Making contact

Getting to know you,
Getting to know all about you.
Getting to like you,
Getting to hope you like me.

–from the song Getting to Know You, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein from the musical King and I

Getting to know people in the industry can be a real key to developing your career as a broadcast performer, especially the right people.

But you say you don’t know anybody?

You may think that’s true, but you really know more people than you think. Actually, it’s more accurate to say you can network to more people than you think. Here are some ways to start your network from scratch.

1.) Make a list of people you already know – that can be anybody, and we mean anybody. Make a list of friends, relatives, neighbors as well as friends of your immediate family in general. Call these people and see if they know anybody, directly or indirectly, who can help you in your employment search
2.) Cold call – if you see a name in print or on a station’s website, place a cold call to them. Once you get them on the phone, be prepared to tell them who you are, why you’re calling and that you’re simply trying to get to know people who can help you.
3.) Be in the right place at the right time – if you notice a newscaster or sportscaster is making an appearance or a speaking engagement, try to get yourself to that place and meet them in person. This is often the best way to make contacts since they can eyeball you immediately and are frequently ready to exchange the necessary information.

Once you make the contact, try to arrange for an informational interview, particularly in the station at which they work. There, they can give you advice on your career, your demo reel or even future employment.

At www.marczumoff.com we’re experts at developing these contacts and helping you expand that list into a lifetime of opportunity.

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Rejection can fuel your enegy

“Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all.”
–William Goldman, “The Princess Bride”

Life is not a meritocracy. It’s not the Boy or Girl Scouts. You don’t always get a badge, patch or some other reward for being competent, good or even great in a particular area. Broadcasting, like any other business, is chock full of politics, favoritism, nepotism and other such characteristics. Many times, the best one for the job doesn’t get a sniff at the job. It’s just the way it is, and we all have to learn to deal with it.

You need to accept the fact that failure is an inevitable part of acquiring your first job or any job in this wild, wacky, wonderful business. To be honest, rejection can be frequent, but it’s essential not to take it personally. An unreturned phone call or receipt of an impersonal form letter declining your candidacy is not an indictment of you. This is about the business. Perhaps you didn’t fit what the company was looking for. Maybe the executive who received your tape or application was simply too busy to acknowledge your phone calls or letter. Maybe the job was given to a friend or an associate or someone on ‘the inside’ and you had no shot at it from the beginning. Hopefully, if you were rejected, you were able to get some kind of feedback from the company or establish a solid relationship with someone for future reference.

The object is to literally convert the rejection into the energy you will need to pursue your goals. That “Who-is-he-to-tell-me-I-don’t-have-the-talent-to-make-it-in-this business?” feeling can be converted into positive power. Once you’ve processed the putdown, internalized and rationalized it, you need to take a stance of aggressive, controlled, properly dispensed “I’ll-show-him-I-have-the-talent-to-make-it-in-this-business!” and use it. While the adrenaline is pumping, seize the moment to write that next letter, label that next demo reel or network to that next person who could help you get where you’re looking to go.

At www.marczumoff.com we’ll help you turn rejection into positive energy and opportunity!

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Ya gotta believe

The late Tug McGraw was a relief pitcher for 19 Major League seasons with the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies. One day while with the Mets, McGraw emerged from a team meeting, blinked at the assembled media, smiled and promptly spouted, “Ya gotta believe.”

Even as McGraw was speaking, the Mets were mired in last place in their division. This was August. By the end of the season, however, the Mets would win their division, the National League pennant, and go 7 games before losing the World Series to the eventual champion Oakland A’s.

You have to believe in yourself. It is the primary prerequisite to getting a job in broadcasting. The right cover letter, demo reel, management contact, voice delivery, editing technique, shooting style, approach to production…

These things don’t mean anything until you believe in yourself. It is the first brick in the foundation, the first step in achieving your dream of working in television, radio or video production. You need to know, deep in your heart, deep in your soul that you can do what you dream of doing. Not just performing in the job once you get it, but the formidable, time-consuming, character testing job…of trying to get the job.  We help you to believe in yourself. Visit us at www.marczumoff.com to learn more.

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Listen up! (The most important skill for interviewers)

Being a good listener is the single most important thing you can do as an interviewer. It will help to bring out more honest and interesting answers from the person being interviewed and it will keep your audience engaged and interested as well.

