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

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 636: In a funk? What do you plan to do differently in 2011?

This is a question for you my loyal reader, because even though it's the holiday season, when people are supposed to be at their jolliest, I'm not finding that to be the case.

Many of my clients are postponing their appointments until after the new year because they want to "save them" for a fresh start. There seems to be a feeling of discouragement in the air. Historically, this has been a slower time for our industry. It's when the studios pretty much shut down, and then it trickles down. Shows go on hiatus, scripts stop being bought...

But it's temporary. Things will pick up again. So, if you're one of those people who are in a funk right now, why? Are you disappointed by your results of 2010 and therefore find it hard to kick back and enjoy the holidays? Or do you feel hopeless about 2011, because why should anything change for you?

Either way, today is today. Tomorrow will be tomorrow. Time will keep passing by, so why not make a choice of one risk you are committed to taking next year, and three business habits you commit to implement next year, and then sit back and let go... and of course, allow yourself to enjoy the holidays!

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, November 29, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 635: How do I create a "Brand" for my acting career?

This was asked by an actress but works for any classification. I get asked about branding a lot. After interviewing Diane Farr for my Mentor/Elite Program, she made a great point about finding your voice before branding yourself. Your "voice" becomes your brand. Diane 'looks like Barbie but talks like Ken.' That's quite a specific and visual brand, and it is clearly her voice in everything she's done, past and present; a host on Love Line, a series regular on many television shows as a beautiful and tough talking FBI Agent, Firefighter, & Cop, author of The Girl Code, article contributer to countless magazines & newspapers, and blogger.

Diane's voice is clear in everything she does, that's how she branded herself. Now, she has the talent and connections to play other roles, and write heart wrenching stories about drunk driving, but even then, there's always a little Diane in it, which is what makes her unique and in turn, fascinating to watch and read.

So if you want to brand yourself successfully, start by modeling people who have done it well.

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, November 28, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 634:what is the best way to submit myself to new agents in this day and age of digital media?

The question continued: Email w/ photos and video attachments? Email with link to my website that has everything, or the old fashioned hard copy package?

Different agencies are going to have different preferences. Some agencies are really into "being green" and others are "old fashioned." So the best thing you can do is to make a target list of the agencies you're interested in and call each one to ask how they prefer to be solicited.

If you get someone really nice on the phone, you can tell them your type and ask who the best agent is to submit to. If you get someone not-so-nice, who tells you they're not accepting submissions, say, "thank you and for future knowledge, what does your agency prefer, green or hard copy?"

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, November 27, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 633: Is it appropriate to send home-baked goods as holiday gifts?

It depends on how well you know the people you're sending the home made baked goods to. If I were to get cookies from someone I barely know, I have to admit I wouldn't eat them. If my close friend or client gave me cookies (and they were gluten & sugar free) I would eat them.

So........ the thought is good, but I hope you have less cynical people to send them to than me.

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, November 26, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 632:Is it safe to take time off from now until Jan 2nd?

Is it safe? It depends on what you'll be doing; skydiving, race car driving, traveling to a dangerous country?

Or do you mean, might you miss a work call? You may, you may not. Is this the way you want to live your life? How would you feel if you didn't do what you wanted for the next six weeks and no call for work came in? On the other hand, if you miss a work call while taking time off, will you beat yourself up forever?

I can't answer this question for you. Only you can decide.

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, November 25, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 631: What's your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?

This wasn't a question sent to me by one of you, it was a Facebook status shared by a friend who got about 54 responses. Here's why that's important (but first my favorite tradition):

My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is eating twice. I love Thanksgiving food, and for some reason it's one of those holidays that although called "Thanksgiving Dinner," always winds up being served between 3-4pm. In my book that's lunch. But it's all good because, while I do stuff myself, I don't have to go too far, because I know I'm going to get to eat it all again around 9pm. Then I'm stuffed. That doesn't stop me from having it for breakfast though. And when it's all gone, I wonder, "why can't I just make these dishes when it's not Thanksgiving?" I resolve to do it, but never do.

