When I graduated film school, I freaked out. First, it was the exciting kind of “woo!” freak out because I just graduated college. Then came the not exciting “oh no!” freak out: how am I going to get a job with a film degree?
It took years for me to "break in" to the entertainment industry. My first job out of college was a Beverly Hills barista (side note: if you need a title for your next coffeeshop-based project, you can have Beverly Hills Barista. It has a nice ring to it.). Don't let the swanky locale of Beverly Hills fool you: the job was exhausting. By the time I got done with my shift, I barely had the energy to work on my creative projects. I'd go home and crash on my inflatable air mattress, dreading the next day when I would have to open the store at 4am.
I kept slinging mochas until a friend of a friend of a relative contacted me. There was an opening for an Office Production Assistant on a TV show. They got me an interview.
Turns out, dozens of other people got an interview. I'm sure they all had friends of friends of relatives, too. But for whatever reason (I'd like to think it was my sparkling personality, but who knows?), I got the PA job. I would now be picking up coffee for people instead of making it. I was on my way!
Over the years, I worked my way up to Writers' PA, then Writers' Assistant, and then I got to write a freelance script. But my career trajectory all started from that first phone call from my friend.
These days, I'm selling my own projects to places like Disney, Viacom, and Amazon Studios. It’s all good now, but the first years out of college were tough. I created Film School Life to help film school graduates navigate those early years out of college in the best way possible. Because it's hard to start out in Hollywood. Especially now.
If I could do it all over again, the biggest thing I would change would be to take action earlier. I consider myself a pretty driven person, but I wasn't hustling as much as I should have. I wasn't creating high quality content that helped me stand out. I also wasn't expanding my network. I should have built more relationships within the entertainment industry to establish myself. I got lucky about that call from my friend. Without that call, I might still be serving up lattes somewhere.
If you're reading this, my two biggest pieces of advice are:
• Create quality content • Expand your network
How about that for some vague advice? I have a free masterclass that actually goes more in depth about it. Sign up for the masterclass below and I’ll give you the details.