HOW TO GET AHEAD AND GET WHAT YOU WANT AS AN ACTOR IN THIS INDUSTRY.
For half a year, I had been in the house writing colourful CVs with flower petals at the Bottom, that is how I acquired exemplary skills in CV writing. But I realize our industry (the media industry) is soooooo competitive, you can't just do it from the back of your computer, like seriously!!!!! I am one of those Kenyans, who believe there are jobs or opportunities in abundance, what is not in abundance is what we specifically want. So in my two year experience of going through Drama video, having gone through embarrassing interview with cloths suddenly becoming scandalous for lack of prior preparation, writing awkward Cvs that included primary experience(Who honestly does that, it's called being stuck in the past),, being in jobs I was least interested in and to finally getting what I wanted, there is some little wisdom I can share :)
Network: When people hear about network, sometimes I imagine others understand it as going to events and telling people you are jobless. Hmmmm. That doesn't cut it. That portrays people as being users and nobody wants to friend users. Networking is about genuinely meeting people, getting interested to get to know them and know what makes them tick, without thinking I can get anything from them. Avoid conversations that revolve around how to get an entry in to an organization or joblessness in networking forums, perhaps strive on likeability.
Life is about relationships, building them, and nurturing them. You never know which one will lift you up. It could be anyone in the organization, it could be the cleaner, it doesn't have to be the CEO. For some reason most leave the office running, they are ever busy, but there are those accessible people like you and I, easier to talk to without stumbling upon your words.
Don't play yourself short: You are a recent graduate, and you will have a tendency to feel over confident in the initial stages until you are hit on all sides of the corner and realize alas, there is much more to learn about street life. However don't behave like you have nothing to offer. You are a mass of energy, with loads to give. Your experience though little is enough to get you ahead.
That should show in your clothes, in your talk.The other day my friends were telling me I should stop selling myself short. Don't call yourself upcoming. Package yourself in to what want to become, be it, walk it and do something about it. It is called the science of fake it till you make it.
Perform: Never promise what you can't deliver. Be a person of your words. Your reputation will go ahead of you. Don't think you will leave it behind, the world is a small village. Package yourself in a way that people are afraid to loose, just be good. Don't be the rude employee. Give it your aaaaaaaall
Persistence: They say in a battle between the rock and water, water will always win, not because of strength but because of persistence. You have to persist on and on. Your goal needs to stay consistent. You can't be changing visions and dreams every year and minute, ati oh, now I want to be this and that every minute, make up your mind and devote every single strength towards it. Some of us ended up in alternative jobs initially because we were not persistent, it was so easy to sway us. Niel Schiell told us one day in an acting workshop, there are some passions that don't die, when you wake up at 50 and you didn't do it, you will still feel horrible about it, so you might as well persist now until they happen, than regretting the rest of your life.
Of course also know, when to give up, some paths are a dead end, be sure it's a course worth pursuing.
Know your Talent and Abilities: Master your trade and your art. Some of us have clumsy finishing, me included. I know I am very capable of exemplary work, but sometimes I come out with gangster presentation that make the other person wonder, so now???? I have learned though how to make my work constant.
Do it really well, better than expected, then you can get a pat on your back. But don't do it horribly and start calling people mahaters, life doesn't sell that way. You can't go around disappointing people and expecting that they should clap for you, because apparently "you tried your best" People have invested their money.
Be sure of what your good at, accept criticisms and find out if they are true. Note your strengths and enforce them.
Establish a Portfolio: Show me what you can do, what you have done, then demand for the pay you want. Writing it on your CV and telling does not hold water as such. It works for some, but in a world of competition perhaps not.
In the world of creatives, you will have to do those pro bono projects by yourself. The many times I have seen small movies where the actress is the producer, is the director, and sometimes even the camera man in projects are not few. Invest in small things, equipments, your time and even in training, to get the results you want. Then when you go to introduce yourself, you actually have everything you need. Do it like you would if you had the position you want.
I have gotten a number of opportunities from blogging, which i do because I like, but it has opened diverse career opportunities. Start Channels show casing some of your work, pages. make your work feel big and important, because it is. Ensure you have an online presence and you are googlable :). Start a presence that you can easily be found. If you don't make yourself big enough, no body is going to even imagine you are big, you have to be your number one fun.
Graduate from amateur to professional over time so that now you start having other funs other than yourself.
Get Out of your seat
Many times what you want is just a call away, or sometime you have to walk out of your comfort. That is why there is something called Trekking. You have to walk to somewhere, its not always that you will get through letters, and emails, sometimes it is out of your comfortable seat.
And sometimes you realize there is no path to where you are going, so you have to create it. You have to risk and initiate, become and entrepreneur, creating opportunities for yourself and others. The world is full of numerous possibilities. See if you can access Uwezo fund, or Youth enterprise development fund, but sometimes you don't always have to start expensive, analyze your skill and ask yourself what your skills can do for you, and the run towards it to the end.
Never Ever Burn your Bridges: It is true that you will feel used cause you probably are desperate and people sorta want to take advantage of that, but make sure you never burn any bridge.
Don't be the dramatic employee who leaves soooo dramatic,no one wants to hear about you ever again. Leave neatly. Don't say things like "you have not fired me, I quit" or something even shadier. LOL, there was this gy who apparently had vumiliad for too too long, so when he was leaving, he felt the need to insult his female boss. Sema Drama.
You will be disappointed by a lot of people, but you need to find the place of calm some where in this universe, and find a way to let go without necessarily breaking ties. I was told, no matter how small the bridge is, if it wasn't there, you would still have taken a longer route to get to where you want to or need to.
ASK FOR HELP: No one gets up without people, there is at least just one or even thirty who have traded their time and sweat for you. We all need each other, so when it's not cutting it, just ask.You may meet your hero at the gate of an institution, or while eating Chapati, or even more at a Grand dinner event, who know, but your heart needs to be open.
Now if these things don't work, I don't know what else does, but from my path, I have seen it work.