So you want to be in the entertainment industry? You’ve wanted to ever since college. Or ever since high school. Or ever since you can remember. You may have a specific goal, a position you are dying to attain, or maybe it’s just the industry as a whole that attracts you. Still, the fire burns within. And yet, you haven’t tried to break in. Why not?
A lot of people give up on their entertainment dreams before they even get close to making them a reality, sometimes before they even inch forward in that direction. A big reason I’ve come across is people who say they just couldn’t stand to live in Los Angeles or can’t move to L.A. for whatever reason (family, finances, etc.). When starting your entertainment career…
STEP ONE: Banish Excuses
There are millions of people working in entertainment all over the United States, the majority of them outside L.A. Millions. So if not being in L.A. is your big excuse, sorry, Charlie. That’s just not going to work here. Neither is too old, too young, too uneducated, too poor, too short, too large or any one of 1,000 other excuses. For every excuse you can come up with, I can give you multiple examples of people who got in and made entertainment careers for themselves. Are we clear?
STEP TWO: Don’t Think “Us” Versus “Them”
You ever see the high school pictures of people who are now famous, people like Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts? They were us once, too. They weren’t always superstars. They were unknowns who hadn’t really done anything except play chess and win a ribbon at a 4-H event. (Disclaimer: I don’t know if either of these entertainment icons actually plays chess or was in 4-H. But I’m sure they had similar mundane pastimes, just like us.) And people you maybe haven’t heard of, such as Debbie Liebling, Lou Eyrich, Mike Knobloch, and J.J. George, who are at the top of the entertainment industry behind-the-scenes, they were just starting out once, too.
STEP THREE: Forget About Fear
I know, I know. Easy to say. I’m not saying don’t feel it. I’m not saying fight it. It’s going to be there just like it is every time you step out of your comfort zone and start a new career endeavor, especially one you’ve built up in your mind for a long time. So get used to it and try not to think about it.
STEP FOUR: Find Mentors
I divide mentors into two categories: real mentors and paper mentors. Real mentors are people you know already or reach out to for information/guidance. You develop a relationship with them where they impart knowledge to you and, whether they know it or not (it really doesn’t matter), they are your mentors. Paper mentors are people you read about (or see stories about in the media). They don’t know you, but you are educated and inspired by them. Two of my entertainment career paper mentors (among many, many of them) are Richard Branson and Tina Fey. For completely different reasons, each motivates me and I get lessons for my own career by reading about theirs. I advise you to find mentors of each type, real and paper, and use their stories to help you with your own entertainment career path.
STEP FIVE: Commit
There will be challenges. There will be times of doubt. You will hear “no.” Maybe you will hear “no” a lot. You may want to quit. But the sooner you decide you will not quit, the sooner you go all in, at least in your mind, the more energy you will put into the task at hand, be it becoming an entertainment marketing executive or a television director or music manager or the next Brad Pitt/Julia Roberts.
So start with Step One and by the time you get through Step Five, you will have a solid base from which to continue your journey toward making your entertainment dreams a reality. No matter where you are, no matter who you are, no matter what.
If this article made sense to you, then sign up for a FREE webinar tomorrow called, “6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Kickstart Your Entertainment Career.”
Sorry, this event already happened! No worries though, you can watch the recorded version below. Plus, check out our webinar page HERE to review our upcoming FREE webinars.
After watching Jenny’s presentation, be sure to check out her new guide to breaking into the entertainment business. Learn more HERE.
Also, check out Jenny’s interview with CAREEREALISM founder and president, J.T. O’Donnell…
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