Many folks who grew up in small towns or so-called "fly-over states" dream of one day moving to California to strike it rich working in the film industry. While the pursuit of fame and fortune in Hollywood has left many hopefuls feeling defeated and exhausted, it has also been rewarding for many others, even if the pursuit doesn't work out exactly how they imagined.
In this post, we're going to explore some problematic attitudes and misconceptions espoused by many who many the pilgrimage to L.A. and outline what a realistic career in the entertainment industry looks like in 2018.
The Trouble with Fame and Fortune
People who land in Hollywood hoping to become a movie star, film director or a renowned musician are setting themselves up for disappointment, plain and simple. Furthermore, this intense desire to become famous without putting in the working or establishing a community connection is unrealistic and self-centered. Being famous is not a job, it's typically a byproduct of hard work with that is accompanied by a lack of privacy and intense public scrutiny - the definition of a blessing and a curse.
Playing the Long Game
If you weren't born into the Coppola family, you may need to actually work your way up. Working jobs that are considered to be 'less glamorous' on a film or television set may actually lead to a fulfilling career better suited to your talents. You can learn about entertainment business careers through The CIE Tour by signing up for events featuring talks from celebrities and industry experts, as well as opportunities to connect with potential mentors. From craft services to props master and location scout, you'll discover a wide variety of jobs that pay reasonably well without all that awful fame.
Assessing the Job Market
You may not have to go to university to work in the film industry, but you do need to be strategic - the film and television industry has undergone massive changes in recent years, creating fluctuations in the job market. While directors and producers are in high demand, these are typically jobs that require a solid amount of experience. Fortunately, other jobs that are in high demand are audio and video technicians, as well as film editors. California Community colleges - and certain out of state colleges - offer courses in these fields, so you don't need to break the bank on a university degree.
Technical jobs and film editing are also skills that can be self-taught and independently practiced in the age of technology and information, so if you're self-motivating, you definitely have a leg up.
Know Thyself: Is This a Good Fit?
A feature of most jobs in the entertainment industry is that they involve working with other people, meaning interpersonal skills are a must. In today's job market - which often involves freelancing - many jobs are done from home or on a computer in a cubicle or small office. Therefore, the entertainment industry offers a great opportunity for those who thrive in a social setting. If, however, you prefer to spend a lot of time alone, you may want to focus your energy in a different direction.
In 2018, the L.A. dream is changing fast. For resourceful, motivated young people, working in film or television could be a rewarding adventure that lasts a lifetime!