by Jessica Cabot
All the time young college students who don’t know any better are asking me, “Hey, Jessica, how do I make it in the entertainment industry? How can I get a job as a writer’s assistant like the one you used to have?” I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have a lot of help along the way on my career journey. It’s the least I can do to pay it forward and divulge my insider industry secrets.
As such, the following are my top ten pieces of advice for people who aspire to be more like me and waste their lives pursuing delusional pipe dreams:
1. BE NICE? – People are always complaining that everyone here is a jerk, so if you’re nice you’ll probably stand out. Standing out is good.
2. BE (OVERLY) CONFIDENT – There are too many other people trying to do this. Your chances of success are insanely small. There is a high likelihood that you will fail. As such, nurture your delusions. There will be an infinite amount of times you will want to give up and probably should give up, but don’t.
3. LOSE YOUR DIGNITY – Rejection is par for the course. Forget about concepts like “shame” or “respect”. If you can’t laugh at yourself and care too much about what everyone else thinks, you’re doomed. Judgment runs rampant in Hollywood so the sooner you can degrade yourself willingly and not let it bother you, the better.
4. DO A BAD JOB AT YOUR DATA ENTRY GIG – Instead of being productive at my old data entry job, I tweeted a lot of jokes. Those jokes helped me connect with a guy who happened to know one of the writers at Weeds. They were looking for a writer’s assistant. So don’t invest too much of your energy in soul-sucking endeavors when your heart is telling you to procrastinate and tweet a lot. (See #10)
5. DRINK A LOT – Networking is important. Everyone in Hollywood is a partier and will make grand promises of getting you an agent if you catch them at a time when they are wasted enough, which is most of the time. So develop your penchant for alcohol now.