Networking Skills, the Path to a Lasting Entertainment Career

Investing time and money on education can contribute to one’s career success. However, one area often neglected is the skills of networking. Most industry newcomers put off learning about them until their hopes are dashed and their finances nearly depleted.

Networking is the means by which we engage new business friends, seek out innovative and fresh ideas, find useful information, and foster connections that can grow into lasting partnerships. Networking can also secure jobs and help increase one’s income. But most of all it can lead to a long productive career.

The most useful networking tool will be your ability to tell stories. You see stories help harness, manage, and communicate the value of your talents. You can list your experience, credits, and training on your resume, but what makes you memorable are the tales that spark the imagination and kindle the spirit. These are stories about your struggles, your triumphs, and the obsessions in your life. They are stories that go beyond the mundane and remind the listener of something greater. Maybe it’s a successful endeavor, a learning experience, or maybe it’s a story that calls for a collaboration to complete them.

In networking situations, people don’t always buy your talents, your knowledge; they buy the stories attached to them. Your stories must be compelling, truthful, beautiful, believable, and inspirational if they are to have an impact on your prospects. Stories connect us and everyone has a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.

We all have such stories and to tell them you have to search your own life and find what resonates. We have to go back and get them. Frequently, we belittle our true accomplishments, our struggles, and the lessons we’ve learned. And what we perceive, as a bump in our journey may be the stepping-stones to a rewarding story. Find what is most meaningful or memorable about your story. How will it be perceived? Choose a story angle that helps people get inspired and internalize the truth. And in your story find something agreeable and build your story around this message. Agreement makes for solid connection.

Once you have your story, try it out on people. Obtain feedback, make changes, and continue to hone your storytelling skills. It might take several times to perfect your story before you use it in a networking situation. And one story is not enough. You need several. What you will likely find is that with each telling, your stories will help identify the real you and you will find you feel better and better about yourself.

All too often, networking talk turns into a competitive bragging match. Each person is caught up in out doing others. Facts become inflated and as a result trust and integrity go out the window. Connections become temporary and opportunities are wasted. You have to ask yourself, “Am I sharing my story for ego validation or am I doing it as a service to my listener?” The reason behind telling the story shapes how we tell it and how it is received. If the objective is to impress rather than share, your listeners may be turned off. But if your story resonates in a relevant and personal way, you’re likely to connect on numerous levels.

In framing a story, you should start with the point of the story and build the story around that point. This is the “why” of the story you’re telling. For example, if you’re telling a story about what you’ve learned from an experience, this needs to be made clear and articulated in the telling. The story progression might consist of a problem, apparent solution, set backs, realization of capabilities, new tack, result and lesson learned.

Another type of story is overcoming obstacles. Often people speed through the problem, solution, and result format. Instead exhibit real emotions and real humility. Nobody’s perfect, and mistakes and setback are bound to happen. How you handle these crises establishes your character. And character trumps credentials every time. So include the missteps, and your emotional reaction as well as your corrective action. Phases like, “My mistake then was…,” “What I did not know at the time…,” and “In the end, I…,” make your scenario much more appealing and open to discussion.

Revealing flaws has strategic value. By being vulnerable in your stories, your listeners react in a profound way. They see you as human and that’s what creates an emotional and caring connection.

Stories are the understanding of how and why things in life change. And when we share our human experiences of change, those pivotal moments in our lives, we display our humility and a more humble approach that admits our limitations. As a result, we draw in our listeners and resonate with their lives, their struggles.

The topic of your stories need not always relate to your work or your career aspirations. There are other scenarios that illustrate your character and capabilities. For instance, childhood situations can be strong indicators of character. Daily life situations can also be appealing especially when they resonate with the listener’s life. Topics like weather, traffic, sports, restaurants, and customer service are good icebreakers. And when your perspective reveals you as a bright thinking, diligent working person, you connect as a likeable person.

