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SamBorowski's Blog

March 20th, 2012 Comments

What MAKES Sammy Run? - NETWORK FOR SUCCESS

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(PHOTOS from TOP TO BOTTOM: Award-Winning Director Sam Borowski (R), Academy-Award Nominated actress Sally Kellerman (C) and cinematographer Bill Schweikert (L) pose on the red carpet at the sold-out World Premiere of NIGHT CLUB at the 2011 PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL. Borowski, also an award-winning writer, leads a Writer's Panel Breakfast at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival.Borowski is flanked by talented actresses Samantha Tuffarelli (L) and Maria Rusolo (R) after a recent performance of "FOR PETE'S SAKE" starring Joe Capozzi and Bill Sorvino.)

 

This week's topic may not on the surface, sound sexy, but it's one of the key methods of success in this business, and what is sexier than success? But, actually there's a scene in a popular movie that describes exactly what I am speaking to. 

 

There's a superb bit of dialogue in the movie SISTER ACT, in which Mother Superior, played wonderfully by Maggie Smith tells a rebellious Sister Mary Clarence AKA Deloris Van Cartier in disguise (a hilarious Whoopi Goldberg) that she needs to find a new direction in her life:  

 

"If I were you, I would use this time to think about my life and its direction or lack thereof ... If you're fooling anyone, it is only yourself. God has brought you here ... take the hint." 

 

The scene really resonates, and it reminds me of so many of the young - and old - neophytes I meet in the business that want help, but do nothing to earn it.  

 

So, having said that, one of the KEY mistakes I have seen people make in this business is Failure To Network. If I had a quarter for every person that ever told me, "I want it bad, Sam ..." and didn't follow up, I would be a rich man. And, I am on my way there with each new milestone so ... Wink

 

In fact, just this past class I had two new students sign up and not even show. 

 

Seriously, from what I see, many people, usually the neophytes - and this goes for filmmakers and actors alike - don't put forth the correct energy and effort it takes to make it in this business. That's why when I see people who put forth that effort, I reward them. When they actually have both the talent and the effort - it's a magical combination.  

 

I am constantly asked how I got to my current standing in the industry, as a full-time filmmaker, writer-director/producer ... myth-smith, lucky enough to entertain and tell stories for a living. Pay attention in this BLOG and I will tell you again:  

 

Network for Success. I once offered another filmmaker a chance to possibly edit a project for a studio film - he was more concerned with how much he would get remunerated at the time. A shame, really, because this could have led to more work for him. This person has talent, but currently does micro-budget productions, where his cast and crew volunteer their servies, yet he wasn't willing to do the same thing? 

 

Where is the passion? And, I say this, NOT to denigrate the filmmaker in any way, shape or form, but to show that lost opportunities can be the difference between winning and losing in this business. And, while - at this point in my career, I have to be selective - I still investigate every opportunity I can.  

 

You need passion to make it in this industry and Networking is one of the key ways to show that passion. You aren't just wandering through the industry, you are showing why you deserve the opportunity to receive your dream. 

 

I can say honestly that I have 3 students who will take every opportunity they can. Some of them, I have counseled to be a little selective as they get more serious opportunities presented for them. One of the things I do my best to tell them is to identify who the players are in this industry. 

 

If a true player takes an interest in you - you are one of the lucky ones. But, how do you get one of these players to take an interest in you? You Network ... For Success

 

Whether it's entering a contest on ForTalent.com as Samantha Tuffarelli did when I was blown away by her amazing monologue that wasn't from the Neil LaBute film, IN THE COMPANY OF MEN - LOL inside joke - but was amazing nonetheless, or whether it was fellow ForTalent member Maria Rusolo congratuting me over 3 separate film festivals on wins for 3 of my films, who kicked down the door to Borowskiville and eventually got a key role in one of my productions.  

 

Whether it's my acting student Anthony Pallino selling out completely for a role in my class the past year - which included stripping down to boxers (don't ask), playing a female, drinking a shot of hot sauce to get in character or dressing up like the Joker in full comic book regalia - or Guyviaud Joseph working late night hours in my office, and working hard in the class to prove his worth. 

 

I will say it again, you have to prove yourself in this business - again and again.  