1. It's important, because people, myself included, like to share their stories, hence the 54 responses (which I'm sure have doubled since I read it this morning).

2. If you know that people respond to these types of questions, you can ask them on your FB wall and get to know your "friends" better. If you're working to know your entertainment industry "friends" better, you will change the question to: What have you done on Thanksgiving, when you were on a job and away from home?

See how easy it is to connect with people in a deeper way?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I'm grateful that you're out there reading my posts and sending me questions so I can be of service to you.

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, November 24, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 630:My project is done but the music and I don't have $. How important is the music in a film?

Uh boy! Do you really want to open these flood gates, because my composers are going to eat you alive, not to mention any director worth his weight.

In fact, (and don't think I'm angry because I'm not. I want you to feel safe submitting questions to me, this is just tough love...) answer me this, and you'll answer your own question:

Would Jaws have had the same impact if Steven Spielberg ran out of money and had no music for his oncoming shark?

I rest my case...

But wait there's more, so much more! The stingers from Seinfeld are epic, they still play in my head. Someone composed those! And sound effects and foley, this is ALL part of the sound of a project and how the sound in turn makes you feel, and ultimately how you feel about a project determines if it's going to be a hit or a miss.

There is a piano piece, I believed played by Jim Brickman though the music is credited to James Horner, for the film A Beautiful Mind. This piece has the power to transform me in an instant, to bring tears to my eyes, to break my heart, and somehow uplift me at the same time. It's as close to perfect as a piece of music gets for me. So incredibly beautiful and moving. Literally, if I was going to be stuck on a desert island and could only bring one song with me, this would be the one... no lyrics, but it speaks to me, and the conversation always changes.

Perhaps you can find a gifted artist who needs a break and would work with you... what I'm saying is, don't give up because of money, it's too important.

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, November 23, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 629:What is the best way to write a letter to start a relationship with a CD, director or agent and...

... not make it about me, me, me?

The answer to that is make it about them, them, them! When you are approaching someone to begin a relationship, you want to offer help, or ask for something they can say yes to, which means: DON'T ASK FOR WORK or A JOB in the first few contacts. Build the relationship first.

So tell them in your initial letter: who you are, where you are in your career and where you want to be.
Then: Tell them why you're writing to them (what you want or can do for them) and WHY THEM PERSONALLY. This is where you make it about them, them, them.

Remember to give your contact information as well as a date when you plan to follow up with 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!

Monday, November 22, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 628: Should I tell people when I've worked on a movie I think is cheesy?

This question was sent to me after I posted my social media status declaring "I love the cheesy holiday movies on the cable networks like Holiday in Handcuffs with Melissa Joan Heart and Mario Lopez. I'm DVRing all of them"

One of my Facebook friends (Charles Sydnor, an AMAZING composer, with a really cool website) shared one that he'd worked on. He did the music and was proud of it. So the answer, in my opinion, is, yes, if you are proud of the work you did on it. If you did your best focus pulling on a cheesy movie, you didn't write it, but dang was that focus sharp!

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, November 21, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 627:How often should I send out my headshot to the same casting director? How many should I start off with?

So this is two questions. The answer to the first is, (and this is based on the majority of CDs who have answered this question) you send a head shot once. They want you to save your money and the majority of them want to save trees. That's why so many cast through online service, so they don't have to send hundreds of headshots to the recycle bin each day.

Once a Casting Director has your headshot, unless you're submitting it for a certain role, you wouldn't send a headshot as follow up. Instead, you send a postcard or a note. Remember, there should be a purpose to your follow up; something special, unique, or a question. Just sending postcards every week to say "Hi" isn't as productive as creating a memorable campaign.

Question two, is regarding how many Casting Directors to send to. You want to target the shows you're right for. And when I say "right," I know many actors go into 'chameleon mode' where they can play any role, but if you're 35 and not a character actress, targeting a Disney show isn't as productive as targeting a show that features people your age, weekly.

Because I work with my clients to build strong relationships with people before asking for work, I suggest you start with 20 offices to get well acquainted with and then expand from there.

