Sunday, July 31, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 882: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?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 881: Should I lie about my age?

Yes!!! Just kidding.... no I'm not... yes I am.. not, yes.. no... Okay enough of the Eddie Izzard impersonation. Should you lie about your age? I always dreaded the day I'd get this question.

Here's what I say (with irresistible charm), "I'm young enough to tell you and old enough to know better."

Some people will know when you get a job and you have to give your drivers license (like agents, etc.) The question is when do you tell them? Before or after you sign on the dotted line.

Look, plenty of people do it. Is it right for you? Only you know the answer to that. Do people judge you by your age? Some do and some don't. You can't predict. Borrow my line and pray they let you get away with it.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 880: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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 879: I've been looking for work as a PA and I wonder if you have any advice.

PA work is usually the easiest to get because people are willing to take a chance on someone to do their coffee runs and grunt work. So here are my suggestions:

1. Send out an email to everyone you know (Blind CC) and let them know you are looking for PA work. Ask if they can directly help you (hire you) or if they know someone to introduce you to. This person may work on a set or in an office that may need a PA or this person may in turn, know someone else who does. And so goes the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

2. Post on your Facebook page that you are looking for PA work.

3. Ask your entertainment friends on Facebook to put in their status that they have a friend who is looking for PA work and how to contact you.

The bottom line is, even to get a PA job, it's going to be through the people you know. Because you live in Hollywood, tell EVERYONE you're looking. You never know who your meditation teacher, your Trader Joes buddy, or your bus driver knows. Keep an open mind and be willing to ask!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 878: Any suggestions on Philly vs NY? cont'd...

I live in a small city outside of Philly, my plan was to work the Philly theatre/film scene for a while then possibly move to NY. Problem is the Philly market is very scarce right now, so I'm debating if I should just move to NY or wait till I can actually afford to move there? I have more connections in NY than i do in Philly. Any suggestions?

My suggestion is dependent on the connections you have in NY. Are these connection with people who can and will hire you if you move? If not, my suggestion is that you create a plan for a move. That plan should include a budget plan, (including how much money you need saved before making your move), a target list of people who can hire you whom you will take the time to create relationships with before you move to NY, and the research of entertainment industry networking organizations in NY. You can make the trip to NY once a month to network.

It is very expensive to live in NY and if you don't have a plan for survival, the stress will hurt you more than living there will help you. The good news is that relationships can be created from Philly by phone, SKYPE, and email.

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

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 878: You commented on Facebook "tech-etiquette." What are the rules?

What are the rules to Facebook tech-etiquette? I have no rules, only opinions. And here are my opinions:

1. Facebook is a great resource (and now a necessity since people are asking you to list the number of Friends you have on your resume) for creating business relationships in our industry.

2. Treat people with the same respect on Facebook with which you would treat them in person. If you wouldn't be sneaky and calculating in person, don't do it on FB.

An aside: what I was referring to in my Facebook status about "tech-etiquette" was in regards to a "FB friend" who I did not actually know, posting a link to his business on my wall.

First of all, I think it's rude to post a link for your business, without permission, on someone else's wall. But second of all, and what I found most offensive, was that he tied in my previous status in order to do it. I posted that my mom baked cookies for me. He then posted on my wall something like: I'm going to a concert with my kids tonight, how would cookies tie into that? And if I can help you with your business let me know (with his link attached). HELLO!!! TRANSPARENT!!! If he genuinely wanted to help me he should have sent me a private email.

So what does this have to do with you? Don't go on other people's FB pages and post a link to YOUR reel/website without their permission.

3. People don't necessarily check their FB inbox/page as often as you do. So if you need something in a timely manner don't contact them through FB. If it's your only link to them, don't take it personally if it takes them a while to get back to you. Personally, I have over 1000 messages in my FB inbox that I have not read or responded to. I get 300/day to my business email account. I just don't have time to correspond with people on FB. Not personal...

4. What is FB good for then? Building relationships with people to whom before you had no access. I've built business relationships with people on FB, whom I'd heard about for years. In the past year I've met many of them in person.

How did I build these relationship? I post statuses and links that are helpful to others and informative about me (ie: I don't tell them when I'm going to the bathroom or that I'm "just being"). I post pictures that represent what I like and what others can relate to (ie: I have dogs, I like 80's hairbands, I like macaroni & cheese) because these are conversation/comment starters. I help others by posting job leads. I comment on other people's statuses that I relate to (I will jump on any Anchorman quote status I see!!).

5. Know your audience! If you have a mix of professional and personal friends, be aware of "who you're being on FB." While your friends may find it funny that you went to a "sexy lingerie party," that's probably TMI for your business associates.

And no, I don't think you need separate FB pages for your business and for your personal. I think it makes it too confusing. If you are an overactive party person who enjoys over-indulging in drugs, alcohol, sex clubs, and streaking, and must share it with the world... all power to you. Just know that you are narrowing the people who will want to work with you. They may want to party with you, but they won't want to trust you with their 100 million dollar project...

And REALLY remember, that people have long-term memories. So what might be funny to you now at 23 may hurt you in five years when someone remembers your crazy FB antics.

Just my opinions. They could change tomorrow, in which case, I'll blog about it...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 877: What is the fastest someone’s gotten a job when working with you?

I think I understand what you’re asking and the answer is: within 24 hours of making their first appointment, three of my clients had to reschedule because they got a job from using the preliminary tool I give all of my one-on-one clients before they come in for the first meeting.

I’m curious as to why you ask? Do you want fast results? If so, what actions are you taking? My clients, who want results, get them as easily and quickly as they take the right actions. In other words, do the right things get the results you want.

Another shift in mindset you may want to consider is that comparing yourself to others is wasted time. Shift your focus to yourself; what are you doing? Is it working? If not, what you can do differently? Focus on successful people who can mentor you and give you the tools you need to get your desired outcomes.

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

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 876: How do I reinvent myself as a director?

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?

I need more information on you as an individual and it would be a coaching call. The answers in this blog post are general ways to change classifications, and they work.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 875: 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 too.

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!!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 874: 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.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 873: Seriously, it's summer and everyone's on hiatus or on vacation. How do I get motivated to network?

Go with the slow summer flow, my friend. Take the pressure off and enjoy the networking process. How you ask? Like you say, many people are on hiatus, so a great way to network is to get them all together. Plan a get-together at the beach. If your contacts have families, make it a family day. If your contacts are competitive, make it a beach volley-ball day.

If you don't live near the beach, invite your contacts over for a bring-your-own_____ BBQ. Or host it if you'd like. Don't have the space? Organize a night where everyone can cool off in an air-conditioned movie theater. Then go out for coffee and dessert afterwards.

I think you get the picture. Get creative, have fun, and be cool this summer...

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...