I remember the first time I heard about triple threat Helenna Santos. I was taking a self-management for actors class with Bonnie Gillespie, and I watched one of Santos’ first web series – one that she had written, produced, and starred in. The web series is entitled “The Day Player” and it follows an aspiring actress on her quest to take over Hollywood.
It certainly had more than just a few similarities to my web series “Miracle Mile Girls.” Santos had already been writing Ms In The Biz, while I was testing the blogging waters with the predecessor to this blog.
She was someone whom I felt inspired by; a young woman in Hollywood who I wanted to look up to. I remember thinking that maybe someday she would agree to be featured on this blog, but I didn’t think that day would come anytime soon.
So imagine my surprise when she reached out to me on twitter one day and asked if I would be interested in reviewing her book “Thriving in Hollywood! Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz.”
I have to confess something: I am often riddled with crippling self-doubts and insecurities and I second-guess myself more often than I care to admit. But that day taught me a lesson: sometimes, your goals aren’t quite as far out of reach as you think – but you’ll never know if you don’t reach out your hand and try.
With that said, I hope I’ve given you a taste of what gems you may expect to gleam from “Thriving in Hollywood!” without giving too much away. 😉
If you are one of the many talented, dedicated, and ambitious women in Hollywood looking for opportunities to network, collaborate, and learn, I encourage you to visit MsInTheBiz.com, a “magazine style blog for the next generation of female Hollywood power players.” Started by Helenna Santos – actress, producer, writer, and now CEO of one of the premier online destinations for women in Hollywood – Ms In The Biz offers advice, inspiration, and networking opportunities to those of us working in the entertainment industry. And now, Santos and fellow Ms. In The Biz leader Alexandra Boylan have compiled a book, “Thriving in Hollywood! Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz,” with the most inspirational advice and practical tips they’ve come across while working in Hollywood.
“Thriving in Hollywood! Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz” opens with an inspiring pep talk from Barbara Deutsch, acting teacher and creator of the Barbara Deutsch Approach, reminding us that, at the end of the day, what truly matters is what each one of us is called to contribute to the world. Understanding that you, and I, and everyone else is a unique individual with unique gifts and a unique purpose in this world – and therefore, one hackneyed audition or one less-than script will not make or break us – is crucial in order to find success and happiness in an entertainment career. With that in mind, this book offers anecdotes and advice, distilled from the personal experiences of each of the authors, for both beginners and seasoned professionals alike.
The book is organized into six categories: Begin It; Biz Basics – Set-iquette; The Practical and The Tactical; Don’t Hate, Collaborate!; Conquering “The Biz”; and Recharge and Take Charge. Each section flows logically from the necessary components one needs to effectively approach the entertainment industry and thrive in it. The first section focuses on your mindset, which is extremely important. After all, thoughts become words and words become actions, and “Thriving in Hollywood!” makes sure to get your thoughts on the right track. The following sections discuss practical tips on surviving on set and leaving good impressions, how to approach the various different aspects of the entertainment industry, forging and fostering productive relationships in the industry, and – most importantly – how to form a healthy relationship with yourself.
Most importantly, all of this advice comes from women who have experienced the same self-doubts and obstacles all women in the entertainment industry can expect to face at one time or another. However, instead of giving into the temptation of complaining or blaming their struggles on a particular set of circumstances, these women provide insightful tips that encourage the female reader to strengthen and improve herself. One of my favorite segments in the book discusses what women in power positions in Hollywood can do to make themselves be taken more seriously, particularly by their male peers. Another segment discusses luck and how anyone can be lucky by changing their mindset and attitude to their environment.
And lest you think this book is only for women – think again. The stories, experiences, advice, and wisdom in this book touches everyone, whether they are male or female, in Hollywood or even in a completely unrelated industry. The heart and soul of this book, after all, is trusting in your gut, your talents, and your purpose. The journey may not be easy, but no journey ever is. However, it is easier when you are armed with conviction and the practical wisdom of those who went before you.
You can order Thriving in Hollywood!: Tenacious Tales and Tactics from Ms. In The Biz in hardcopy or kindle versions on Amazon.
Katherine Di Marino
Categories: Female Directors, Female Producers, Female Writers, Film Festivals, Inspirational Women, Strong Women, Successful Women, Women in & Literary Publishing, Women in Entertainment, Women In Film, Women in Hollywood