This originally appeared on HUFFPOST as “10 Rules Of Succeeding In Hollywood” but I decided to tweak it into Nollywood, as these rules apply to both industries, and even beyond the entertainment industry, we all need to take a cue from this.
#1. When you come to Nollywood you have to think, “what am I going to give,” not “what am I going to get.” Most people come to the industry to “get” things. They want something. Nollywood will not respond to you unless you are ready to give something. That needy energy of wanting to get, can be seen in an instant by the people in this industry. The more you are willing to give, the more excited and interested people will be in you.
#2. Nollywood runs on energy. If you don’t have a great positive energy that is radiating out of your body, you will likely be unemployed because positive energy is the Hollywood currency.
#3. Authenticity: Be courageous enough to be yourself. Which is not an easy thing because many people will tell you that who you are, is not enough. All the great stars are authentic.
#4. You don’t attract the people you want, you attract who you are. So, if you’re a superficial person then you’re going to meet a lot of superficial people. If you have negative friends, well that’s because you’re negative. Like attracts like. I am aware that there is a different side of Nollywood as well — a dark side. If you encounter these kinds of people then ask yourself, why you are meeting people like that? See what changes you need to make in yourself to attract the people you want.
#5. Be proactive, not reactive. Nollywood admires people who don’t sit around and complain or blame anyone. Make your own opportunities, create your own projects. The business has changed, now you can make your own film easily with current technology and you have so many outlets to have your work seen. Being an actor now is better then ever!
#6. Gratitude. One of the things that Nollywood likes very much is gratitude. I find that most of the people on top are kind and humble. They tell me that they feel fortunate and grateful to be in this business. Some realize that it is not just about being a “movie star,” but how they can use their fame to help benefit the world.
#7. Inspire people with your humanity and your ideas so that they will want to work with you. Learn to build bridges. Remember everyone wants to be involved in a project that has meaning.
#8. Become the person you have never been. To achieve something you have never achieved, you will have to learn to become the person you have never been. You will have to give up any negative ideas, behavior or friends that are holding you back. When you act differently the result will be different.
#9. Ask for help. You can’t do anything alone. All stars ask for help. You will need help from a strong artistic community or a mentor. Everything I have learned I learnt from someone kind enough to share their information with me. Nothing can be done alone. To achieve anything great here, you have to have a lot of collaborators. You couldn’t make a film on your own. In fact, the only thing you can do alone is fail.
#10. Why do you want this? Your dreams must be more meaningful then your fears. Only then will you be unstoppable. Don’t have a plan B and then your plan A will have to succeed. The way you make it in Nollywood is that you to have a strong why, enormous energy, openness, gratitude, a meaningful dream — full of passion and a feeling of wanting to give. Ask for help and know that a lot of work and training will need to be done. Because… “The express elevator to success is broken, so you will have to take the stairs.”
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