A Visual of what we’re doing
See how others transitioned from their survival job to
full time in the industry!
Hey guys!! I figured I would tell you guys how I figured out how to do the mentorship program so I could get into the film industry full time.
At first I thought there was absolutely no way. I’m paying $1700/month for rent upon other expenses. So, I was like there is NO way I can do this.
But fortunately I am determined.
My father and I looked for things to cut out.
Like Starbucks. Which surprisingly came out to $35/week. That’s already $140 freaking dollars a month right there.
Minus my cable was another $50/ month so I’m basically already saving $200… and for the last $100 I couldn’t come up with my father had an idea.
Saturday’s I will babysit my nephew while my brother works during the day.
I really hope one day I can help people the way that you do Janet Urban. You’re an angel for these people!
Thank you! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I had already already left my job when I started the FIF program.
During the first couple months of the program I started to run low on my savings and began to live on credit cards. That motivated me even more to make in this business though. After a few months, the paid jobs started to roll in.
Tell and show your parents and relatives how much this means to you. Do anything to make them see that you’re working hard to invest in yourself, and that their investment in you will also positively impact the whole family. You can even show them the notes on your progress in the program so far!
In addition, you can drive for Uber, Postmates, and Instacart. My sister had great success with Postmates and Instacart. You can also do CATERING! Easy jobs to get and lots of work out there!
During the first couple months of the program I started to run low on my savings and began to live on credit cards. That motivated me even more to make in this business though.
To cut down on expenses, I cut out internet and would go to a Starbucks’s parking lot instead.
When I ate out I would get water and split a meal with someone.
I earned points on my credit card and would get cash back rewards.
Also reduced my phone plan to the most basic level.
After a few months, the paid jobs rolled in and that was it!
I did a few things to be able to afford the mentorship program when I was going through it.
-I had student loans at the time so I put them in forbearance for 6 months. That means I didn’t make payments towards them and picked the payments back up at the end of the 6 months.
-I got overtime at my regular job.
-I cut out going to restaurants, shopping, and buying things I didn’t need. I kept my expenses at gas, food (such as noodles, fruits, vegetables), and rent.
I also did Promotional modeling/Brand ambassador work. I worked on an IndyCar promo modeling gig, and did 40 hours in 4 days which I made $720 from that.
Also, there are Brand Ambassador Facebook groups by city that post events weekly.
I hope this helps!
I don’t remember if I cut anything then, but I was waiting tables, like all actors do, and some background gigs!
Actually the program started to pay for itself pretty fast, maybe in 2 months or even less!
It’s just a time in the beginning while you are figuring things out and then everything starts to work in your favor!
When I started FIF I was working as a waitress. I picked up 2 extra shifts to pay for the program.
I offered to babysit in the time I had off.
Once the transition from waiting tables into film started feeling real, I made the move to a bigger city and as they say… “The rest is history!”
I had the confidence and knowledge when I got to the city to just leap!
I was working and making $500 within in two days of my first week in a new place. I was glowing! The momentum continued.
Even after a year of living here, I continue to grow on a daily basis.
I currently work in multiple departments at a production company and my income is strictly film and TV.
When I started FIF, I was an actor/nanny in Chicago. I knew I wanted to work in film but had no idea how and it seemed like this huge entity that I wasn’t “good enough” to be a part of.
When I found FIF I was actually about to go on vacation to Colorado. During my vacation I took an hour or two a day to do Career on Fire.
After I completed that training I was still skeptical of FIF but knew there was nothing to lose if it helped me taken even ONE step in the right direction.
Luckily I was making enough as a nanny to pay for the training. Everyday the little guy would take a nap for 2-3 hours and that’s when I would work on the Modules. It worked perfectly!
As I did the mentorship program, I realized film was something I COULD be a part of. I started making connections and getting gigs on commercials and television!
It got to the point where I knew at least 5 people on every shoot I worked–such an amazing feeling!
Before I made the transition to full time I worked at a production company where I was able to hone my skills and get a steady paycheck.
My first big gig as a full time PA was on The Exorcist pilot and after that I never looked back!
I signed up for LYFT, just in case, but only needed to do that for a week or two before the PA gigs started rolling in.
After 6 months of never having to apply or send out my resume I realized I needed to take the next big leap and move to LA!
Before I left Chicago, I was able to make enough money to cover my moving costs from just one Producing gig!
It’s always an amazing feeling to be able to support myself and then some from doing what I love.
I’ve been in Los Angeles now for almost a year and have been UPM for commercials, am set to produce a few short films, attended the Vanity Fair Oscar party, and am working on Blade Runner 2049 on the Sony lot.
