It goes without saying that talent is what keeps you there once you have arrived. But hard work and promotion is definitely key in getting you there. Whether you are in front of or behind the camera, certain things are universal when it comes to letting the right people know you are available and ready.
I have found that many people are not really clear as to where they want to go. It helps tremendously to know specifically what your goals are. When someone asks me how to go about getting into makeup the first thing I ask them is Beauty or Effects? Many times they say they want to do it all. That becomes a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. I know it seems that if you choose one you will be pigeon holed into just that specific genre. But if you want to succeed in working then you must spend your time perfecting that skill.
I think the same applies to acting or directing or producing. If you look at the credits of professionals you will see that their niche is pretty much along the same lines. There are few that can cross over but I find, especially in my profession, that that is not always the case.
I think everyone has their own passion in a specific way and in order to really hone in on that specialty it’s important to have focus and knowledge about where you are going. This will allow you to know how to send the right information to the right people. If you want to do beauty and editorial then the print agencies are what you want to pursue. If it’s effects then focus on the successful labs and artists to connect with. I find many artists spin their wheels and waste a lot of time. Be specific about what you want and send personal messages to each. Don’t cc a cover letter because you may not be sending the information to the correct person. Do your homework and find out whom you need to connect with to make your contact successful.
Also make sure that the attachments that you send are universal to MAC or PC. You need a well-crafted pitch letter clear and concise. If you include a site make sure it’s not password protected. Nothing is more frustrating than to go to a site and not be able to view the information. The entertainment business is truly a small world and a second chance is not always available. Do your homework and get it right the first time to avoid disappointment and excuses.
We seem to be inundated by social media but you can get your message out there with little or no money and it will reach a large audience. Staying present is vital in people remembering you when that plum job comes up and you are just the right person.
I know that when I am looking for artists I remember the ones who were present, passionate and available. And also have a good attitude. You sometimes have only once to make an impression so try to make the first impression a positive one. That’s the best promotion you can do to be successful over a long period of time.