Reply To: New Student To The Industry. Looking For Advice!

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AvatarJackWolcott
Participant

Many years ago a reporter asked Willie Sutton, the bank robber, why he robbed banks. “Because that’s where the money is,” he replied.

Same advice applies here. Go where the writing, editing and acting activity is: New York or Los Angeles. Get involved with the “scene” — the clubs, associations, professional groups who work with film and video. Keep in contact with your classmates if you were in film school. Be prepared to work for free for a while, as an apprentice or as an assistant to professionals. Offer to be a go-fer or grip in exchange for the opportunity to be part of a production. If you are good at what you have to offer you’ll find paying jobs.

If acting is what you’re after, try to take beginning jobs that will result in a union card — SAG, AFTRA and Actors Equity. These won’t guarantee work but will certainly help with audition calls and salary negotiations.

Recognize from the start that you’ll almost certainly need a “day job” and that there’s no shame in this. Find work that has the flexibility to accommodate your film and video activities; waiting tables, barista, etc., are classics. And persevere; it may take several years before your become sought-after and more-or-less steadily employed.

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