It’s been an AMAZING journey and everyday I know I made the right decision.
I graduated University of WI Madison in May of 2015. No job, no internship, no idea of what to do next. When people asked what I was up to, I said I was “taking the summer off” while I figure out where I wanted to work. Honestly, I was just trying to figure out a game plan. I knew what I wanted to do, but not where to start. I lucked out and found FIF in July.
All of July and August was spent pouring over the modules trying to absorb as much as possible, while starting to work on smaller sets as I built my experience.
I was picking up odd jobs for my parents while living at our family home in Maine.
I didn’t really have any savings when I started FIF so I was putting it on a credit card.
My parents were awesome enough to let me house sit/ dog sit for them in Jersey. No pay, but free rent and food and close to NYC.
I got a part-time job at Starbucks in September to supplement the bit I had started making from PA-ing. I was a little over an hour from NYC so I had access to the city, but the commute was killer.
As I started getting more PA work, I realized I had to quit my survival job because it was preventing me from taking PA jobs!
I worked at Starbucks through the holidays and quit in January.
I got to work with my favorite crew, from LA, almost every other week for the next few months on projects with CNN, ESPN and Netflix.
I spent the summer PA-ing on some of my favorite shows. I even took two vacations up to Maine in July and in August!
In the fall of 2016, I got my current job at AMC Networks working on shows like The Walking Dead and Portlandia.
I still PA and AC (Assistant Camera) on the weekends, and am able to pick only the projects that I am really passionate about. My buddies at H and Co. are nice enough to book me months in advance so I can clear my schedule for them.
This Spring/Summer I moved to a new place on the Upper West Side and got to AC (Assistant Camera) and Location Scout all over Central Park for two different indie films!
Yes, I’m doing NICHE jobs now!
When I started FIF, I had moved back to my dad’s in Maine to save money after unsuccessfully trying to have an acting career in NYC.
I was totally broke, and very blessed to have a family to support me and get me back on my feet.
I started the FIF program in March 2015, and at the time I was working at a call center full time, with two days off per week. This allowed me to have a steady income to put into my savings.
When I started the mentorship program, I would switch shifts with coworkers so I could get on sets, sometimes driving as far as five hours one way to get to a shoot.
I would stay with friends in the area, and was able to get enough experience to put together a decent resume halfway through the summer.
I was in demand in the New England market at that point, and I had also saved about $5,000 and felt ready to jump to full time.
My first step to transition was buying my plane ticket (one-way) to Los Angeles.
This gave me a date to plan for, and everything else fell into place from that. I lived off my savings and credit cards for the first few months, while busting my ass to get on as many sets as I could.
I use a budgeting software called Mint (it’s free, integrates all your financial info, and gives a great overall picture of where you are financially), so that helped keep me on track and see where I was spending my money.
I made sure not to go crazy at Starbucks, and shopped for bargains at farmers markets and only bought necessities.
I didn’t spend a lot on leisure, opting to go for a hike or to the beach on my days off instead of spending money on activities.
I’m at the point now where I’m able to make aggressive payments on my credit cards and student loans, have leased a new car, and am about to be moving in with my best friend. All from my work in the film industry.
I started FIF at the end of December 2015 while I was working two jobs.
One job was as a temp at a middle school and the other one was part time working at a zip line tour office.
I felt as though I was behind on the whole “Get on Shoots” method because my two jobs had me working 6 days a week.
The second I was done teaching, I was able to get on several shoots.
My schedule at the canopy tours was 5 days a week Tuesday-Saturday. I was able to switch shifts with coworkers as they were busy with other things too.
I was also able to request time off as long as it was 2 weeks out from the date.
I knew it was time to transition from full time production because my survival job was getting in the way.
I had people calling me to work on things and I was having to ask for a lot of time off.
I had spent hardly any time at work in a 2 week span while being on different paid shoots.
So on a Sunday, I quit and the next day I got a call from Mythbusters asking me to be their Production Coordinator.
The crazy thing was this was only 6 or 7 months after starting FIF so I wasn’t even done with all the modules yet!
I worked as an administrator at an engineering company. I saved money by staying at home at my father’s house.
I had already started the get on shoots method on my own locally and jumped on a local web series. I also produced three 48-hour films during that time in my area.
But I still wasn’t getting work on my own. I even had an interview at a local news station and never heard back.
I had to use Janet Urban’s methods to break out.
When I first found out about Friends in Film, it was around 2012. I was in college studying theater. I thought this program was too good to be true and at that time, I was living in North Carolina and did not even have a car.
But I never forgot about Friends in Film.
