Jessica Sitomer
Seminars and Coaching for the Entertainment Industry
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IT'S CHRISTMAS, CAROL

The Three Commitments

What do you do when you’re flat on your back for over a week, with no strength to be productive, and it happens to be the end of November?  Watch Hallmark Channel holiday movies.  In It’s Christmas, Carol, a ruthless tycoon Carol, is visited by the ghost of her old boss, played by Carrie Fisher, on Christmas Eve to help her change her ways.

I watched this film, and a few other Christmas Carol takeoffs in between A Cookie Cutter Christmas, A Royal Christmas, and many other DVRd delights.  I am guessing that’s why sometime in the middle of the night when my temperature was 103, my mind started playing tricks on me. (Does yours ever do that?) I started imagining worst case scenarios and I was freaking myself out, so I was once told if you wake up from a bad dream, immediately, create a happy ending to it so you won’t go back into it.  As, I was already awake, the story teller in my subconscious came out front and center and went Scrooged on me. An older man, beard, kind of Harry Potterish, took me on my journey, and the story was, “If I were to die tonight, here’s what I would regret from my past, wish I’d done in my present, and what I’d miss out on in my future. It was very vivid and I actually felt transported. I don’t remember falling asleep after the journey, but when I awoke, my fever had broken and I remembered the journey vividly, though I can’t picture the man’s face.  I knew I had to do something, so I got a pad and paper and here’s what I did…

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Maid in Manhattan

Rebound from Rejection

I love the movie Maid in Manhattan! It’s one of those movies that 14 years later, still holds up. Why? Because it deals with a subject close to everyone’s heart… the fear of being rejected. Jennifer Lopez plays Marisa Ventura who in a case of mistaken identity meets Chris Marshall (Ralph Fiennes), a candidate for senate and they fall for each other. What he doesn’t know is that Marisa is a hotel maid, living out the fantasy of being a socialite. Because of her fear of rejection, she didn’t tell him otherwise.


I see this so much in the industry. What I mean is, people putting other people on a pedestal and being afraid to connect with them or “bother” them. Bottom line, it’s a fear of rejection. The only difference between you and the people who are farther along in their careers than you, are the opportunities they’ve had. They are just people.

Here are some tips to pushing through the fear of rejection and then how to rebound if it should happen:

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Forrest Gump

I had a great time working on a Nickelodeon show this month... I took a lesson from Forrest Gump and have gone with the flow! In today’s Jess Gets Reel Video, I share my journey… and my craving for chocolate Watch the video...
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BACKDRAFT

A Smokin' Hot Networking Tip

In Backdraft Two Chicago firefighter brothers who don't get along have to work together while a dangerous arsonist is on the loose. In the entertainment industry, you don’t always get to choose with whom you work, but, the more people you know, the more likely you are to work with likeminded people!

I once walked into a room where I was about to give a seminar on networking and a cheerful looking man walked up to me and handed me his business card.  I took it, looked at him, and waited.  He said, “I just wanted you to have that before the business card barrage at the end.” I thanked him, and asked if it was okay if I used him as an example during my talk.  He lit up and nodded that it was okay.

Perhaps he thought his was a smart strategy, and I wanted to acknowledge him… but you know I wouldn’t be writing about it if that were the case.  While he did stand out by avoiding the fire-hosing of cards I “would have” received at the end of my talk (had I not made a gentle example of him), he still missed the “When & Why” you give a business card.

Want to know a human need you can tap into to take the pressure off of networking?  Add a comment

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IRON MAN

Inventing Your Career

Tony Stark wasn’t bitten by a spider, he didn’t come from another planet, he was not born a mutant... Tony is an inventor. A Super Hero, yes, because he created that for himself.

In 2010, I was stuck. If you haven’t heard my story, you should check out my Jess Gets Reel videos on YouTube. I had goals; to make money as an actress, to write, to travel, to spend time with my family, to try things I’d never done before on my “Bucket List,” and to change peoples’ lives through my entrepreneurial ventures (which at the time was just Greenlight).

That’s an awful lot to accomplish unless you’re a Super Hero and your power is multiplicity (the power I’d pick if I had a choice.. I would love to be in 10 places at once). So, I had to “invent” my life the way Tony invented Ironman.

In the last 2 years, I’ve made more money and been busier as an actress than I have in my entire career combined, I am writing the second installment of a fiction book series that I started in 2011, and have 3 treatments for screenplays, I’ve traveled to more than 18 cities (a couple numerous times), I’ve spent quality time with family, friends, and crossed some things off my bucket list. And through it all, I continue to change lives through 3 businesses I now own.

