Why is it that the guy who watches 50 movies a week, buys a bunch of the pop culture merchandise, and immerses himself in film industry news can't break into the film industry itself?
He knows every actor's name just by the movie title.
He understands the philosophies and styles of different directors.
Surely someone as knowledgeable deserves a job in the industry right?
Unfortunately, the world doesn't reward people who consume and consume and consume.
He may be a great "student of film" and has a huge database in his head, but no one's going to pay him for that. He has to apply that knowledge.
Because right now, he's only taking.
He's not giving to the film industry.
Now before you say "Hey, he's paying for the movie tickets, he's definitely contributing to the industry, so HA YOUR LOGIC IS FLAWED," just remember that he is one of millions paying for a ticket.
I'm sure the film industry is grateful that he is a customer of their products, but as long as he stays just a customer, he will never find it within himself to direct a film, interact with A-list actors and actresses, or indulge himself in the pride of telling a story to an audience of millions.
In other words, he's never going to distinguish himself from the millions of people who simply consume content.
How does he fix this?
By engaging himself.
What does being engaged mean? (no, not talking before marriage)
It means immersing yourself with the content you're consuming by interacting with people in the industry, getting your feet wet and participating in conversation and producing in order to add value to the industry.
For a step-by-step, you can do this:
1.) Consume the content that your industry produces.
Read blogs about economics if you're trying to go into politics. Watch movies and go to plays if you're looking to get into the acting world. If you like music, listen to as much Kanye as you can.
Usually, this step is one that doesn't need to be said.
You probably already do consume a lot of content of the things you like.
But that's not complete engagement.
In order to be truly engaged, you need to:
2.) Start producing and contributing to this industry that you love.
Write a review of a movie so that other people can make a better judgment of whether to watch or not.
By simply writing your thoughts on trends and the products of your industry, you're adding value to that community. You add exposure, contribute a unique viewpoint on the future of the industry, and distinguish yourself from others.
You can start by creating your own videos, blogs, or podcasts.
The more you build a reputation for your work and get people to engage with your content, the more value you are creating for the industry.
3.) Join groups that share your same love for the industry and build relationships.
Your network is a powerful thing.
When you combine who you know with the value you've contributed to the industry, success will become natural and literally work like dominoes falling in succession.
You get one opportunity. You create value. You get another better opportunity. You contribute even more value. And it goes on and on.
Participate in online forums, email people in the industry you admire for advice, or go to events where you're bound to meet a lot of people.
That's really all there is to it.