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Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

I attend a lot of meetings of people in the entertainment business, writers, directors, producers, actors, etc., but I never seem to get anywhere.  What do you think?


This week's Answer: 

"Reflecting" on "Biz" Meetings 

I think, Ned, that, since you're not seeming to "get anywhere," you might want to take a good look at these meetings.  You say these people are in the entertainment business.  Are you sure about this?  Or, rather, are they people who want to be in the entertainment business?  Or are they people who have been in the entertainment field, but, presently, are not there now?  Being in a room with a cluster of people who want to be somewhere but are not there and are asking others who are also not there seems to me like blind people asking directions from blind people (which could cause quite a traffic jam).  

Now, I'm not saying that everyone at these meetings are necessarily "blind" and may very well be actively and skillfully seeking work, recognition, a pay check in the industry.  Good for them.  And good for you.  But do you see the logical problem here?  If everybody is in "seeking" mode (which often can take on more than tinges of desperation, worry, fear, obsession, etc.), then all that everybody is going to find is other seekers.  You will continue to run into, in a sense, reflections of yourself.  To explain this phenomenon more clearly, let me demonstrate with a practical exercise:

The Reflection Exercise

1.  Stand to the side of a mirror and make a face of desperation.  Really contort your features and project the idea, "If I don't get this next job or part or deal, I'll drown myself in my sink and not wear a lifejacket."

2.  Now, holding that contorted look, quickly step in front of the mirror and stare at yourself.

3.  There you go.

You can do this exercise any time you feel the urge to attend one of these meetings.  Looking into the mirror will help you really see that image, which will impel you to not mingle with that less-than-highly vibrating frequency of "I don't have much room to give you anything because I'm too busy trying to get."

Or you'll just see that you're having a bad hair day and won't want to be seen in public.

Either way, it works beautifully.

Normally, my e-mails are longer, but I need to get to my next meeting.



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