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Friday, August 31, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1270: How do I get back into conversations with people I've been out of touch with?

People are busy. Unless this was a lifelong friend who tried to stay in touch with you and you didn't respond, he/she is not sitting around wondering why you haven't called.

Simply get back in touch. Something made you think of this person, so call and say, "You crossed my mind and it's been such a long time I wanted to reconnect."

If the reason he came to mind is because you saw he is working on a new show, don't ask for work. Thats a turn off. Your connections already have established work relationships. You have to rebuild yours with these people. No matter how badly you need the work, you can really turn a person off if you call them after 3 years and say, Hey, I see you've got a new project. I'm available."

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!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1269: I don't want to be friends with people I work with. I just want to be hired to do my job...

...and have my friends separate. How do I do this?"

I'm the wrong coach to ask this question of because I'm not going to tell you how to do that. I'm going to tell you to change your attitude. I'm not saying you have to be best pals with the people you work with. You don't have to have family barbecues with them and spend your vacations together, but what's wrong with "work friends." For years I worked in offices, and while I didn't socialize with many of my fellow employees outside of the office, I was friends with them at work.

Everything in the entertainment industry takes a LONG time; development, pre-production, production, post. If people have to spend a lot of time together, they prefer to spend that time with people they like. Aren't you likable? If not, like I said, change your attitude. This sounds like a question with a built-in defense mechanism. Open yourself up to the possibility of working with people you like and who like you.

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1268: What's the most embarassing job you've ever taken for supplemental income?

I've answered this before, but it's time again... I was saving this for my first David Letterman appearance, but I suppose I can give all of you "my insiders" the first audience. I had been in Los Angeles for two years working as a waitress and decided, "That's it! If I'm going to be working and not getting auditions, I may as well be working in a place where I'm meeting people in high places."

So, I got into the temp pool at MGM/UA and began creating relationships with all of the big wigs because I was on the top floor. After almost 6 months of developing relationships with people and discussing development, production, post, publicity, marketing, and even acting, the human resources woman told me she had a special job for me, where I'd get to meet everyone in the company. I was SO excited.



Me in a stupid outfit, serving birthday cake for "Leo the Lion's" first birthday party. Yes, I put on a smile as the big execs that had treated me like an up and comer for 6 months, started barking orders about wanting an "end piece" or "just a sliver because she's on a diet," or "cut the piece from the center so I can have a piece of the Lion's head." I mean really! It was utterly humiliating.

The next week I found myself in a small windowless room with 3 other temps stuffing W2 forms. I came across Brad Pitt's in my pile and shoved it in my bra for the remainder of the day before mailing it off to his accountant (with a lipstick free kiss). I suppose that's the closest Brad Pitt will ever be to my boob.

Not the most educational blog entry, though I hope it amused you and will inspire you to share your least favorite "make-a-buck-jobs-to-survive" with this person who is clearly torn about a job he may potentially take.

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1267: My biggest challenge is maintaining the relationships I've created once I get work. Any suggestions?

Sometimes, I save questions for when I'm in the perfect situation to answer them. It's 7am. No, I'm not usually up this early, especially when I'm on vacation/work (you substitute work). Yet, I know I have work to do to maintain my relationship with you. I've committed to blogging an answer to a question everyday. Therefore, I got up early this morning to do my work, before I go out and spend the day in Orlando (you substitute on set ).

It's a decision you have to make. This blog will take me 15 minutes max, to write and post on Twitter and Facebook. What can you do in 15 minutes? You can call an East Coast contact (because it's 10 am there). You can email a contact and tell him/her that you're working and you wanted to make the time to see how his dog is feeling, if she got the job she'd been waiting to hear about, or if there's anything you can do to help him/her.

The BEST time to maintain relationships is when you're working because you're not calling to ask for work. So you can full-heartedly make it all about them.

The decision you make is what you have to look at. Are you deciding that you're too tired? Are you deciding you don't have time? Are you deciding that you choose to get immersed in your work and can't get in contact.

OR will you decide that you can find 15 minutes each day to reach out to someone? To get up 15 minutes earlier, reach out for 15 during a long "waiting-period" (you know what I'm talking about), find 15 minutes during lunch, and/or maybe even 15 minutes on your way home if it's a decent hour.

The choice is yours. You've got to decide what you're willing to commit to. My advice- commit to maintaining relationships while you're working (it's what all the cool kids do).

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1266: I'm having trouble creating my personal brand because I don't believe what I'm writing about myself.