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, November 20, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 626:How do I maintain my focus on my dream when I need a full time job to survive?

The statement that you need a full time job to support yourself tells me you are not able to make enough money to sustain yourself working in your "dream job." Being the case, something is missing; contacts, enough people who can hire you, skill level, union status, etc.

While you are working your full time job, you can spend two hours a day (either after work, on a lunch hour, etc.) filling what's missing. In other words, if you need more relationships, you can spend the next year creating relationships with 120 new people (that's 10 people/month). There are many ways to do this, and 10 is a low number EVEN with a full time job.

If the thought of this overwhelms you, schedule it out. Start with lower numbers at first until you get into a groove, and then adjust as necessary. The amount of time you have is equal to everyone else. The amount of energy you have to attend to your business in addition to your job is up to your level of motivation. How badly do you want your dream to come true?

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, November 19, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 625:When does it makes sense to incorporate as an actor?

For this I'm going to refer you to an expert, my friend, Jessica Eaves Mathews, at Business Brilliance University I refer all of my entertainment clients to her. She is a lawyer who deals with this specifically. She is also an entrepreneur so she knows what you're going through as the "CEO" of your company, which is why she doesn't charge "typical lawyer" fees. She's like the Legal Zoom for people like us, only more personal. And in most cases, she's not even acting as a lawyer, she's simply advising you on how to set up the best foundation for your business.

I can tell you that whether you're an actor or any other classification in the industry working freelance, there are MANY important reasons to incorporate, so you should really look into it. For most people, they are afraid that it costs thousands of dollars to incorporate. It doesn't have to. Contact Jessica EM. If you have any trouble reaching her through her site, email me and I'll help you out.


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, November 18, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 624: Should I be sending out headshots or postcards to follow up a meeting with an agent or casting director?

Neither. If you had a meeting, I'm assuming that you already gave them a headshot. Your first follow-up should be a personalized thank you note. You are not asking for work, you are simply thanking the person for the meeting. Be sure to mention something that was said that had an impact on you, and any personal things you connected on. If the card reflects something you spoke about, even better.

I don't suggest putting your picture in the card, just write your name clearly. the reason for this is that you want it to be a genuine thank you. If the person forgot who you are but is touched by your words, he/she will look you up on IMDB (so make sure your pictures are up there and your credits are updated.)

Then you can follow up again a week or two later with a postcard, with a "marketing reason" for sending it.


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, November 17, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 623:unsolicited scripts are not read, but is it true that a producer with a pitch can get the meet?

I'm not 100% sure I get your question. I think what you're asking is if there's a difference between trying to send an unsolicited script and making an unsolicited pitch. And the answer is no, it is not true. Anyone can say they're a producer with a pitch. When I worked in development, if a writer or a director didn't come to us through an agent/manager/entertainment lawyer, they had to sign a release form. By doing this, the production company is protecting themselves in case your idea is similar to something they already have or something else they may do in the future.

It is the same with an unsolicited script. If for some reason a company is intrigued by your idea and someone wants to read your script, they will ask you to sign a release first.

So, yes, as a producer you can get a pitch meeting and get a script read, but you will have to sign a release. Before signing it, you should have it looked over by a lawyer.

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, November 16, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 622:Do you put your theatrical and your commercial headshots on a postcard or keep them separate?

Because theatrical and commercial casting directors are completely different, your postcards should be completely different. There's a reason why you have different headshots- because you're marketing yourself differently. You want to look a certain way when submitting for Criminal Minds or Law & Order Los Angeles. Don't confuse them by sending them a happy, bright-eyed, smiley picture, when they want you to play a killer.

This is just my personal opinion, and if you asked 20 Casting Directors, you may get 10 who say they don't care, but you may not. Perhaps it's a good reason to call different casting agencies and poll them. You don't have to use your name, just play the "new kid in town" card and ask them what their opinion on the matter is. You will probably get the Casting Assistant on the phone. Note that the CA is the person who gets your postcard first, so is the perfect person to ask.

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