I have been fortunate enough that I have now got to a place where I am more selective and being head hunted to some degree for business. People are willing to listen (not always hear) but listen to advice.
So when I see posts, comments and offers of work free on commercial gigs my blood boils. I speak on a regular basis to clients and new starts in the make up industry and I admit that for ever 2 that say thank you and run with the information another 8 will cry, whine and wail about how mean I am to them. Needless to say they get 1 chance and thats the end of it.
Now I know its all glamorous and exciting in the classroom when you are learning, you are being taught by industry people who are giving you support. What happens when you leave? What then? You don't know what an editorial is, what an advertorial is, what rates to charge for gigs. So you wing it or you do it free cause its your right and this is your new career so you have to get a foot in the door.
I hear people complain: "the lecturer never taught us.......can you help."
Well no. Within reason I am happy to do but the first thing I ask is did you research it? What terms did you use. I can bet money that they haven't because with the description they give I can find the details in 2 minutes flat. If the teacher missed a detail ask for it or go find it.
The next thing I noticed is the transferable skills assumption. You can transfer your skillsto a certain point, going from bridal to fashion, to TV IF and I do mean IF you have done research into whats involved. Not every job needs bridal looks, some will require natural, others will need light blood work or some out of the box fx. Can you provide that? Think and plan.
Everyone wants to move up the ladder and thats good, but you also need to know whats on the next rung. If you have particular needs such as you need to be done by 2:30 or can't start till 9:30 because of the kids then maybe TV and film is not for you. Its long, tedious and tiring days and sometimes nights that require a huge amount of dedication and you don't get to dictate how it runs the client does.
Which brings me to the most important part: We are in the service industry. That means we are providing a service, we are employed be it for a few hours, a day, a week whatever it is. The clients word is law. Yes you can pick and choose what and who you work with or on, but lets get real here, we are multi tasking on our job. I have been held reflectors, been freezing cold in a barn, worked at 6 in the morning on weddings, 10 at night on TV shows because thats the job and I chose it. I cannot pick and choose the hours the CLIENT does.
Freelance is a misnomer, we are not really free, we are sub contractors. If I hire an assistant they are sub contracted to me which means I am the boss and you answer to me, I answer to the client, so there is a chain of command. Not that people want to assist anymore in my experience.