Outside of those people actually working in entertainment and learning the ropes, no one really knows what happens day to day. There is no school to teach you how to navigate the rough waters, and it’s rare that talent experience smooth sailing for long. So, as the cliché goes, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!”
How do you “join ‘em”, you ask? Well, my friend, the only way to learn a trade is to become an apprentice, so sign on for an internship in whatever field or position is available. As a talent, learning all the aspects of what the agent, casting director, ad agency, director, producer, camera operator, and talent coordinator have to manage can give you an added advantage when communicating. Knowledge is power, so it’s great to have the information that will get you seen while creating warm fuzzies for the professionals you encounter.
Don’t underestimate the power of networking in this capacity, though! Just “being” around these settings will help you become more familiar, and that familiarity will keep you more readily accessible in the minds of the professionals who have worked with you.
Of course, these benefits are only effective if you handle yourself professionally at all times. Talent who approach these opportunities for selfish gain do not tend to build warm fuzzies or lasting relationships. We’re all used to the phony interest and our intuitions are tuned well to recognize these people and circumstances quickly.
If you are going to intern for someone, give them your best! It’s how they will always remember you. After all, you’re doing all that free work in order to get the payback of being remembered, right?