Show Business, Creativity and Passion
I had a first time meeting this morning with someone I had never met before, but who has been in the industry for decades…even worked at a company I represented, though after I no longer represented them. He told me the story of how he got his very first contact in the business, which led to his very first job.
His story involved picking the name of a department head from the end credits of a tv show, writing a letter to that person, then following up with a phone call. He got a meeting, got suggestions of other people to call and permission to use this person’s name, and got his first freelance professional job.
I’ve heard countless stories from industry veterans about how they “broke into” the biz. These stories are never the same and always exhibit an element of creative thinking and, even more impressively, a significant degree of chutzpah and courage.
This is not a business where one can get a college degree, then check ads for available positions. There are too many people interested in too few jobs, and the skill set required to win at that competition and continue to successfully navigate the business isn’t so much about your credentials as it is about how passionate you are, how motivated you are, how creative you are at moving past the guard at the front gate of the industry and finding your way to the side or back door.
Talent helps, but your talent isn’t visible to anyone until you use your creativity to open a door and stimulate interest by exhibiting your creativity and passion by getting past the screeners.
There is no single path to doing this. Early in my career I heard the question of how to break into the business put to actor/director/producer Tony Bill at a seminar. His answer was frustratingly simple, yet as true today as it was then…”I can’t tell you how to do that. What I know is that if you have something to deliver, you’ll find a way to deliver it.” What I will add is “…if you’re passionate and creative enough.”
There’s lots of talent out there competing with you. Get ahead of the game by being creative not only in your acting, writing, and directing, but also in how you identify opportunities, how you approach people, how you establish connections and relationships, how you prepare yourself for meetings with industry insiders. No matter how competitive the landscape and how few opportunities appear to be available, there is ALWAYS a way to break out of the crowd and get a foot in the door.
Make it happen…
To your success,
Marc Pariser is Founder and CEO of ShowBizCentral. He has been a packaging agent representing writers, directors, producers, comedians, production companies and executives at the world’s leading agencies, including the William Morris Agency and Creative Artists Agency.
If you’ve got a question about your career visit marcpariser.com.
Originally published at motionpictureprofessionals.com on November 10, 2015.