Don’t Become a Goldfish

Available Opportunities
Expanding Growth
Getting In

I’ve been told Goldfish only grow to the size of their surroundings / bowl / tank. Whether that’s a myth or not is not going to be decided in this post. 

Let’s assume for a minute it’s true.

Throughout my long career, in many different sectors of the entertainment production industries, I have met many people frozen in place. Meaning they landed a gig, settled in and stopped trying to learn new things and grow.

Whether I was sweeping the floor of a recording studio, AD on a location film shoot or Tech Manager on a major world tour concert, I never understood how or why people limited their growth and experiences by ending their curiosity. 

The story usually goes like this:

You start out as a freelancer grabing every and any gig you could land. You usually get paid very little if you get paid at all. But on these gigs you do get to watch and learn new skills from the veterans around you.

Eventually you acquire those skills and people begin hiring you at a better rate. Here comes the “pay off”. You land a short-term gig that pays a rate you are comfortable with. You like the people you work with and they like you. Now that short term freelance gig turns into an extended gig.

As you settle into this gig you start moving away from the freelance world and get comfortable in this new “real” world job. And the awesome part of the job is a steady pay check!

The “Money” is the bait in the trap. When you’ve been struggling for a few years, just getting by, you begin to feel like you’re being short changed.

Am I right or am I right? I’m right! 

Why am I so sure I’m right?

Because at one point in my early life I was you in that exact “being cheated” position.

So now you are making “Good Money” at this short term turned permanent position (Actually, it’s “Okay Money”, which will eventually max out at “Get By” money). You stop worrying about hunting for work.  You relax and start focusing on life outside of production.  You are now able to buy things you want without worrying about how you’re going to pay the rent.

Sound familiar so far? No? It might someday soon.  

Now comes the “Hook in the Bait”.  You get a comfortable life outside the biz, a steady predictable day to day and a guaranteed pay check. This all sounds perfect. For some this is perfection.  It’s all they wanted and there is nothing wrong with that.

You just need to know once you head down that rabbit hole it’s hard to turn around and change direction.

A steady and predictable gig means you will work harder at the job keeping the status que than growing your knowledge base, exploring new opportunities and challenging yourself to expand your creativity.

But isn’t expanding and developing your creative vision the whole reason you started in this biz?

Again, let me restate I am not saying the choice to be comfortable in a steady gig is wrong.  I am just making sure you understand in our world, change is the industries’ life blood.

And keeping up with those changes is the key to your long-term successful future. Again, it all depends on what your definition of success is.

Mine was always growing my skills, new experiences and making new connections.

Which sums up as OPPORTUNITIES and CHOICE. The choice to pick and choose what opportunities I want to experience and explore.

Yes, working for large network or film studio, a Broadway production house or any other large corporate production company offers a large selection of diverse jobs. The trick is getting permission to move from a position you’re succeeding at to a position they’d have to invest money to train you at.  

I was blessed in the early days of my career.  Many awesome and wise people crossed my path and shared the same points I’m sharing with you, “Don’t chase the Benjamins.” (that’s cool old school speak for “money” hahah Prob not so cool anymore.) 

If your only goal is making money you need to be in the business of money, like a Wall Streeter or Gangster (Wait! Aren’t those the same gig?).

If you goal is developing and exploring your creative passion.  Then you need to keep moving and exploring new opportunities. New opportunities will yield new skills.  New skills get you new gigs. New gigs get you more money PLUS grow you career. 

Don’t trap yourself in surroundings that will limit your growth.  (call back to the Gold fish). Whether you choose to take a staff job or live in the freelance world, make sure your choices provide you with both new experiences, new knowledge and meeting new people.

I guarantee the money will follow.

Fast track your entertainment production career