After graduating, I did the Disney College Program in 2013 but decided that it was time for a big girl job. I got a job working for KBTC Public Television in my hometown (Tacoma, WA). I thought it was a way to get in the film/TV industry. Even when I was in the interview room, I told them “I want to use this opportunity at the front desk to learn more about producing and would like to meet with the producers at the station.”
I was hired and thought it was the best thing ever. Well, it wasn’t. The first boss who hired me was fired. He was my mentor and we are still friends to this day. However, once he was let go, everything changed. I was stuck at the front desk, getting cussed out by viewers, not progressing at all. I was miserable. Thankfully, this job did pay pretty well and I was able to get my car and pay down some of my school debt.
One day, I finally had it! It was the worst day ever at the front desk. Every other phone call was a disgruntled viewer because the line-up had changed. After the 20th caller, I knew I was ready to change my life. I logged into my work computer and pulled up Friends in Film. I wanted in the industry and I knew the front desk was not going to get me there.
I signed up for Career on Fire and then Friends in Film and never looked back.Every dime I made at the front desk I invested in FIF and in myself so I can become the best PA I could be. I would “call in sick” from the day job, but then would work on productions. I went full force! Calling production coordinators, emailing people, I joined as many Facebook groups as I can that were related to film and television work.
April 1st 2016 Is the day I put in my two weeks notice!I have a career that I absolutely love. I am well-respected in the Greater Seattle Area as well as in Portland, Oregon! Even my old job calls me up every once in a while so I can help out on their live on-air shows.
My ultimate goal is to be an actress and an executive producer. I feel like I am closer to that goal now more than ever! Because of FIF, I have learned to take my dreams and create concrete goals and attack them like nobody’s business! I have been on National TV (“The Librarians” on TNT), worked on “Grey’s Anatomy” as a PA, have gained the respect of all of my colleagues in the PNW and now I am moving to LA to conquer that market too!
A few weeks ago, I drove down to LA! It was a dream of mine to go on a road trip by myself! I went to catch up with old friends, make new friends, check out the neighborhoods, and took a couple of classes!
Basically I fell in love with LA and planning the big move! I am moving down October 21st! :)
This program has completely changed my life and my perception of me! I feel like I am Wonder Woman and I can conquer anything I set my mind to.
Big thanks to Janet and to all of the FIF Mentors for your support and love!
Without this program, my life would be completely different. I am sure of that!
I did catering with catering companies and event staffing companies.
These were for companies that had higher-end clients so my rates were a little higher: Up to $28/hour with minimum of 5 guaranteed hours per shift.
I worked with many other actors and models in the catering company so it was a great working environment :)
Transitioning with that method was pretty seamless because they offer you shifts, like promo modeling, and you can accept/reject them and pick what works for you and you can work for more than one company.
I have been doing just odd jobs around for people (cleaning, mowing etc.) and using my daily job at a factory.
I have been able use my savings for this program and my car. That means not going out and spending money on anything that wouldn’t lead to my dream.
I started my Airbnb business and was able to make money of renting my place.
That helped me a lot with paying for the program! :)
When I joined FIF, I had already quit my normal job and was living off my savings.
I cancelled all of my streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) and made my meals at home instead of going out.
Once I started to make money consistently, I’d put whatever I made in one month into my savings and that money is what I would budget on for the next month.
I still use that method today. For example, the checks I receive and deposit in August are used as September’s budget.
I’m a huge fan of Dave Ramsey so I use his envelope system and budgeting methods to keep me on track of my financial goals.
For several reasons, I’ve minimized/stopped eating and drinking out. Once I did an experiement to see how much I would save just by not spending money on food at restaurants/cafes, etc. My credit card bill was reduced by half!
I’m going to quit my gym membership and start running in the neighborhood and working out at home.
I am going to stop eating out and spending money frivolously like I have in the past, because I need to invest it in my future.
I am so ready to give this all I have, and I thank all of you so much for creating this program: you are changing lives every day, and I don’t think I could put into words how grateful I am.
I asked my dad to cover the first month, but I plan on picking up a 2nd serving job along with Uber driving, and I just signed up for Rover. My parents are moving soon, so I’m going to offer to help for some extra cash/help pay off my 1st month. I also have several items listen on Facebook market and plan on making trips to Plato’s closet to sell old clothes!
I got a loan from my younger brother to start the program and pay for the first few months and am donating plasma for some extra money on the side. My job right now is working as an extra on different shows and trying to get in as a PA in sets as well.
I’m just reducing my expenses. I am walking away from a few other classes and services that I’ve been taking and putting off saving for a house for a while so I can get this going.