We asked experts from a broad range of industries to open up to us about things they know about their industry but that we probably don’t and we’ve shared some of those responses below.

Antonia O’Hara | Textile Developer & Designer

I would say outsiders are probably unaware of the amount of hats one needs to wear to get this venture going…it’s quite intense! I started the business from a more creative viewpoint, and as we have relaunched I’ve realized the importance of logistical organization, communication with both manufacturers and clients, proper shipping methods, and so forth. There are not enough hours in the day to get it all done, but through creating structure in both the work environment and personal life I have been able to manage stress far better than I anticipated. Essentially, I think when an outsider takes a look at the business the immediate reaction is most likely “she’s a designer”, however it goes far beyond that…sometimes the design can even get lost in the shuffle of all the other aspects crucial to reach a profitable and successful standpoint. Read more>>

Steel Maggie | Songwriter, Vocalist, and Vocal Performance Coach

In the music business, I’m sure everyone on the outside knows about the shadiness and the manipulation/demoralization of musicians, especially the young ones, because it’s rampant in the entertainment industry in general. However, there’s something almost just as bad going on in the “independent” artist realm, something that I like to call the “indie-stry.” And that’s music business coaching. It’s a bad deal. It just is. Both the “coaches” that preach hustle culture and the hustles who rail against it, they still have the same system. They’re selling you the same thing, and that’s “mediocrity.” I’ve actually spent around $15,000 over the years with more than a dozen of these people, learning nothing but the lesson, finally, that I’m the only one with the answers to what I want to do. Don’t spend any money or time on “surefire strategies,” “formulas,” or “blueprints,” Especially if it’s a course sold by a webinar, click off immediately. Read more>>

Lanea Cue | Fashion Production Manager/Consultant

Product development requires probably 5 more steps in the process than expected. I guide designers through the development process with my “simple Production Flow”. Designers start with a mindset shift, that prepares them for a Design Strategy Session to review in greater detail their brands designs. This process can take anywhere from 1 week to 4 weeks this timeline strongly depends on the designers focus and decisiveness about important details to get Product Development started, there are about 10 more steps that come after. Read more>>

Sasha Ishikawa | Artist

This is coming mostly from my personal experience as an artist but you really can’t please everyone. Just like music, everyone has their own taste in art. Some people prefer the kawaii Japanese manga art style, some prefer traditional renaissance paintings – each style will have its own audiences. I think the two most important things I’ve learned as an artist are: 1) find the style(s) of art that you personally enjoy, there will always be an audience, and 2) constantly practice to refine and improve your style – most artists aren’t simply born with innate talent, they need to work hard to get to where they are. Read more>>

Jayden Braley | Director, Videographer & Photographer

Honestly it would have to be just how time consuming filmmaking is. It takes a lot of planning, a lot of communicating, and a lot of patience. Every person I work with is totally different from the last person. Not in a negative way by any means, but in regards to personality, tastes in videos/music, and just their overall style of music. Also I think that a lot of people don’t realize that every videographer has their own style, and not all of them can offer the same kind of videos. Some videographers love to use lots of effects, some like to keep it more on the simple side. Neither style is bad at all, but sometimes you have to talk with a few different videographers to see if their style would match your vision. Read more>>

Meredith Cabaniss | Dance Artist & Educator

One thing about my industry that outsiders are probably unaware of is that while collaboration is exciting and fun, it’s also important to learn the trades you might consider hiring someone else to do for you. Collaboration is a beautiful thing but you must ask yourself, why am I collaborating? What are the ways that collaboration makes this better than it would be if I did it alone? Because sometimes, collaboration and the time it takes to communicate what you want out of something takes away from the vision. In my industry, I have been the choreographer, costume designer, set and media designer, sound engineer, photographer, and marketing director. The amount of time and money it would have taken to hire someone for each of those positions and explain what I had in mind, test drafts, do edits, etc. would have taken key time out of my creative process. I’m not saying that you always have to be a one-woman show but. Read more>>

Justin Williams | Personal Trainer/Coach

I think a common misconception about the fitness industry is the idea of making your own schedule. There may not be set hours like most other industries but because the client’s needs come before your own, you’re likely going to work times that may seem inconvenient to your personal life. That’s why it’s so important to put the client’s needs before your own because if you don’t they’re not going to see results and your business will struggle. I believe making the training process a collaborative effort helps because then it feels like being apart of a team where their success is your success. Making the minor inconveniences well worth it. Read more>>

Keseh Morgan | Production Designer

The one thing about the industry that outsiders are probably unaware of is that it isn’t all bad. As a woman and woman of color I had a lot of reservations about my ability to thrive in the film industry. The old Hollywood stories of misogyny and racial bias plagued my thoughts. I can happily report that the majority of my experiences have been amazing and enriching. Bias still exists, mansplaining still exists and of course so does chauvinism. However, the group of humans that I’ve been lucky to create with have opened their creative minds and see me as a production designer first. Read more>>

