Friday, July 13, 2007

I'm Not Mad, I'm Enlightened

I love creating content for this site. But woman cannot live on the love of blogging alone quite yet. I must work. Me and my dependents, Corolla and Tyrone, have needs that can only be met monetarily. (For you newbies to this site, Corolla is my car and Tyrone, my beloved computer). So I've hit the pavement with the other young and restless of Hollywood in search of work.

Most of my efforts to find employment have been in the reality television genre. I've two shows under my belt already--one involving nannies and out-of-control children and the other concerning interesting home buyers. So that's two notable Hollywood credits added to my resume. And in this game, credits mean everything. Sometimes used like bargaining chips, credits give people some semblance of respect, whether deserved or not. To quote the Bruce Hornsby song, "That's just the way it is, some things will never change." Hate the game folks, not the player. Better yet, don't even hate the game; learn the way it's played and handle yourself accordingly.

Recently, I interviewed for a job on an upcoming reality tv show thinking my experience met the requirements. Confident in my ability to do the job well, I sat before the producer ready to sell her on my qualifications. And thirty minutes later, I walked out that meeting feeling good myself about the prospect of going back to working full time. Two days later, all that positivity oozed right out of me. Here's an example of why:

"So what shows have you booked before?" Asked the supervising producer.

"I've worked on talk shows, documentaries...booked different kinds of people. Made the cold calls, pre-interviewed them, prepped them for the show, made sure they made what we called "good television."

"Really...I don't see any listed on your resume I recognize," she said.

I stated, "Actually, these credits were on the east coast for a PBS affiliate."

"PBS...that's not the kind of show we're doing. We need people who can book characters."

"I understand that, but I know how to book controversial guests. I can do the research, find the people, approach them, massage their story into something to be used for the show," I said in
defense.

After a long pause she replied, "We'll be in touch," and abruptly ended the call.

Based on that sampling of conversations I've had several times lately, I can say PBS gets no respect in the entertainment game. Shame. As always, perception is everything. As it goes, if your experience is not acquired in Hollywood, New York, or possibly Chicago then expect your resume to go near the bottom of the pile, unless there is a call for locals. But how do you get the recognizable credits if when you apply employers only look for show names they recognize? It's a resume, not TV Guide!

But I ain't mad...anymore. I had to remind myself of what I learned along time ago. Everything I think I want is not meant for me to have--kind of like that fine brotha I wanted the attention of in college. Once I got it, I wished I'd never met him...but getting back to Hollywood. Just because I lack name brand shows in my experience, doesn't mean my talents are not good enough to work at E!, MTV, or similar companies. Nor does it mean I should let it stop me from trying to earn coveted jobs and show credits at those companies if it benefits my career.

So how do I not act like a DMX song when Hollywood denies me? I meditate on this: If I'm not hired for a particular job, then probably the opportunity was meant for someone else. Mine is on its way. In the meantime, I'll continue to apply, network, blog, and create opportunities of my own. The real blessing is knowing that my success does not lie in Hollywood's hands. Tinseltown is merely the channel I've been led to use. So stay tuned, there's more to see.

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