Working day in and day out in the entertainment industry, I naturally see a lot of people and meet a lot of new faces on a daily basis.
Last week was no exception. The company I work for was loading in a large multi-venue show, and I heard an all-too-familiar phrase pop out of a stagehand’s mouth: “I just can’t seem to get enough gigs!” Over the past few years, I’ve heard a huge variety of phrases, including some of the common ones that this guy was throwing out in frustration, and I’ve seen 2 types of people in this workforce.
The first type of person gets the gigs, gets busy, and works a lot and enjoys what they do. They may have started with just 1 industry contact, but due to a number of factors, they’re now on top.
The 2nd type of person always feels like the world is out to get them. You know this person- they’re not unique to the entertainment world. Always complaining about how things aren’t panning out for them, and how they don’t have enough work, etc.
These 2 people can work for the same companies, have the same initial opportunities, but somehow one comes on top, and the other never leaves the bottom. The fact is, having a poor attitude will get you nowhere fast!
And that is why I want to share with you today the 5 simple values that set people apart for success. These 5 things, when missing, hinder a career, but when evident propel the career forward!
5 Simple Values That Will Propel You Forward in the Entertainment Industry:
1. Be Prompt. Early is on time, on time is late, late is unacceptable. This means, if you’re in a new venue, etc, leave plenty of extra time to get there.
Always, always be on time. Did I hammer it into your skull yet? Good! The fact is, being late for a show puts anywhere from 2-100 people on wait to start the show, or at least puts you behind on a load in. If you are late, don’t expect to be asked to come back, unless you have 1 dang good excuse(and there aren’t many of those!).
Being early and showing up ready, not hungover, will score you big points with your boss, and will help set your name in stone as someone they call back in the future. I have showed up a whole hour or more early to shows in new venues, during down town rush hour or on holidays, just to be sure I was on time. And guess what? For those same shows, some people were late and had “excuses”. They weren’t asked back again unless there was a real huge need, because they found their way to the bottom of the list!
2. Be Polite
Don’t ever be rude or flip anybody off, even if you think they deserve it! It’s unprofessional and will get find you a real quick way to losing your clients. Word does get around, and I know people who are not called for high-end, high-paying gigs because they can’t keep their mouth shut about political differences or other issues.
On the other hand, be sure to thank your boss for the work. I have personally found hand-written “Thank You” cards to be amazingly good at getting me back in working with a client again! Being nice and polite to your coworkers and clients will get you asked back in a heartbeat!
3. Be a Go-Getter
When you finish a task, go ask for, or start a new task. Depending on what your authority on the show is, of course, you can always find something else to tidy up or work on, or ask the person in charge what you could do next instead of waiting for them to find you and tell you!
This is the number 1 tip I have to getting asked back, and one of the biggest keys to moving ahead in this industry!
4. Don’t Ever Say “That’s not my job”.
Your production manager may ask you to hang drape, vacuum the stage carpet, clean up a spill, help audio(gasp!), or do any other number of tasks that are necessary to make the show go on! Don’t ever say “That’s not my job!”.
You won’t be asked back!
5. Have a mind and heart open to learning. Always.
You are not going to grow in this business and mature without learning new things. Every day of work is an opportunity to learn something new and to grow in your capabilities. You just never know when a coworker will get sick/injured/drunk/forgetful and you have to fill in doing something you’re not an expert at. It happens, and being well-rounded in all departments can keep the show going on! The show must go on!
As we hit the end of this post, I want to highlight a few books that have really helped me grow and move up in the entertainment industry. Many of these books help you to live out the values I have written about above, and are all definitely worth reading! I have personally read each of these books at least twice, and they are so worth it!
- The Go-Getter by Peter Kyne (Free on Kindle!) Buy Now!
- 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller – A great book for getting a job or changing careers. This method is also highly successful for gaining and keeping freelance clients! Buy Now!
- No BS Direct Marketing by Dan S. Kennedy – This book will open your mind to new ways of reaching out to clients and potential employers in ways you never thought of. Buy Now!
- Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – A fantastic book on mindset for success! Buy Now!
- How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie – A must read about making great first impressions and growing relationships with others. We can all improve our people skills! Buy Now!