NETWORKING IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The entertainment industry is not only about talent but also the ability to network. Knowing how to approach people with the intent of creating powerful bonds and solid support systems will take you a long way. With the internet facilitating the approach and tools like LinkedIn giving us direct access to important names in the industry, what is the protocol to make that first contact? How do you reach out to people, and which is better? An in-person introduction or a cold email? How does one recognize and take advantage of each of those opportunities, and most importantly, what not to do when a great opportunity presents itself?
Danielle A. Piper, Journalist
Dannielle A. Piper is a graduate of the UBC School of Journalism and a 2021 CJF-CBC Black Women's Journalism Fellow. Born and raised in Jamaica and now living in Vancouver, Dannielle covers climate, entertainment, identity politics and social justice.
Giovanna Morales Vargas, Writer, Director, Producer
Giovanna Morales Vargas is an award-winning Latina filmmaker, a DGC director, and a member of the Provincial Film Commission team at Creative BC. Giovanna’s documentary feature, A Perfect 14, is currently streaming on Amazon Prime Video, and her latest film Guiltless in which she is a producer, recently premiered at Portland Film Festival.
Marie Tate, Casting Director, Producer
Marie Tate is a Casting Director from Vancouver, BC. She has worked in the Film industry for over 35 years, in various capacities, in front of and behind the camera. She is a member of IATSE 891, CPAWC, WIFTV and other associations and is an advocate of diversity in film.
William ”Bigsleeps” Stewart, Actor, Writer & Producer
William “BIGSLEEPS” Stewart or “BIGSLEEPS” as he likes to be called. He was born in Toronto, Canada, to an immigrant mother from Grenada and his father, from Trinidad. Bigsleeps began his entertainment career in the music industry, performing as an opening act for major recording artists, Pioneers from Public Enemy and Ice T, Naughty by Nature, Kool Keith, Maestro, Moka Only, Kardinal Offishall, Usher, 112 Ludacris to name a few. Bigsleeps was a Street Team Rep for BMG Music Group, which sparked his love for creativity in marketing and promotions. Bigsleeps decided to start club nights that gave him the opportunity to get new promotional music and Swag, to a mass amount of people at one time. His career in film and television began on City TV’s A-Channel show, Island Underground, whereafter he haphazardly fell into acting, landing roles in independent films and the hit television series, Blade. Then, he’s been seen on the hit series, Sanctuary, Pretty Little Liars as well as making appearances in the summer blockbuster The Day The Earth Stood Still and the Seth Rogan film, 50/50. TRUE JUSTICE - Marked “BIGSLEEPS’” first leading role with action star Steven Seagal. His more recent claims to fame have been on the hit television series The LA Complex, Fear the Walking Dead, Grace Point, Impastor, iZombie, The Show, Arrow, Game Over Man, Good Boys and Bigsleeps plays Dee in the Netflix Movie Coffee & Kareem. Bigsleeps also wrote the song, producer by DJ Quiet Storm, Titled “Wud Up Doe” for the movie Coffee & Kareem, performed by his Co-Star Ron “Rico” Lee. To add to his multitalented resume, Bigsleeps also is a writer, a Producer of the online comedy web-series “Cloud Van” and plays and exaggerated over the top version of himself. He also is the host of his online radio show called “Hollywood North Radio, where he interviews Actors, Film Industry Department Heads, Musicians, Anyone in the Arts Community and any up and comer, providing a platform to be heard and show support to creatives. He understands that it is the people that believed in him, is the reason what gave him the confidence and opportunities that he has been blessed with today. His mother always told him “You can do anything you want in life, if you put your mind to it”.