My mentor, James Malinchak, tells a story about Mahammad Ali that I'll have to paraphrase: A reporter asked Ali how he became the "greatest fighter in the world." Ali replied, "Because I told them I was."

So, James tells the story much better, but the point is the same... like Michael Jordan, known to most as the greatest basketball player of all times. He wasn't always known as that, but when he decided that that's who he was going to be, the actions he took; practicing, leading his team, being a positive role model, made him the greatest basketball player of all time.

How does this apply to you? Who do you want to be when your dreams have come true? What do you want the press to be saying about you? Start there, with just that knowledge, and live up to it. You don't share your personal brand you live it, starting now and that's how people will perceive you.

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

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1265: I am so sick of hearing about how much competition is out there! What do I do?

Stop listening! As an actress, I was told not to move to LA because there was too much competition. I made the move anyway and at first, I was intimidated. Then, I spent my first two years in an acting school with 24 people in my class. Of those 24, 12 were girls, of those 12, 8 were my age, of those 8, 4 had a similar look to mine (notice I did not say type), of those 4, 1 did her homework, learned her lines, and took her acting career seriously. Suddenly, the competition didn't seem very competitive at all. Especially, because she was (and still is) an adorable red-head, with a giggly-girl-next-door, personality, which really isn't in direct competition with my type. Could be why after all of these years, that girl is my oldest friend out here. Like-minded people stick together. I cast her in my TV show, as soon as I had the chance.

Here's another example: I was the in-house Career Coach for the Cinematographers Guild for 7 years. There are over 7,000 members. I coached 1,000 of them. I know pretty good average. Yet when you think about it, 1,000 people have the advantage over the other 6,000. Break it down even further: of those 1,000 people they were broken up into approximately 10 different classifications. Lets examine one of the bigger groups: camera operators. Lets say I coached 200 camera operators, of those 200, 100 met with me regularly, of those 100, approximately 50, committed to overcoming their fears and obstacles, followed the tools, followed through on the strategies, and are now working regularly. Of those 50 working regularly, some work in TV, some on features, and others in commercials. So of the 7,000 members, how many are camera operators? Maybe 1,000 since they're such a big group and how many have the EDGE of the specific tools to generate work? Not that many if you break it down by medium.

So, don't get caught up with your competition. Be the best you can be at what you do, and get the edge.

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

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1264: I want to take a year off to make money but everyone says that I'll be starting over when I come back.True?

Who am I to argue with "Everyone?" I'm me, so I will. The reason many (not "all": notice I'm putting the huge generalizations in quotes, so you can recognize when you're using that language) people have trouble breaking back into the industry after they've been out for a year or more, is because they don't maintain their relationships.

They usually leave the business for a stable job, not expecting to return, only to find a few years later that their calling is still tugging at them, and their contacts have dried up. Or they leave for personal reasons like an illness, an ill spouse or child, to take care of an aging parent, relocation for any of the previous reasons, and other less common reasons.

Obviously, if it's the personal reasons, it's usually the last thing on a person's mind to be maintaining relationships, so when he/she comes back it is a lot like starting over, but not quite.

In your case, however, you want to make money, create some savings, and come back. That's really no different than people who have side jobs, it just sounds like you're committing mentally to a specific, high-pay job as opposed to a side job, where people feel half in and half out.

What this all means to you is, you work, make your money, save, AND continue to maintain your relationships, obtain mentors, and go to networking events (if you're job is local). If it's not, and your contacts ask you why you moved, tell them it is for personal reasons, and you will be back. If you stay put, and get offered a job while maintaining your relationships, you can always ask for time off or quit (unless you've signed a contract).

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

Friday, August 24, 2012

Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1263: What's the most professional way to let all of my contact know I've changed my contact info?

It depends on if you want to spend money or not. You can have cards/postcards made up with your personal logo (if you have one) and/or the new contact information. Then mail it out to everyone. It's just like those "We've moved" cards you get from your friends when they move to a new house. The reason why this may be worth the added expense, is because people will hold on to the card until they change it in their address book.

The free way to do it PROFESSIONALLY, is to send it out by email BCC ( did I say BCC? Because if I didn't: BCC!!!). People tend to do this when they change only their email address. I am one of those people who is guilty of not updating these when I get them, putting them in an inbox file titled "updated contact info," and forgetting all about them. That's why I prefer the aforementioned card, because I will save it until I add it. But that may just be me.

With email, you also run the risk of it disappearing into the email ether, but we run that risk everyday...

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