Hacks to Succeed in the Entertainment Industry

It’s Not Really Called Hacks to Help You Succeed in the Entertainment Business…

The formal, official title of the video I’m sharing below is “Hacking Your Actor Life: Actor Productivity.” But after watching the video on a couple of occasions, and immediately implementing some of the tips in my own life, I determined it’s most definitely applicable to most any sort of career – especially one in the creative-realm, or work-at-home solopreneur world.

It’s never easy trying to break into a new business or line of work. But if you’re an actor or creative trying to break into the entertainment business, you’ve got a very unique set of obstacles to overcome in order to be successful. It takes talent (yes…you must actually be talented), diligence, planning, and a business mindset to really make it in Hollywood (or in any town).

Getting “In”

As someone who’s been on the inside, I know how difficult it is. And people on the inside know just how fortunate they are, believe me!

As a result, I’m constantly seeking new information, the latest tricks/tips, advice, whatever else I can find, to help others break “in.”

I stumbled on this SAG Foundation (Screen Actor’s Guild) video while searching online for something I can’t even remember now. I found it to be motivational, inspiring, and full of useful tips, information and resources for today’s creative. I was compelled to share it. Seriously. These tips are good.

The Video

What’s interesting, is the video is a panel discussion made up of some professionals in the biz. But it’s not like these people are a-listers. They are people who are WORKING these tips and finding success with them on a daily basis.

I encourage you to watch the whole video. You don’t have to watch it in one sitting (it’s two hours long). It can be digested in chunks, but whatever you do, EAT.IT.UP.

And then, go and put these tools and resources to use!

Highlights from the video:

Panelists include Jodie Bentley, Heidi Levitt, Kevin E. West, Ben Whitehair

12:25 – “In this LA entertainment world there are so many types of jobs actors could pursue. One hour drama, half hour comedy… Are all these different options conducive to an actor’s productivity or does it hinder them?”

22:05 – “What type of options do actors need to pursue more? What do they not need to pursue? What is better in the short term? What is better in the long term?”

33:05 – “I’m always interested in distractions. This idea that there’s so much, and the idea is to focus. What are some tips to sticking to your path and not going awry? How do you know when to stick to your plan to achieve the long term benefit even if you aren’t seeing short term results?”

46:13 – “Heidi, does that come in the room? Do you see that? Actors who don’t structure themselves in a way that they can have ease in the room and confidence.”

54:50 – “I’m going to segue over into the business part of an actor’s life. Let’s talk about things like databases, contact lists, and master contact lists. All the things we are supposed to do as actors. How do you track that? How do you save all your activity and use some way to see that data? What mobile apps, social media services, or computer programs do you use?”

1:07:45 – “Along with assessing priorities in your day and your week and your month; what things do you recommend to actors that they do daily or weekly to know that they are being productive?”

1:14:00 – “How do we know that we are in class not just because it is what we are supposed to do? How do we not waste our time and figure out that we are truly being productive learning the craft?

1:20:25 – “How do actors build relationships in the industry without presenting themselves as needy? But rather relate as human beings? How would you talk to a director or a casting director without pitching something?”

1:26:45 – “Heidi do you have any stories of [needy] actors?”

1:34:20 – “As actors we are required to bring emotional life to characters. But sometimes we take this into our business world as well. How as actors do we think long term, and not let our character traits heed our improvement? How do we think long term, in this subjective business?”


Lisa Jey Davis is a former Publicist, television show production pro, and a former single mom, who pursued her dreams and somehow saw some of them actually come to pass! She is the bestselling, and three time award-winning author of Ms. Cheevious in Hollywood: My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town. Her latest little e-booklet, Five Tips for Rocking Your Hollywood Mojo, is free to new subscribers, by clicking here, or available on Amazon. She resides in Santa Monica, California with her actor husband, in a one bedroom rent-controlled apartment, 3 blocks from the sand, and savors every single moment (because, hey... rent-control by the beach). For a more detailed bio click here.