This is a huge pet peeve of mine, so please forgive me if this blog post gets grumpy.
There's a major difference between being able to wear multiple hats and introducing yourself as an I-do-it-all kind of person. Being able to do it all is a huge plus. Understanding what everybody else's job is often times critical, so that you know what's expected of you, but unless you pick one thing that you are, or one thing that you are striving to be, not only you won't be prepared mentally for the next step, but also, people that you introduce yourself to won't take you seriously.
Hello everyone, my name is Tomasz and I am a web developer. Oh, you need a website designed? Yes, I have designed over 50 web projects in the past 13 years that I've been a web developer. I've been praised for my web design work by many, including other professional designers, but guess what... Would I introduce myself as a designer, not unless I know for a fact that the person I'm talking to needs one and I want their business, but in that case, I wouldn't say I'm a web developer. See what I'm saying?
Many times I see someone walk up to a group of people and introduce himself or herself as actor / director / editor / composer. -site:amazon.com "how to OR tips"
- Okay, but what do you do?
- All of the above.
- Okay, so what do you like the most?
- All of the above.
Aahhhhh... let's say that this is true. Let's say that you are the best actor I've ever seen perform. That your filming techniques outshine any director's work I've seen in my whole life. That all of your films are spotlessly edited and the music is like an angelic theme that reaches deep inside everyone's heart and makes them want to cry and laugh at the same time. Let's say that. When do you have time to do all of this? Does that mean that you don't need anyone else's help? In that case, it surely must mean that you're too busy to work with anyone else as well. Right?
I actually met a young woman about a year ago, and when I asked her what she did, she told me "I'm not sure yet". Okay, I get that. It's like going to college as undecided. Get some credits and then maybe you'll see what you enjoy doing. This lady did a little bit of stage acting and she did make up. She was considering TV and few other things. I've bumped into her recently and guess what she told me "I'm a costumer". Great. She found her passion and she's working on it. She still does makeup and some other associated tasks that I just can't remember, but if anybody asks me if I know a costumer... bam! Yes, I do. If someone asks me if I know a director, guess who won't come to my mind in a million of years, the guy who does everything else.
Same thing goes for the internet. Let me say that again... ESPECIALLY the internet. Why you say? It's not because of the keywords. No no no. Although as a web developer I think it's very important. The difference between the internet and real life, in real life people can ask you a quick follow up question like "Okay, but what do you do?" and get a quick answer back so they know whether there's any sense to continue the conversation from the possible collaboration point of view. On the internet, if you list yourself as ten things some people may not take you seriously, while others will be hesitant to approach you because maybe the one thing they need from you is the thing you have the least amount of experience in.
'll finish this off by saying that it's imperative to know what you want to do, to know who you are, and to be able to introduce yourself that way, be it online or anywhere else. Your profession as a creative is your business, which means that all of the entrepreneur rules apply to you. Know what you do, find your niche and stick to it.
Kim B. I completely agree with this assessment. Good advice.
Brad C. I'm not sure if I totally agree. I'm a screenwriter and a director. I write my films, then I direct them, this is how I've always introduced myself and I've never heard any complaints.
Tomasz M. Hi Brad. Not at all. I do believe that some occupations go hand in hand. What you mentioned would be a primary example. If you have a vision, you first put it down on paper, then put it on film, that's quite alright. Even if you go ahead and decide to compose music for it after it's done, because only you understand how it needs to be done to be perfect - that's fine too. But keep in mind that if you act in your own films, which you might, calling yourself actor / director / screenwriter would definitely confuse people. Directors wouldn't cast you because they'd think you'll try to "chip in" to their vision, while actors might not want to work with you, because you'd want to steal all the spotlight.
Brad C. I see what you're saying. You're right. I'm not an actor. If I were I probably wouldn't mix those two.
Julie S. Thanks Tomasz. Good advice.