Navigating Multiple Sectors of the Industry

Posted on: Jan 30, 2024

Photo Credit: Rawpixel // Shutterstock

By Andrea Joy Tucker

Are you someone who produces TV, but also choreographs and/or dances? Maybe you’re an editor and a writer or a costume designer who also sings. What about the aspiring AD who has a background as an actor, but wants to do both, as opposed to only doing one or the other?

In recent years, multi-hyphenates have increased across the board. The likelihood of finding someone who only sticks to one sector of the industry is uncommon. When talking about aspirations you have in various sectors, here’s some things to keep in mind:

Focus on 3 Areas or Less

It can be hard to keep up with and cultivate every talent or interest you have equally. Its beneficial to focus on no more than three primary areas, perfect those crafts. Then network with others who are established in those areas to not only find work, but see how you can be of assistance to them as well. Im sure you have heard how important it is to think of networking “across” and not always networking up.” 

Identify Your Authenticity

Think of whats missing and what you can add to any sector of the industry with the many hats you already wear. Subsequently, regardless of your interest in a designated department, take advantage of free virtual and in-person classes or sessions. Youd be surprised what you could learn and see how you could be of better service to someone in another department, even with that position youve done for years with countless credits!

Preventing Physical Burnout 

Working an average of 60+ hours a week means you greatly lack a good work-life balance because youre sleep deprived from the long days and commutes (especially if you live in a city like LA). That means its crucial to spend the two days (or more) you have off to take it as easy as possible and not overbook your calendar with activities. 

Theres no reward for those who can get the least amount of sleep while showing up the earliest to set. You only get one body. Self-care sounds so cliche, its necessary with a very busy workload because much is surely going to be expected of you, and youre spending most of the day on your feet. Balance is key, considering your life outside of work can bring you great inspiration for your creative work.

Preventing Creative Burnout

Your life outside of work is important and can give you inspiration for work. It can also bring you a form of solace, so you can look forward to the work that you do. Maybe you can spend time doing absolutely nothing and just allow your mind to wander to whatever creative idea that may pop up.

Try involving yourself in another low pressure, creative activity. Examples include checking out a play, going to a paint and sip or taking a beginner-level class in a new dance style or whatever else may pique your interest. Little things like this can inspire you in the most unexpected ways.

Regardless of how many people are or will become multi-hyphenates, take pride in having several skill sets. Take pride in being multi-dimensional. Take pride in the endless opportunities you’ll open yourself up to.Cultivating your talents, putting in the work, being content with your work and letting go of any “perfect” expectations are essential. In this ever-changing industry, balance is key. You don’t have to be an expert at everything.

Andrea Tucker is a writer/producer in sports and entertainment.

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