Archive for March, 2013

How to Improve Communication Skills


I believe that one of the best ways to connect with people and build quality relationships is through making conversation. Although most people can hold a conversation, only a few are smooth and charismatic when they talk.

Working as a communication coach, I have explored and tested many techniques for improving conversation skills. I have discovered 7 simple and effective ways to be a smooth talker. Here they are:

1. Talk slowly

Typically, good talkers don’t rush into a conversation. They take their time when they reflect on something and when they say it out loud. They act as if they have all the time in the world. This makes them come off as centered and collected. Model this way of talking and you will create the same effect.

2. Hold more eye contact

Most people keep eye contact about 2/3 of the time or less when they talk. In my experience, it’s a very good idea to hold eye contact just a bit more than that. This will convey confidence and interest in interacting with them.

3. Notice the details

People with good conversation skills tend to notice the kind of things that the average person doesn’t notice, and to bring such details into the conversation. They may notice and point out an interesting ring on the other person’s hand, a certain foreign accent, or a certain voice tone they use when saying a name. Thus, such individuals impress people in a very elegant manner.

4. Give unique compliments

Anybody can pay a generic compliment to try and get another person’s appreciation. Charismatic people on the other hand are able to really pay attention to others, to look beyond the facade and thus, pay unique compliments. Do the same and besides wooing others, you may even help them find out things about themselves they didn’t know.


5. Express your emotions

It’s very rare to meet a person who is comfortable talking about their emotions and how certain things make them feel, especially with strangers. Yet this way of talking is a real virtue. Don’t just present the facts, you’re not a newspaper. Express your feelings about those facts. Keep in mind that it is at the emotional level that people connect best.

6. Offer interesting insights

Anybody can talk about the news or express basic opinions. But good talkers can frequently tell you things you didn’t know and that you’ll find fascinating. This is why it’s good to have knowledge into fields such as psychology or sociology, and bring such knowledge out at the right moments in a conversation.

7. Use the best words

The ability to talk smoothly has a lot to do with choosing the precise words to convey your precise feelings or thoughts. Constantly develop your vocabulary and practice communicating as accurately as possible. It will help you develop a way with words and allow you to express yourself more easily.


Conversational skills don’t improve just like that. It takes time, practice and the ability to learn at a rapid rate from your own experiences. On top of this, they have virtually no limit to how far they can be developed.

Considering your relationships and social life constitute one of the fundamental components of your life, I believe it is worth embarking on a long-term journey of mastering your interpersonal abilities. It’s a journey you won’t regret.



Acting Career Information: Becoming an Actor or Actress

Requirements for Actors or Actresses

Acting as a career involves more than just performing in movies. Working actors perform in live theater productions, at theme parks, in commercials and on television shows. As actors start their careers, many work multiple jobs, such as working as extras in films or TV, to support themselves financially. While many actors live in large metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles or New York, production companies all over the U.S. hire actors on a regular basis.


The more experience an actor has, the more desirable he or she is to a director. While a degree is not typically required, bachelor’s degree programs are available, particularly for those interested in acting on stage. The following table contains the main qualifications and requirements needed to become an actor or actress listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Step 1: Take Classes

Although no formal training is strictly required to become an actor or actress, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that most professionals in the industry participated in college drama courses or acting conservatories. College degree programs allow students to expand their skills in various acting fields, including impromptu acting, sketch comedy, voiceover work and musical theater, while building their portfolios. An undergraduate degree program in drama or theatre includes coursework such as voice and diction, stagecraft, acting theory and stage management.


Success Tip:

Participate in college productions. Acting in performances while in college in an excellent way to bolster a resume and gain experience on stage or in front of a camera. It is important to keep copies of the recordings of these performances to show potential employers when auditioning for a role.

Step 2: Gain Professional Experience

Actors need whatever experience they can get in order to improve their skills and gain more recognition. Many actors start by participating in community or college theatrical productions. Others may choose to perform publicly at ‘open mic’ nights. Performing in other public settings, such as nightclubs, dinner theaters or theme parks, can also help beginners get real world experience and help them become comfortable in front of an audience.


Success Tip:

Hire a coach. Many actors choose to enlist the help of an acting coach, who is more experienced than they are. This coach helps them prepare for roles and find auditions, while teaching them tricks of the trade.

