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Changing Careers

Peter writes in:

After three years in law enforcement, I’ve decided on a career change. With the long-term goal of going into talent representation, what type of positions should I be applying for? The standard assistant/receptionist positions? Or, should I be seeking out some type of internship?

I’ve cold called a handful of agencies, is this a good practice? Also, when applying to positions on the job list or your job postings, typically how long does it take to receive a response?

It’s really hard to get a job in this industry without some sort of experience.

And that’s where interning comes in. This is, honestly, the best reason to go to film school. They help you land internships, which helps you form connections, which help you get jobs down the line.

There is a way to shortcut this, if you live in Los Angeles (I’m sure there are similar options in other big production cities). You can sign up for the Cooperative Education Work Experience program at LA City College. Basically, it’s a course devoted entirely to getting internships.

Without such experiences, or a degree from a top-tier school, or some sort of personal connection, you’ll have a hard time getting anywhere. Assisting is the first rung on the Hollywood ladder. Interning is the zeroth.

Once you’ve completed that step, you still can’t count on getting called in for interviews every time. A lot of factors come into it, including luck and timing as much as your qualifications.

But, assuming they’re going to call you in for a job, that call will happen within a few days, a week at most. Anything past that, and you can just forget about it.

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