 

And, once someone takes an interest in you, make the most of that opportunity and keep the relationship, as I did with Sam Sherman, who mentored me many years ago - and continues to mentor me, as an equal, to this day. 

 

Just this past weekend alone, I went to a play - with several of the people mentioned above - and was recognized by several people who knew me only as the Best Director and Best Feature winner at the GOLDEN DOOR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF JERSEY CITY. Some of them I have gotten to know, and others I hadn't seen since the festival in October.  

 

Among one of the people I had very little contact with or hadn't seen since, a connection was born. She welcomed me to the play, where she greeted me as her "favorite director." She then revealed to me that she is close friends with Thomas Langmann. And, if you have the courage to admit you don't know who Thomas Langmann is - then let me inform you he is the Ocar-Winning Producer of THE ARTIST, this year's Best Picture Winner at the recent Academy Awards. She informed me she wanted to introduce me to Langmann in the future.  

 

Networking For Success - right there. 
 

 

And, this all came about because I went to see FOR PETE'S SAKE, a heart-wrenching play that used humor to convey a very serious message, starring my good friend Bill Sorvino. Now, I believe Sam Borowski, Thomas Langmann and Bill Sorvino will all work on a project together in the near future. 

 

But, imagine, had I NOT chose to support Bill and his incredible castmates at the play? Think on that? 

 

How about had I not gone to the Trail Dance Film Festival in Oklahoma? I would not have met Director Scott Thompson, who helmed the very interesting feature film SICK OF LARRY, or its very talented young star Kiera Morrill, both of whom I have become friends with. As a result, it looks as if I am going to Iowa late this summer to Produce a film, "A PLACE FOR HEROES" for Thompson, who will Direct his most intriguing project to date. But, again, that all came about because I went to Trail Dance and shined. I shined at the parties - by using my natural Producer's Charm  Wink - I shined in my screening, where I attracted a large audience and let my movie, NIGHT CLUB, speak for itself. I shined in the media, where the day of my screening I had a cover-story in the Duncan Banner, and was interviewed on the local ABC affiliate the next day. And, I shined at the awards, where I took home the prestigious Director's Choice Award. 

 

I made the absolute MOST out of that opportunity.  

 

Just as I did when I went to a premiere years ago for an Independent Film that starred Keith David. One of my good friends later saw David at a Broadway show and he remembered meeting him at the premiere. Soon enough we formed a real friendship and working relationship with David. But we fostered that over years. It didn't take days. When he invited us to come see him play Othello on Broadway, you can bet we were there. And, when he invited us out for dinner afterward, we went with him, even though it was late into the evening. There I met Oscar-Winning actor Timothy Hutton, who knew Keith. 

 

When Keith invited us back the very next night for the wrap party as the show's run was ending we came and handed him a script. He went on to work on two of our projects. 

 

You ask me again, how I got to my current standing in the industry and how I do what I do - That's how I do it.  

 

If I ask Pallino to do something for me - whether it be, be at my office, make a call for me, meet up with me, or go somewhere, he does it in a heartbeat. Joseph? It has become second nature when I am going somewhere that he shows up with directions to where I am going, the best train to take (often there is more than one way to go), train tickets, you name it. He even brought food to my office - more than once, I might add. Tuffarelli? She's a great person, a very fun person, but when it's business, she does what I need her to do. If I need for her to come to meet somewhere inconvenient, she does it. And, I notice it - I notice all of it. 

 

And, while all of the above have talent - some more refined than others - all of them have earned a place in my Inner-Circle, because of their actions. If that isn't Networking For Success, I don't know what is.  

 

Yet others have played their way out, or are on the way out of My Inner Circle, because they just don't have the resolve and honest effort to follow through. 

 

Many people will comment on this BLOG and yet many more will read it and say nothing. Yet, those people, having a chance to leave an impression on me, resist the chance to show me how intelligent, charming and talented they are. Resist the chance to get their names in front of me (yes, I see who leaves comments), and show me their intellectual side. 

 

I have met unknown actors who have actually had both the studpidity to tell me "if anything ever happens, I will put you with my agent." I am talking actors without the resume that is necessary to say that statement. (And, BTW, I usually deal with the actors themselves, when I have a relationship with them). I've asked actors to do things and when they don't (send a message, leave a comment, vote on my imdb page), they simply illustrate to me that they cannot take direction. 

