It’s been said before but it’s Show Business. So whether you’re applying for a job as a SVP in a studio or starting out filing in an agency you have to understand not only the show but also the business. An idea, being creative, and having fun are nothing until you can create income, sell products or add value to a company. It’s that simple.
Here are five tips to help you make sure that you remember Show and Business.
1. Dress the part.
No don’t go in costume. But dress for the job. People decide in the first 30 seconds whether they are going to hire you and that’s based on image and looks. Executives in entertainment don’t look like executives in banking. Even if you are just starting out – in fact because you are starting out – you need to have that cool, elegant, hip, vibe going – even if that means you go to consignment outlets, discount clothing places or thrift stores. Find out what other successful people wear in your particular career and dress like them – or better!
2. Tell a story.
When someone asks you “tell them about you” they don’t want you to. They want you to tell stories about you doing the kind of stuff they need done. If you are a manager you need to talk about how you saved your previous company by increasing sales even though it looked like everything was going down the tubes when you took over. Your career accomplishments should sound like movie pitches which a studio wants to make.
3. Remember the popcorn.
One of the dirty little secrets about the film-making business is that a huge part of the economic equation is not about people buying tickets or even watching netflicks it’s about popcorn and hot dogs in the movie. You need to understand how the job you’re applying works in just the same way.
4. Will it play in Peoria?
If you live in LA or NY you may forget that there is a lot of America – and the world – outside of the coasts. Sometimes it’s good to talk in real, down-to-earth ways about the entertainment industry. Does it make them laugh? Do you get a shiver down your back? Would you watch the sequel rather than the theory and artistry of the whole deal.
5. It’s not what you know.
Sounds obvious but people still forget. If you get a degree – or two, learn a bunch of stuff, and become really smart that will help you out a lot. But in the end if no-one knows about your talent then all your effort is for nothing. It is about making relationships with people, getting to know them as humans, and developing friendships. That will get what you know through the door.