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Thursday, October 23rd, 2014


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So, You Wanna Work in Hollywood…

After thousands of tuition dollars for your college degree in Film/ TV, it’s time to journey west and “make it big” in Hollywood!  The only thing is… your college didn’t offer a course in how to do that. 

Besides needing a few thousand dollars, a car and a place to live, the first thing you need to know is that there’s a 99.9% chance you’re going to start at the bottom—receptionist, mailroom employee or if you’re really lucky, an assistant.  In short, you’re going to have to pay your dues. 

And by dues I mean answering a switchboard at a talent agency and telling Jennifer Lopez over and over again that her agent is at lunch and even if she asks one more time it still won’t change the fact that he’s still at lunch. 

And it’s time to realize that your award-winning student film won’t instantly guarantee you an office on the Universal lot next to Spielberg’s. The only thing it might guarantee is a job on the Universal lot—in the mailroom, delivering scripts via golf cart to Spielberg’s office.  Which can be quite fun as you and your cohorts` race around the lot counting BMW’s vs. Mercedes. 

So how does one get in the position to say “no” to J-Lo?   Or deliver Spielberg’s mail?  Same as you would in any other business: Develop contacts—friends, family, college alumni working in the biz—anyone who can pass along your résumé. 

If you don’t know anyone in the biz (and don’t worry, not everyone does) check out “The Hollywood Reporter” and “Daily Variety” production charts to see who produces your favorite TV shows, your favorite kinds of movies, etc.  Then call them up and sell yourself. 

College students are in demand because they’re young, hungry, not jaded and can collate a script like nobody’s business. (If you don’t know the meaning of the term “collate,” you soon will.)

Once you’ve landed your first job, your next mission, if you choose to accept it, is to not get fired.  Some producers are notorious for firing their assistants just because there were tomatoes in their salad when they specifically ordered “no tomatoes.” 

Your job is to think one step ahead of your boss.  Paying attention to detail helps even if it borders on clinical anal retentiveness.  Anticipate their next move and be ready with options for Plans B and C in case Plan A goes awry. 

One of the reasons I got promoted from production assistant to writers’ assistant on That ‘70s Show was because the show runner asked me to buy him yogurt, not specifying which flavor. I’ve never been great as guessing games so I bought him every flavor Yoplait makes.  That’s right, I have yogurt to thank for my residual checks. 

If these examples haven’t turned you off from wanting to pursue your Hollywood dream, it shows you’re thick-skinned and ready for anything that comes at you—including a phone because you dropped an important call from Angelina Jolie to your boss.  And as you pack your bags for your Hollywood adventure make sure to include: an open mind, a thick skin and a sense of humor.  Also, bring an extra nice attitude because the butt you kiss on the way up might be kissing your butt on its way down. 

Jill Effron

This entry was posted in Get a Job, On The Job. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to So, You Wanna Work in Hollywood…

  1. scorpiored says:

    I want to work for hollywood

  2. amchhetri says:

    I am from small village of nepal, from my childhood i watching hollywood movies and i am very passonate to work in hollywood industry in any area.

  3. Rameez Meghani says:

    i am Rameez Frm Pakistan & I wanna work in Hollywood & Bollywood So Please any work acting in your movie so please contact my id loverboy_tum@hotmail.com i hope you reply me as soon as possible

  4. leon says:

    I’m from Indonesia..and i want to go to hollywood but..i dont’ hav enough cash..

  5. arcade says:

    i am of the age of 20
    i ve seen many hollywood movies even the black and white ones and i loved them.
    the stars in the movies have such an adventurous and mystical life!!!
    i wanna be a star in hollywood movies…..

  6. elio says:

    hi my name is elio chayeb i am lebanese and i have been watching movies since i was 5 and when i say watching movies i mean like 5 movies per day. I will graduate from the university in 2 years i am an audio visual student and i am coming straight to hollywood i don’t care if i’m gonna start from the bottom all i know is i am gonna be a director someday anyway if u could help me could u e mail me any more info on my e mail it is eliochayeb_777@hotmail.com. I am waiting

  7. Mohamed Elsayed says:

    WOW! That’s a really great article. Thanks Jill! I have been told that the way to Hollywood ain’t that easy but not not in details. I think the LUCk plays a great role in the process. I know some dumb guys just got their ways to Hollywood very easy, they just were lucky enough to get in.
    OMG! There’s no enough space in this. I gotta cut it out here :(

  8. ziab mohammad says:

    i am poor boy i am just 18 years old
    soo pleace any work for me in uk or usa
    i am wating for good news

  9. HASEEB says:

    contact me. I have mind-blowing script and i act well too. I am surely hollywood stuff. Contact
    Haseebmail@hotmail.com
    Wanna win oscar. Hurry us..

  10. Ryan says:

    that leaves me wanting to read more of your thoughts…you gotta blog or something?

    gerardsaram@yahoo.com

    Ry

  11. driss says:

    hi my name is driss from morocco 18 year old working welder i want work in bar in usa any one want help me thx (texas_bristol@live.fr)(free_man1991@live.fr)

  12. hossni says:

    I am a man age 33, unmarried, height 186 cm, weight 69 kg, active, intelligent, handsome, and ambitious vision of a better future and become a famous star in the cinema, I love to travel and learn the habits and traditions of the people, and if you want to know other things need to question ( hossni-salamh@hotmail.com)

  13. REHAN KHAN says:

    Dear Hollywood ,
    My Name is Rehan from Pakisan .I have a dream to work in hollywood films if you give me any chance to work with you i’ll be very thankful to you and my dream will come true please sir reply me

  14. Mohammd Saleh Hassaan says:

    hi,
    my name is Saleh Hassaan and I am from Pakistan RAWALPINDI.
    I have been doing dramas in my school time and I just love doing acting I was looking forward to have a chance to work in Hollywood movies which would a dream come true.I have been watching every kind of movies and have tried to copy its acting as well try to practice as much as possible to become a good actor.it will a great that if I get a chance to work in Hollywood hope to have your positive reply

    thank you

  15. neha gadwal says:

    hye hi m from india! i want to act vith taylor launter! my email id is princely1515@gmail.com i can gie my best to work with him!

  16. Arcade says:

    i want to be a clean actor :p …
    i haven’t been to any college
    i have no prior experience of acting but i have seen a lot of Hollywood movies …
    do i have a chance ???

  17. sagar says:

    smoll roll in flim

  18. Stephen says:

    Hi there , I like the blog of how to become an actor, but I would like to work in Hollywood movies. I have no prior experience in acting,but I have acted in school and high school dramas . Once in my school I had acted as the Schmiter which was
    the sword in the drama called
    arabian nights and all my teachers and friends appreciated my role. I love acting, though I never got the chance to explore it.

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