One of the courses that I taught for NYU at the School of Continuing and Professional Studies provided an opportunity for me to relate a few simple suggestions that I thought would be helpful to them when/if they came to the West coast to try their fortune in the glamourous motion picture industry. As time has passed I continue to believe that these suggestions are as valid today as when I taught those classes.
My suggestions, based on personal experience, are as follows.
Finally, I had a few thoughts on the topic of career planning which I shared and which I believe are even more valid today. Do not go to Hollywood and offer to be an assistant, or work for free, or start at the bottom. That is all crap. Jeffrey Katzenberg was 19 years old and started by being assistant to the head of Paramount and look what happened to him. Be warned, Hollywood has plenty of people willing to start at the bottom. What Hollywood does not have enough of is people who have the courage to come in and be the producers, directors, writers and actors who take charge and show them how its done. There is a shortage in all these areas. When you go to Hollywood, don't be modest but speak truth to power and tell them how they have fucked up and how things should be done now that you have arrived.
They love that kind of chutzpah. For them, it means that you have the self-confidence to be a top player.
I promise you that they will appreciate your honesty and it will be the start of a brilliant career.