Life is all about learning, or at least, I’d really like to think it is, given that the first couple of decades of our lives are dedicated to education. My time thus far in LA has taught me that sometimes you learn a lot more from experience than you ever could within the confines of a classroom. What’s great is that as a student in this program, aspiring to become the best and brightest new additions to the TV and film industry, everyone wants to see you succeed, and is more than happy to give you advice. So I figured that I’d follow suit, given my plethora of knowledge that I’ve taken in since being introduced to the LA way of life, to ready prospective students for the program of a lifetime.
Don’t ever be afraid to tell anyone about your dreams and aspirations. Believe it or not, everyone who’s currently in the industry was more or less at the same point that you are, trying to work his or her way up. Connections are what make the people in this industry who they are; simply put, people want to work with people they know, like, and can relate to. Don’t take anybody for granted, and by all means, present yourself with an air of polite confidence that you would like to be perceived as. You never know who could be sitting next to you or rubbing elbows with you.
Working in a typically aspiring industry, you have to understand that everyone is looking to climb the ladder, and in order to do that, the very least you can do is look the part. Nobody knows for sure where they’re going to end up or what they’re going to be, but fake it ‘til you make it. Nothing speaks volumes quite like confidence and conviction. Also, get a good pair of sunglasses. Not only will it help you look the part, but the sunshine is brutal out here. If you don’t tan well, I suggest you pack lots of long sleeve shirts; I’ve been out here for almost two months, and it just rained for the first time today.
If there’s anything that I’ve taken from my experience out here, it’s that luck plays a big part in this industry. That being said, we can make our own luck. It doesn’t matter where you’re from (proud resident of Hobbie, PA, good luck finding that on a map), if you go the extra mile, or 3,000 or so, it’s going to pay off for you somehow. Life is as fair as it gets; coincidence is what disrupts it. The best thing you can do is to put yourself in the most favorable position possible.