The N-Word

Maybe it goes without saying, but considering that one of the PAs on my show said it to me last week, I’m going to go ahead and say it explicitly. It is never, ever, EVER okay to say the N-word at work. Never ever.

I’m talking, of course, about “networking.” (This goes hand in hand with its cousin, the c-word… “Connections.”)

During my freshman year at the OFS, “The Freshman Film Club” had their first meeting in the lobby of one of the dorms. One kid spoke up, “My uncle is an agent at Endeavor, and he told me the most important thing is networking. I LOVE networking. I’d like to network right now. I brought a pad of paper, and if everyone could write their name and phone number and email address, then we could network in the future.”

He literally sounded like a spam email. And I hope to God that he’s since washed up and moved back home where he’s the AV tech at his church. (But more likely, he is now an agent at WME.)

Keyser Soze

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world that networking didn’t exist.

“Networking” shouldn’t be called “networking.” It should be called “having friends.” Because friends get you work. Friends read your screenplay. Friends talk about you to their friends. “Networks” don’t do that.

And by “friends,” I don’t mean Facebook friends. I have hundreds of Facebook friends. I would go to bat for only, maybe, twelve of them.

Before you tell me about your thesis film from college and how you hope to direct someday or the Modern Family spec you wrote last summer, first get to know me. Treat me like a date. Butter me up. Take me out to dinner. Help me move. Drive me to the airport. If you do that, then maybe after a few dates, you might get lucky. But don’t shake my hand and then expect me to hop into bed with you. That makes you a network-rapist.

This entry was posted in On the Job and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The N-Word

  1. DaivRawks says:

    It IS disturbing how often people run straight to the end game and try to rush the whole relationship process to “get me a gig”. I love your metaphor about networking rapist. Spot on!

  2. Theresa says:

    LOL and here I am visiting your blog just hoping I could – ahmm..maybe “network” with you! So, that’s a no-no then. So, let’s see? when can we have a cup of coffee? :)

  3. B.K. Smith says:

    Reading this I recalled two people in my life that I knew that fit the bill of “Let’s network. What’s your name? Do you want to network with me?” behavior. Both “A” types and both socially retarded. Good people, they generally always mean well, but just no concept of subtlety and how to not be “A” constantly.
    I sometimes looked with a sense of awe and admiration at the sheer sincerity of how they approached things…

  4. RuthH says:

    It is like those kids back in grade school that would walk up to you and say “Do you want to be my friend?” Um, no.

  5. Pingback: 5 Sites That Make You Laugh About Working In the Entertainment Industry (Plus a bonus one!) | June Neely

Leave a Reply