Principle 1: Network + Indifference. Meet as many people in the entertainment industry as possible, with complete and total disregard and indifference for who they are or what they can do for your career. Yes, you read that correctly.
Principle 2: Never Ask. Never ask anyone for anything (unless absolutely necessary). If you are to work with someone, let it be because the natural connection is there. If the connection is not there, let them go. As I was once told by the head of A&R for a major record label, in L.A., anything can happen on any day … and for some strange and mysterious reason, the most amazing events usually happen right after the bleakest and darkest days. Stay focused on your Plan, regardless of how many doors won’t open. A closed door will not break your career unless you allow it to.
Principle 3: Treat Everyone the Same. Treat everyone with the same level of respect and candor, whether they are the President of SONY or the woman handing out French fries at Jack in the Box. You did not come to LA to become an ass-kissing yes-man, nor did you come here to treat people like shit or stab people in the back to get ahead. What goes around comes around, and life is too short for either brand of nonsense. Period.
Principle 4: The 150% Rule. Give every project 150%, with zero consideration of the possibility of failure. If you cannot give a project 150%, don’t take it on. If you are afraid of failure, you will fail. Self Fulfilling Prophecy 101.
Principle 5: The No Stress Rule. Do not stress about failure. If you are not making mistakes, your plan probably sucks because you are not trying to achieve enough. Give everything 150% (see above), but stay completely indifferent about failure except for what you can learn from it. Besides, a miserable failure once in a while can be funny. The bottom line is that there is no Plan B, and you do not want a Plan B. You are not going anywhere, giving up is not an option, and there is no where else in the world you want to be. You a came here to get to the top on your terms, which should include having fun along the way. If you are meant to succeed, you will. If not, why be miserable along the way?
Principle 6: Innovate and Continue to Learn. The day you get to Los Angeles, take every book you own about career advice and throw them in the dumpster. The goal is to not be hampered by someone else’s pre-existing notions about your career. Instead of thinking “outside of the box,” take the box, smash it and throw it out the window. Fuck the Rules. In fact, there are no more rules. You must continue to learn as much as possible, and be completely open to your career branching out in unexpected ways.
Principle 7: Seven.
(c) Lee Rudnicki 2004
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