Land Your Dream Career With These Five Gems From Hollywood Key Players

Hear from industry professionals about what it takes to secure a job in the film/TV industry.

Mentors in Hollywood are essential for guidance and finding ways to bridge the gap between education and experience. Behind Hollywood’s glitz and glamor, the path to pursuing a career in the competitive industry is not always linear. While learning various skills is crucial, applying those techniques can make a difference when shopping for a résumé throughout the entertainment industry’s various career fields.

Mentorship also has different levels that do not always follow the typical route that is expected. Although the practice is traditionally viewed as a person with years of expertise molding a rising star, mentoring among peers is another direction that can occur. Having mentors is where emerging professionals near similar ages help each other grow in their respective fields. Whether sharing connections or considering each other for life-changing opportunities, collaborating in similar circles builds genuine relationships and encourages collective achievement. Regardless of which route is preferred, there is always space for both.

To address the challenges of entering the entertainment industry, ESSENCE Hollywood House hosted two-speed mentoring sessions. For five minutes, attendees had the chance to speak with industry powerhouses about how to take their careers to the next level. Here are five pieces of advice these Hollywood mentors shared with event-goers to help them land their dream job.

Read ‘Elsa Majimbo And Grace Amaku Dish The Key To Being Partners In Content Creation’

Create Your Own Buzz

“When you post something you work so hard on, get your friends to repost it,” says Kara Barnett, Senior Creative at APPLE TV+. “Put it on all your platforms, but customize your captions for each platform. Really think about the strategy of your own brand as much as you think about the strategy of other places.”

Do Your Research

“Find out what you’re interested in and find the events or organizations tied to those industries,” says Jamie Hernandez, Programs Manager, DEI Pipeline Programs at Warner Bros. Discovery. “Seek those like-minded people and create those communities because those are the folks who share the same passions as you, give advice, and will be your sounding board.”

Focus On Highlighting Transferrable Skills

“As a hiring manager, when I hire people and see they haven’t done this exact title or position before, I want to hear what transferable skills they have that they may have done in their last job that translates to what I need them to do now,” says Stephanie Dunivan, VP of Video and Branded Content for Essence Ventures. “More often than not, you’re going to find that people are coming in with more skills than required and are really going to help succeed in that role.”

Dunivan continues, “Just because you haven’t done that exact role in the past doesn’t mean that you’re incapable or don’t have the skills… Don’t look at it as if you’re starting from scratch; look at it as if you learned all these skills from another place, took them and transferred those skills into this new position.”

Perfect Your Craft

“Be ready when that opportunity comes,” says Stacy Milner, Founder & CEO of Entertainment Industry College Outreach Program HBCU in LA Internship Program. “If you’re a writer and not writing anything or having something ready, no one will take you seriously. If you’re an actor and want to act, but you’re not doing local theater because you’re waiting for that big audition—get out there because it is going to help you. When that opportunity comes, now you’re ready.”

Build Your Network

“You have to know your peers in the field you want to work in so you can build and grow with them. You also have to know who the mentors are so they can come to help and give you an olive branch to learn and grow… We just have to connect, speak, share more, and network,” says Noelle Green, senior physical Production Executive, Original Series at Netflix.

Read ‘These Rising Stars Share The Truth About Being A Young Actor In Hollywood’

View More