Posted by Jessica Sitomer
Richard "RB" Botto Richard "RB" Botto

I often have questions from members asking how to get back into their creative career after a long (sometimes unwanted) break. Many assume that because they've been away or haven't devoted as much time to their craft as they would have liked, it's hopeless for them to start again.

If you’re thinking, “It’s too late for me,” I’d like to challenge you on that assumption.

Today I welcome beloved Stage 32 Instructor and long time expert in the entertainment industry Jessica Sitomer to the Stage 32 Blog. In addition to having worked in all areas, from writing and acting to directing and development, Jessica served for seven years as the in-house career coach for the International Cinematographers Guild, Local 600, where she coached over 1000 people one-on-one.

Jessica provides you with a quick and easy-to-digest list of fears and concerns many of her clients have had about jumping back into a career after a hiatus and gives you an actionable plan to revitalize your spark and get you back in the saddle.

If you've ever felt discouraged about trying a new discipline or pursuing a career in entertainment, you don't want to miss this blog.



Leonard Lowe is a man, who as a teenager, became comatose for decades with no hope of any cure. When Dr. Malcolm Sayer gets permission to try a possible chemical cure, Leonard awakens. The result is an adult man who only knew life as a teenager discovering the delights of life.

Countless times over the years, I’ve coached people who have “left” the business. I put quotes around ‘left’ because some have literally left for various reasons (illness, relocation, family matters, caring for a family member, etc.) and some have figuratively left, in that they feel so overwhelmed, disappointed, disenchanted, that they stop the pursuit.

None of those clients ever gave up on their dream. So they came to me, for their “Awakening”. Many come with fears and concerns that perhaps you’ve shared at one time or another… perhaps right now. Here are the big ones and what you can do to create your own Awakening, get out of your funk, and rediscover your career!

  1. I’ve been out of it too long (this has been said from people who’ve been out for years or only months).

Time has absolutely nothing to do with your success. People come and go and come back again over and over. This is a limiting belief aka excuse… so, I’m telling you now, if you want back in, you can get back in.

  1. I’ve gone too long without reaching out to my contacts.

Your contacts are busy people. While I’m sure they care about you and have their moments of “hmm I wonder where he/she is,” they are by no means cursing your name for dropping them off of your call list. They will be happy to hear from you, ESPECIALLY if you are calling with a revived passion for what you’re doing.

  1. People have forgotten me.

Maybe. Maybe not. If they have, you didn’t know them very well, so all you have to do is re-establish the relationship. People do this ALL the time.

  1. What will I tell people I’ve been doing?

That’s up to you. You have choices. One choice is to tell them exactly what you’ve been doing. Some people prefer not to tell if they’ve been battling an illness or recovering from back surgery. So in those cases, I suggest that you immerse yourself in what you love to do for a month and then call people so you can talk about what’s been happening over the past month and skim over the past year(s) with highlights from moments of family time, movies seen, conversational stuff. Remember, people aren’t concerned with the content of your conversation when you’re catching up, they just want to hear that you sound happy and are doing well.

  1. The industry has changed too much.

Changed how? This is an industry of relationships. People hire their friends and their friends’ friends. That hasn’t changed. If the technology of your classification has changed and you want back in, you have to get up to speed. If not, you’re choosing to give up for fear of learning something new. The choice is yours.

  1. I don’t know how to get started again.

One goal at a time. Getting back into a career you’ve been away from either physically or mentally, means taking the first step. That’s going to be different for everyone. What is the first step for you? What is one thing you can do to get back to what you love? Is it making a phone call? Is it asking a friend to invite you to set so you can be around the action? Is it going to a movie? Is it writing out a list of goals? It can feel overwhelming which is why you have to break it down into manageable steps.

  1. What if I try and it doesn’t work?

What if you try and it does? Either question is viable, yet, my question sets you up for possibility.

And Action!

  1. For point 2: Make a list of 3 people who you know in your heart will be happy to hear from you and give them a call.
  2. For point 4: Make a script or work out in your mind what specifically you want to share with people so you can feel confident getting back in touch.
  3. For point 6: Decide 1 step you can take and do it.
  4. For point 7: write a list of everything that is possible if you try and it does work out.


Like Leonard, you have the opportunity to rediscover the passion and career from a new perspective. Imagine the possibilities and go for it!


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As always, Jessica is available to answer any questions or remarks in the Comments section below...


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