Listed below are five things that every creative professional hates to deal with. If you’re an up-and-coming creative, please don’t do any of the items listed below. Just don’t.
Unreturned Emails, Texts, Phone Calls
Communication is key. It really is. Knowing how to return emails, phone calls, and texts in a timely manner should be a basic skillset that any adult should have. Don’t be that person in the studio or office who just never responds to messages. The pros have stuff to do. Nothing peeves the pros more than not being able to get a hold of you. If they reach out once, you should respond ASAP with a short, clearly worded response and clear instructions on how they can best reach you going forward. Tell them it’s fine to call or that you tend see your text messages first, so feel free to text. Working pros are busy, busy, busy. They need to know they can depend on you. Keeping an open line of communication is vital to your success.
Entitled attitude? Leave it at home. We all have to do things we don’t want to do from time to time. There’s no reason to make it into a big deal. If you’re there to work, work. Do the work with a smile and a good attitude and we can all go home and be excited about coming in the next day. Nothing spreads faster than a bad attitude. There’s just no room for it and it definitely won’t make you popular.
Being a Crusher
The one thing that everyone can smell a mile away in any creative industry is someone who’s just there to get to the top and who’ll stop at nothing to get what they want. Think this kind of unhemmed passion is a good thing? Think again. Unscrupulous behavior will hardly impress anyone. Setting up the other PA or audio assistant to look bad or so something wrong might make you look good right then and there but it won’t last. Don’t be the person who’s so bent on rising to the top that they’ll crush anyone in their way. Instead, be the person who invests in their connections and who builds relationships that matter. When you’re all about #1, eventually you’ll find you’re all alone.
When people first get into a creative industry they have a tendency to really go for gold, even if they don’t have the skills. While it may be tempting to say you can do things you can’t do or aren’t 100% sure about, it’s infinitely better to know when you’re coming up against an opportunity that takes you out of your realm of experience. If this is you, be proactive. Get to doing a Google search, check the forums, search YouTube, and talk to your mentor. Arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible. Then, be honest about where you’re at in your understanding and ask for the opportunity. Don’t lie. Nothing peeves the pros more than lying. Rather, turn the situation around so that you can use it as a chance to show your willingness to go the distance. The ability to learn on your feet is one that can impress a pro. Getting caught in a lie will only erode trust.
Being a Fan when it’s Inappropriate
Please do not interject yourself asking to take a selfie. Don’t gush and scream with excitement either. If you’re in the recording studio or on a film set this will not be welcome by anyone. It’s weird and will peg you as a total newbie who probably isn’t worth keeping around (since you can’t take the heat). So please lose it. Just be a nice, normal person. Turn off being a “fan” and treat artists, no matter how famous they are, with respect and a willingness to help them do what they do.