Thursday, May 31, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1178: Do I have to send a cover letter with a resume?

Unless it's someone who knows you really well and says, "Hey, send me over your resume," then YES you must have a cover letter. And more than that, the cover letter should make you stand out from the rest of the pile.

Preferably, you want to have a referral name that will be recognized automatically getting yours pulled from the pile. But if you don't, there is a art to crafting a cover letter that stands out.

Otherwise, you're just one of hundreds of people sending in your cold resume with a standard cover letter. Odds are the amount of time you're putting into sending these is not paying off in the same way that spending less time on focused work would.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach,
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1177: Help I'm at a party right now and I want to approach an actor without seeming like a fan.

I feel like I can hear you whispering. Okay, pretend I'm one of those bugs in your ear talking you through this. Walk over to the actor and ask either 1. how did he come to be here? 2. If he's having a good time? 3. If he knows if there is a secret 2nd bathroom.

Work with me here, I don't know the logistics, so go with whatever doesn't seem obvious. The third should make him laugh because everyone knows that it's a pain to stand on line waiting for the bathroom at a party and there's always the bathroom no one is privy to.

Then, if he's friendly, acknowledge him and either 1. tell him what you do in the industry 2. even if he's a film actor, ask if he's looking forward to season 2 of Suits (or if he is a she, ask if she thought the season finale of Grey's Anatomy jumped the shark) 3. Tell him you consider this a rare opportunity that you don't want to miss and seeing as he is as successful as he is, you know he understands, then ask him, if he could give you most impacting lesson he has had in the industry that you could learn from.

Wherever the conversation goes, it should somehow lead to #3 before the conversation ends. Then thank him for his time and say that you're going to take his advice and follow up with him in the future to let him know how he helped you. Then shake his hand, look him in the eyes and say, "so remember me, my name is ____ and I look forward to telling you about my success."

Good luck. This blog will self-destruct in 60 seconds.... no it won't.

For more tips and articles by top entertainment industry career coach, The Greenlight Coach,
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, May 29, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1176: Which city has the best potential in terms of finding a job (LA, NYC or Chicago)?

At the moment Louisiana is the place to be... just saying'

In order of entertainment "capitals" it goes: Hollywood #1, New York #2, Chicago #3. That said, the number of people pursuing careers are relative. The majority come to LA, next NY, and then Chicago.

Which city has the best potential? That's not really a question that can be answered. In which city do you have the strongest relationships? If none, I'd say one certain advantage LA has over the others is that everyone here is 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon to someone in the industry. Your gardner may mow Brad Pitt's lawn, your gynecologist could be married to the producer of Twilight, and your next door neighbor who you walk your dog with could wind up winning an Emmy when you didn't even know he was a director.

New York and Chi Town, you never know who you're walking next to.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1175: Is it true that if I take a vacation I'll get called for work?

The question continued...
"because I haven't taken a vacation in two years, nor have I gotten much work. I really need a vacation!"

Considering I just returned from a mini-vacation in Savannah and feel wonderfully rejuvenated, I'm going to answer this question with a story...
When I graduated college, my graduation present was a trip to Club Med. At the time, it was the BEST WEEK OF MY LIFE. I really wanted to go and be a Club Med Counselor... BUT, the time commitment was 6 months. I was convinced that if I missed 6 months of pursuing acting, my career would be over. I did not become a counselor for Club Med. I did not book any acting jobs during that time or the four years after.

I can look back now and see what a small chunk of my life those 6 months were. Who knows the memories I could have created.

I'm not really one for shoulda coulda wouldas, so that said, take a vacation. Create some memories. This is your life. If you get called for a job and you're out of town, refer someone you know. You get a vacation and the chance to help someone else. You only live once. Enjoy it.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1174: Just worked on a show, when is too soon to send a TYN don't want to 'seem over anxious and needy actor'

You should send a thank you note the day you leave set.

Sending a thank you note is an act of appreciation and gratitude,

There's nothing needy about it and too few people do it, so those who do stand out.

Just be sure it is a stand alone thank you not, no "hoping to work with you again soon" or anything like that.

Share a moment that you loved, while working on the show, and compliment them.

Do not attach business cards or any other type of promotional tools.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1173: What do people really want to see in a reel?

It depends on who's looking at it. There are many types of people who will look at your reel. I will address 3 types:

The first type is the person who knows what constitutes talent in your classification. This person will be looking at your talent & skill. If it's there, then it may or may not matter if you have recognizable talent/projects on your reel.

The second type doesn't know the nuances of what you do (ex: a writer* looking at a DP's reel). This person is looking for recognizable talent/projects, something that appeals to his/her sensibilities, and his/her medium.

The third type is looking for "his/her movie" on your reel. In other words, if his/her movie takes place in the interior of a restaurant and you're reel is comprised of a montage of interiors in a bedroom, a car dealership, a bathroom, a classroom, and a gym locker room, he/she will wonder, "Yes, but can you do a restaurant?" What are you gonna do? I know a 5-time Oscar nominee that encountered this, which leads me to...

You can't please everybody so:
1. Put recognizable talent/projects up front
2. Get other qualified people's feedback, because sometimes your opinion is biased
3. Research your competition's reels so that the length and style of your reel is current

*disclaimer: there are many writers who have a great knowledge of lighting

Friday, May 25, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1172: I'm trying to get work on TV but people aren't returning my calls. What's wrong?

You're not necessarily doing anything wrong. This is the hiring season for television, so people are really busy. If you're leaving messages about being hired, they most likely "got the message," but if they don't have an opening for you, it can be uncomfortable to return a call where they have to tell you, "I don't have anything for you." And if you're not asking for work, you're just "touching base," you may not be a priority because they are trying to get hired or doing their hiring.

That said, be conscious of the messages you're leaving; your words, tonality, requests, etc.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1171: I don't have the reel to get work as a DP, but I'm afraid to take other work for money. Am I wrong?

The people who hire DPs are not the same people who hire you in other classifications. I don't know if the work you're referring to is within the camera department (AC, OP), as a gaffer, or something else. Unless you are working for money as another head of department (Editor, Production Designer, etc.) who are also hired by the people who hire DPs, you're okay.

Here's what I suggest:
1. Keep making money in your classification to support yourself and save for the future

2. Build relationships with the people who will know you and hire you as a DP

3. Build your reel as a DP

4. Keep the two separate unless you are 100% sure that your current crew is supportive of your desire to transition

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...