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Part 1: Finding Work from Your Hometown

July 27, 2016

From Home Town to Tinsel Town

Finding work for your child when you live outside of a major entertainment city like Los Angeles or New York is truly possible. But it has its challenges, and the first step is to decide that you are up to the challenge. You’ll want to understand your priorities and the best approach to the process. That’s where ChildrenInFilm.com can be your best ally.

Be Savvy
To start, if you're worried about the fact that you "don't know anyone," worry no more!  You know Children In Film, and CIF has major connections!  Use your network. Take advantage of all we have to offer by attending Hollywood From Home: Q&A Today webinars and by communicating online with our rated and recommended industry pro members.

Be Practical
Being practical begins with committing to doing your homework, so that you understand how entertainment works in your home town as well as how it works in the major cities like Los Angeles.  If you don't understand the game, you aren't going to know how to win it. 

Save yourself and your child time, frustration, and disappointment by avoiding clear mistakes. How? To start, participate in the KidStart Program and read all the articles and information you can, including the information in our Responsible Producing and Responsible Parenting sections.  Soak up the information about everything from The Reality Behind Reality TV to helping your child deal with inevitable rejection.

Be Ready
What does that really mean? Be Hollywood ready. This starts with your child’s headshot. Don’t even think about pursuing work without a professional headshot and polished résumé. Don’t let your child be the one whose headshot advertises ‘out-of-towner.’ You need to give your child every advantage, and that begins with being taken seriously.

Be Prepared
Next, become prepared.  CIF has extensive resources to get you there! No matter where you live, breaking in to the business is never easy, and living outside of a major city often puts you at a disadvantage.  However, working from out of town is possible.  You simply have to be up for the  challenge.  Many parents get frustrated and say things like, "It's just about who you know," or "my child isn't working because we don't live in LA."   When you look closer, however, these parents are often ill-prepared or are navigating the process without a map.

Begin Locally
Once your child’s headshot and resume are up to par, you’ll be ready to look for local work. Use CIF’s Membership Directory to locate Agents and Managers in or near your home town.  Secure local representation and begin working locally in order to get your feet wet, and in order to get noticed.  You may be surprised to realize that many Hollywood productions are venturing out of town to areas in Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Illinois, Vancouver and many other locations; if you have local representation you will be more prepared when Hollywood comes to town.

A prepared parent is an informed parent.  Keeping up-to-date on popular blogs, reading, Backstage, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, and participating in reputable forums are all good ways to keep in the loop. Choose your influencers carefully, (ChildrenInFilm’s KidStart, CIF Membership Directory to locate Agents and Managers) and keep focused on going forward in a steady, positive and prepared fashion.

Next week: Part 2
Finding Work When You Live Out of Town: When to Come to LA