Besides your stories, you also need some additional tools. Let’s say you make a connection. How do you stay in touch? Professional people carry business cards and so should you. Your business card should have your name, contact information and your professional vocation, i.e., actor, writer, director, etc. Union affiliations are also a must if applicable, i.e., SAG, AFTRA, WGA, DGA, IA.

For actors, colored photos are essential on a business card. Many use the backside of the card for printing contact information that won’t fit on the front. Some use this space for an abbreviated list of credits, i.e., last seen in… If you have a website or social site, make reference to these on your card provided the content is relevant to your job. On the backside of the card write or print some call to action, what you want the recipient to do. For instance, check out the trailer/demo on my website or view my credits on

Before to attending a networking event, do some research on possible prospects. Check out the company website to find out what projects they’ve done. This is a good way to show off your knowledge and ask intelligent questions. What is their track record, their specialization, and how successful have they been in the industry? Sites like,, and Baseline Studio Systems ( provided you have a subscription) will provide useful background information. Also use search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to read up on the company and its personnel. The trades, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and news sites like indieWire, The Wrap and Deadline Hollywood are also good sources.

When you arrive at the venue, survey the crowd by physically moving around and working the room. All too often, you’ll be inclined to congregate with your own kind. Instead reach out to the decision-makers that can help advance your career. Introduce yourself and add a tag such as, “I’m new in town.” Listen intently and ask open-ended questions, questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Find out about the interests and concerns of other people. When the opportunity exist, segue into your story and somehow connect it to their issues.

Become a resource for others. Introduce people to each other and look for ways to help other people make contacts. By doing so, you become the sort of person that others want to know and want on their projects. You not only show off your talents, you also show that you are a facilitator, one that can make things happen.

Be prepared to talk about your work. If you are a screenwriter, you need to talk passionately about your projects. If asked about your latest work, you’ll need that vibrant elevator pitch to hold their attention. And if you do it in a succinct, enthusiastic and inspiring way, you’re succeeding in making a worthy connection.

Networking is about making long-term connections. Soak up and remember the ideas and information you’ve gathered. Write them down along with the contact’s information. By repeating some of this information in your follow-up or thank you cards you help solidify the relationship.

Your follow-up can be tricky in that being too pushy may drive your prospect away. Your objective should be long-term and establishing a relationship. Newcomers often become impatient when they don’t obtain immediate results. Good connections take time and they are built on trust and integrity. Nurture the relationship by staying in touch. If you made any promises, fulfill them and show you are a person worthy of your word. Your follow-up is a great opportunity to reiterate locations of resume, website, demo reel and/or work samples.

Remember, when you are authentic, unselfish, and honest, you stand out above the rest and wonderful connections will happen. People want to know you and help you. The key is to be a decent and honorable person.

Networking is a skill that takes time to accomplish so don’t be put off by marginal results. Find ways to perfect them by attending mixers, conferences and film festivals. Showcases and industry expos are also great venues. Networking should become an essential part of your craft, one in which you are always active.

Geographical Information System Application to Real World Scenario

Geographical information system (GIS) has been defined by several authors; it has been defined as “a system for capturing, storing, checking, integrating, manipulating, analysing and displaying data which are spatially referenced to the Earth”. As a list of tools for collecting, storing, retrieving at will, transforming and displaying spatial data from a real world for a particular set of purposes. It has also been described as a computer system that can hold and use data for describing places on Earth surface. The topic of GIS is dynamic and its definitions are likely to change quickly as technology and application changes. In this article, GIS is defined as a software package used to input, store, manage, transform and analyses data to produce an output data. It works from an application area and cannot function in isolation. It consists of computer hardware, application software and the persons to operate the system.

A well designed GIS system is able to provide quick and easy access to large volume of data that would be impracticable to do with other means, update data easily, model data and assess alternatives, link or merge one data with another, outputs maps, graphs, address and statistical information and search for specific features in an area. Infact the application of GIS is endless and is used for a great variety of applications, ranging from commerce and business, utilities modelling, environmental managements, defence agencies, socio-economic governments. GIS can answer questions such as; what is the best landfill site, what is the population of vulnerable people in a particular area, what is the type of soil present in an unmapped area, which type of soil would be highly vulnerable to soil erosion during flooding. Finding proper answers to these questions require the manipulation of spatially referenced or geographical data.

