Networking and schmoozing are not dirty words, nor do they represent a practice reserved exclusively for slick, self-serving, disingenuous hustlers looking to further their own careers and ready to mow down anyone who gets in their way. Networking is part of the way we (all of us) do business, and when done the right way, it's an extraordinarily essential element to any successful career.
It's scary at first, especially if it's not something you're used to doing, but the more you do it, the easier it'll get. This is not a profession for the shy and timid; you've got to get yourself out there. Start by making friends and staying in touch with the people you're going to school with and working with. Stay in touch with your teachers and supervisors. If you live in a major film center like Los Angeles or New York, take advantage of the innumerable opportunities available to you: networking functions, entertainment-related organizations, seminars, classes, workshops, theatre groups and industry-supported charities. If you live in a smaller community, check with your local film commission office to see what's available in your area. If it's not much, start your own networking group or film club. No matter where you live or how large or small the gathering, it's important to spend time with people who have the same interests, some of the same goals and are going through (or have gone through) the experiences you're living. Help each other, pool your resources and share information. Networking is more about giving and sharing than it is about taking. If you get into it for the sole purpose of what you can get from other people, it won't work. Be there to help and support others, and others will be there to help and support you, usually without you ever having to ask. Networking is the life blood of the business. And it's a key capable of unlocking many doors if done willingly and with an open heart.
Was this article helpful?