We’ve all heard stories about the those who stepped on people to get to the top of their respective industries.
They make a good story, but they are often the exception instead of the rule.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting or working with some very successful, well known people within show business over the years, those who work both in front and behind the camera, and the single most common tie between all of them is that they are smart, nice people.
They are often humble, yet confident.
They are almost always very intelligent, generally or within their skill or craft.
And they are nice to everyone, from the receptionist to the CEO.
Have I worked with egomaniacs who are so insecure they screw up their lines just so they get attention from the 100 people on set waiting to get the last shot of the day and go home? Yes. But, those people don’t become the people who are successful for a long time in the industry. They may make headlines for a short time, but before long they’re off the radar.
Now, there are some people who are very successful jerks. People who keep getting work because their ability to make profitable product outweighs their perpensity to be a complete arse.
Have I worked for some of those people who continue to make gobs of money even though I could easily loath their very existence? Yup. But, again, they are the exception.
People in Hollywood, even the stars, are just people. Their job just happens to seem glamorous to most others, but they are just people. If you approch them as a fan, they’ll treat you like their a star. However, if you approach them as a person, they’ll treat you the same way.
You’d be amazed at the simple conversations I’ve had with famous people about raising kids or hobbies or what have you. More often than not, the act of being nice is reciprocated… even in Hollywood. It goes a long, long way, especially in a business full of sharks and back-stabbers.
Do you have to be sharp? Yes. Do you have to make sure you’re not being taken advantage of? Yes.
But treat people with respect.
Live your faith.
Don’t take yourself too seriously.
And work harder than anyone else.
Who know? In 10 years or so, you may be one of the nice people at the top of the industry.