Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blogs Are Important Too!

I entitled this blog, Hollywood: as I Live And Work because I want people to learn from my experiences. There are thousands of people who want careers in this industry. In fact, as I write this entry some newbie just pulled into a hotel, guest house, or 2 bedroom apartment that already houses 2 people to start Monday as a lowly production assistant (PA) on some show or begin their tour of temp agency offices. God bless them! Been there, done that! Truly,the position of PA is merely a foot in the door. However, perception is everything in Hollywood. If people only see you doing one thing or one job all the time, they'll assume that's all you do. That's true in life in general. And if you do it too well, employers may attempt to keep you in that position and promote someone else unless you make your intentions known. I think it's best to mix things up, obtain knowledge and experience in different aspects of whatever you do.

But dealing with others' perceptions can be a challenge because you never really know what is revealed to people when they look at you. True to Hollywood culture, wear a pair of faded jeans, wrinkled tee, and worn sneakers and you may be asked to run to Starbucks to fetch the producer's coffee. But throw on a nice button-down shirt or one with a collar with casual shoes, and you could be the production coordinator or producer. And now you get to ask someone else to make your copies. Don a pair of designer shades to hide your expressive eyes then plaster on an insincere smile and you're ready for duty on any studio lot.

Recently, I had an interesting experience concerning perception. A fast talking magazine editor offered me a sales position veiled as a great writing opportunity. He saw before him an eager to be published writer who didn't mind writing for free--payment was in receiving the byline. He also read blogs he could use soley for his publication's gain. He didn't see this site as a professional endeavor--just as my ramblings on electronic paper. It was good enough to reprint some entries, but nothing overall that would measure up to his magazine. So when I questioned him about retaining ownership of what I write freely for his magazine and what's reprinted from my blogs, he suddenly realized I had more business sense than he thought. A professional business woman replaced the eager to please writer, and he was not happy with the switch. Not happy at all!

I share that experience because it's a great lesson in life and working in Hollywood as well. Perception can sometimes make or break your dealings with people. But I am not one to be made or broken by one blind man. Even Ray Charles saw his worth and realized ownership of his intellectual property was key to his success. Thus, if I'm going to write for free continually, then I should pour that energy and creativity into an endeavor that benefits ME personally and financially, not somebody else. In fact, it's a no-brainer that the Internet has more readers than a LOCAL publication, thus advertising on my site could have great money making potential for both of us. Traffic is increasing every week. Dat's bidness 101! A mutually beneficially agreement could have been made, but oh well!

The whole thing has taught me a valuable lesson, but not just about perception. Words have value, and thus, so does this site. I need to treat it as such. And although I maybe coming into the game a little late, Divinely I'm still on time. I also share this story because it confirms my initial belief that someone in a position to hire writers would read my articles and see my potential as an entertainment writer. I wrote it in a blog months ago and it happened, and it's happened again. I knew in my heart that if the blessing came once, then it would come again, and again, and again...you see the trend here! As my Big Mama used to say, "one monkey don't stop no show!"

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