Step 3: Acquire Additional Skills

Because endless roles are available, the more an actor knows how to do, the more auditions he or she is able to go on. For example, learning foreign accents or impressions may appeal to a certain market that was otherwise unattainable. Some roles may require that actors know how to dance, sing or both. Taking classes and practicing different skills can help actors prepare to play a variety of different characters.


Step 4: Find an Agent

While it is not mandatory, having an agent can make working as an actor easier. Agents complete most of the business-related tasks involved with acting, such as mailing out resumes, scheduling audition appointments and negotiating contracts. Having an agent completing these administrative tasks provides actors with more time to practice their skills. The majority of agents also have connections with casting directors, which means they can more easily connect clients with regular acting roles.


Actors often have to shop around for agents. Before actors submit resumes and audition tapes to agents, they may want to research each agent. For example, it is important to know the number of clients an agent works with and how much personal time an agent spends with each client.

If you think that finding the most effective ways to make good money in the music industry is “wrong”, then do not bother reading this article.


Now if you are still reading-good. In this article, I am going to talk about different ways that you can effectively achieve great success while working in the music industry. This includes being able to make a stable living from your music career and(if you Act on the given advice) making much more money than the average musician.

Most musicians seek to “make it” in the music industry but have a high degree of uncertainty when it comes to the idea of making A Lot of money and supporting themselves through their music career. This causes them to push away their ultimate desire of a career in music in order to work in a “stable” job outside of the musical industry (that they usually hate). Unfortunately, these musicians end up working full time in their day jobs and experience great frustration as they realize that they are wasting their musical potential. This is something I see All The Time as a music career mentor.

In truth, achieving great financial success while working on your music career is not as difficult as you might think. In addition, you don’t need to be a big time rock star to make good money in the music business. However, in order to become financially free in your music career, you will need to take a very different approach than the one that is taken by most musicians. You will need to approach your music career as both a “musical artist” and as a businessman (or woman). You must run your career as a business, where your primary goal is to add as much value as possible to your fans, other bands, music company officials, and other people in the business of music.


The reason why so many musicians do not make much money with music is because they are not aware that music is a business (and needs to be treated as such). These people fail because they are not mentally ready to achieve great things in the music industry. Find out how ready you are to reach success in the music industry by taking this short assessment on how to pursue a career in music. Important: Finish this assessment first, before reading the rest of this article.


Besides not being prepared to achieve success in the business side of music, many musicians fail to make a decent income in their careers because they make the following mistakes:


Not Taking The Time To Set Up Various Music Related Sources Of Income


It is common for musicians to treat their music career in the same manner that they have treated any other job that they have had. They expect a single paycheck at the end of an established period of time from doing a “single” activity. Unfortunately, this approach will not help you to achieve financial success in the music business. In order to make a good living in your music career, you must stop thinking from the mindset of obtaining a single sum of money as your main goal. Instead, you must work to build many different sources of musical income that go into your bank account on an ongoing, residual basis. By taking this approach, it becomes much easier to make a lot of money from music. In fact, musicians who use this method will save themselves time as well (because they do not have to continually work to get a paycheck). This enables them to have more freedom to pursue things such as writing music, touring and performing, or recording in the studio. In the end, it is important to have income coming in from both your active efforts and your past efforts that you already took the time to set up (that continue to make you money). Additionally, by approaching your music career in this manner, you will feel much more stable since you will not be dependent on any single source of income to pay your bills.


Not Working To Continually Add Value To Others In The Music Business


There is one very important concept to understand if you are going to pursue a career in music. Whether you are a touring musician, music teacher, producer, session player, songwriter, or are involved in any other occupation, the people who will pay you money to work with you will need to have a reason to pick you from the thousands of other musicians following the same path. At first, this may seem pretty hopeless, but in reality the amount of competition you face is not a major factor. Why is this? Fact is, most musicians are too busy focusing on their musical skills while not focusing on building as much “value” around themselves as possible. Your musical skills (no matter how great they may be) is only one element of “value”. The other elements (that most musicians do not focus on) include your work ethic, temperament, business savvy and reliability just to name a few. To make yourself the absolute best choice to work together with a music company, you must work to build up a massive amount of value so that any of the musicians competing against you will pale in comparison. This means that when a music company considers working with you, it must be obvious that there is no other choice.


