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Here are some tips for anyone on the cusp of making it - from what I've observed working in the Wide World of Show Biz!
by Billy Ingram
Here are some harsh realities when it comes to the business of show that I learned very quickly working in the entertainment field (music & movies) in Hollywood.
Your friends won't support you in your endeavor, you'll make new friends. Be glad your old friends don't think you're that talented, it's human nature. When you start to move up, note the people who start to get snotty all of a sudden. Those are the ones who will take credit for everything you did and rat you out to The Enquirer. (Which might sound cool now but in the future not so much.)
Listen for this, you will hear it: "I'm going to record my own album and it's going to bury yours!" Jealousy is sweet music!
It's also human nature to drop the people you knew before you got big because your new friends think you're a GOD and you can do no wrong. Every word you utter is oooohed and aaaahed over. You are suddenly the smartest and most clever person on earth. Your old friends will roll their eyes at your new persona. Just remember you're not as clever as the sycophants say you are and enjoy every minute of it.
Don't become jealous yourself. When those around you start to move up and you're stalled, watch and learn. If you stay in - and on top of - the game your shot will come soon enough. And you'll be more prepared.
On tour the bottom feeders come around first. The Monte Carlo rich cougars who summer on their yachts are in the corner watching to see if you'll take the bait. If you don't, say hello to the King of Monaco next summer.
It's virtually impossible to tell who's legit and who's shit so when people come with offers always be open and agreeable but look for tangibles. Bling and cars mean nothing and almost always indicates a bullshitter (but you never know).
A meal in a nice restaurant is a tangible. Note how he/she treats the help, that may be you one day. If you like an offerthat's made, agree to talk in their office. If they can't for some reason, enjoy your meal.
You are not Judy Garland so you can't get fucked up before performances. Judy could do it because they shoved her in from of the camera when she was 6 years old. She performed non-stop for 20 years before she had the chops to go on stage obliterated and still do a killer show. You didn't grow up at MGM, so grow up.
Decide if you want to do this for a living or not. You will be a passing satellite unless you devote yourself night and day to the pursuit. There is too much that needs to be done and you have to do it all. A record company might help but you have the luxury of time, use it!
You are now a business. Inventory is: your talent, your skill sets, and time. Businesses make money when the MOVE inventory, not when they park it. But Daydreaming (visulazation) is work time. Intelligent, creative discussions are work related.
Decide how badly you want this and act on it every day. There's someone in line right behind you and an opening at the Walmart waiting for you. You never know when the opportunities will dry up and blow away so you have to constantly stay on it. I knew in '05 if I wanted to continue being on TV I had to get proactive about it and not just wait for the phone to ring like I had been. I loved the process, the wrting, the people I worked with but I didn't really want to do TV in the first place so I watched as they continued the party without me. It kinda hurt but I made that choice and don't regret it.
Just when things look darkest don't despair. Trust. If you've worked hard and have your shit reasonably together, what you need will be provided. Channel that despair. Turn it to anger if you have to, it's easier to deal with. Turn it into music.
Remember the Golden Rule but be prepared to do unto others before they do unto you. Another phrase I heard often in Los Angeles - it's not enough for you to make it, your friends have to fail as well. Really, a lot of people think that way.
Your talent has taken you this far. Want to go farther? Get better. You get better by writing and performing, writing and performing.
Every successful person I ever talked with or read interviews with say about the same thing - "I didn't want to go to this party (audition, whatever) but I went anyway and ended up getting that dream job."
If you're not in a position to say no, always say yes no matter what it is, professionally speaking.
There is one key person who can/will take you from where you are now to where you want to be. You never know where he/she will be or what audience they might be in. You see the problem? You have to be ready to take advantage of any opportunity. The very last thing you were working on the day before you got the job is what will save you, lift you up.
You can't lose if you don't quit. Don't lose.
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