Tough Reader, Good Advice

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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

I’m really jazzed about hosting the upcoming #scriptchat this Sunday, January 3rd. I hope you’ll all attend.

The subject will be getting repped.

So in preparation for that chat I have to lay out the easiest way to get an agent/manager; move to LA and get a job in the entertainment industry.

No. Seriously. The EASIEST way to get an agent or manager is to uproot your life and move however far away it is to the City of Angels. Once there you scour the adds and job boards until you find a job, any job at a production company, a studio, an agency or a management company (FX houses are also good.) You’ll probably end up working in the mail room or more than likely an unpaid internship (best to have a roommate or a fat bank account in that case.) Sounds easy right? No? Well correct. It’s not easy. In fact it’s freakin’ hard. But we’re talking in relative terms. And next to every other available method, the move and work your butt off approach is the one with the highest success rate. If you take a survey of the working screen and TV writers in the business today nearly all of them took this approach or something similar. They either fetched somebody their coffee, did coverage for somebody or at the very least they hung out with or were friends with people in the business.

Why is this? The simple truth is that the key to success in any endeavor is to be opportunistic. And because LA remains THE hub of the North American film and television industry that specific geographic location is where the opportunities are most plentiful. Writers outside LA are in the short story/novel writing paradigm. Write something, send a query letter to an editor, sit back and wait, repeat. In LA you adopt more of a salesman approach. It’s all about finding leads and developing contacts. And it’s easy there. The buyers aren’t some strange entity at the other end of the country, they’re people you can just bump into. The guy you chat up at a coffee shop or meet at a temp job may be working at a major studio six months down the road. It’s no longer a mysterious process. In many cases it’s just a case of connecting the dots.

It still happens all the time that somebody from Oklahoma, Michigan, Georgia, San Diego gets the attention of Hollywood and they’re so awesomely talented that they’re flown in on gilded wings. But that really puts the pressure on you the writer to be better than good; to be so amazing that you’re impossible to ignore.

The choice is up to you, depending on your individual situation and disposition. But if you want the “easy” way, the “surefire” way, the “path of least resistance” well if it exists at all it goes right through Fairfax and 3rd in Los Angeles.

1 comment:

  1. What about for people such as myself who, for a variety of reasons, including age and family obligations, taking that approach is not practical?


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