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The 5 Worst Mistakes Hollywood Career Rookies Make—and How to Avoid Them

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

“You always pass failure on your way to success“

Mickey Rooney

This Is Not Your Typical Article

Since I was young, it was drilled into my head to AAFS: Always Aim For Success.

But that's a myth.

Success only comes after learning. And learning only comes from...ah! Not so fast! Before we get into that, let's go through the top five things you need to avoid in Hollywood (whatever that means nowadays) to have a career.

And if you think for one second that I'm going to tell you some industry bet I am!

Tip #1 - Always Aim for Success!

This is the biggest myth! And it was almost taken as gospel with most of the adults around me. But life has a way of exposing real truths. And the truth is: Always aim for failure!

Only hucksters try to sell you the lie of success being built upon success. If you look at history, any great success has been proceeded by failure.

Tip #2 - Always Specialize in What Your Skills Are!

In the 1880s, 1910s and even as recent as the 1980s, this piece of advice had truth to it. But there's been a huge revolution in recent years: the digital workplace. And while this has leveled the playing field for artists (and I'm all for whatever gives the creative more options over their legacy), we are all playing catchup to learn new creative and business skills to keep up with the progression of Hollywood.

Nowadays, everyone needs to be their own editor/writer/promoter because, as Gore Vidal said, "Heroes must see to their own fame. No one else will."

Tip #3 - Offer What the Market Currently Wants!

In short, if I had stuck to what the market wanted back in the 90s, I would still be working job to job instead of having created my own brand and Legacy Characters.

Tip #4 - Be Popular!

Popularity doesn't change the world. Interesting people do.

Tip #5 - Everyone Wants to Steal Your Ideas!

No, they don't. Just as you are focused on trying to make your dreams happen, so is everyone else. It's not that you won't find people that will try and poach what you do but, most people are worried about bringing their own team together or getting the right financing in place. So, share with collogues about what you are working on...after your lawyer has done their due

One More Thing - Keep Experimenting

As I said at the top, success only comes after learning. And learning only comes from...experimenting. There are slew of books out there on subjects such as trying things the way da Vinci or Edison did to Lateral Thinking. And they all claim that they are the way to new type of creativity. But the reality is, only you can find the way that works for you. So, take the old ways, combine them with new techniques to create something brand new!

"Even the bark on a tree needs new ways of growing. Otherwise, it will fall off and die."

Nicholas Lemon



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