I share this with you because something shifted in me that caused me to invent the life I wanted to live, and YOU can do it to. Here’s how: Add a comment

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While You Were Sleeping


To Work or Not to Work in the Face of Tragedy


In While You Were Sleeping, Sandra Bullock’s Character, Lucy, saves Peter’s life and gets pulled into the warmth of his family due to some lack of communication.  In this romantic comedy, Peter spends most of the movie in a coma, with his family and Lucy, close by.

I've spent my summer on the lake with my friends.  On Labor Day, my friends’ son was in a near fatal accident.  He’s now home, and on the fast track to a full recovery.  But when it happened, the only similarity to a “romantic comedy” was that friends and family were all around.  

I watched a father helplessly hold his son in his arms, not knowing if he would survive. I listened as a mother wailed and screamed.  I felt the fierce protective love of a big brother, who wouldn’t leave his bedside and watched over his monitors all night.  I experienced the love of so many family members and friends who came to the hospital to pray for him and comfort his parents.

Before he even went in for surgery, I had two client calls, a training call I was giving, and the day after his surgery I had to give a webinar. Now granted, I am not his immediate family, but my heart was still breaking to see him in pain and watch his parents practically helpless.  I was praying with everything I had.  I was emotional, scared, staying strong for everyone so they could break down, and… I had to work.  

Most people with regular 9-5 jobs, can take off a week of work in the wake of a tragedy, but in our industry, we don’t always have that flexibility.  People are counting on us, money is being spent on us, and fear of someone else replacing us, makes these times especially challenging for entertainment professionals.

I remember when Sandra Bullock’s mother passed away on the day of her premiere for 28 Days.  My heart was breaking for her as the tabloid news made her "will she or will she not attend her own premiere" the top story for hours on end.  She did not attend the premiere, and I was glad to see she didn’t.

We are constantly faced with tough choices in our industry and saying yes or no to work, or an important commitment can be extremely stressful, so here are some tips that I hope help:
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Does a Website Make Me Look Desperate?

Helloooooooo from Georgia! I have to say, I love lake living.  I've been kayaking, boating, and doing yoga daily.  In between I'm getting my work done, eating healthy, and spending time with friends.  You really can have it all! What makes it so easy for me to work from any where, are my websites! With 3 businesses, I can simply send people to my website.  They can learn all about me, or get my services and products, while I'm doing sunset yoga on the dock. 

So, when I received today's Reel Answers question, I had to a video on it! Do you think having a website makes someone look desperate? Leave a comment on my blog.
 
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Cinderella Man

Tapping Back in to Your Motivation


In Cinderella Man, Mae expressers her concerns about Jim’s boxing career and him fighting a man who has killed two fighters in the ring.  Mae was afraid of the bold risk Jim was taking, and rightfully so, it was life or death.  Jim was motivated to take that risk because the motivation to take care of his family trumped his fear of failing.

Last week, I gave a seminar for the Society of Camera Operators. Overall, the whole group was feeling deflated about the industry and their motivation was down.  I asked them to give me 10 minutes of “Boldness.”  I coached them on what that meant.  It was a big risk for them, not life or death, but in an “out-side of their comfort zone” way.  They rose to the occasion, and their motivation was restored because they got instant results and positive reinforcement. What if you could experience 10 minutes of boldness? Well you can… but more on that at the end.

It is clear to me as someone who has coached well over one thousand people one-on-one, that people lose their motivation when they’re not taking the RIGHT action.  It’s usually because they don’t know what the RIGHT action is.  So, this article is an evaluation of the actions you are taking.  To see if you are taking the RIGHT action read on…
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Bridget Jones Diary

The theme for this month is Inspiration.  My Greenlight Elites are posting daily pictures of what inspires them in a moment from the day (on our private page), and it's really got us all looking at things with excitement.  I was also inspired by an email sent to me from one of my readers, who mailed me after the Tim McGraw link I sent last time.  He reached out to invite me to one of his country shows.  I was really touched that a complete stranger would ask me to come see him play.  I went and it was inspiring because notonly was he very talented, he also introduced me to classic songs I had not been exposed to. If you are in California and want to check him out you can him playing regularly at jbandthebcriders.homestead.com


For some more inspiration, here's my latest Jess Gets Reel Video on The Inspiration of Collaboration... If you feel like you're in this industry alone... maybe with your dog or your plant, you'll want to watch and yes, I'm imitating Bridget Jones...

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PAPARAZZI

Are You Protecting Your Image?

In Paparazzi, Cole Hauser, plays a rising Hollywood actor who decides to take revenge on the paparazzi who stalk him. 



Now, this article isn't about getting revenge, it's not about changing other people's behavior, because you have no control over that.  It is about 3 tips to protect yourself and your image:

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