I'm sure you've heard the expression "It's all who you know" a million times. As trite and cliché as it is.... I am a FIRM believer in it. Living by this principle, I haven't applied for a job in a traditional sense, since 2016. I've been very fortunate and have made connections throughout this incredible city and established myself enough to get work by word of mouth. These connections are great because eventually, they provide gigs and opportunities that pop up all over. I don't know about you, but I can't stay put in an office job, let alone a stationary job for too long, hence why I love this field of work. 

I have found that many managers/agents who have been in the industry for a long time, will say that this isn't true, you either have the talent or you don't... but I struggle with believing that. I have found, that especially in the arts industry, a lot of it is who you know, and the talent is expected. 

How to do this:

First off, I just want to make it clear, that I in no way have all the answers, this is just what has worked for me and in other's lives I've been able to interact with.

  • Just be present. This is such an important thing to keep in mind. Be ready to talk to people, meet people, go out, remember names, and always look for opportunities to make them remember you. I can't tell you how many times me and my friends have been out and we have met someone that we admire or is known in our field. My good friend Wesley Barnes is famous for making these types of connections. Wes could get a tree to be his friend, he's ballsy, bold and approaches these situations with a unapologetic gravitas that people can't refuse (we've see so many Broadway shows for free because of this gift of his). He is a success story in the making, but more on him later. 
  • The Power of Social Media: As Gary Vaynerchuk wrote, in his amazing book (that motivated me to start this blog) Crushing It, Social Media is our now, it is a free gateway into the lives of our heroes, and icons lives. It is a way we can create a brand for ourselves, just like them. Keep your social media updated, interesting and relevant to who you are.
    • Social Media can be a blessing but also such a struggle, it can become another job that you end up pouring hours into. I know I personally struggle with just remembering to keep my social media presence active. I want people to know I am out there, working hard, and give a subtle but constant reminder that I am hustling, so that when they need someone for a job, I'm the first that pops into their minds. (I know, easier said than done. You have to find that balance of posting just enough and not over doing it so people aren’t sick of you or become numb and just scroll past you.)
      • Side note: If you don’t think casting directors look at your social media when deciding if they should hire you or not, you’re wrong. So, make sure it’s a perfect representation of you!
        • Side Side Note: I've been discovering the amazing art of hashtaging more and more (I know I'm super late to the party here) what a great portal into the media worlds of people you never thought you could meet! #hashtagingisgreat

 

  • Be on the lookout:
    • People in our industry are EVERYWHERE, I've met people that I work with at clubs, on airplanes, intermissions of shows, catering gigs and even Tinder (most luck I ever had on there). I have found that while I am talking to these possible connections, I am constantly looking for ways to have said person talk about their career (people love talking about themselves). This opens up a way for you to plug yourself in, showing them how you can fit in their world.
      • "Oh wow that's great, we both work in the same industry, what's your Instagram? Would love to see what you're working on?" A compliment that allows you to have a way into their media platform which grants access to their business life, and DM's! (DM's = Direct Messages). 

 

There are SO many ways to get connected, especially those of us that live in NYC. Take a risk, be brave, make the connections. You never know in our field, be ready to talk, and more importantly be ready to listen, your big break can be from the women you let have your seat on the train. 

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