black and white chess board game pexels

Somehow my life is coming together.

I got my first film job in late January (shh, don’t tell anyone) and now a mere 6 months later, I’m working on a feature length Jennifer Aniston film as a Costume PA. On top of that, I’ve found a barn that lets me horseback ride for free, made a number of good friends and I have enough energy in my spare time to pursue my other interests.

How did I manage this?

I couldn’t have done it without the constant support and trust from my parents, who believed in me and encouraged me to pursue my interests as well as provided financial support when I couldn’t provide it for myself. Their help gave me freedom financially, but the rest of my success has been totally up to me (and a little bit of chance).

Make your own luck

I like to think that you can make your own luck–that being “lucky” is really just an attitude change. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the year I spent in Montreal, it’s to take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. I believe that all people are innately good, and if you are genuine to someone from the get-go, 95% of the time they will respond in kind. If you approach a situation with “how can I help you?” instead of “how can you help me?” you’ll earn more respect from your peers, and they’ll think of you first when they hear of an opportunity that might benefit you.

You also have to put yourself out there. Learn how to direct a conversation, and when you discover a connection, delve into it. Ask to be put in touch with that person’s contact. Do this with everyone you meet. But do it in a way that is friendly and encouraging rather than demanding.

Importance of a good work ethic

Thirdly–and perhaps most importantly–impress people with your skill and work ethic. Do good work. Be on time. Take on every task with confidence, even if you don’t feel confident. Learn to listen and to pay attention to everything around you. This will help you to always stay one step ahead. People are watching at all times, they notice when you do a good job. They notice even more when you do a bad job.

Know your worth and don’t underestimate yourself. Accept challenging jobs and don’t complain when the going gets tough. Do free work for experience, but make sure it’s going to be a quality production before you sign on.

Follow up

Send thank you notes or emails. People appreciate these more than you’d think in this age of texting and Facebook chatting. Keep up with people. Add them on social networks and comment on their posts every now and then to keep that connection current. If you get wind of an opportunity that might benefit them, let them know about it. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you barely know or have only met once.

Keep up with your dream

Expect rejection, but don’t let it affect you. Don’t stop trying regardless of the number of rejections you get. View each “no” as a step closer to a “yes”. Keep at it. It’s an uphill climb, but with patience and consistent hard work, you really can achieve anything.