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Why You Might Not Make it in the Film Industry, and What You Can Do!

Why You Might Not Make it in the Film Industry, and What You Can Do! By Ronald K. Armstrong   Actors and filmmakers all have one thing in common; we want to make it big in the film industry. We&rsq...

Why You Might Not Make it in the Film Industry, and What You Can Do!

By Ronald K. Armstrong


Actors and filmmakers all have one thing in common; we want to make it big in the film industry. We’ve been sold a bunch of false stories, myths and outright lies about Hollywood, but the truth is that breaking in is hard as hell.


Most of us have never had the benefit of someone sitting us down and explaining the reality of the industry and what it really takes to make it. Instead, everyone—from our acting teachers to film professors—has fed us more of the mainstream smoke and mirrors of fame and fortune. Rather than being equipped with the specific traits needed for success, we were given one-size-fits-all curriculum. Only after we run into Hollywood with our expensive degrees do we realize that no one cares.  The worst part is that you may be super talented, but no one gives a darn.


After a couple of years of running around trying to get work, you hit the wall. Hard. You don’t just hit it, but ram right into it at supersonic speed. Then comes the rude awakening and moment of truth, asking yourself: What should I do? Why is no one calling me for work? Should I stay in this industry or bail while I can?


It’s not your fault that on one properly prepared you for the pitfalls—or, perhaps, Grand Canyon—that you would encounter. Rather than seeking out the truth, you chose to focus on the rags to riches stories of folks like Spike Lee, Steven Spielberg, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. What happened?


You may not be making it because you have been focusing on a set of skills that are not determining factors in your success. Allow me to bring you down to earth and present you with a formula that works. As a consultant, I help people by breaking the facts they don’t want to hear. For more tips check out my YouTube channel at:


The Facts:


  • Your talent means nothing. Of course, you need talent to work in the industry, but everyone is talented. A minimum amount of talent is the norm rather than the exception and will not make you stand out. There are thousands of talented people like you, so get over it. You’re nothing special.


  • You won’t be discovered in a coffee shop or film festival. There are stories are all over Hollywood about men and woman from Kansas sitting in a Hollywood coffee shop suddenly being discovered by a famous producer or director.  Please. Get real! Have you heard the one about the guy in the mailroom who worked his way up to President of the studio? Yeah, right. Get out of Disney Land! This could happen, but for most it’s just a dream. Even if you could get awards at a film festival, be prepared for the reality that it may not translate to notoriety or other work.


  • It may take many years to get your one big break. And I mean MANY years! Several famous A-list actors and filmmakers worked for years as extras and gofers before receiving any recognition. Bring a clean pair of underwear and settle in for the long haul.


With these three facts in mind, let’s learn some powerful principles that will help you make it! First, I’ll present two key principle skill sets that every actor and filmmaker should have.


  • Become a pro at networking. Those who make it in the business have a magnetic personality and effortlessly connect with people. Cold calling, constant emailing and attending numerous industry events should be routine. This is a crucial skill that is not taught in acting classes and film schools.


  • Become a mater promoter. Develop your personal brand and learn to promote it. This means understanding your strengths and unique qualities as an artist, as well as finding your audience. Relentlessly send postcards, post on social media, distribute press releases, etc. Keep talking and promoting yourself. Strategy is key! If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? In other words, you must promote yourself to the right people. Focus your activity on venues full of key Hollywood players.


Building on the two principles above, let’s discuss the behaviors that you will need to develop and perfect. Without these key character traits, your chances of making it are slim.


  • Be consistent. Success comes from taking small, incremental steps toward your achieving your objective. Network and promote yourself frequently and on an ambitious schedule.


  • Be persistent. Keep going and don’t take “no” for an answer. Try to stay positive and learn from every mistake or setback. So, you didn’t get the part or that big investor pulled out. Maybe the door is open for bigger and better things?


  • Adapt and Change. This is perhaps the most important tip. Don’t just be a robot. Learn to recognize patterns and tactics that work, and adapt to them. Maybe producers are looking for horror films but you are a comedy writer. Guess what? You could try writing a great horror/comedy. Perhaps you’re not getting work as an actor? Get a group together and produce your own film, with you as the star.


  • Push! Sometimes the industry just doesn’t set up roadblocks in front of you, it constructs the Great Wall of China! Pick up a big sledgehammer and start knocking that wall down. Do our friends and family seem unsupportive? Ignore them. Is your boyfriend or girlfriend giving you a hard time? So long—don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Push, push, push! There is an old Egyptian saying about Herukhuti, god of war. It is said that “Herukhuti, makes a way where there is no way.” This is your new motto.


  • Pray or meditate. I’m serious. Daily prayer and meditation will help you subconsciously reinforce your goal. The subconscious mind controls our actions so powerfully that you may not even notice the change in your perspective. Have you been trying to get a meeting with that producer or casting director, with no luck? Meditate and visualize yourself running into them on the street. You may just find that it happens.


I’ve just given you some seriously powerful principles that no one bothered to teach me.  Now that you’re armed with this information, get out and use it! Success is waiting for you to go out and claim itArticle Search, right in front of all those doubters. Remember the old Klingon proverb; “Revenge is a dish that is best served cold!”

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