Bruce Edwin is CEO of the A-list firm Starpower Management LLC, publisher of The Hollywood Sentinel, and motion picture producer. His services, based on his years of expertise and success in the music and film industry, are sought out and used by some of the most powerful companies and stars in entertainment. This ongoing article, a precursor to his upcoming book series, is his way of giving back to models, actors and bands, with education-that in its totality and with its unabashed honesty-cannot not be found anywhere else-free.
Moira Cue (pictured here) has achieved growing success in multiple areas of the arts by having a fierce determination, talent, and always being on time among more.
The main three reasons people fail to succeed in Hollywood, are reasons that I have told thousands in person, and told millions in writing, over and over. Yet, it needs stated again, as there are still others who have not heard the message, or others still, who got the message, but did not follow.
Number One: Suppressive people. Jealous or nay saying parents, wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, friends, relatives, or co-workers. I will never forget the time one day when a young, hopeful, pretty young woman who yearned to be a model and actress called me crying on the phone, telling me that she wanted to pursue the entertainment business, but that her husband told her if she did, he would divorce her. She was shocked and sad, but decided to stay with him, as he was supporting her and she was afraid to leave. If someone tries to stop you from pursuing your dreams-so long as your dreams are not in violation of any basic human right or law-then you owe it to yourself to leave that person. Do not allow others to crush your dreams.
Number Two: Being Flaky. The cliche’ about flaky actors, models, and bands exists because it is real. Over half of them are. It is actually a rarity to find a model, actor, or musician who is on time rather than one who is late. Being late to meet someone signifies that you do not value their time, and do not respect their time which is life and money. Be on time. Being on time in this business means being early.
Number Three: Not treating the entertainment industry as a business. A shocking number of aspiring actors, models and bands act as if they can treat agents, managers, casting directors, producers, and others in the entertainment business just as they do the sales clerk at their local marijuana shop. No, that is not O.K. First of all, get off weed, and other drugs. If you are not-pretend you are a professional, and then do things professionals do, like show up on time, use titles of respect like mister or mam instead of dude, man, honey, or baby-until you get to know the person, and realize what is acceptable with them and what is not, and then be a professional. Also, be aware of your social media presence.
Don’t put anything on your social media; Facebook, twitter, YouTube, or anything that a professional corporate office for a national company would not want to see their employees do if you had a top level position with them. Represent yourself as a professional at all times and in all places. Be a professional, if you want to be a pro working model, actor or musician or singer.
Study your craft and become an expert in what you do. Get educated. Do not expect one to just hand you a job or a contract just because you show up. You’ve heard that line by JFK about you and your country? Well, I have modified that. It goes like this; ‘And so my fellow models and actors, ask not what your agent or manager can do for you, ask what you can do for your agent or manager.’ (LOL). Seriously though, there are less agents and managers, and more actors and models out there. Models and talent – unless they are a fashion top or a star- are replaceable. So remember that, and don’t act as if the world and Hollywood owes you a living or a job or an audition or a meeting, or representation, or a contract-they don’t. You need to earn it.
Too many amateur models and actors walk in to a meeting with an agent or manager with a sense of self-entitlement, as if they are entitled to be represented by their very presence of showing up-usually late and often snotty-and act as if they are doing agents and management a favor. Not really so. There is no shortage of a pretty face or a new actor in this town- so, don’t assume you don’t have to earn your position and don’t assume you don’t have to demonstrate your unique value.
Just showing up- contrary to wrong information-is not enough. You must be on time, gracious, cordial, professional, and a pro, knowing your craft, whether it be how to walk on the runway and shoot, how to memorize ten pages of lines in a day and give a great performance as a character totally different than yourself, or how to pull off an amazing gig in front of hundreds or thousands -even when the P.A. cracks and sound man disappears-you must always be a pro. I will expand more on this in a future issue, but these are the top three things needed in order to succeed in Hollywood.
