Intro: I wrote these “rules” for myself in 2004, when I moved to LA to try to break into Hollywood.
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 a natural connection is there. If a connection is not there, let them go.
In Hollywood, anything can happen on any day … and for some strange and mysterious reason, the most amazing events usually happen right after the 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.
Principle 3: Treat Everyone the Same.
Treat everyone with respect, 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 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 aren’t making mistakes, your plan sucks because you are not trying to achieve enough. Give 150% but stay indifferent about failure except for what you can learn from it. Besides, a miserable failure once in a while can be funny.
Bottom line, there is no Plan B, and you don’t want a Plan B. You aren’t going anywhere, giving up is not an option, and there is no where else in the world that you want to be.
You a came here to get to the top on your terms, which should include having fun. 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 LA, take every career book that you own and throw it in the dumpster.
The goal is to not be hampered by someone else’s pre-existing notions about 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.