Joe’s Secret

Posted by admin - 01/03/11 at 04:03 pm

As always, Joe made himself busy around the set.
He arrived with the crew and helped in any way he could, ferrying gear, holding doors open, guarding coveted parking spaces.
When catering showed up, he pitched in to arrange the breakfast buffet.

No other actors appeared before their call times.
Only Joe.
The grips, light and sound folk, assistant directors and gophers all knew Joe—the guy that would do anything.
Everybody liked Joe.

Throughout the day, Joe did more than play his role.
At lunch, he cleared the tables.
On breaks, he brought coffee.

From time to time, fellow actors talked behind Joe’s back.
“What a brown-noser” they accused, or words to that effect.
“He spends all day kissing up to the director.”

Most comments fell on deaf ears.
After all, Joe looked out for the actors as well, lending out his perfectly organized make-up box, offering to give rides or borrow his cell phone.
Joe never discriminated.

Inevitably, with little left to criticize, someone would bash Joe’s craft.
“He’s really not that good,” they said. “I mean, he prepares well, but he sure isn’t Oscar material.”
“Even so, the guy works constantly.  What’s up with that?”
Joe heard the comments and let them slide by, like water off a duck’s back.

Joe didn’t pay attention to what others thought.
Joe had a secret.

He remembered the day he sat with the film producer who went to high school with his uncle, barely a month after he landed in Los Angeles.
His college drama minor didn’t count for much.
He had no agent, no connections and not enough money to hire a publicist.
Like most Hollywood wannabes, Joe claimed a heart full of desire and not much else.

“I’ve been here a long time,” the man said. “I’ve made a lot of movies. At the end of the day, this business—it’s not so complicated.  I’ll give you the guaranteed formula to success.”
Joe listened intently.
“Four components will drive you to the top.  I’ll share them with you, in order of importance:

First, perseverance.  You have to know where you’re going and not stop until you get there.
Second, you have to build a network.  Get out and meet everyone you can and keep a Rolodex.
Third—and this is the big one that most artists ignore—you can never get on anyone’s ‘life’s-too-short’ list. Show up, do your job, be kind and go the extra mile, wherever you can.

The last part, and it’s a distant fourth, is talent.  This town is full of it.  So what? People work with who they know and no one works with jerks.”

“Sounds like that formula applies to most anything in life,” Joe responded.
The old producer paused.
“You know, son,” he smiled. “I believe you’re right.”

Joe overheard the wardrobe person mention that she felt tired.
He hopped up and headed for the coffee machine.

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