Article by: Crystal Joy
It was easy to meet aspiring actors and filmmakers while I lived in New York, but I struggled in connecting with those that were actually working and thriving. I never liked the term “networking,” but I knew it was something I needed to do if I wanted to get ahead. Between acting classes and auditions I made space to join meetup groups, go to events, and link with filmmaking collectives. New York is a big city and can feel overwhelming when you want to connect with others so you have to narrow it down. Involving myself in local organizations helped me navigate the social aspects of my career and made it easier to find work.
I joined groups for writers, female filmmakers, and collectives for African American filmmakers –any category or subcategory that I identified with I was apart of. Due to my involvement, I landed my first acting gig at a pitching event and met the director that eventually directed my first film project. I couldn’t have achieved those things without putting myself in the environment I wanted to succeed in. Networking can change the trajectory of your career. I learned in college it’s not what you know, but who you know and that statement proves itself true as I continue to navigate the creative world.
So if you’re struggling with finding other creatives to work with, then get involved. Find a community that caters to what you’re looking for and immerse yourself in that world. If you’re an actor join a directors group, a director join a producer’s collective, and if you’re a writer then join several because writers are always needed. Now, if those outlets aren’t available in your community then hop online. The internet has a plethora of spaces that cater to international audiences, Facebook is a great start.
In the event your internet access is limited, then start something of your own. Grab your fellow artist friends, filmmakers, and creatives together to start a collective. It’s all about initiative. So get active in the things you want and start collaborating.