25 Rules for Surviving and Thriving In Hollywood

As an actor (my first career in entertainment) I came across a list of rules for making it in show business. I can’t remember who it was by, but it was funny, succinct and to the point.  That was a long time ago and I don’t remember the rules other than the mantra which I’ve repeated here in rules 3, 8, 16 & 25. Also, rule 1. came from an English blogger who’s blog I can’t find now (credit where credit is due… sort of.)

So, here we go.  My first rules for making it in Hollywood. Based on my experience, I wrote down  the 25 most common sense things I could think of. Why 25? I figured you could handle that many.  If I thought if the cast of Jersey Shore was reading, there would only have to be four and I’ll let you guess which ones they are. If you think there are some missing, feel free to chime in.  With no further ado, I bring you my 25 Rules:

1. Always carry a pen.

2. Have specific, time sensitive goals.  Use the pen to write them down. Keep them in a place where you can see them.

3. Save your money.

4. Don’t neglect your family and friends. When the bottom falls out, they are the net that will catch you.

5. Go easy on the cosmetic surgery. There’s a fine line between looking younger and like a surprised floatation device.

6. The best route between Hollywood and Beverly Hills is Fountain Avenue to La Cienega to Burton Way.

7. Always remember that youth and skill are no match for age and treachery.

8. Save your money.

9. There’s no such thing as overnight success.  There are only years of hard work that suddenly pay off.

10. There is a big difference between leaving your mark and marking your territory. Don’t confuse the two.

10. Failure is not an option, it is an inevitable and necessary ingredient of success.

12. Getting knocked down in Hollywood thins out the herd.  Always be sure to get back up.

13. If anyone ever says you’ll never work in this town again, realize it’s only until they need you again.

14. People don’t need a good reason to sue you, they just need a lawyer. Don’t take it personally, it’s just business.

15.  If you don’t love the movie business, find something you love and do that instead.  Love expands and so does bitterness.

16. Save your money.

17. Always make sure you’ve removed the lens cap before rolling.  Success is in the details.

18. The town can smell fear and desperation. Find a way to erase these emotions from your business life.

19. Be nice to waiters, valets and receptionists.  Someday they’ll be green lighting your projects.

20. When someone’s assistant says “actually he/she is in a meeting and can’t talk now.” They “actually” just don’t want to talk to you.

21. Know the difference between providing opportunity and mentoring.  It’s the difference between making someone opportunistic or loyal.

22. Movie making is problem solving. If there are problems, it means that you’re still in business.

23. Never say “to be honest with you” or “I’ll be totally honest.”  These phrases mean that you are not usually honest and your current honesty is an exception to your standard operating procedure.

24.  Anything positive you do or say is instantly forgotten.  Anything negative you do or say follows you forever and makes you a suspect in all the ills of humanity.

25. Save your money.

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8 responses to “25 Rules for Surviving and Thriving In Hollywood

  1. More like a list of tips for life, except for a few! Thanks for this

  2. a surprised flotation device, well that is eloquent imagery, i do love that…

  3. 26. AND NO, you do not need MORE headshots…you look the way you do, more photos is not going to land you a job!

  4. Love the rules, now to follow them!

  5. Fun list – love the one about marking territory/leaving your mark!!

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