Right now you may be thinking that this is a simple concept to understand (and you are right). However, in spite of this, the overwhelming majority of musicians do not take action to do this in their music careers on a daily basis. To see if you are taking the necessary amount of action in this area of your music career, fill out this quick survey about how to build value in the music industry. As long as you have the ability to continually add high amounts of value for anyone in the music business, you will have great potential to make a lot of money. It is for this reason that I train all of the musicians in my music industry mentoring program to develop a mindset for adding value within everything they do.


Not Taking The Time To Identify Your Market


Once you have become familiar with the value you have to give to the music industry, you will you need to find and identify the people who you will give value to. For example, imagine that you were about to release your newest record. Who are the people (fans) that would be waiting to buy your new music? Do you have a way to quickly and easily contact these people? If not, what action are you taking right now to build a list of your potential customers? Now imagine that you were a session musician. Do you have an organized list of all your potential customers/business partners such as musicians, recording studios, or bands? What are you going to do today to get in touch with these people and show them how you can help them with your skills and talents?


One of the most common mistakes made by musicians is that they spend the time to create an album, increase their musical skills, or work in another area of the music industry, but when it comes time to receive the payoff for their hard work, they have great difficulty making any money. This happens because they have not taken the time to build a database of customers who are ready and willing to pay for the value that the musician is offering. Since this is such a common issue, I have made this one of my main areas of focus while mentoring the musicians in my Music Careers Mentoring Program.


Additionally, musicians will make the mistake of assuming that once they are signed with a music company that the company will take all the responsibility to further their career. This is not true. The fact is, YOU are the one who will need to take initiative in your music career in order to promote yourself and make a better living. Work on building your own list of customers and fans so that you are the one in control of this aspect of your career. This can be used as a great tool to improve negotiations with future music business partners to make more money for you (and for everyone else involved).


Not Knowing Your Goals And Not Having A Plan To Reach Them


To earn more money in your music career, you must set specific goals and have a strategy in place for reaching them. Don’t simply have vague ideas of wanting to be a professional musician. Instead, you must focus on what you want out of music. To get started, answer the questions below:


What do you want your annual music career income to be?

What are the various sources of income that will allow you to reach your goal in question #1?

What action must you take in order to create these sources of income? (learn more about how to set up multiple streams of income in this music career planning article.)

What is every possible way that you can add high levels of value to each interaction you have in the music business?

What is every possible way that you can eliminate risk for other people in the music business?

Once you have answered each of the questions above, you must make every step in your music career go toward the specific goals you have determined for yourself.


The majority of musicians struggle to identify exactly “what” they must do to get their desired results in the music industry. Additionally, once they know “what” to do, they struggle to understand “how” to use this knowledge effectively. If you are in this same situation, the best action that you can take is to find a great mentor who can train you to achieve success in your music career and make a lot of money in the music industry. By doing this, you will avoid wasting your time and effort on the same frustrating mistakes that other musicians make.


Confusing “Being Popular” With “Earning A Lot Of Money In The Music Industry”


You don’t need to be touring in an internationally known rock band in order to make a great living in your music career. The reality is that even some famous bands include band members who are working regular jobs to make a living. It is important to understand this point so that you can place priorities on achieving your goals in the most effective way possible. Obviously there are musicians who have achieved both popularity and great financial stability, however you should prioritize your efforts to reach your goals in the most effective way possible.


Ending Thoughts


There are many musicians who view the music business as “deceptive” or “wrong” because it involves making money from one’s passion rather than giving it away for free. These people likely spend their time focusing on songwriting skills or improving their abilities on their instrument. Although these are important things to work on, it is also critical to focus on improving your “music business skills” if you want to earn enough money from music without needing a day job just to get by.


Even though there is no way to predict (in a single article) the specific path you must take to make a great living in the music industry, if you avoid the mistakes mentioned here you will be much more likely to achieve financial freedom in your music career. The good news is that when you do start making a stable living as a professional musician, you will be able to spend more time on that which drew you to the music industry in the first place: making music.