Case in point—a recent post game interview I did with 76ers forward Andre Iguodola after a stunning victory at Boston against the Celtics, the best team in the NBA. After the exciting come-from-behind win, I asked Iguodola what it was like to win a game of this magnitude. Well, I frankly expected platitudes from Iguodola, the usual patter about his young team taking a big step forward by beating a team like Boston on its home floor. Instead, Iguodola was complaining about his team getting off to a slow start, that they never should have allowed themselves to fall behind in the first place and that he (Iguodola) and his less-than-great play earlier in the game was one of the reasons for that.

With that, I followed up with him and asked him to elaborate on the fact that here was his team, the decided underdog, winning a huge game. Yet he felt as though they and he should have played even better. Had I not been listening, the opportunity to follow up and pursue something very interesting and compelling would have gone awry. And viewers who were listening closely would have been miffed at me as the interviewer asking why I hadn’t pursued this fascinating point.

This is not to say you should not do your research on an interviewee or, in the case of a long sit-down interview, have a list of some prepared questions. But when it comes to doing your best job as an interviewer, listening to the answer is right up there with asking the questions!

We have many of the answers regarding your career development as a broadcast performer. Visit us at www.marczumoff.com.

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Asking good questions

What makes a good question? Now that’s a good question! Why? Because it’s an open-ended question.

Open-ended questions are questions that cannot necessarily be answered with a simple yes or no. These kinds of questions make for the best interviews. Avoid leading questions, questions that simply make a statement or questions that lack any real conviction or genuine curiosity.
Generally, while it’s preferred you have done some homework beforehand, it’s best to go into and interview with just a natural curiosity. Be authentically interested in the person and the subject matter and your interview should go fine. And as we said in our previous blog on listening, be sure to do that in order to properly follow-up the answer should it lead you down an interesting or informative road.

Occasionally you will get an interviewee that is reluctant or simply not prone to elaborate. In that case, you have to be ready with follow-up questions. I’m not saying to necessarily have a prepared list of questions that you machine-gun at your subject, but rather be prepared to follow-up as a listener, who at least be prepared with the ultimate question of all: “Why?”
Why will literally call into question just about any answer you are given in an interview. If a politician tells you what the new law is, respond with “So, why was it necessary in the first place.” If an athlete tells you “this was a big win tonight,” be sure to fire back, “And why exactly do you feel this is so?”

Personally, I have a pet peeve with reporters who simply make a statement to an interviewee and expect a response. Well, some interviewees will choose to be curt or frankly, will wonder what it is you do want them to say once you’ve uttered your statement. Remember, statements are just those and do not necessarily require answers, or at the very least, thoughtful answers. Good questions are thought provoking and can probe much more deeply into the issue at hand.

Whatever issues you may have regarding your career development as a broadcast performer, we can help. Visit us at http://www.marczumoff.com/

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Do the dirty work and love it!

“I just get coffee.”

“All I do is busy work. It’s stupid.”

“What, I don’t get paid???”

Ah, the laments of the intern, the production assistant (PA), the go-fer. Performing the mundane and wondering, “is it all worth it?” It is. More than you’ll ever know.

Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia is my employer, while I broadcast the games of the NBA’S Philadelphia 76ers. Both of this fine organizations employ various, lower-level employees. Some, like interns, receive credit for their efforts. Others, like per diem or game night workers, receive a modest fee or stipend. Unfortunately, many treat the job like it’s “below them” or has duties that simply don’t match what they’re trying to accomplish with their careers.

Just remember this, any job is what YOU make it. Sure, the duties might be simple and dull. That’s ok. First, these are things that ARE necessary. In fact, if you screw them up, it could cause bigger problems—MUCH bigger problems. Second, this is your opportunity to show people in the business that you can attack these “simple” jobs with alacrity and pride, showing you might have the smarts, character and tenacity to tackle even bigger jobs (promotion!). Third, the truly ingenious and energetic among you who can polish off these smaller obligations might then have the wherewithal to volunteer for more complicated stuff. Again, another opportunity YOU have made to show your worthy of bigger and better.

Listen up all of you interns, go-fers and PAs. You might think no one is watching or realizes what you’re doing. But trust me, they’re noticing—and they really notice when you screw up. If they see you hustling, taking extra responsibilities and really making an effort to perform well, it could bode well for the future. And even if you’re not hired at this place, think of everything you will have learned by keeping your nose to the grindstone while keeping your ears open and your mouth shut. That doesn’t even include the people you will meet on the job, people who can eventually help you to get the job you want.

