I've had so many posts recently about the power of women, and for this Valentine's Day I want to focus on my young men. This little story might not exactly fit in the context of getting or interviewing for your first job in Hollywood per se, but I hope it illustrates how one might deal with women, not only in the workplace, but also, perhaps, in life.
Melanie Melrose had a dinner date with her ex-boyfriend, Sammy Sepulveda. Sammy was uncharacteristically late, so Melanie sat at the bar and doodled out a list of things to do to pass the time. A few minutes later, Sammy called explaining that traffic was a mess and that he needed directions. So, Melanie walked outside the busy bar so she could hear him better.
She stood outside the restaurant with the phone glued to her ear. A guy in new sweatpants and hoodie walked past her, stopped, turned around and made serious eye contact.
Meanwhile, Melanie's ex-BF droned on about accidentally taking Big Santa Monica instead of little Santa Monica, blah, blah, blah...
"Mr. Sweatpants" then took off his earphones, raised his eyebrows, and pointed at himself as if to say, "So, you want to talk to me?"
He walked back to Melanie and with a smile mouthed, "Who are you talking to?"
With one ear to her phone, the other ear and both eyes squarely locked on "Mr. Sweatpants," Melanie mouthed, "My ex-boyfriend."
"Mr. Sweatpants" then playfully grabbed Melanie's doodling paper and started writing.
It was then that Melanie's call mysteriously "dropped" (perhaps you've heard the famous "Sorry, I'm in the canyon" routine). "Mr. Sweatpants" told her how pretty she was as he wrote his name and number on her doodling paper. He handed it back saying he'd like to get to know her, but that it was completely up to her.
Melanie was taken aback and said, "Where did this boldness come from?"
"Mr. Sweatpants" said that his mother had raised him right.
"Great answer," Melanie thought as they proceeded to have a brief conversation. The exchanged ended with a hug, a polite kiss on the cheek, and the ball completely in Melanie's court.
Now, what does this have to do with you, my male grads? And what does it have to do with getting your first job--or any job--in the entertainment business? If your experience is typical, about half of your colleagues will be women and it might help to get a few pointers on how you can easily deal with us. There is so much confusion as to what is acceptable or not in the workplace and I wanted to give you six things to consider.
1. Women Love Compliments
Nothing trashy, but a polite sentence that reflects how you really feel. Simple phrases like, "I like your boots" can do the trick. If you're meeting about business then you MUST do this in a very respectful and genuine way. You can compliment her office decor, or the picture of the adorable 7-year-old on her desk (and if you see the 7-year-old has a tennis racquet, it's most certainly the time to tell her your summer job was at Bollettieri!) This comment warms up the conversation, and you'll look like a star who could potentially help her little pride and joy with his backhand.
2. Make Us Feel
Men may be drawn to a woman's good looks, but it's how a man makes a woman feel that will pull us into his orbit. "Mr. Sweatpants" made Melanie feel desired and in control. He boldly put forth his interest, but gave Melanie the power to move it forward or not. The same is true in business: make a woman feel that if I hire you my life will be easier. Make me feel that by recommending you I'll look like a star. Make me feel appreciated and I'll do my best to make sure you're taken care of.
3. C-O-N-F-I-D-E-N-C-E (as sung by 5th Harmony)
Don't be afraid of silence or an extended eye lock. Sometimes we get uncomfortable with this, but taking a dip in the pause pool will give you a moment to reflect on what she just said. And only a confident person can handle a little silence and enjoy a gallant gaze. Confidence is a desirable professional and personal trait.
4. Be on Time
While you're tardy to the party, another man is hot on the trail of YOUR WOMAN! Expect it. If she was hot enough to get your attention, believe me, you're not the only one interested. Same is true in the workplace: be on time for your interviews, meetings, and other obligations. Someone else is always looking to take your position--especially if you're interviewing or working at a very desirable company.
5. Own Exactly Who You Are at All Times
Your age, race, gender, socio-economic status, disability, sexual orientation, religion or whatever you are. People will like you or not based on YOU and not who you are pretending to be. Even in gym clothes, this 30-year-old was authentically himself and managed to impress.
6. Love Your Mama
Invoke the name of your mother and how much you love her as much as possible! This is always a good call in life, a job interview, or anytime you're dealing with a woman. Women love men who respect and honor their mothers. It's just a fact. And even if this guy was only saying it to be more desirable--it worked.
Have a great Valentine's Day!