If you haven’t yet taken the music career surveys mentioned in this article about how to pursue a career in music and how to build value in the music industry I encourage you to do so now

How to Get Started in a Film or Television Career

Getting Started:


One of the hardest things about starting a film or television career is getting that first job. But, it doesn’t have to be that difficult, especially if you’re armed with the right information. What follows below is a list of various articles and reference materials that will help you navigate your way toward getting your entertainment career off the ground.

What Type of Career Are You Looking For?


Start by narrowing down the selection of career choices. There are literally hundreds of entertainment careers. Many of which can be quite lucrative and fulfilling. But you should know what you’re looking for before you start looking. Here are some career profiles of some of the more popular film and television career choices:


Make Up Artist

Casting Director



Film Director

More Film and Television Career Profiles

Assessing Your Skills:


What type of schooling does your particular career choice require? What types of things are you good at? You’ll be surprised (and maybe happy) to know that most people in the entertainment field do NOT have any sort of specialized training. Most of the training they received was while working on the job for which I strongly believe there is no real substitute. But, here are a few pieces that will help you figure out which careers best match your abilities as well as helping you to get over the fears of not having enough experience, or figuring out whether or not film school is for you:

Assess Your Skills: You want to find out what you’re good at. What innate skills do you have that you can immediately apply to a film or television career?



Valuable Skills You Might Not Know You Have: You probably took a number of classes that at the time you thought were useless. You might be surprised to know that many of these skills will come in quite handy as you hone in on your entertainment career path.

This is a question most people entering the entertainment realm ask and this article helps to provide an answer to that age old question.

Where do You Start Looking For Jobs?:


With the advent of the internet, finding jobs in the entertainment business became quite a bit easier. It used to be that the only way to find a job in the biz was through word of mouth. Now, most production companies have more work than they can handle and try to fill these positions with the most talented people they can find. Here are a few resources you may want to check out to see if you can find an entry level job that’s right for you:

Variety Job Classifieds: Variety is one of the two biggest trade mags and has a great jobs section each day.



The Hollywood Reporter Jobs Classifieds: The Hollywood Reporter is another great resource for finding entry level work. Be sure to check their production listings for phone numbers of the production offices. You can often contact them directly to see if they’re in the market for someone with your particular skill set.



Major Media Company Job Boards: Most of the major media companies (Disney, NBC-Universal, Warner Brothers, etc.) have pretty thorough job boards as well as a list of available internships.

How do I Write a Resume?


When looking for your first job in the entertainment field, you will often be required to provide some form of resume. Even if the only other job you’ve had was a part time gig at the local fast food restaurant, you can build a solid resume that will help you get your foot in the door. Here are a few resources to help you build a high quality resume that will get results:

Don’t Lie on Your Resume! One of the worst things you can do is lie on a resume, so don’t.



Writing Your Resume Resources: Fellow Guide, Dawn Rosenberg McKay gives some great tips on how to go about writing a truly effective resume.

They All Started Somewhere:


Here’s some good news — the vast majority of people who work in the film and television industry had no prior experience, no prodigy-like talent, and even fewer had an uncle with the last name of Coppola or Spielberg. Most people approached their entertainment career the same way you are — one day at a time. So, don’t worry if the “big break” doesn’t come in your first day, month or even year. Remember the three P’s of just about any film or television career — stay passionate, persistent and patient and you will dramatically increase your odds of succeeding in the entertainment industry.

Video Editing: 5 Steps to Becoming a Video Editor

Ever want to work in the making of a movie or television show? Editors are responsible for creating the final cut of a film, commercial, television show or other type of video. They work with the directors to arrange the film and cut scenes together.

What Is a Video Editor?


As a video editor, you could work with many different media forms, such as television, motion picture or Internet-based entertainment. Primarily, you would take the raw footage provided by the cinematographer, and edit and combine it with sounds to produce the final version. This final cut would encompass specific concepts and ideas from both the director and your own editing suggestions.


Step One: Join an Audio Visual Club


Many video editors have some basic understanding of video production even before they reach college. Becoming involved in your high school’s audio visual (AV) club can help you learn the basic editing techniques that you will build on later into the career. Additionally, AV organizations often provide you a chance to encounter editing tools and software for the first time.


