Do you dream of working in television, whether it’s as an actor, writer, producer, or even network owner? It might seem like an impossible dream, but thousands of people in the television industry show there’s a solid need for professionals.
Some well-trodden paths could lead you to a TV career, as well as some unorthodox approaches that just might work. Here are seven ways you could break into the TV business.
1. Start vlogging
Video blogging or “vlogging” is how some people become TV characters — just look at Perez Hilton for inspiration. If you have charisma, are tech savvy, and have the dedication to vlog regularly, that just might translate into TV appearances.
Talk show hosts regularly pick up vlogs and videos that go viral, so this is perhaps the most cost-effective approach. If TV is your final destination, the first rung might be YouTube.
2. Choose your education wisely
Whether it’s a degree in theater or filmmaking, education in your field can give you a big advantage.
For the best results, choose a place like New York City or Los Angeles, where you can get internships and entry-level jobs in the industry. If you pursue acting in the middle of nowhere, such as Kentucky, you might get a good education but no real life experience. Location is everything, even when you’re in school.
3. Volunteer your time
Look for internships, job shadows, and volunteer opportunities withincompanies related to your dream. Maybe the local public broadcasting station has an active internship opportunity. This not only enables you to network with people in the industry, it also gives you a sneak peek of what’s to come. It can reaffirm your decision or make you reconsider whether TV is for you.
4. Be an extra
Extras are always in demand, especially in key shooting cities. If you’re a regular extra, you’ll have the chance to get to know casting directors and other people related to the show. Being an extra can sometimes lead to bit parts and even fame, and it’s great for exposure. Plus, it’s fun, sometimes you get a little cash, and you’ll have an experience few people can imagine.
5. Get an agent
An agent already has her foot in the door and has connections you can only dream of. If you want to be an actor, an agent is a must. There should be no fee for you, and knowing at least one person in the industry believes in you is a great self-esteem builder. Like having a literary agent, you’ll have more opportunities if you take this route.
6. Keep up with your industry
It’s important not to get rusty and to keep up with trends and technology. Maybe you take acting lessons or enroll in a course in filmmaking even after you have a degree. If you go months (or even years) without practice, you certainly won’t be the best person for the job. Make it easy for hiring managers and be the best you can be.
7. Buy an existing TV business
Another option is buying an existing TV business, since you’ll immediately have a team of experts at your fingertips. You may even be able to finance this venture, depending on your business plan and credit.
There are many approaches to the “TV business,” including satellite installation companies — which are unlikely to go out of style any time in the foreseeable future.
Is TV for you? It’s certainly an exciting industry that will always be in high demand, especially as TV shows are being enjoyed on more mobile devices than ever. Job security and an interesting career are simpler than you think.