GIS model real world on a computer in the same way as the maps represent the world on a paper. The information they both convey are the same but GIS offer more flexibility and easy access than the paper maps. With GIS you can store huge amount of information about features represented on maps on a computer and with a single click on the computer, you can access all the information about the feature.

In GIS, all geographical phenomena are represented in two dimensions by three entity types, namely: points, lines and area and with two additional spatial entities: network and surface. Network and surface are extension of the concept of lines and areas. These five entities also known as spatial objects are used to model real world features in GIS.

How to Build a Successful Business Online

Building a successful online business is no different from a real business offline. The secret is to understand the keys to success. Just like offline businesses, competition could be tough on the internet. There are over 182 million websites as at December 2008, according to a netcraft survey and only about 1 percent of these sites are profitable. Most websites are replicas of the same thing; almost everyone seems to be doing the same thing.

Passion rules

In order to win in your online business you must choose a niche you are passionate about and there is money at the end of the rainbow for your efforts.

Before I share with you what a profitable niche is, I thought it was important to talk about passion. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines passion as:“A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity”. In other words, you are passionate about a topic when, the topic stirs s in you an emotion, an overriding feeling, that is intense and borders sometimes on the edge of being unreasonable.

Do you find you become so absorbed in an activity or learning that you are lost in space? It feels like your deep yearning satisfied. That is passion in action.

Your business must leverage your strength

What you are passionate about, may likely be a pointer to your strengths as a person. Let me explain: Brian Tracy, bestselling author of The Psychology of Selling” says “the best way to succeed in business is to choose a business that appeal to your strengths”. In his bestselling book, The millionaire mind, Dr Thomas Stanley talks about the results from his survey of millionaires. The survey showed that most millionaires say their success is a direct result of loving their career or business.

Another important factor for success,apart from having a love for the business they chose, the survey revealed was, their career/job allowed them full use of their abilities and aptitude. This is what I mean by working with your strengths.

Now if your strengths are important in starting your online business, what exactly are your strengths?

Rich Schrefen, legendary coach of internet gurus, and founder of defines strength as “a talent completed with skills and knowledge”. Rich points out that you can learn skills and knowledge but you can’t learn a talent. Either you have talent or you don’t have it, simple.

The key ingredient to having strength is your inborn talent. The issue of talents and strengths is a topic for another article.

However, you need to understand one thing-in order to succeed in your online business you must bring strength to the market place-that allows you to give outstanding value to your customers. This is the key to having a winning edge to succeed in business online.

The formula for success

Let’s put all we have said into perspective:

You must have passion for the niche you select for your internet business.

Your niche should appeal to your strengths – (talents + skills + knowledge).

I want to stress one more thing before you start running off to build your online business…you need to strike a balance between passion and profitability.

The primary question you must ask yourself going forwards is… Does my niche business have a proven market? – In other words, are people interested in your niche topic and want to pay you money for your products? The answer to this question is to look for your competitors, already providing products and services. And the market is sizeable to support your business.

This is what I mean by to balance passion and profitability. Because when you have chosen your profitable niche you are passionate about, you will serve your customers well and have undue competitive advantage.

This is how you succeed online.When you adopt the thinking, process I have outlined above, you will find the odds stacked in your favour to succeed in business.

To your success.

The Male Chastity Lifestyle – Relight the Fire of Romance in Your Relationship

All hype aside, the male chastity lifestyle is an extremely powerful and effective way to stave off and even reverse the inevitable cooling off in almost any relationship.

You remember how it was when you were first together, I’m sure: you’d make love at every opportunity, lying together sharing secrets and soft pillow-talk until the first pink of dawn touched the sky… then falling asleep in each other’s arms.

