The Early Shark Gets the Fish

By: Brian Gilleece

STRATEGY #4 Understand Your Environment


Recognize threats (internal & external) Evaluate threats; avoid or minimize exposure Recognize advantages (internal & external) Evaluate advantages; utilize them to their fullest.


YOU ARE THE ENVIRONMENT YOU LIVE IN: This one seems pretty straight forward to me... If you were going to be a fish, you would need to get some gills... If you were going to be a bird, you would need some wings... SO similarly it would be assumed that if you wanted to work in Hollywood you would know what is important IN HOLLYWOOD at any given moment...


The same way a fish breathes air out of water and bird flies and eats worms.


Knowing as much about the landscape as possible so that when situations arise, you can be make an educated decision - when you get an audition you KNOW tons about the project or people involved or scope of the project etc so you can take the right steps to prepare.


I stress this knowledge thing because it REALLY is what makes a difference in how you are perceived and makes all the difference. Actors are traditionally seen as knuckleheads or chuckleheads, chowderheads, blockheads anyone one of these works...


Why do you think after actors get some success they want to direct? or produce? That is because those positions are universally more respected then acting... Sorry just the way it is... So if you wanted to combat this industry-wide feeling wouldn't you want to be "smarter then the average bear?" I know I do. I'll say this again and again, if you are not reading these two publications you are just being ignorant or... lazy...#themoreyouknow


Variety The Hollywood Reporter


AVOIDING OR MINIMIZING EXPOSURE: This is so obvious...

  • Don't do bad work or be unprepared.

  • If it's unpaid or deferred its probably NOT real and probably not worth doing because it is not viable (unless you need footage, you're helping a friend etc...)

  • If its not a valid casting office or School (USC, UCLA, LOYOLA etc...) it won't go anywhere.

  • Don't associate with negative people or people on the downslide.

  • Avoid situations were there is no overt positive strategic outcome, I.E can this help me or only potentially hurt me.

This is a VERY very small town and your stock can rise fast or it can fall fast. EVERY day you need to be your BEST... Perform your best, act your best, look your best...


If that is not for you, thats cool. Go work for the government or the DMV or some place that "being your best" everyday is not the name of the game... But it 100% is the name of the game here.


EVALUATE ADVANTAGES:

Do you have any distinct advantages? If so do you use them?


What makes you special? Who do you know? What do you do?


How can you all of these things to not just float your way through this life BUT to actually have some success?


Is there a culture in town right now that your taped into? Is there a group of people you can integrate with?


Do you have a "particular set of skills" that makes you unique...


At this moment the town is rapidly changing - culturally (#METOO, diversity inclusion etc...). From a business perspective on HOW and WHERE money is made - Film to TV, Cable TV to Paid, Cord or No Cord.


This is a golden era of opportunity but like the gold rush, nothing lasts forever and things will eventually sift out and the landscape will have changed. SO identify these advantages now!


WRAP UP: It's easy to not think about things in a strategic way - it's how MOST people live their lives - from task to task, moment to moment, social norm to social norm. But guess what? They can end up having very average or unfulfilled lives.


I don't believe you're in that camp, or you would not be here, BUT I do think it would not hurt to be a bit sharkey-er. A bit more cunning. And a bit more self-centered.


Time is money and the strategy is to spend your TIME making your MONEY at acting, so let's really shake that tree and see what we can find..... #strategery



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