I started following someone on social media almost one year ago today. I started following them because they responded to someone else I follow with a response that was very witty. I was like, “What a hilarious response. I have to follow them.” I followed them and they immediately followed me as well.
I soon discovered they were in the entertainment business as well and I became even more interested in listening to them on social media. Why? Because they were similar to a handful of artists I admire and respect. Artists who are carving out exciting careers for themselves. They are doing what I am creating and building for myself as well.
So with this person, I listened. I engaged. I was interested. In turn, they would sometimes engage with me as well. On July 17th, 2015, I invited this person to lunch and they accepted my offer. I really wanted to build a meaningful and supportive relationship with this person…from one artist to another. Now, this is an incredibly busy person, so lunch didn’t happen immediately. And I didn’t force another lunch date because I knew that I could always invite them to lunch in the near future. There was no rush. Just continue to engage with this exciting and interesting person on social media. Lunch would eventually happen when the time was right.
In the meantime, I continued keeping myself active and sharp as an artist with my studies, my training, my acting, my writing, my projects, etc. because I am constantly in a state of career administration. I have a business to run: Jorge Ortiz Inc.
Cut to the end of 2015 and this person shared a wonderful and exciting development in their career. I was so thrilled for them. Their win inspired me greatly. On January 6th, 2016, when I returned from location scouting in Iowa, I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to invite them to lunch again. However, I added more to the lunch invitation. Here is part of the letter I wrote:
Happy New Year. I hope you had a great and blessed holiday season with family and friends. I just got back from Iowa where I visited some family and scouted locations for a feature film I wrote. One of my favorite moments was partying with 15 rookie cops on NYE, casting them in my film and taking selfies with them! I’m writing because I wanted to look into an internship experience with you. I would love the opportunity to learn from a fellow producer so that I can apply those lessons into my own career and journey. I would be happy to even come in for just one hour a week to observe/learn/help. As a confidential person, I would also be happy to sign a non-disclosure agreement to maintain the privacy and integrity of your production company. My intention is to make 2016 a year where I learn from like-minded people who resonate with me. To get out of my comfort zone some more. I was drawn to you from the minute I saw you on social media…
On March 3rd, we finally met for coffee and it was such a great experience. This person was so incredibly wonderful, nice, gracious and funny. And the certainty I had was amazing. Certainty not in a cocky asshole way, but certainty in terms of confidence, passion and pride in who I am and what I’m about.
Throughout our hour-plus coffee meeting, certainty allowed me to:
**Look them in the eye.
**Answer questions they asked me about myself.
**Answer questions about the projects I’m working on.
**Answer questions they asked me about my ultimate dreams.
**To be moment to moment and present.
**To know I belong.
**To see them as a fellow peer and colleague.
**To express myself and have a point of view.
**To be charming, ironic, humorous, intelligent and passionate.
**To bring up my offer again to intern for them, learn from them and WHY I wanted to do so. The WHY was personal. From my heart. The WHY feeds into my raison d’être (reason for being and existence) as an artist.
**To give them a copy of my DOIN’ (Declaration of Independence aka business plan) so that they know who I am, what I’m about as an artist and they can see the roadmap and plan for my career.
Because I consistently train and keep myself current and sharp through the help of my teacher Richard Lawson and my awesome community both in scene study–but ESPECIALLY the Professional Development Program 2.0 class–I came armed with certainty. I have an arsenal of product and evidence to feed my certainty. I can be a person in a place who is interested, engaged and can talk about various topics with ease. I am informed. I continue to learn. I research. I understand and appreciate the art of conversation.
Looking back at the meeting, I know I presented myself as a dynamic, 360-degree person and artist versus a one-trick pony.
At the end of the meeting, they told me that they would be more than happy to help in any way they can and utilize me once the ball gets rolling on their current project. I thanked them for this opportunity and expressed my gratitude for how much this means to me. Their yes, their willingness to pay it forward, brings me a few steps closer to achieving what I ultimately want to achieve in my life and career. Especially during a time when people are shouting and begging for diversity. I am truly grateful.
By the way, if you’re still wondering why I posted a picture of myself wearing sunglasses, it’s because I bought them as a celebration. Celebrations mark and cement the wins and achievements. I’ve been wanting to purchase wayfarer sunglasses for quite some time now and so I purchased them the next day as my celebration! Every time I wear these sunglasses, it will remind me of this wonderful and successful meeting I had.