Tony Pu | Result-Driven Creative Worker

Many people think that creative work is about being wildly imaginative. But when it comes to marketing, especially with goals and expectations, creative work is guided by not imagination but concrete information, and serves to deliver not only experience but also results. On that note, creative work is much more about solving problems than expressing emotions; otherwise we call it art making. Read more>>

Brian Gross | Mixing Engineer, Record Producer, & Bass Player

Mixing is art! I pride myself on making the best mixes possible and making each song a unique sonic fingerprint. A lot of people view mixing as a purely technical job, and there’s definitely a technical side, but at the end of the day mixing is art and I see myself as an artist. Read more>>

Michelle Lewis | Songwriter, Composer, Creators’ Rights Advocate, Executive Director of SONA (Songwriters of North America)

That songwriting is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the US. Our income is 75% regulated by courts, consent decrees and regulatory laws. Read more>>

Judson Vereen | American Artist and Writer

I think one thing outsiders-especially artists, are oblivious to is the idea of the industry itself. The art world, if that is what we shall call it, is not a world where success is based on talent, expertise or merit of that sort. Like many industries, it is based on networking and not much else. This truth is far from the romance that artists dream about when pursuing their careers at the very start. It is an ugly truth, in all honesty. Many artists will spend decades going to every gallery opening, attending every lecture and gallery walk-through possible in the spirit of “seeing and being seen”- the lifestyle this creates is one far that is far from being an artist in the poetic sense. The bitter truth- the art world can be a quite revolting place where people are constantly using and being used. There was an old saying not long ago among art dealers- “The art world would be perfect if we could only somehow get rid of the artists.” Read more>>

Jordan Maranto | Actress – Filmmaker – Comedian

When most people think about being “successful” in the movie business, I think they tend to believe it involves becoming a rich and famous superstar who has their own perfume or tequila brand. But being successful in entertainment can look like a lot of different things! I’ve met so many people in Los Angeles who make a living being a creative that you wouldn’t recognize off the street. Whether they’re booking commercials, hosting a podcast, touring as a comedian, or writing and directing behind the scenes, you don’t need to be a household name to have “made it.” To me, the first step to being “successful” as a creative is just being in touch with your choice of medium. Even though that might seem obvious, it can be a difficult thing to do when you’re trying to find a balance between affording high rent prices and tackling the (often ruthless) business side of the industry. Read more>>

Juliana Carpino | Director

Definitely the amount of time and work that goes into prepping for a job. I feel like people who don’t work in film/television watch the movie or the show and don’t understand how vital the director’s job is, to make that show or television come to life. Friends and family in my personal life that don’t work in entertainment are always so fascinated when they find out how detailed and intense my job is, from sitting with set designers to figure out what the sets are going to look like, prepping with the director of photography to design a mood/tone for the overall picture, building out appropriate color palettes, finding reference photos, storyboarding, constantly reviewing and breaking down the scripts to make sure I understand the story as best I can to better communicate to the actors/talent what it is the story needs from them. Read more>>

Cody Collier | Actor, Touring Performer, & Writer

That life in the entertainment industry is not a linear path. It ebbs and flows and there are many failures and hurdles to overcome even after you’ve achieved success. Everything can be perfect and stable for a period of time, then a wrench can get thrown in the cogs: your show can get canceled, your pay can get cut, a global pandemic can hit! You always have to be open to shifting gears in order to keep moving forward as an entertainer. A career in the arts is a roller coaster, to say the least. Read more>>

Xenia LeBlanc | Actress, Director & Writer

I’ve come to realize that a lot of people think that once you’ve appeared in something on TV or on the big screen, your career is pretty much all set. It might be true for some, but for the most part it just so happens that one day you are on top and the next without any prospects whatsoever, despite your fancy credits. Read more>>

Dan Chan | The Millionaires’ Mentalist

One thing most people aren’t aware of is that magic shows work over virtual platforms. Since March 2020, I’ve done over 340 virtual magic shows. I’m predicting that magic on Zoom and other platforms will continue long after the COVID disappears. Remote teams now regularly end off a week of hard work with virtual entertainment. With magic over Zoom, you’re able to interact with guests in real-time. All the participants can experience a front-row seat in an interactive magic show from the comfort of their own homes. Read more>>

Milica Vrzic | Actress

I think that most people associate acting with purely talent and hard work. Sure, those are very important factors, but there are so many other things. One of them, and probably the hardest to accept is that there are lots of points deciding whether you get cast for certain role. Production, look, timing, schedule conflicts, chemistry, the list goes on. It comes down to working the best you can, working on what you can, for the sake of pleasure you get out of it, and not expecting that it will work out then, but when it’s time for it. Read more>>

Laura Young | Makeup Artist & Dreamer

The amount of investment and education that goes into being a makeup artist is EXTENSIVE. With everything being accessible on YouTube nowadays, I think there’s an under appreciation for the art and what it takes to know how to do makeup on every face color, shape, and texture, not just your own. For anyone who wears makeup on a daily basis, you have a pretty good idea of what a foundation costs, now imagine buying that product in every shade. The more versatile my kit is, the more options I can provide my client, and a portion of every check I get goes towards buying more product. Some people may complain about the pay rate for a makeup artist, but that price isn’t just for the service, it’s also for the variety of options I’m presenting, my years of education, and the years it took to be able to do a look in the amount of time I’m offering. Read more>>

