Last Saturday, Viviana and I had the honor of speaking to students at the University of Georgia Theatre Department. We were invited along with fellow graduates of the department to speak about our experience working in the Atlanta entertainment industry. In addition to DarkLine, the roundtable included representatives from Red Raccoon Entertainment, as well as a few talented actors and industry professionals we have had the pleasure to work with. Here are the top five take-aways from our panel:

1.Take Advantage Of Your Education

While you’re in school, it’s easy to forget how many resources are available to you. If your aspirations are to become a filmmaker, start now! Contact the Mass Media Department to find crew and equipment. Connect with the animation lab to bring your stories to life. The people and equipment you need are right at your fingertips. This is your time to learn, make mistakes, and create connections before being released into the “real world.” Speaking of connections…

2. Contacts Are Important

Viviana and I are a true testament of how the relationships you make while in school can help you in the future. The friends we made at UGA are the same industry professionals we turn to when we have a project. Develop your relationships now and learn not only who to work with but also how you work best with your colleagues.

3. Be A Good Human

It’s the Golden Rule 101. Treat people the way you want to be treated because THAT is who they want to work with. Show up on time. Be nice to EVERYONE. The grip on set today could be tomorrow’s Scorsese. Be remembered for the right reasons on set.

4. Art Is A Business

We tend to forget that show business is indeed still a business. Whether you are in front of or behind the camera, you have take into consideration the steps needed to accomplish this successfully outside of the art itself. This includes familiarizing yourself with business principles that will help you monetize your craft. Learn about tax incentives in your city that apply to the entertainment industry. Research what you can and cannot deduct throughout the year. You’d be surprised what you can write off when the time comes.

5. Have Various Streams Of Revenue

We all wish we could wake up and start making money doing what we love right away, but the reality is it takes time. Until you’re making Michael Bay bucks, you’ll probably need various forms of income to support your career. Recognize your other talents and utilize them to make money. For example, this is the time to use the skills you attained in the costume shop to start a sewing and craft business on the side until you can work full-time time as a set dresser. There are plenty of organizations on campus to help you uncover your hidden talents that you can later use to generate sources of income.

 

Written by Carole Kaboya

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