frame. My question to you is: Have you read my blogs? My newsletters? My book? You've been at "this" 12 years, does "this" include treating your career like a business, to which you've committed at least 5-8 hours per day, 5 days per week, on focused business that moves you forward? Do you have more than 200 contacts? Are more than 40 of them working and in a position to hire you?

Most people I coach who are frustrated, have been doing the same 3-5 things for years, expecting something to click. There is SO much more you can be doing. People who treat their entertainment career as a business, are always trying new strategies. and constantly meeting and building relationships with new people, don't have time to be frustrated-- there's just too much inspiration around them.

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

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

entertainment industry coach Question 504:How would I go about researching agents of composers?

This was a question asked in the comment section of yesterday's blog. The easiest way to find composers' agents, is to use IMDB Pro. You can also check out http://www.theamcl.org/ for more information.

Also try Googling them. I just Googled Hans Zimmer and immediately found: The Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, Inc. (818) 260-85001
For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach, visitwww.TheGreenlightCoachBlog.com

To stay current on The Greenlight Coach's speaking engagements, recommendations, and work success articles, sign up for her free newsletter at the top of the page and get a great bonus 1-hour MP3 on creating powerful business partnerships when you do!