How to find success in entertainment without being an entertainer

There are so many job options in the entertainment industry, outside of being the entertainer, but how to you get your foot in the door?  Black Enterprise presented “Behind the Scenes: How to find success in entertainment without being an entertainer” with leaders from the industry providing tips on successfully interning, staying relevant in the industry and building relationships.  The panel features:

Mary Major-Jack, President, Major Jack Productions

Mona Scott-Young, President, Monami Entertainment

Roger Bobb, Executive Vice-President, Tyler Perry Studios

Moderators: Shante Bacon & Saptosa Foster, 135th Street Agency

Relationship Building

  • Be sincere.  Don’t place a value on people based on their job titles.
  • The entertainment industry is a small network so people will know who you are and what you stand for.
  • Have humility.

Industry Internships

  • People at the top know the business from the bottom up.  Don’t expect to start in the middle or at the top.
  • Have a strong work ethic.  Focus more on doing the work than trying to get access to contacts.  To be successful you have to establish a reputation as someone who is loyal, trusting and valuing the company culture.
  • Interning for little to no money is the best way to get your foot in the door.  People are more likely to chance on you with a limited investment. Make yourself invaluable before you start expecting to make money.
  • Don’t go into the position wanting to take over your boss’ position or immediately starting to pitch your personal product.
  • Don’t treat position as a placeholder waiting for something better.  Do the best where you are.

Developing Expertise

  • Figure out what you enjoy most, what is your passion and follow that area of the business.  If you are passionate, even when you feel like quitting, you will keep going.
  • Don’t be afraid to wear many hats and always learn from your experiences, good and bad.
  • Reflect on past projects and learn lessons about what you can do better the next time.  Must constantly analyze self and work.
  • Focus on core skill set but strive to learn other skills.  You don’t have to do everything but it’s important to understand the multiple facets of the organization you are a part of.

Staying Relevant

  • Must be in constant and maintain flexibility.  If you can’t bend then you will break.
  • Stay abreast of trends and technology.
  • Place a priority on budgeting, be able to do more with less.
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