Film Courage: Okay, so the Unwritten Rules of Hollywood, your book [HOLLYWOOD GAME PLAN: How To Land A Job In Film, TV, and Digital Entertainment]. Without giving away too much, from those who have read the book, what are some takeaways where they were completely surprised? Whether it was a chapter, whether it was a tip or two that you gave?
Carole Kirschner: I think that some of the things that people came away with that they were not expecting was that there really are people that want to help you. Even though there’s some…there’s some people that would rather eat dirt than help you. Most people, somebody helped them, so they’re willing to help.
I have a chapter on mentoring and how to treat your mentor right. And I think a lot of people didn’t understand that you don’t go up to somebody and say “Will you be my mentor?” A relationship has to develop and then how to make the ask. I talk about the Hollywood Ask, which is a particular kind of an ask so that you don’t back somebody into the corner.
What people say is and these are people who have also gone to film school is “I didn’t understand how the business worked. And now I understand what I should be doing, what I shouldn’t be doing, how I should be talking about myself.” The whole thing about networking (and I hate the word networking) but how you connect with people in an authentic way so that a real relationship forms and how that’s important (you don’t have to be that smarmy networker).
Film Courage: Which chapter do you wish you’d read when you first decided (I know you grew up here in Los Angeles) but that you wanted to be in the business? Which chapter [in Carole’s own book] did you say “You know what, I could have used that 10 years ago.”
Carole Kirschner: That’s a really interesting question. Which of the chapters? Now I have to think back to the chapters because it was awhile back. I think it was about how to prepare for meeting and how to follow up because I didn’t know, I didn’t know what you say to people, I didn’t know how informal it was or how formal it was. I have a chapter about what to wear. I probably would have appreciated knowing that because you don’t know how formal or informal you should be in what circumstance.
And also, how to connect with people. How to meet people, what to do when you meet them, I wish I had known that stuff. But mostly how to behave so I didn’t put my foot in my mouth, so I didn’t make big mistakes.
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