Need Help With Your Entertainment Career? I Sure Did
I remember when I first moved to L.A. to work in the entertainment industry. It was all a big jumble. Anxiety, fear, insight, elation, confusion, anxiety, fear… seemingly on a loop. For a few years actually, a lot of the time I felt like I was in a foreign country. A foreign country with no map and a language and currency I didn’t understand.
I’d look at the trade publications, scanning the articles about the movers and shakers in the business and have no clue who they were, what they really did, or how they got there.
I didn’t know how to develop the right kinds of relationships or even what those relationships were. I didn’t know where I should network, how to network, or even what networking would do for me.
I’d have meetings with supposed entertainment professionals (mostly personnel agents who wanted to place me in jobs) and they’d give me advice that made no sense. “You should become an agent’s assistant if you want to be a writer,” they’d tell me. “Really?” I’d ask. “Of course!” they’d bark without further explanation.
I figured out later that this wasn’t bad advice, but they weren’t giving it to me because they cared about my career. I also figured out that piece later.
I’d ask my friends, most of whom were also just starting out, about the people in the trades, about relationships and networking, and about the advice I’d get and they wouldn’t have any more of a clue than I did.
We were like little kids on the playground discussing sex: all theory and conjecture, no knowledge.
What I really needed was a savvy industry insider to guide me as I set and pursued goals, someone experienced, kind, and very knowledgeable about how the industry worked, who could answer my questions and advise me on my path. A mentor some might call them, or a coach.
Oh, the time they would’ve saved me, and the anxiety, the fear, the confusion…
But though kind and knowledgeable people came through periodically and provided me with snippets of information here & there, I never had the focused help from an industry insider that I needed. I lumbered along using trial and error, applying good info and bad info, guessing and hoping for the best.
Fast forward about 20 years and here I am. I AM an industry insider.
I long ago stopped wishing for the insider and became one. I am an entertainment veteran with experience in the film, television, and music branches of the industry, including fifteen plus years as a hiring executive.
Over the years, I have informally helped many people who came in to interview for jobs by explaining relevant aspects of how the business works, how to get from point A to point B, how someone got to be in the position this person aspired to (an actor, an agent, a working TV writer, a music manager, a publicist, etc.).
I shared little tidbits such as why an aspiring actor would not necessarily want to be the assistant to a busy entertainment executive and why a personnel agent would authoritatively insist you should interview for a job you had no interest in.
I also spent a few years doing one-on-one career consulting, helping people harness their resources, strategize, and make forward progress in their careers. I also wrote resumes professionally. All the while, I was studying the way the industry worked and the paths of hundreds of friends, associates, and others as they pursued careers in entertainment.
I was a student of the business and the truth is, I still am and always will be. It’s always changing and there’s always more to learn, even if it wasn’t everchanging.
In 2009, I took to the internet with YourIndustryInsider.com to share my expertise, as well as providing a place to profile successful professionals in all branches of the industry. I still enjoyed talking to young people just starting out, answering questions and providing snippets of insight, like those “kind and knowledgeable” people who shed little rays of light on my career path when I had way more questions than answers.
Since launching Your Industry Insider, I have been asked by many people if I can work with them one-on-one to help them with their entertainment career goals. Some parents have even reached out to ask me about working with their recent college grads to launch their entertainment careers.
And I would say what I still say, “I don’t have time.” Sad but true, I have too many other commitments for that kind of individual relationship.
BUT I HAVE FIGURED OUT HOW I CAN HELP
I am very excited to announce a new program that will allow me to help a small group of individuals with their career goals / dreams by using a combination of in person (once a month), email (once a week), and ongoing online group interaction.
Starting next month, I am launching THE YOUR INDUSTRY INSIDER LOS ANGELES ENTERTAINMENT CAREER MASTERMIND, a four-month program for up to 10 people designed to help members break in, move up, or break through in entertainment.
If you are L.A.-based, motivated, energetic, and ready to make progress toward your entertainment career goals NOW, click HERE to find out more about the program.