 

Networking plays a role in all of this. But, the key is, when you have achieved success through networking foster that relationship - don't treat it like any other working relationship. If someone offers you advice, help, work, etc, etc, treat that business relationship differently than a person you met once and who gave you lip service. 

 

To this day, I still do a pancake brunch with Sam Sherman during Christmas Week at his house. I often do a pre-Christmas lunch a few days before Christmas Eve, and if you are lucky enough to be close with me, you may have come to one of these events. (Sam S was one of my top producers on NIGHT CLUB, and has worked on over 40 films as a Producer). 

 

The students I have singled out above have all showed me their passion for their craft, for the industry itself, and each brings something different to the table. But, each, has found a way to network.  

 

* Joseph practically tackled me at the GOLDEN DOOR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL OF JERSEY CITY'S opening-night, where my film opened the fest. As I was leaving - with a still large crowd following me - to head to the after-party with my entourage, so to speak, Joseph came up and introduced himself.  

 

* Pallino has not missed a single class since he joined my workshop about a year ago. He has not let anything stop him from making it - not working the night before, not sleep deprivation, not his social life ... nothing.  

 

* Tuffarelli is bursting with talent and I have recognized that from the very first day I viewed her monologue. It is supassed only by her work-ethic and willingness to learn. The fact that she is charming and extremely directable, only enhances her chance for work in this industry. When you are always smiling and passionate about your work, and you get what the director is telling you, you make yourself invaluable. 

 

And, I will continue to mention and highlight these people until I am blue in the face - and why is that? Because they are REAL-LIFE EXAMPLES of what I am talking about.  

 

There are people on ForTalent.com who connect with me, ask about the class, but never take it, never comment on the BLOG and it's mind-boggling to me, how they think they will succeed in the business? They still have failed to grasp the concept of Networking For Success. And consequently, they have made their path much harder. They have chosen a much longer direction to try and get where they would like to get. 

 

To paraphrase the wonderful writing of Joseph Howard in SISTER ACT, "If you're fooling anyone, it is only yourself. For whatever reason, God has brought you to this BLOG ... take the hint."

        

Comments

samanthaTuffarelli

great blog! It's true networking has what has got me as far as I am today. It's about meeting people and growing relationships with them and helping each other out. And each small job I do or friend I support in a play or movie brings me around people that share a similar interest as me. Allows me to meet new people and begin to grow my network and connections. Because you know what they say it's not what you know but who you know! and I am networking for Success!! Thanks for seeing my passion and appreciating it and shouting me out!

AntonioActor

That is very good advice, even though I am in Australia, the same thing is mirrored here in smaller ways, Networking is very important, but I also believe not selling yourself short is more important. You have to drop it down with all you have and that fuel that makes you want to do that is passion, but I will not allow anyone to attempt to stifle me no matter how big they are.Perhaps the people that didn't get around to attending were not ready yet as they didn't end up participating in the class. In life timing is everything, meeting this person or that person, getting this chance to act in this or whatever. It boils down to timing, I recall my first acting classes and I was ready for almost anything, I'm not sure if that already had something to do with my previous life experiences. I did however observe also what a teacher can do to shy people if they are given enough of a push so they can realize they can push themselves, this must be a fairly remarkable experience for a teacher to pour such confidence into their students. The further I have traveled on in acting and to be honest I don't know how long because when I lose the passion well and truly I will stop, but for now things are well. I consider Sam to be a compassionate teacher , and I am appreciative to be connected through modern technology to Sam and that he has took time to pass advice to me on quite a few occasions, sometimes I may not always agree but that's life its just something you dot see too many people do in the industry ( I can count them on one hand ), extend a helping hand or mentor. If I was living in New York or passing through I would definitely seek Sam out as he appears to be genuine in what he does and down to earth which is more important to me.

AntonioActor

The further I have traveled on in acting and to be honest I don't know how long because when I lose the passion well and truly I will stop, but for now things are well. I consider Sam to be a compassionate teacher , and I am appreciative to be connected through modern technology to Sam and that he has took time to pass advice to me on quite a few occasions, sometimes I may not always agree but that's life its just something you dot see too many people do in the industry ( I can count them on one hand ), extend a helping hand or mentor. If I was living in New York or passing through I would definitely seek Sam out as he appears to be genuine in what he does and down to earth which is more important to me.