And you both swore it’d never change.

Yet it does. It always does. Even the strongest, most loving and devoted relationships lose this initial passion and fire and settle down to the long haul. There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s just human nature. And we’ve evolved this way for a reason.

But it being normal and seemingly inevitable doesn’t make it any less frustrating and annoying, since it would seem the only solutions are not to have relationships that last so long this happens… or to have lovers “on the side“, so to speak, so you’re getting the best of both worlds.

And while these two options appeal to some people, they’re clearly not for everyone, including me.

Fortunately, there is a third answer to this problem: the male chastity lifestyle. It’s not suitable for every couple, as I’ll share with you in a few moments, but for couples whose underlying relationship is strong and loving, and who both have a sense of adventure and fun and are not too sexually inhibited it offers a wonderful way to reignite the fires of lust and passion in your life.

For me, it’s like having four honeymoons a year, and a hot, new lover always within reach (but really it’s still my beloved husband, the same man he’s always been).

So, what is the male chastity lifestyle?

Essentially it’s where your man gives you control of his orgasm, usually by agreeing to wear a chastity belt or other chastity device and giving you the key. While he’s wearing it he’s typically unable to touch himself or have an orgasm either with or without your help.

In the meantime, his duty to you and your satisfaction remains, meaning he gets to serve your pleasure in any way you see fit.

Now, reading this in the cold light of day, you might find it a bit strange, maybe feel a little nervous or otherwise think it’s far too weird even to entertain as an idea. But let me put it to you it’s perfectly natural and healthy, a lot of fun for both of you and… something you’ve already tried. Because if you’ve ever teased your man by going slowly when he was about to climax and kept him on the edge to make him squirm… then you’ve already experienced male chastity play. And you both absolutely loved it, didn’t you?

Well, the male chastity lifestyle is very much the same game as this, only played out over a long period of time.

As you can imagine, after a very short period of time your man is going to want to orgasm very, very badly. What this does is cause some dramatic changes in his brain chemistry, which has the ultimate effect of turning him back into that besotted, loving fool who can’t keep his hands off you or do enough for you… the same loving fool you fell for.

What’s more, in case you’re worrying, this is not the same as making a “sissy” of him or making him any less masculine (some couples do play that game, but you don’t have to and you can embrace the male chastity lifestyle completely separately from that, as John and I have done).

Oddly enough your man will almost certainly love the feeling of being constantly turned on. There will be times when he’ll beg you to let him orgasm, but if you do… afterwards he’ll tell you he wishes you’d been stronger and said “No!“.

The male chastity lifestyle is real win-win. You both get a lot out of it and there’s no downside. You get your hot, attentive lover back with all the ardour you remember (and then some); and he gets the thrill of constant arousal and – to be blunt about it – the best sex he’s ever had.

Because when (and if) you eventually do allow him to orgasm, it blows his mind. I allow my husband just four “weekends off” a year. That means he goes for three months at a time without having an orgasm (but while giving me plenty!).

Finally, a note of caution.

I mentioned hype earlier and also said the male chastity lifestyle is not suitable for every couple. Well, it’s not, despite what some people will try and tell you (most of what you read about male chastity is fantasy).

If your relationship is poor, if you don’t love each other, and if you have no sex life not because you’re too busy or tired but because one of you simply can’t stand the other and your skin crawls at the thought of making love to them… then male chastity won’t help you.

Because, paradoxically, male chastity tends to increase your sexual activity as a couple not reduce it – which is really the whole point! Your man is going to want more sexual contact with you, not less; and your woman is going to expect more personal attention and seemingly return none of her own.

If you can’t stand the sight of each other and there’s no underlying love and attraction, then you can see the male chastity lifestyle is going to cause far more problems for you than it solves.

Assuming this isn’t the case, though, and you’d like to spice up your relationship and rekindle that passion and desire, I strongly recommend you give the male chastity lifestyle a go.