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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Be That Person

So I'm at a bridal shower the other day with several women I've never met before. You know how that is. Whatever, blah blah, nice to meet you. As the women are chatting over champagne, one says she's an exec at a production company that I fairly worship. My eyes almost bugged out of my head. THAT company? OMG! Must talk up this woman. Must make connection. Want to do that right this second! I clutched my champagne with white knuckles. When will I have an opportunity? How can I do this?

I took a deep breath. You know what? That's not the way to do it. Relax, drink more champagne, open gifts and enjoy the party. Which is what I did. Everyone there was hilariously funny and interesting and we talked about the upcoming wedding and jewelry and exercise and life in general. But then the moment came - the final opportunity. We're all saying goodbye and see ya at the wedding and what are you going to wear...What to do? How do you snatch an opportunity without seeming, well, unseemly? Forget it, I think to myself. I don't want to be that person. Then another part of myself said Julie, before she walks out that door, you make a connection or I'll kill you. Note to self: Must discuss these voices with doctor.

Then the moment arrived. We were walking out the door when I screwed up my courage and said hey, do you have Facebook? Why yes, yes I do. Great, great, I'll look you up. Cool! Listen, I own this company that helps out aspiring writers - is there any way, if I find a good script, that I could send it to you? SURE! Wow, we'd love that, we'd love an inside track on brand-new writers. Anytime!

And that, Wavers, is how it's done. Phew. If you're lucky enough to be in an environment where there are people who could help your career, don't be the person who pounces on someone, much as you'd like to. Get to know them a little bit, find some way to connect. And then - be that person. The person who takes an opportunity and makes a connection. Because the answer might just surprise you. And now I have a pipeline for my clients to a GREAT production company that has made some of my absolute favorite films. Booyah.

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Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist! said...

that was a quick save you did there. I'm terrible at networking with people. Usually I'd try to make a joke, which would suddenly come across as dirty, rude, and inappropriate. I'm good at making the whole room become silent (and in a bad way, not in a good way). Sigh.

Now, it would be awesome to be stuck in an elevator with Steven Speilberg for like, 4 hours. I'll entertain him with many stories and by the time they rescue us from the elevator, he'd want to sign me up for his company.

they always say "just be yourself," but what if being MYSELF is a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

Go Julie, you networking ninja!

Michael Brownlee said...

Well done!

Networking is one of the hardest things going. It takes us all back to high school and wanting to be in with the cool kids and not wanting to look like a total spazoid.

Or at least that's how I always feel.

Instead of a gold star, you get two Brass Cojones!

Sarah said...

Yes, excellent work, Julie!

@DIMA - Aziz Ansari has had great success playing characters just like you. Maybe you should be writing for Parks and Recreation. Send them a postcard with that opening paragraph on it and ask for a meeting :-)

Anthony Peterson said...

Please don't see a doctor about those inner voices. They make me laugh.

J.J. said...

What do we win if we guess the name of the bridal shower/producer guest?

Joe Public said...

I had the opportunity to meet with a somewhat known person who belongs to a very well known family...and he's in the film biz. Met him. Spent the next thirty seconds throwing up all over myself(figuratively), but somehow it worked.

Trina0623 said...

Way to go Julie! You're a real class act. Thanks for the good advice.

Lisa said...

Julie - the inner voices get the job DONE, girl - no need for physician interference.

Did you drive home afterwards Jerry Maguire-style? That's what I do...I drive home singing to the radio and the right song is never on and I never know the words, but the high is oh so sweet...

Go Gray Go!

writer0825 said...

Julie, I want to be YOU when I grow up, that was a great save!