AntonioActor

I consider Sam to be a compassionate teacher , and I am appreciative to be connected through modern technology to Sam and that he has took time to pass advice to me on quite a few occasions, sometimes I may not always agree but that's life its just something you don't see too many people do in the industry ( I can count them on one hand ), extend a helping hand or mentor. If I was living in New York or passing through I would definitely seek Sam out as he appears to be genuine in what he does and down to earth which is more important to me. I made the post shorter as I don't like talking about myself :).

AntonioActor

I consider Sam to be a compassionate teacher , and I am appreciative to be connected through modern technology to Sam and that he has took time to pass advice to me on quite a few occasions, sometimes I may not always agree but that's life its just something you don't see too many people do in the industry ( I can count them on one hand ), extend a helping hand or mentor. If I was living in New York or passing through I would definitely seek Sam out as he appears to be genuine in what he does and down to earth which is more important to me. I choose to speak less words of myself and more action, (I made the post shorter) PS dont let anyone treat you like a shitkicker

Youssef

It's all about networking. I attend festivals and participate in them just to broaden my connections. I live in Poland and I travel very often to LA just for this very reason. I was there two months ago and I almost had my big break. I am getting closer and every effort I make and every goal I pursue gets me closer to the top of the mountain. I had a kid recently and most people told me that my career was over but I went on and proved everyone wrong. Coincidentally I have had more success after my son was born. Sam is one of those people who inspire me and give me a reason to wake up in the morning and work as hard as the day before. As my good friend Sam says; It's the year of magic. Magic happens only with consistent pursuance towards your ultimate goal. Networking is very important in this business and is a key element towards success.

BrettR

Coming from someone that doesn't have many connections in the film industry, whether it be family or friends, networking is one of the most important things to do in the business. Not only to get yourself out there but its just good to meet a lot of different people because you never know what person, conversation, or just comment will inspire you or make you think. You could meet someone one day and be working with them the next day.

therock

Sam, Are you a parent? Because you sound like one (in a good way)! As a parent myself, I am constantly pointing out the "secrets" of success to my children. Sometimes they "get it", sometimes, they don't. As a coach (soccer, baseball, basketball, martial arts) who is quite passionate when it comes to competition, I found myself "yelling" to get my points across. Some mistake me for a dictator, a jerk, a micro-manager, and so on, but I know that my madness has a method to it that works for me. Without passion, determination, and effort, success may be quite elusive. I teach my kids that even if they don't "win" the grand prize, having fun and enjoying the challenges they meet will, at the very least, make for a much more interesting and fulfilling life. Based on your stories, you seem to be have a more interesting life just by being out there, doing your best, being prepared, doing a good turn daily (you sound like a Scout:) You touch upon many important ideals, as you often do, in your latest blog. The underlying theme to your anecdotes, from what I gather, seems to point out that success does not happen by chance. One needs to go out there and, very often, way out there, to show how badly one "wants it". In the sport of life, one will compete in the "C" division or the "A" division, but as long as one does his/her very best, one will be where s/he is supposed to be. It takes a certain type and energy to be in the "A" league, but that doesn't mean one cannot compete. It depends on how badly one wants it. And you know, as hard as you try, you will land where you will land--you might as well enjoy the scenery on the way up, and on the way down. This way you will enjoy yourself twice as much! I enjoy your writing--rich in detail, backed by good dialogue, involving twists and turns, and filled with good messages--all ingredients of a great movie!

therock

Sam, Are you a parent? Because you sound like one (in a good way)! As a parent myself, I am constantly pointing out the "secrets" of success to my children. Sometimes they "get it", sometimes, they don't. As a coach (soccer, baseball, basketball, martial arts) who is quite passionate when it comes to competition, I found myself "yelling" to get my points across. Some mistake me for a dictator, a jerk, a micro-manager, and so on, but I know that my madness has a method to it that works for me. Without passion, determination, and effort, success may be quite elusive. I teach my kids that even if they don't "win" the grand prize, having fun and enjoying the challenges they meet will, at the very least, make for a much more interesting and fulfilling life. Based on your stories, you seem to have a more interesting life just by being out there, doing your best, being prepared, doing a good turn daily (you sound like a Scout:) You touch upon many important ideals, as you often do, in your latest blog. The underlying theme to your anecdotes, from what I gather, seems to point out that success does not happen by chance. One needs to go out there and, very often, way out there, to show how badly one "wants it". In the sport of life, one will compete in the "C" division or the "A" division, but as long as one does his/her very best, one will be where s/he is supposed to be. It takes a certain type and energy to be in the "A" league, but that doesn't mean one cannot compete. It depends on how badly one wants it. And you know, as hard as you try, you will land where you will land--you might as well enjoy the scenery on the way up, and on the way down. This way you will enjoy yourself twice as much! I enjoy your writing--rich in detail, backed by good dialogue, involving twists and turns, and filled with good messages--all ingredients of a great movie!

