Monday, May 9, 2011

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 800:How do you pitch a character for yourself to a show?

The question was more detailed: "I went to the Glee Event at Paramount last week. The producers/writers were talking about adding new characters to the show for next season. It made me think of a character. How do you pitch a character? Who do you pitch it to? What's the proper way and more important what's the worst way?

First, let me say that all shows are different, so the "who to pitch to" is on a show to show basis. Which is why one good resources is

1. To get TV writer/producer mentors if you don't know how to get a mentor check out The Greenlight Mentor Program.

Here are some more ideas:

2. Through an agent if you have one, who has a relationship with someone on the show.

3. Through referrals from people you know to the people they know who work on shows. Now keep in mind that many writer/producers can't listen to unsolicited pitches because if they come up with a similar character they don't want to be sued.

4. Write a spec script for a DIFFERENT show, using the character you created. So find a teen show and write an off beat spec that includes your singing character. The reason I say write a script for a different show is because, if you write a Glee script, they most likely won't read it. But if you write a fantasy 90210 where someone trips on payote and has a "musical vision" with your character in it... could be cutting edge... or could be lame like the Glee induced Grey's Anatomy Singing episode GAG! So get some feedback from good writers before submitting it.

5. Create a video blog or webseries about your character. I'm doing a FREE seminar on June 9th from 2-5 in Los Angeles on just this topic. "Creating your Own Webseries" I will do a 'fill in the blank' content creation workshop so all you have to do when they leave will be Press Record! Annnnnnd.... I'm going to have People Magazine contributor Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, the dream coach to the stars, join me, to help you connect with your creative writing muse. It's for actors, writers, and anyone who wants to put a team together to create web content to brand themselves. If you're an actor who can't write, maybe you'll learn how OR maybe you bring a writer with you to the seminar. The beauty is you don't have to be a writer. There will be details in my newsletter tomorrow, so if you don't get it, sign up for free at If you know you're interested now, send an email to SUBJECT LINE Webseries seminar RSVP

Now, as far as the worst thing you can do: Be unprofessional. No one wants a "stalker" or someone who hasn't done their research. Don't send unsolicited material. Don't do 'crazy antics' to get attention, while it's important to take risks, they should be calculated risks and representing yourself in a way that gets a producer's attention as someone he/she wouldn't want on their set is not good. Do not show up at their house or production office in your costume and start performing. Note: these are my opinions. You may hear a cooky story about someone who dressed up in full knight armor and got a job on a period piece, but these stories are 1 in a million, and I don't coach to those odds.

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

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...