Gabrielle Stewart | Actress – Singer – Creator

For some reason in my life I have always cared what other people think of me. In the entertainment industry it’s challenging to find that divide of not caring what others think about me when it quite literally determines my success, monetary value, and future work because of the industry I have chosen. It’s something I still struggle with to this day as I’m sure many other professionals in my industry do too. I’ve learned to just give everything I do 110%, do it from a place of love/light, and just let the cards fall where they may, rather than stress about if people like this or that about my performance. If I like it and am happy with it then that is all that matters. Read more>>

Marisol Diaz | Fashion Designer & Boutique Owner

I always think about the fact that people that aren’t in the fashion industry don’t know how much work truly goes on behind the scenes. From putting sketches and ideas together to form a collection, from fabric sourcing to pattern drafting, sewing samples to get the perfect fit, sewing the final garment with quality, to marketing and website design, and to creating a storefront; people are completely unaware that an article of clothing probably went through dozens of steps before it was able to be purchased from a rack in a clothing store. Read more>>

Jessica Haye Clark Hsiao | Photography Duo

The thing that comes to mind first is that most people probably don’t realize that photographers are generally not in the business of selling photographs. Rather, we sell licenses to use our photographs. The business is structured so that we make images and clients purchase the usage (based on how long they want to use them and media placement) that they need for their projects. It’s not a very sexy reveal, but it does surprise people!. Read more>>

Dylan Berry | Owner – SmashHaus / Aria Nominated Music Producer, Soundcloud Radio Host

99% of the music business is run by middle-men that are not creators. They block the gate. My opinion is that most of these businesses are unnecessary now with the transparency and communication avenues we now enjoy. Read more>>

BB Arrington | Holistic Nutritionist & Personal Trainer

Staying in scope of practice. Nutrition and health is more than just what you eat and how you move your body. There is a large emotional component that comes with it and clients trust you implicitly and sometimes look to you to help with issue beyond what you’re trained to do. Yes I am a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, but I am not a therapist. Yes I can advise on how to navigate and stand your ground when it comes to your health choices at family functions, but how you should manage the relationship with your unsupportive mother in law is not what I am trained to do. That’s when I refer out. Read more>>

Jennifer Thomason | Esthetician

A lot of people don’t understand how much science is involved in esthetics. I for one had no idea until I was enrolled in school. I scratched my head when I learned that I would be required to take human anatomy, chemistry, and a class on electricity. The basics and fundamentals are exactly those things. Especially with Covid being introduced to the world last year. The first project I had in esthetician school was a presentation on viruses. I then understood how important it is to sanitize, disinfect, and keep your clients safe. It then evolved into how to operate the equipment needed to give facials and balancing pH levels in skin. Now, I am constantly trying to learn about the ingredients in skin care products (there are hundreds) and their benefits. It’s a fun, never ending learning process. Read more>>

Rahul Nath | Actor, Writer and Director

I guess when you are looking on the outside and you see all these actors/actresses on TV, you immediately think ‘Oh that must be so easy, look he/she is on TV – anyone can do what they are doing. It takes a lot of ‘no’s before you land a ‘yes’ and that yes could be what changes your career. A career in entertainment is really a marathon and anyone who thinks that it is a sprint, I suggest they try it and see how far they go. Read more>>

Lizz Marshall | Writer/Director

It’s incredibly difficult to get a film made. When I moved to L.A. to start my journey as a filmmaker, one of the first things my professors at USC told us was “you need to have thick skin to work in this industry.” I’ve heard that a lot since. There is a certain part of yourself you put into a film when you are writing and directing if you’re creating something honest. There is so much rejection because art is subjective. Not everyone is going to like what you create all the time and not everyone is always going to fully understand it and you have to make peace with that. When we watch movies as audience members, it’s easy to looks at this and say, “I didn’t like this, therefore it’s bad.” What many don’t realize is how much it takes to get that green light to make a movie in the first place. Read more>>

Lauren Pulciano | Aspiring Post Production Producer

I work in Post-Production where we deal with the final steps of filmmaking; we are the glue that holds the film together. Most people do not realize how much work goes on behind the scenes, behind the scenes ( we are still working when production is done). Besides tasks like cutting raw footage, assembling that footage, adding music, dubbing, sound effects, we also deal with the most famous phrase: ” fix it in post”. We look for the mistakes production didn’t get to resolve during filming. For example, we take note of misspelling art pieces or look for crew who accidentally is seen in the shots. Read more>>

T La’Niece | Photographer – Creative Consultant

One thing about the industry that outsider are probably unaware of is that there is room for all of us. A lot of creatives get discouraged by others story about how its hard to start a business, build a brand, etc. Even when I first started my photography business a few years ago, I was told my many that it would be hard to get in the business because it was dominated by professionals who have grown and build connections with major brands etc. But I didnt let any of that get in my way of dreaming. Read more>>