Those are the very same people who you think aren’t watching you perform the simple, the boring, the mundane. Do that dirty work…and love it!

Find out more about how to acquire these low-level, high-benefit jobs and how they can help in your career development as a broadcast performer. Visit us at www.marczumoff.com

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You’re a tube of toothpaste

Tell the truth, what do you know about toothpaste? Sure, you know some of the buzz words like whitening and cavity-fighting. But what about the real intrinsic values of the product? Do you really have a full, technical understanding of what makes one toothpaste better than another?

Chances are you don’t. Chances are you assume the same posture I do when in the supermarket trying to decide what to use to brush your teeth. Chances are like many people, you make your decision based on one thing—the packaging.

Millions are spent by companies on packaging their products. After all, it’s the first thing you see—before you see, smell or taste. It’s the first impression. It’s the one that many times makes the difference between buying or not buying the product.

YOU are a tube of toothpaste. Remember that as you try to break into broadcasting. That is, people who are hiring to fill positions in radio and television don’t know you from—you’ll pardon the expression—a tube of toothpaste. You literally have to package yourself to look and sound attractive.

In general, this means you have to be unique, interesting and exciting. It goes for the way you produce your demo reel to the look of your resume to the way you sound on the telephone and the way you present yourself at a live interview.

You’re style of performance should reflect the distinctiveness that is you. That includes your on camera (or audio) presentation along with your writing. Don’t be afraid to edit your demo reel in a way that will stand-out and show creativity. Your resume can use a singular font style. And of course, good phone manners and grooming are as important as anything you’ll do in presenting yourself as a viable candidate.

YourAirTime® knows how to make you look and sound your best—so that when it comes time to make that decision, the buyer will purchase YOU.

Tell the truth, what do you know about toothpaste? Sure, you know some of the buzz words like whitening and cavity-fighting. But what about the real intrinsic values of the product? Do you really have a full, technical understanding of what makes one toothpaste better than another?

Chances are you don’t. Chances are you assume the same posture I do when in the supermarket trying to decide what to use to brush your teeth. Chances are like many people, you make your decision based on one thing—the packaging.

Millions are spent by companies on packaging their products. After all, it’s the first thing you see—before you see, smell or taste. It’s the first impression. It’s the one that many times makes the difference between buying or not buying the product.

YOU are a tube of toothpaste. Remember that as you try to break into broadcasting. That is, people who are hiring to fill positions in radio and television don’t know you from—you’ll pardon the expression—a tube of toothpaste. You literally have to package yourself to look and sound attractive.

In general, this means you have to be unique, interesting and exciting. It goes for the way you produce your demo reel to the look of your resume to the way you sound on the telephone and the way you present yourself at a live interview.

You’re style of performance should reflect the distinctiveness that is you. That includes your on camera (or audio) presentation along with your writing. Don’t be afraid to edit your demo reel in a way that will stand-out and show creativity. Your resume can use a singular font style. And of course, good phone manners and grooming are as important as anything you’ll do in presenting yourself as a viable candidate.

marczumoff.com, knows how to make you look and sound your best—so that when it comes time to make that decision, the buyer will purchase YOU.

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Just meet people

There are a lot of pressures attendant to looking for a job as a broadcast performer in television or radio. The very daunting nature of the task can be distressing: finding the openings; getting a leg up on the competition; having the right demo reel.So, I’m here to tell you to take a breath, relax and relieve yourself of some of the pressure.
Don’t look for a job!That’s right. Don’t look for a job. Stop scouring the want ads, the websites and the publications. Stop stressing over the right font type for your resume.Just stop.

You see, you already have a job. That job would be meeting people. That’s right, just go out and meet people. That should not only be your preoccupation, but quite honestly, it needs to become your occupation. Eight hours a day. Fulltime. All of your resources, all of your being, devoted to meeting people.

Meeting the right people, of course, is the key to all of this. People who have a direct or even indirect relationship to some aspect of television or radio. These are the kinds of people who will help you in your search for a broadcasting job as much as anything or anybody.

Developing the right contacts is an art. It takes what we call The Three P’s: Passion, Persistence and Patience. Putting all of these to work in harmony is an important aspect to this new job of yours.

At marczumoff.com,we show you how to meet the right people and how they can help you find the opportunities you’re looking for.

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