I completed my internship and one of the executives asked me, “What do you want to do next?”
I told him I was thinking about going to an agency.
He picked up a phone. He said to someone on the other side, “Have I ever asked you to meet anyone? Okay, well, I got someone I want you to meet.”
He hung up the phone. “You’re all set, you’re going to interview at WME.”
I interviewed with Carole Katz — not her assistant or her junior executive. Her. You’ve never heard of her, but she’s been head of HR for WME since 2001.
She told me (like they tell everyone) all the reasons I’d hate the job. Minimum wage. 12-hour days and weekends. No life. Think carefully, she said.
I said I’d let her know first thing tomorrow.
I emailed her the next day: I’m in. She said she’d put me on the consideration list.
I never heard back.
And it’s 100% my fault. Because I never followed up. Instead, I was waiting for her to “give me my chance.”
All the mistakes I’ve made in my career have come from waiting for my chance.
Fortunately, if you’ve moved to Los Angeles and you’re building your career (or even if you’re still working on getting out to LA) there are dozens of things you can do to create your own chances — even if you don’t have experience or connections.
I call these your “secret weapons” for breaking into Hollywood.
So let’s talk these secret weapons. (Btw, yes, you’ve got to have skills, too. If you’re a writer, actor, director, whatever, I’m assuming you got chops and every day you’re working to get better.)
Secret Weapon #1: Prepare Like You’re Going to War
With basic preparation, you’ll outshine 90% of your peers competing for the same attention, meetings, and jobs.
Because you know what preparation looks like for most people? 10 minutes of Googling on their phones 15 minutes beforehand. And it shows.
That’s why most people ask terrible questions, like, “Uh, so what advice do you have?”
Or when they’re asked to talk about themselves, they launch into a 10-minute rant about how she’s loved film ever since her parents took her to the $3 budget cinema next to Lechmere’s.
You’re different. Here’s are your rules of thumb: [click to continue…]