Friday, March 18, 2011

Question of the Day #871

My friend, Nancy, is an amazing writer and editor. Her artist family is visiting LA, so she had a dinner party last night and I catered it.

Her niece and nephew act and make music. All their friends attended the party. So, in a room packed with college age performers, Nancy's Writer/ Director neighbor spoke about her journey in the entertainment industry. She started at Julliard, did Shakespeare in the Park, acted on Broadway, couldn't pay her rent and moved to LA. Here, she started a band, toured with Meatloaf, started writing comedy and pitched a TV show which sold. Then she began directing and kept writing and developing comedy.

Her story had much to do with timing and serendipity. Like how Jack Black happened to be her neighbor and he suggested she start the band. After a while, Tenacious D opened for her.

The kids absorbed every word. They asked tons of questions.

She gave great advice. Like if you want to act, work in film. Don't wait tables or work in a bar. Get on a set or into a production office. "Work for free," she said. "Be the one who leaves last."

"And most importantly, be cool," she said. "Don't get in there and act like you're too good to get coffee."

"Just get the work. Because work begets work."

Simple advice, right?

What simple advice has worked for you?



  1. I never understood that idea of working as a waitress hoping to 'be discovered' by someone. I guess it's worked for some people, but it's always made more sense to get a job as a PA or something. Glad you had fun.

    Simple advice for me -- Don't sweat the small stuff. Life goes by too fast to worry about petty things that don't matter.

  2. get the job 1st then figure out how to do it

  3. Wow, how I wish I could have been there with my talented daughters! The best simple advice is less advice than a phrase that puts all the drama of a job in perspective, "We're not saving the world here. We're just..."

    ...writing a pamphlet.
    ...organizing a school event.
    ...putting on a fundraiser.

    It works in so many situations.

  4. Remember the past and plan for the future, but always remember to live for today.

  5. The actor/director neighbor is named Nancy Hower. And she was extraordinarily gracious and wise. She also injected a dose of realism into the young people's minds without dampening their dreams. And to top it all off, the catered dinner was fabulous!

  6. That is SUCH good advice--especially for the younguns these days who seem so entitled in their attitudes. The best, simple advice I ever got? Smile.


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