Emily Anthon | Suiting Up and Showing Up

Editor's note:  The following bio was written by me, not by Emily, and therefore contains glowing excerpts from a letter of recommendation I wrote for her in 2008.

Emily Anthon is not only a person who sparkles, bringing happiness to those around her, she has tremendous initiative.  In her early 20s, she picked up and moved from California to New York City.  Despite a limited college education, because of her sheer effort (and a great dream team), she has graduated from being a nanny to a fairly significant support role at Disney and with Governor Romney's presidential campaign.  Many people at Emily's age are more credentialed, but given her trajectory, she will have surpassed many, if not most, within another 10 years.  This woman is a winner.

***

Do you remember during the opening credit to Pretty Woman where some guy on the streets is talking to anyone who will listen?

 

Welcome to Hollywood!
Everybody comes to Hollywood's got a dream!
What's your dream?
My current dream started a few years ago when I wasn't happy at what some would call a dream job, but it just doesn't working for me.  Because I love movies so much, my roommate suggested that I move to L.A. and get paid to work in the entertainment industry.

 

Hollywood sign

Source:  istockphoto

Realizing she was right, this was what I wanted, I few months later I moved from NYC to LA and eventually landed jobs across three major motion picture studios, Warner Bros, Dreamworks and Disney. A few years later I temporarily left LA for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on a presidential campaign, knowing that I would eventually come back — and again become involved in the movies.
In January 2009, I moved back to L.A.  I felt I had already had my ‘break', had a resume that rocked, and I had contact within the industry.  I just knew getting a job in my industry wouldn't be hard.  They don't just post these jobs on Monster; you have to know where to look.  But just to be sure I also made a small list of 10 companies that I would want to work for, a list that included production companies I had worked on the studio side for, or others whose products I was passionate about.  I did a specialized cover letter, explaining why I wanted to work for each of the 10 employers detailing why I wanted to work for them, and sent my resume ‘old school' — through the mail.
From some I received the form letter thanking me for my interest.  From another, a postcard with a box checked saying they had nothing available.  From the rest I heard nothing.
I know the economy is tough, studios are laying off employees, not hiring. I apply wherever I can.  If I see something I'm qualified for, even if over-qualified, I send in my resume.
But I have been undeterred — I love movies, and by being in L.A. I can find ways to be ‘involved' in the industry even if I'm not yet getting paid

 

Producer's cut

Source:  istockphoto

 

There are advance screenings that I go to, I participate in focus groups about trailers, upcoming films, unfinished projects — you name it — and I've made business cards that promote me and my skills and have given them out when I make contact with someone who might be of help professionally.

 

I've called old bosses, old co-workers, responded to ads on Craig's list (click here for some of the odder ones) registered with every temp agency that feeds the studio pools. Minus the temp agency informational, I had seven interviews one week. I've interviewed to be the personal assistant to a Japanese rock star, event coordinator for a small amusement park, and executive assistant for a sound design company, but never felt the right fit.

 

I've made time to seek out music in the Hollywood club scene.  Perhaps an odd way to achieve my dream, but here I've been able to make contacts that may help me out down the road.  In this town, it's all about who you know.  In discovering some of these new artists and bands, I came across lyrics to a song by the late Spencer Bell.  They capture how I feel:

 

Louis thought the world was his to see
But it didn't matter cause California's where he needed to be.

 

It's been nearly six months, and about a month ago, I found a temp job working for Netflix.  It's a job that allows me to be in L.A., includes perks like access to lots of DVDs, affords flexibility to interview when I want, and pay my bills.

 

Director's chair
Source:  istockphoto
And while I still haven't found the right job — and at times my dream seems out of reach — but I've suited up, shown up — to Hollywood.

 

Cause California is where I need to be.

*** 

Is it possible that if we will observe what we are ‘suiting up' for on a daily basis, we'll have a better idea of what our dream is?  
 
Jane Clayson tells a story similar to Emily's about suiting up.   The week she arrived in L.A. to work for ABC, they closed the cable news division down.  There was Nothing for her to do.  For months she showed up anyway.  Eventually her break came in the form of the O.J. Simpson trial. 
 
Any suggestions or ideas for Emily?
 
For those of you that You may want to re-read Throw down your Pom-Poms and The Hazards of Getting in the Game.

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