This following area is a large topic, and one that will require a great length of space, so the bulk of this information will be in a future issue, however, this is very essential and urgent for you to know, so here now, are the top 10 basics;
TOP 10 WAYS TO BE SAFE IN HOLLYWOOD
1. Always bring a charged cell phone with you and keep it on silent in your pocket at all times, ready to use if needed. Keep it in a pocket-not a purse-in case your purse gets away from you. Carry your charger with you in case you need to re-charge.
2. If you are going somewhere new to meet someone you do not trust, have a friend-preferably a tough one-wait in the car. Be aware however that if you are driving on to a studio lot, you may only get a pass for you to drive on, not any other, so ask for a drive on pass for a driver, or, know where they will be waiting.
3. Bring a change of clothes that you keep in a carry bag or your car that you can bring with to change in to and cover up with after any sexy attire worn for an audition or job. You don’t want to necessarily wear your shoot attire out on the streets-or even in your car. Contrary to some stars that run around in public showing their breasts with see through tops or similar, this is generally not a safe thing to do. Dress appropriately and safely.
4. Do not text and drive and do not hold a cell phone to your ear and drive. Even with an earpiece, you should try to avoid this and put 100 percent total attention on driving. Too many actors and models drive recklessly or get distracted and get in wrecks that could easily be avoided.
5. Avoid drugs and alcohol. Never drink or do drugs and drive, and ideally, avoid them altogether. Don’t let your inhibitions get lowered or similar by mind altering substances. Stay clean and sober, and grounded in reality and the present moment so you have the best judgement that you can have and use. If you go to an event and do drink, limit yourself to one light drink, but if you do go over your limit of what you can handle, get a driver or take a cab. Don’t leave your drink or food unattended. Have it watched by someone you know and trust so it can not be tampered with, or ideally take it with you. If you want to stay healthy, try to avoid hospitals, doctors, and graveyards-yes, they actually party in them in Hollywood-and if you want to stay sane, avoid insane asylums, pharmaceutical drugs, and shrinks.
6. Avoid trying to book yourself for jobs and go through a professional agent or manager. Many jobs one can find on ones own as an actor or model are by amateurs and for amateurs. Most pay little to nothing, and not all, but some, are not safe, and may be run by dangerous people with bait and switch tactics which has been known to be done by mainstream reality shows.
7. Don’t say that you will do anything you are not comfortable doing for a job. Don’t be overly flirtatious. Friendly and cute is fine, but don’t cross the line if you want to be a professional. And, don’t show any agent, manager, producer, or casting director images of you unless you are prepared to shoot that same style of shoot again. For example, if you show an agent images of you from Maxim, don’t be surprised if they only sign you if you do more of that similar type of work.
8. Don’t do nudity or a love scene, or a violent scene unless it is for a pro job with a professional booked through a reputable agent or manager who has thoroughly investigated it, and make sure that you have all the information you can about the job, who will shoot it, who the photographer or director is, what their work looks like, where it will end up, what your rights are, what the pay is, etc. If you do scenes like this not through a pro, you put yourself at serious risk of having your rights violated in numerous negative ways.
9. Don’t sign a contract or similar unless you have time to read it, and understand it. If you are pressured, then tell them that your talent manager friend (me) or your attorney demands that we read any thing before you sign it. If they don’t like that-tough, and if they don’t let you, then they are not someone you want to do business with anyway.
10. Do not give out your personal information to any one except your desired prospective or current agent, manager, or publicist. That includes your last name, where you work, where you go to school, and your social media profile. This may come as a surprise to you, but there are a lot of freaks in Hollywood-be safe. Beware of tweeting or putting on Facebook your every move. If you’re hot, you run a risk of getting a stalker. And, contrary to the wrong idea of some people thinking it is flattering-you do not want a stalker.
There is tons more information I am going to share with you regarding being safe in Hollywood, but these are the top 10. Do be aware, this list above is for adults only that are 18 and older in the entertainment industry. Parents of kids under 18, do not ever, ever, ever let your child out of your site in this business, even if its with the top all star coach from Penn State or similar-you get the idea.
I hope this has helped many of you. If you have questions, you are invited to call my office for further free information, and free advice on How to Succeed in the entertainment industry, or any other question you may have.
Starpower Management; Tel / Fax: 310-226-7176
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