16 Sep Lessons Through Tears
I had one meeting with the VP of Development at a major studio that really got under my thick, New York skin. I had only been in LA a couple of months, and I brought my resume to meet this person, get some advice, and see if there were any positions available within their company. Creators are told that they have to “make their own path” and “do it all.” Well, here I was, sitting across from this person with my resume in their hands, outlining the many hats I wear, and they said, “So you produce? You write? Do you act? What do you really want to do?” My answer of wanting to do it all, and that my resume clearly shows I have applicable skills to do it all, would not suffice.
I explained how I moved to LA wanting to focus on producing, and he said, “This is not a town of practicality, MaryLynn.” to which I said, “But you’ve been with your company for ten years. That feels practical.” He kept poking me with the question, “But what do you really want?” and finally I said, “I really want a paycheck.”
I left that meeting feeling so annoyed by this person who tried to play therapist with me. I called my writing partner and best friend, Jenna, to vent as I cried. She calmly and with lots of care said, “You learned a valuable lesson here. Maybe people need to be spoon fed information so they can process it. Now, you need to go home and make separate resumes for everything you do. Then, when you go into those rooms, you see who does what and hand them the proper resume. ‘Oh, you want a producer? I love producing. That’s all I do. Live, eat, breathe, sleep it. Oh, you want a writer? Yup, I write day and night. Here you go.’”
She was right! I did exactly that. Now, I have a bunch of resumes catered to specific aspects of production, and I talk about my career path differently depending on who I am talking to. But how do I explain how I got here succinctly so people believe that I am serious about putting my acting aside?