Monday, May 14, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1161: How do I meet the right people when I don't live in Los Angeles?

An actor from Florida recently asked if I could help him break into the industry. I told him that I help people to help themselves and then I asked him what he thought his obstacle was to breaking in. His answer was "meeting the right people."

Because he's an actor, I'm going to answer his classification specifically, so for those of you who aren't actors, just insert your classification and ask yourself the same questions.

And just so all of you understand, I am a coach, which means, like in sports, I can coach you but I can't play the game for you. In other words, I can answer your general questions here, I offer products and services on my website for you to invest in for your career development, and beyond that, it's ultimately up to you to implement. There are no "quick fixes" or "magic bullets" to making it in entertainment. Not only must you master your craft, you must also treat your career like it's your company of which you are the CEO. And if you want to hire a consultant for your company, that's where I come in. The business tools that the CEO of Under Armour or Steve Madden (voted top small businesses on Forbes 2010 list) use are the same tools you should be using. If you don't know what they are, that's why I'm here.

Back to meeting the right people. The first thing I would have you do is get specific about "who the right people are for you." You live in Florida and you're an actor. Therefore, the right people are most likely Casting Directors who work in FL, anyone who works on the shows that shoot in FL like Burn Notice and The Glades, and other working actors living in FL.

So your first step is to create a Target List of these people.

Note: If you were thinking "the right people" are Steven Speilberg or J.J. Abrams, think again. While it would be great to know these guys, they are not the "next step people" for you.

The second step is to make the first contact to the people on your Target List. This can be done in a multitude of ways, some being: write to them for mentorship, reach out to them with a personal message on social media, through events and networking, get referrals to them from the people you know.

The third step is to create a relationship. People have to know, like, and trust you before they invest their time into being a part of your success, and to hire you, add 'care about you' to that. It takes 3 conversations to create a relationship, and I suggest you have them within a 3 month period. If you talk to someone once for two hours and they give you career changing advice and you don't call them again for 8 months, chances are they won't exactly remember you, and it's nothing personal. Successful people meet new people all of the time and if they talk to you for two hours, they're talking to a lot of people for two hours.

Now, if you want to start building relationships with people in Los Angeles or New York, you can use the same steps, they will just be done over the phone or through email. I advise that people who eventually plan to move other productions cities grow their contacts there before making the move. In the mean time, being in FL provides plenty of opportunity for an actor to work, so build your credits locally while simultaneously building your business.

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

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