Why “Networking” Isn’t the Dirty Word it’s Made Out to Be - CircusTalk

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Why “Networking” Isn’t the Dirty Word it’s Made Out to Be

Of the annoying things up-and-coming actors are forced to deal with—getting ghosted by directors and being asked if we’re on Broadway yet—few get under our skin quite like unsolicited career advice. Especially when that advice comes from otherwise well-meaning outsiders and sounds something like this: “It’s all about who you know!”
Yes, cue the eye-rolls and the groans: another cynical take on the state of our industry. But before we dismiss it outright, I think it’s worth digging into why that sentiment can be so triggering. Is it because it undermines our talent? Is it because it makes us feel like a bunch of used car salesmen? It’s frustrating to feel that our talent alone is insufficient, that our skills in and of themselves fall short of guaranteeing our success. What’s even more frustrating is that it’s true. Our talent alone is not enough to secure top billing. And why should it be? People are fairly quick to accept professional networking as a fundamental component of any successful business. Recruiters mingle at college job fairs not because they’re having a blast, but to discover great talent. Advertising executives schmooze at happy hours to secure new clients—or to appease existing ones. Even teachers—the noblest of us all!—find themselves justifying their work to cra...
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