With graduation right around the corner, the idea of beginning a career is looming in the distance. I have always known that I would end up working in the entertainment industry in some way, but it took all four year of college to decide exactly what aspect I wanted to be in. Acting, writing/producing or PR and Talent management were all on my radar. Now that I have chosen to stay within the realm of PR and talent management, the hardest thing is finding a place to start. So far, I have spent a lot of time applying and not much time interviewing. Being in LA means the competition of people looking to enter the same career as I am is much larger than in other places. Because of that, I have really stood by these tips to keeping me motivated to be successful in my hunt for a career in the entertainment industry.
1. The more internships, the better
From my personal experience, I found internships a bit scary at first. With having a job and being a full time student, adding an internship seemed hard. If I were to do it again, I would do an internship every chance I had. If that means one every summer or one every quarter, you are only increasing your skills and resume for future employers. This goes for all career paths. Valid experience is necessary for success.
2. Make sure you have an idea of your end goal
In entertainment, there are many fields you could go into. If working in the industry is your goal, have a path in mind. Research as much as possible to prepare yourself for what to expect in the beginning. If you continue to change your mind about where you want to end up, all the time you spent working in a different field may not be as beneficial.
3. Have a Strong Backbone
They tell actors all the time that they will hear “no” more often than they will hear “yes.” This is very accurate for more than just actors. The level of competition in this town does not end with the actors, but it is found in all aspects of the industry. Being able to take criticism and having a strong backbone will only make you stronger.
4. Recognize early on what sets you apart
Knowing your strengths will set you apart from the competitors. Whether it is a connection with someone in the industry, personal experience or some other special skill that will help you stand out, use it.
5. Be willing to work your way up and work hard
Not all jobs are fun in the beginning. You have to pay dues. So be ready to deliver mail and get coffee or whatever it takes to work your way up and do it well. Be the best at delivering mail or getting coffee so that your hard work will stand out and help you.
6. Recognize All Opportunities
ANY opportunity to work in your path is beneficial. You may be working in a mailroom, making little money to start and dealing with long hours and not much free time, but the opportunity will show that you are willing to do the lower level jobs to gain any kind of experience.
7. Any connections are great connections
If your second cousins’ dad is a producer, use that connection! If you met someone at a mixer who works in the field you would like to work in create a relationship with them, and try to maintain it. LinkedIn is truly one of your biggest assets.
8. Don’t Be Discouraged
It will not come easily to get where you want, and it will not happen right away. Take it from me, remaining positive and hopeful that you will succeed where you want to will be the best motivator coming out of school and entering the entertainment industry.