MichaelM

Like every blog that I have read from you and commented on, this one is no different when it comes to inspiration. I commend all of the students mentioned in this blog for their hard work, talent and effort. As well as I have stamped you as being an "Industry Superman". The GPITW such as yourself knows no hours of operation for he is always operating. You have never passed up any opportunity or self investment. This is why you are on your way to the top (which is most definitely in reaching distance). You have grown in energy and effort to put yourself out there and it has only begun to reward you with what dreams you've been chasing. PASSION has never been questionable for you. In fact, your passionate tone, passionate persistence, and passionate voice has carried out through this industry. People hear of you, know you and all those who haven't, surely will very soon. But beyond the passionate, workaholic, lifestyle, the talent is tremendous. Your producing (GPITW), your directing, your movie trivia and knowledge, your heir, have all been an amazing attribute to your success and will continue to be. There is no direction for you my friend, other than Onward and Upward. I only wish there were more hours in the day for me to learn as much as I can from you. Holding onto three jobs, taking care of business and family to pay bills and to live are no easy task. Especially in this industry. Yet, so many people find a way and hope that this industry works out for them in the long run. Myself included. Hopefully I get that chance one day to pursue more than I can pursue. I passed up that chance one before and am preparing never to do so again. Today, I work at a bar, I sell Sunglasses, answer phones at a call center and for the next two weeks I am inside a bunny suit playing the"Easter Bunny". This now may be my greatest struggle. But its leading up to one thing and one thing only, to be lucky enough to give myself a chance once more. When the time comes I will cease the day. Like Sister Mary Clarence, my new direction has begun. My re-evaluating process is in full swing. To some it may seem I've given up or fallen waist side, but the reality is, is for the first time I am really trying. For the first time in my life, my effort leaves me unable to stand at the end of the day. I know I've slowed down in stride but I am not out of this race. I hope my words can inspiring as well for anyone who has felt like giving up. I am working on standing on my own two again. I am preparing to be truly All In. The overnight successes, are surely not overnight so nobody be fooled by this concept. It takes exactly why Sam preaches about. Effort, Hard work, Persistence, and Talent. Thanks once again for this blog and for all the other blogs previous. You open doors and consistently contribute great advice, and input to make the Fortalent.com experience live up to its name. Only one of the many things that the Industry Superman checks off of his list of daily duties. Thank You.

billsorvino

Great pep talk once again Sam. Thank you for supporting our play, For Pete's Sake, thank you for all the amazing support (and fantastic ideas I might add) regarding the Golden Door Film Festival but above all thank you for being the friend that you are, they are far and few between. As for networking, I would suggest anyone who reads this blog to come to the Golden Door Int'l Film Festival of Jersey City this Oct 11-14 and watch the networking fireworks begin. I lost count as to how many gigs were landed at the collective events..and wait until you see what we are cooking up for this year. Without talent don't bother networking, without networking you might as well have no talent. Sorry, that's life.

billsorvino

Great pep talk once again Sam. Thank you for supporting our play, For Pete's Sake, thank you for all the amazing support (and fantastic ideas I might add) regarding the Golden Door Film Festival but above all thank you for being the friend that you are, they are far and few between. As for networking, I would suggest anyone who reads this blog to come to the Golden Door Int'l Film Festival of Jersey City this Oct 11-14 and watch the networking fireworks begin. I lost count as to how many gigs were landed at the collective events at last year's fest..and wait until you see what we are cooking up for this year. Without talent don't bother networking, without networking you might as well have no talent. Sorry, that's life.


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