by Donna Botts
You have made the decision to be in the entertainment business – Fantastic! Now you are wondering… Where do I begin? What should I work on? How do I network? I am sure these and other questions have surfaced as you start your journey. I would like to offer some simple, yet hopefully, useful guidelines and suggestions as you begin to build a successful career.
Number One – This is the MOST important and vital part of your success not only in your career but in your personal life as well. Your walk with the Lord must be your first focus. When we keep God in the center of our life and allow Him to direct our steps, we stay in His Will which is the best place to be. Now, does this mean that God will grant you instant success, fame, and fortune? No, it does not. This does, however, remind us that our purpose while on earth is not for ourselves it is for Him – His kingdom and His glory. This is a great truth to remember regardless of how long we have been in the business!
Number Two – Surround yourself with people who will support you and push you to be your best. There are so many opportunities to join a web community or “groups” that meet locally. Whatever your career choice may be: acting, singing, being a musician, producing, editing, writing, etc… Check your local paper, look online and join a group that specializes in your field. How wonderful it is to have feedback, support, and prayer from those who are on the same journey.
Number Three – Make sure you have a professional resume’ and that you update it on a regular basis. You may need to have professional headshots done (You can do this at the Gideon Conference!) Utilize the web to your advantage. Join casting sites for your particular interests. Build a webpage or start a blog. You can network on social media sites. You must make available your experience, your education/training and all other important information about yourself. Make it easy and appealing for those who would want to hire you. Do not be overly heavy with graphics, fonts, or many pages. Always keep your resume’ simple, neat, and up to date and always carry business cards with you – you never know who you may meet!
Number Four – Get out there and pound the pavement. If you want to work, you are going to have to look for it. Most of us are not going to be discovered walking across the street. While that would be nice, it doesn’t happen in the real world. So set your mind to submitting yourself to as many jobs that will benefit your career as possible. (And again, I would remind you to pray about each and every opportunity.) What we think may be the best chance at career advancement, may not be what the Lord has in mind, so ask God to help you in your decision making process. Where do you look? Remember that “Group” that you joined – many post opportunities this way. Look on the social networking sites. Google your field. Look at articles and newspaper advertisements. Some jobs may even come by word of mouth, but you have to stay connected and be persistent.
Number Five – You must stay focused and positive. You may submit your work a hundred times and be turned down every single time. You could decide to give up and say, “Forget it – it’s too hard!” But what if your 101st time would have been your big break? You will never know because you gave up. Yes, being in the entertainment industry is not for the faint of heart, but if God placed a desire in you for this career remember these words from Philippians. “Being confident in this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Ch. 1:6 NIV)
Yes, this business takes a lot of dedication, hard work, and tons of prayer. But IT IS worth it! So be encouraged, take heart, pull yourself up by your bootstraps if you have to…and remember your fellow ‘Gideonites’ are here for you!
See you on the Red Carpet!