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Ask Marisa

Dear Marisa,

I am currently unemployed & am looking to be involved in TV or film. I interned on an independent film, but now I need a paying job. How do I go about breaking in & making a living?



Dear Missy,

It seems that you have a passion for film in all arenas from producing to acting. This is half the battle. You've figured out what you want and you even started taking action to get there.

But remember, it's not about what you know in this business. It's rather about your REPUTATION that you create through the people you work with. It's very rare for someone to be hired in the business through a random resume submission process. When a project arises, you want your name to be
mentioned as someone who can handle the work and do it well. This business is fast paced and no-one has time to go through a corporate hiring process. If they want someone in an hour, you need to be ready to jump and jump high. This means possibly traveling three states away for three days at 18 hours plus a day with crappy meals and cranky people. And with no whining from you!

How you handle yourself once you get there is critically over-viewed. You want to make an impression, be on time, be the first one on set and the last one to leave. You need to do all this with a smile and be ready to smile again with no sleep the next day. This is the reality of independent film. Sound glamorous? Not really. But if you can ride it through, are dependable and most of all mentally constant, you'll be there one day when someone flips their lid, storms off the set and then you'll be there to be promoted. The higher you get, the more cranky points you earn. Just don't forget where you came from!

Plus if you want to get into acting, the best place to be is on set. Actors can not show up, may piss the producers off and/or have a better gig that day. The director needs someone now! The solution: have another 10-hour casting call. NOT LIKELY! There you are twiddling your thumbs unraveling cable lines and holding a boom mic. The director looks at you. 'Missy, go to makeup immediately. We need YOU to play the role.'

And yes, this does happen.

So how do you get started? Start finding out where films are shooting and go there. You can find this info on your state's local film office website. Or you can find this information in The Hollywood Reporter, which you can pick up at Borders. Once you get there, find the line producer or production coordinator and ask if they need any PAs. If not, give them your résumé. They're very busy, so don't try getting any info. The less you say the better!

Still interested? If so, give me a call! You're ready to get moving.

Good luck!

Marisa Liza Pell
Intuitive Success Coach
(877) 218-0228

Got Questions?

Well, Marisa has answers. Marisa will select one BIGBreakNY reader's question to answer on Ask Marisa. This is your opportunity to find out the answer to a question you have always wanted to know. Let us be the first to warn you: don't ask anything that you really don't want to know the answer to. Marisa has astonished many people with her psychic ability and tells it like it is.

To have your question reviewed and possibly featured, e-mail your one question to AskMarisa@bigbreakny.com.

For more information on Marisa Pell and what she can do for you, visit http://www.knowledgeforliving.com. Marisa can also be contacted by phone at (877) 218-0228, or you can e-mail her for more information.

Click here for a list of previous columns.

Marisa Liza Pell
(877) 218-0228

Marisa Liza Pell, M.A., CEO of Knowledge For Living, has been advising individuals and groups for nine years.

She is known throughout the Mid-Atlantic as a gifted motivational success coach and intuitive advisor. Born with heightened clairvoyance, she intertwines this extraordinary awareness with coaching to assist her clients on every level.

Marisa's passion for the arts also fuels her work as a recognized theatre director, writer and video producer.

Marisa holds a Masters of Arts degree from Emerson College, Boston and an Bachelor of Arts degree from Dickinson College, PA.

In Boston, MA, she co-hosted a holistic and intuitive call-in LIVE radio show in association with nationally renowned healing and spiritual center Open Doors. After relocating to the Philadelphia area, she appeared on 610WIP sports talk radio, taking part in specialty talk segments, live call-ins and sports predictions. Most recently, she teamed up with Philadelphia rock station 93.3 WMMR for unedited readings on air.

Knowledge For Living was created this year to offer a combination of success coaching, intuitive advising and motivational seminars to clients so that overall well-being and balance is achieved.

She has recently teamed up with BigBreakNY.com and Creative Acting Company (NYC) to offer a new lectures series to professionals in the entertainment industry. You can read more about her lecture series in her online interview with BigBreakNY.com.

Marisa believes in making the most out of life through creative passion, which is the driving force behind her work.


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