Semi-Pro NoHo Tips for Success in the Arts and Entertainment World

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Thanks to movies, music, TV, and commercial advertising, the entertainment industry accounts for billions of dollars in revenue every year. It goes without saying that everyone has some form of entertainment that interests them. Whether you’re a movie buff, a reality TV enthusiast, music fan, or a fan of visual art, there’s something for you. The reason why this is so pertinent to those who are involved in the entertainment industry is that there is something for just about everyone to enjoy.

Perhaps that is what attracts so many people to the Hollywood limelight, looking for a taste of fame, or to slice off a wedge of entertainment industry pie for themselves. Actors, entertainers, photographers, visual artists, writers, and other artisans flock to Hollywood every year with hopes of ‘making it big’, though that is defined in very different ways depending on the person.

The NoHo Arts District is no exception in the fact that it is a thriving area for entertainment professionals, a place where they can hone their craft and earn their chops. But what if you’re new to NoHo and the entertainment world in general? What do you do, and where do you start? Or perhaps you are a seasoned vet of the arts and entertainment world and you’re simply looking for a fresh perspective. One truth of the entertainment industry that remains certain is that it can be easy to get lost spinning your wheels if you don’t have some sort of direction.

“Show business is not so much dog eats dog, as dog doesn’t return other dog’s phone calls,” Woody Allen said of the entertainment industry. This mindset can quickly turn any bright eyed ingénue into a broken down and discouraged fatalist in no time. Statistics show that a mere eight percent of those who arrive at entertainment’s door actually make it into the ‘big time’. That’s a pretty staggering statistic to consider, which may cause several people to shy away from their dreams. However, with a determined attitude, some talent, and a qualified contact or two, a person’s chances at ‘making it’ increase, although some leading industry experts liken ‘making it’ in Hollywood to ‘winning the lottery’. Lottery or not, there are still principles to practice to keep your mind right and also survive emotionally and professionally.

It is important to understand the role that digital technology plays when it comes to success, regardless of the area of arts and entertainment that you are pursuing. Since the inception of the Internet and the subsequent success of various forms of social media, web presence makes all the difference. Understanding this and also finding a reputable agent (when necessary, and it’s likely always necessary to have one) who understands this is paramount to being among the aforementioned eight percent. Jordan Kurland, owner and founder of Zeitgeist Music, a leading indie-artist label located in California said it best: “The internet has completely transformed how people learn about and digest music and has given independent bands and labels an inexpensive or free way to reach millions of people.” Keep in mind that producers, agents, and directors are all clamoring to discover the ‘next big thing’; it is essentially what keeps the ‘big dogs’ in the entertainment industry relevant for so long. Therefore, it benefits one’s career to contract with a talented and well connected agent that understands the ins and outs of the arts and entertainment industry. Not convinced of the value of a manager with his ear to the ground? Ask pop bands Death Cab for Cutie, The Postal Service, and She & Him–all of whom are managed by Jordan Kurland.

For really new musicians, it’s actually still valuable to a have a solid and succinctly written resume and professional head shot before you reach out to an agent or manager. Qualified and talented agents can be tracked down in several different ways, through directories, word of mouth, and sometimes, pounding the pavement.Don’t sit around and wait for your agent to find you work, though. It is important for an entertainment professional to be out seeking opportunities on their own. Notice the actions of the stars who you wish to emulate. Figure out their paths to success and mimic them.

A lot of times this may require you to work for free in order to tag your name alongside a production or two in order to pad your resume–especially if you’re just getting your foot in the Hollywood door.

Furthermore, you never know who might be watching. Although the chances of being discovered in the story book Hollywood fashion are pretty minimal, it still does, on very rare occasions, happen. It helps to work as much as possible, even if it entails taking on a free engagement from time to time for the purpose of networking, but also to keep your skills sharp and possibly develop new skills.

The NoHo Arts District is ripe with opportunities to do this, with several performance troupes and venues available to the budding professional. The main thing to remember when working in the arts and entertainment industry is to always keep going. The saying ‘the show must go one’ has stood the test of time for a good reason. The meaning behind that, of course, is that no matter what, when the going gets tough, the tough keep moving forward. The seasoned professional allows setbacks to become fuel for their continued success in the cutthroat industry that is entertainment and show business.

About The Author: Jane is a freelance writer often covering topics like music, art, and careers within the entertainment industry. In her younger years Jane performed as a concert pianist with the occasional vocal performance. Now Jane spends most of her time blogging and making music in her own home for leisure. Jane’s goal is to show her passion for the arts through her writing!

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