Step Two: Take Computer Classes


Gone are the days when the only way to edit film was by cutting it and taping the pieces together. Today, many cinematographers and editors use digital computer-aided software to bring video to life. Learning computer basics is important for you to understand the editing software needed later on in your career.


Step Three: Graduate With a Bachelor’s Degree


A bachelor’s degree is the primary method of obtaining the education and skills needed as an editor. A Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Production program trains you to use the equipment that video editors rely upon in their profession. Examples of coursework would include film theory, script analysis, media ethics, production, feature screenwriting and post-production.


Step Four: Complete an Internship


You will begin your career through an internship during or after college. Completing an internship as a video editor provides you with the opportunity to apply skills, build a resume and obtain professional recommendations. Internships vary in their requirements and job duties. If you were to apply for an internship after college, you may be required to show a portfolio of work, references and understanding of editing software.


Step Five: Become a Video Editor


Becoming a video editor requires current knowledge of the trends in film and video technology. Many video editors move directly into their first salaried position from an internship. As you gain more experience in the field, you may receive recommendations for your previous work, which can lead to more job opportunities.

Career in Media Sector

An Overview of Media Industry            

• Most exciting and versatile industry

(What makes it exciting and versatile?)

* One of the most influential industries directly connected with the mass audience

What is media industry?

• First started with the mass distribution of newspapers and magazines. Today, the definition of media has changed and media has many sub forms like Broadcasting with the help of TV and radio, Entertainment with use of audio visuals: films and videos, internet that includes blogs, forums, music, news, then publishing of books, papers, magazines, and other interactive media.

Purpose of media

• Provide information and generate public opinion

• Provide entertainment, education, advocacy among others.

• Thus the scope of a Career in media industry is vast.

Market Watch

• Market analysis and research shows, Indian media industry has projected size of 7.7 billion US$. Moreover, it is estimated to be over 18 billion US$ by 2012.

• The television sector has a 42 % share and print media has 30 % share.

• The Indian entertainment industry is one of the fastest growing in the world giving 1000 films per year. It is the largest output by any media industry in the world.

Media Group in India

• Some of the reputed media companies in India are- Times Group which owns Indiatimes, Filmfare, Planet M, Times of India and many other brands, Adlabs, Zeetelefilms, UTV, Nimbus Communications, Sahara Group, Mukta Arts, Shrinagar Group, News Corporation, Sony, Walt Disney, Sun Network, BMG, Universal, Hindustan Times, The Indian Express, Manorama etc

Influx of foreign publications in India

• Maxim

• Marie Claire

• Cosmopolitan

• Elle

• Conde Nast

• Vogue

• Currently the marketing and distribution of facsimile editions of Fortune and Time magazine is done by India Today group.

• On the newspaper front, Mint, a business news paper of Hindustan Times Group, has exclusive partnership with Wall Street Journal.

• Deccan Chronicle Ltd. has ventured with The New York Time Co. to distribute the fax edition of The International Herald Tribune.

Print and electronic media

• Print Media: Newspapers, magazines, journals etc. Career option are artists, editors, graphic designers, visualisers, photographers, cartoonists and many more.

• Candidates with exceptional skills in designing, photography and writing along with a good academic background face no difficulty in acquiring a good job in this field.

• Electronic Media:

Television and the radio.

• Career options: News reader, anchor/television host, presenter, producer, programmer, script writer, videographer, stylists, RJs or radio jockeys, production assistant, broadcasters, editors, animation experts, computer graphic designers, set designers and many more.

Career Opportunities

Due to a boom in India’s media industry, the nature of jobs in the sector has been transformed.

Radio jockeys, actors, musicians, dancers, journalists, video technology creators and managers to accounts planning, cameramen, editors, soundmen and public relations managers, this sector offers career opportunities for all.

Career Opportunities in Mass Communications: journalism and editing jobs for television as well as print media.

Career Opportunities in Television, Film and Multimedia: Creating new ideas for stories and concepts to graphics and animation, etc.

Career Opportunities for Writers: Political writers, writers for travel, history, places, food etc.


Career Opportunities in Other Segments Like Live Entertainment: Event management professionals

Types of jobs

• Job opportunities are available with:

• Film and television production companies, distribution companies,

• Publishing houses,

• Radio channels,

• News channels,

• Event management companies, etc.

