Learn the secrets behind the art of networking in Hollywood with Executive Producer, Franco Sama.
Learn what you must know about yourself in order to fulfill your dreams.
Understand how to commit to your goals and the keys to focusing.
Understand the dynamics of presenting yourself to an audience.
Gain insight into the game of networking and the rules to play by.
Are you making the right connections? Analyze your relationships correctly.
Understand what to do when you finally get the opportunity to meet your idol.
I tell this story to illustrate not only how critical it is to network but to do so properly and effectively in order to obtain positive results. Over the years I have accumulated many techniques that have helped me establish and nurture the unprecedented relationships I have acquired since arriving in 1997.
I have spoken to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of hopefuls throughout my last decade in and around Hollywood and the one thing that I love more than all else is that look in their eyes, a look filled with hope and dreams and fantasies.
There are four things that you must be absolutely sure of before you even consider embarking on a lifelong career in the entertainment business.
1) That there is utterly NOTHING else that you could EVER imagine yourself doing for the rest of your days on earth.
2) That you are TOTALLY committed to the process and that nothing and no one can or will ever stop you from striving to reach your goals.
3) That your goals are, in fact, realistic (not fantasy) and that you are willing to be a “starving artist” for a VERY long time, if necessary.
4) That you can handle raw, absolute, sometimes brutal rejection.
If you can honestly say that these statements are true for you then, do not ever let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do this.
If, on the other hand you cannot honestly say that these statements are true for you, then, you must reconsider your plan. Consider, for example the fact that literally thousands of fresh, new, young talented hopefuls flood into Los Angeles every month!
Consider still, that an almost equal number of them leave Los Angeles with shattered dreams, often due to unrealistic expectations to begin with.
The entertainment industry is many things. It is fun, exciting, glamorous and profitable. It is also fiercely competitive, cut throat, and riddled with rejection. If you are not fully prepared to commit 100% of your time, money, energy and resources to the business, remember that thousands of other individuals, just like you, are… and they are just waiting for you to fail so that they can take your place.
This section is NOT intended to burst your bubble or in any way discourage you. It is a simple attempt to inform you the truth about what to expect. Most books and seminars tend to “sugar coat” the basics in order to lure you into spending money with sometimes unscrupulous people looking to take advantage of your naiveté. My goal here is to protect you and to make sure that you keep your eyes and ears open as you venture off into the potential minefields of the industry.
Fact: You will create and attract exactly what you focus on as long as you are consistent, persistent and stay true to your own convictions. Here is an example of what a powerful role “focus” plays in our everyday lives.
Let’s say that you have decided that you are going to purchase a new car in one week and that you have decided to buy a white convertible. Now, for the next week as you go about your business driving to work or to the store or the bank etc., you will notice that almost everywhere you look; you will begin seeing an unusual number of white convertibles.
First you see one, then another, maybe two in a row beside each other in a parking lot or at a red light. It seems bizarre, Could this be true? Are there suddenly more white convertibles on the road than ever before now just because you have decided to buy one?
Of course not!
The fact is that they have always been there except that now they present themselves much more clearly, becoming more noticeable to you because you have chosen to focus specifically on them. All you ever had to do was pay attention and notice them as they were there all along. This is also true of your future career. Your successful career is already before you; all you have to do now is pause, pay attention and notice it.
Now you have a basic foundation on which to begin the process of building your team as well as your own network and contact base and even after you have hired an agent and a manager and taken the perfect headshot and have a solid collection of prominent, influential entertainment industry contacts in your data base, nothing can or ever will make you more powerful or will be more vital to your success than your ability to promote yourself!
Here are some examples of how you can effectively self-promote:
◆ Business Card File: Make sure that you create an effective system for staying in communication with your contacts. Keep these relationships alive by being diligent in contacting these people periodically. Sending them birthday cards is always thoughtful.
◆ Be Accessible: There is nothing worse than having an agent, casting director or producer trying to reach you for a part or a job or an audition and them not being able to locate and/or contact you. It is critical to have current and accurate contact information on your resume and to be reachable at all times by cell phone. The inability to communicate with talent has been the cause of many a lost job. It is very common, inexcusable and easily avoidable.
◆ Photo Postcards: Keep you name and face in circulation by having photo postcards made and send them to the people in your network (business card file) on a quarterly basis to keep them updated on what is happening in your career. Use this opportunity to announce auditions, callbacks, bookings, and performances and/or to simply reacquaint with the network.
◆ Host your own Party! – Invite ten to twenty of the most influential industry contacts and friends that you know to a centrally located, easily accessible restaurant on an “off” night during the week. Ask each guest to invite ten others. Out of the 100 possible guests up to as many as 25- 30 usually show up. You have just created and hosted a networking event. Guests are responsible for their own expenses. Most restaurants are not busy on Monday or Tuesday nights and will welcome the added business. Many will even offer you a private room for your party.
Franco Sama hits the "networking" nail on the head for actors with this book! Every actor whether you are just getting into the business or have been in the Industry for years would definitely benefit from Franco's tips, anecdotes, and direct advice re: one of the most slippery slopes in entertainment, networking! I am a talent manager here in Los Angeles and I heavily recommend this book to my personal actor clients and all those that contact me about getting more favorable people in their lives and that can assist them attain a higher level in their career. As Franco says, "It's not who you know, it's who knows YOU!" Do yourself a huge favor and get this book and read it from cover to cover. It will help you with so much and clear up the mystery that is living and working amongst so many different personality types that make up this Industry.