Monday, February 22, 2010

entertainment industry coach question 357:I have a relative in the biz who I don't know. Can I call him up for help?

You have an inherent relationship because he is family, and therefore, yes, you can just call him up. The key is what you say when you call. DO NOT say that you are his cousin/nephew/half-sister who wants to break into the industry and can he give you work.

Instead, introduce yourself. Bond on the family level for the first minute or two (or longer if he steers the conversation that way). Then tell him you are breaking into the industry and wanted to know if he'd be open to giving you advice. Because he's family you can offer to take him to lunch or dinner (if he's local).

Treat him professionally by being respectful of his time and make sure you follow up. My first roommate in LA had a powerful Hollywood cousin. He met with him once, got some great advice, and then never called him again. Not only is that not cool for his "business," but he missed out on the opportunity to have a relationship with family when he was across the country from his own. Bad move.

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

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