Every rejection you get to a pitch, a question, audition or anything you have put your all into, can often stifle your creative energy when pursuing a career in entertainment. It’s like getting up all happy and unsuspectedly stepping on lego’s. Another time you bump your head on an open kitchen cabinet and after enough bruises you start to wonder if it's worth putting yourself through it all. Maybe you should just give up. Maybe the no-sayers were right. Well me and Angela beg to differ. Who’s Angela? Well….
Angela Marie Hutchinson is a powerhouse do-it-all, who’s nicknamed “the dream builder” in the entertainment industry and “trailblazer” by the mayor of LA, its city council, and US congress. She wears so many hats so well that I had to ask her how she does it all. But let’s start at the beginning.
So, I attend this webinar from BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD with Talent Agent Brianna Ancel, hosted by Angela. Afterward, I look Angela up on Instagram where I learned that she was the founder of BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLYWood and that she had written a book called Create your YES when you keep hearing NO. On her website, I found out that she had worked for MGM, Warner Bros, TV, The Grammy’s, did a TEDx Talk, wrote a movie for Oprah’s network Own, has a B.S.E in Industrial & operations engineering, is a social media professor and that was just the first paragraph!
Angela Marie Hutchinson
Naturally, I needed to interview her! When she said yes I was so happy! While preparing for our chat, my brain was firing questions at me like: How big of a closet must she have to contain all of the hats she’s worn? How is it possible that all of this, which could fit into multiple lifetimes, was achieved in twenty years? Well, the answer is because she is awesome at creating her "yes".
TEDx invited her to do a talk about breaking barriers. She pondered on what subject to choose, wanting something that everyone could relate to. She chose rejection. Because she was sick of rejection herself and because she knew that no matter who you are, or how rich you are, everyone gets rejected.
Even Will Smith, being as famous as he is, still gets rejected. But everyone also gives rejection. For instance, when you go to Starbucks and get offered a special, you reject it, because you want your usual order. So rejection it was.
In the industry, there is this idea that if you just keep at it, you will eventually get your yes. But she knew this concept just wasn’t true for everyone. She thought about rejections she’d received herself and the rejections she'd given during her work as a talent agent.
She looked back at the yeses in her life and realized that they were simply no’s that she managed to change into yeses. They became yeses because the no’s had taught her something and she had learned to utilize this in her career.
So how does that work? Start with realizing that if you are going through difficult things in your personal life a no is going to impact you in a much greater way. And realize not to take no’s personally. You need to bulletproof yourself for no’s. Protect your mind and headspace.
Know that your goals and dreams are more important and more precious than that sucky feeling of rejection. Don’t ignore a no! Don’t pretend it didn’t happen and just continue as before. There was a reason for the no. Try to figure out what it was, because your "no" can teach you something that will help you create your yes.
Let’s say you’re a screenwriter who has sent out query letters. It is now three months later and you’re still awaiting an answer. Then you should realize it is a dead end, a no. Now instead of carrying on as before you could find another way to your destination. Maybe send out an email saying: “I realize it wasn’t a good fit for you. Could you tell me why? I would love to know what you are looking for, so I can adjust my scripts to your taste.”
Sometimes it can just be that the person on the other end has a problem with saying no. Now if you mail back, acknowledging that it was a no, you might learn why it was a no. Which will help you to have a better chance at a yes next time.
Identify what it is that you want first. But when you do that don’t think about the milestones you want to achieve. Like being represented by an agent. Because you have no control over that. Instead, focus on the inchstones. The ones you can have control over. Like sending fifty queries to literary agents. And then you start working backward. Got no’s back? Then ask yourself why you feel you’ve gotten them. And get creative in finding a better way to communicate. Research the people you’re contacting.
Let’s say you’re emailing a bachelor, who doesn’t have kids, a family concept movie about kids. Then you will have to rethink how you communicate with him about this project. You might start your pitch with “This is your worst nightmare” to grab his attention. Figure out a way to speak to who this person is.
Another way is to help others achieve their yeses. Because the person you help, might help you get closer to your yes and it’s also how the universe works. You get what you give. Like how Angela got the idea for the book “Create Your Yes” by doing a talk for TEDx.
I want to thank Angela for giving me a YES. If I can ever return the favor, please feel free to let me know.
See...it works. :)
P.S. The BReaKiNG iNTo HoLLyWooD is written this way to visually reflect what it is like to break into Hollywood. Having its ups and downs.
Watch Angela's TEDx talk about Rejection here.
Hi, I'm Marjolein (Mar-yo-line) also known as Mack. I am a screenwriter and blogger for Stage 32. Just writing that makes my eight-year-old self go WOOHOO before looking around calmly to see if no one has seen her. I have loved to act, playback, write raps and poems since I was a kid but during the time at my "Hogwarts", The Amsterdam Theatre Academy, I found out that I wanted to earn a living doing things I loved.
Next to living my best life writing, I am currently teaching my new buddy Dobby (a rescue street cat from Cyprus) that this six-foot-one giant is a friend and that it is now his job to stop me from getting square eyes by whining for snacks and walking over my keyboard.
When Dobby lets me write, I make sure to add humor, cockiness, and an "underdog winning" to my scripts because those are things I love to see in movies. Another thing I can't help doing is giving my protagonists their "happily ever after" before the fade out.
Quirk: I tend to have favorite words in every language I learn. My favorite American word at the moment is wackadoodle, one I learned from Zack Ward.
Other Stage 32 Blog Posts by Marjolein:
Let's hear your thoughts in the comments below!
Got an idea for a post? Or have you collaborated with Stage 32 members to create a project? We'd love to hear about it. Email Taylor at email@example.com and let's get your post published!
Please help support your fellow Stage 32ers by sharing this on social. Check out the social media buttons at the top to share on Instagram @stage32 Twitter @stage32 Facebook @stage32 and LinkedIn @stage-32
|How to Adapt a Novel into a Screenplay: The Author + Screenwriter Collaboration|
|From Working for Free to Writing for Netflix|