Donning a Teflon Coat

Unless you are very lucky, you will undoubtedly encounter your share of shark-like creatures, disappointment and rejection upon entering Tinseltown. Unfortunately, there is no inoculation you can take that will keep you immune from the worst aspects of the industry. So you have to find some way of developing a thick skin, like imagining yourself draped in a coat made of Teflon that repels all the bad stuff and keeps it from sticking. The purpose of the coat is to protect your self-esteem, motivation and passion, and to keep you from taking anything too personally, from getting depressed and discouraged and from giving up on your dreams. Don't let the sharks get the best of you, and learn to let the negativity, the frustration and the fear of failure go. If you don't get the job or the role or the show or the client you wanted, there will be other opportunities. If someone you're working for is abusive, you learn to deal with it, or leave the job—but not the business. If you can't seem to catch a break, hang in there—it'll come. You can't take "no" for an answer, and you can't let someone else's bad behavior rule your life or your decisions. This isn't a business for sissies, and you've got to be committed to keeping that coat on in all types of weather, because as bitter and gray as it can get, the sun will eventually come out.

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