By Marissa Valles
The current need for diversity in the entertainment industry is opening doors for people of color.
Linda Morel is an Emmy Award-winning producer. She said relying on creating and fostering connections with people heavily outweighed looking for entertainment jobs online.
She said this during the “Finding Your Way When there is no Road Map” workshop on Wednesday. The event was held in the Proscenium Theater. Morel said she, like the audience members, was a person of color and encouraged them to not see outside factors such as race or gender as a roadblock.
Although production crews have been dominated by white men in the past, Morel said the industry has become more conscious of the need for more diversity.
“Right now is a great time for any person of color to get into this industry because there is an industry-wide understanding that this is a systemic problem,” Morel said.
The demand for women and people of color to fill production jobs has risen dramatically in recent years.
“If you’re really interested in getting started, talk to your teachers and ask if they know anybody who might be looking for a production assistant. Since we live in L.A, chances are you know somebody who knows somebody else who is in the industry.” Morel said.
It can be difficult to break into such a competitive industry, but Morel said to remain confident in skills learned and to be eager to work.
“You need to ask for what you want in this business. You may get a bunch of no, but you’ll eventually get a yes. If you’re confident and show that you really want to work, somebody is going to give you an opportunity,” Morel said.
Morel didn’t have any connections to the film or TV industries while growing up and didn’t study set management in college like some of her peers. Her lack of education in the field was something she said she felt insecure about while competing for jobs.
“My struggle came from feeling like I wasn’t really equal with people who went to film school and had all this education,” Morel said.
Morel is now a line producer, which means she manages the budgets of productions. When she first started out, she worked as a production coordinator. As a production coordinator, she worked with everybody on set, from producers to the camera crew. She said those types of office jobs are so important because they allow people to not only build connections, but to work up close with each department on set.