Required Trait and Skill

• Creativity and innovative capabilities.

• A combination of skills and traits like confidence and pleasing personality, patience, teamwork and excellent communication skills

• A career in publishing industry, especially editing, requires extraordinary command over language, attention to grammar and an eye for detail.

• Physical stamina for journalists. And work hard to distinguish oneself from the average performer in the industry.


The presidential election campaign has stirred debate over the role of government, including taxpayer support for public service media. Much coverage has focused on possible cuts to shows like Sesame Street, and its iconic Big Bird. Long-time public broadcaster and executive Bryon Knight reminds us that funding for public media buys us more than Big Bird. It supports a locally based system of public service that is accountable not to advertisers and shareholders. It supports a service accountable to all citizens.


It’s not entirely about the money.  It’s also about accountability.


During the first Presidential debate, Governor Mitt Romney said “I’m going to stop the subsidy to PBS, I like PBS, I love Big Bird. I actually like you too (Jim Lehrer).  But I am not going to borrow money from China to pay for it.”


And so the headlines read:


“Big Bird becomes a big deal in the political fray.”


“It’s not Wall Street you have to worry about it’s Sesame Street.”


“Million Muppet march in Washington D.C.”


No matter who wins the debates or the election the importance of public support for public broadcasting is about much more than federal tax money.

The Money


Public Broadcasting has long been a target of conservative politics.  They see it as wasteful spending, supporting the “liberal bias” of public television and public radio programming.  In the past twenty years many pieces of legislation have been introduced to reduce or eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting.  Each time members of Congress, including Republicans, have voted to continue the one – 100th of one percent of the federal budget which supports local public broadcasting through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.  This year CPB received $444 million dollars from Congress, for non-commercial educational broadcast stations, less than a dollar and a half per person per year.


Depending on the size of a station’s budget the amount of federal support a local station receives ranges from less than 10% to more than 30% of the station’s financial support.  Sesame Street is produced by Sesame Workshop which is a non-profit organization, receiving funding from public television stations.  Public Television stations purchase the rights to broadcast Sesame Street through the PBS National Program Service.  Sesame Street could survive without federal funding, even though it would be a struggle, so could public broadcasting.  But, it is not just about the money, it is about public ownership of the service of public broadcasting.


Accountability and Service


Public Television and Public Radio receive most of their funding directly from you, “the public” in the form of viewer and listener support.  You are very generous because you value the service of non- commercial, educational broadcasting.  Even if you are not a contributor you have a stake in public broadcasting because you are a tax-payer.  It is all part of public support for public media.


Much more important than the amount of money which public broadcasting receives from Congress, is the public ownership and accountability which comes with it. It is the ingredient which sets public broadcasting apart from all other media.  Tax support makes public broadcasting non-profit, accountable to the public, and defines public broadcasting’s mission as a service not a business.  Tax support is a wise investment.   It makes public broadcasting accountable to you.


Service, not profit, is the motivator for the 1300 local public radio and television stations in America.  Public broadcasting’s product is quality, informative programming.  Public broadcasting doesn’t have to attract the largest audience possible to sell advertising; its product is quality programming.  Take away the tax support and Congress takes away more than the money.  A privatized public broadcasting service will have less incentive to operate as a public service and more incentive to adopt new business plans which will look more like commercial broadcasting.  Public broadcasting’s success will depend more on its ability to compete for audience and attract corporate support.  The change will be gradual but noticeable.


As a tax supported institution, public broadcasting is accountable to you.  It measures its success by the service it provides you.  The small federal investment in public broadcasting ensures its accountability to the public and ensures the continuation of its core value of public service.


Public Trust


Public broadcasters know that their most important asset is public trust.  There are some services which tax payers feel good about supporting; public broadcasting is one of them. The service of public broadcasting is one of the most valued by the American public.  In survey after survey public broadcasting ranks high in value returned for tax dollars.  It is a trusted source for news, public affairs, education, information and children’s programming.  It is a valued return for a small tax investment that sets public broadcasting apart from commercial and cable broadcasting.


The bottom line is federal support buys much more than support for Big Bird. Federal support buys an entire locally based system of public service media that is accountable not to advertisers or share holders, it is accountable to you.