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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Maintaining relationships

Yet another reason to never rest on your laurels. Even when you are talented, well liked, and on a hit TV show your job is never a guarantee. Read here about a shocking layoff on one of TV’s hottest shows, Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it? You hear about things like people getting kicked off TV shows or actors who get into a huge film only to find that they didn’t make it into the final cut (or the credits.) So, if no job is sacred, what’s an actor to do?

Never stop building your relationships.

Imagine if the actor listed in the article stopped networking when she got the big job. She could have figured that the popular show would catapult her to stardom and she’d be set for years. But if she stopped developing relationships, they could well have grown stale while she was gone.

Let’s use the analogy of friendships and new love. We all have that friend who goes AWOL when they start dating someone new. They ignore our calls, never come out to hang with the pals, and only visit when they are having problems with their newly found partner. When they break up, they all of the sudden come rushing back into your life with gusto. How seriously do you think they take your relationship? Surely, if the relationship was important, they would have sustained it whether or not they were dating someone. Doesn’t it sometimes leave an icky taste in your mouth?

It is the same thing in the entertainment industry. You spend all of this time wooing casting directors, producers, and agents, and then when you feel like you’ve got a good thing going your development comes to a grinding halt. Hardly an effective endeavor considering all of the work you have put into it.

So, how do you keep your relationships fresh while you are occupied with said event (you sign with an agent, you get a ongoing gig, etc.)? Acknowledge the change, and create an alternate plan while the change is in existence.

If you sign with an agent, don’t just stop contacting the other agents you’ve been wooing. Instead, let them know that you have signed with someone, but will continue keep them updated on what is going on with your career on an occasional basis. At any point you decide to dissolve the relationship with your new agent (be it in 90 days or 10 years) you’ll still have a foundation of relationship with folks in the industry, and your hard work would not have gone to waste. You’ll minimize the amount of downtime between jobs/partners and maintain deeper and more fulfilling relationships overall.

(Sadly, this solution doesn’t really apply to love relationships. It would be kind of wrong to keep the fire stoked for other guys/gals while trying out a new partner. But it DOES apply to friendships!)

Thanks for reading. I’m here every day...

2 COMMENTS - Click to READ:


First of all, I am so sad to hear about the "Grey's Anatomy" situation. But your blog about it was a brilliant and helpful one for all of us. I myself experienced a brutal firing several years ago and handled it in the most adult, good-humored and pleasant way I could. I maintained my relationships with all concerned and, although I thought I would never have anything to do with the organization I was fired by ever again, to my surprise they re-hired me several years later, in a higher position, with more responsibility and that let to an even better job (all in show business). No bridges had been burned. I maintained my reputation. I am so grateful I took the high rode and kept my friends close (and my enemies closer).

Erin Cronican said...

Thanks for your great comment! =)

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