Updated: Apr 10
"I told myself [that] for five to seven years I wasn't going to push super hard to be a writer outside of doing my own stuff on the side...and I would just master and build this community for five to seven years and it really paid off for me." Rasheena Nash (writer at Disney)
Rasheena has always been dedicated to building her craft and to pursuing her dream of being a writer, but she also knew that there was no straight line to success. Having wisdom well beyond her years, she sought out opportunities to be great at whatever role she was afforded to play even if it didn't resemble her dream job. She knew that her excellence would be noticed and that it would continue to afford her new opportunities to show her talents. Through hard work, dedication to her craft, and the growth of a strong network, she landed her dream job with Disney and is now writing for Raven's Home...all within her five to seven year plan.
This is a lesson that all filmmakers who aspire to be a part of something greater should learn early in their careers: The job you want isn't going to be given to you based on your talent; it's going to be earned based on your value.
Here's something to think about: There are 365 days in a year. That means that Rasheena's plan was based on the understanding that she would not achieve her goal for 1,825 to 2,555 days. She knew that she would have to provide nearly 2,000 days of ever-increasing value to various industry gatekeepers if she was ever to reach her ultimate goal. Not many people are willing to make that commitment and that's why many people never find success.
What's needed is a dedication to the process of becoming great. This process often includes taking the job that's given until you can take the job you ask for. It means that you have to work from the bottom up, prove that you can be trusted with whatever task you're given, build a community of advocates, and leverage your track record to put yourself in new and more impactful positions.
If you're a filmmaker seeking an opportunity to work with the best and the brightest in the industry, take a lesson from Rasheena and start by getting your foot in the door. Just one foot, in any door. If they let you in, be great. Whether it's getting coffee, managing schedules, fixing wardrobes, or assisting a producer or director, you have to be great because being great sets you apart from everyone else. Greatness always shines and it serves as a calling card to others who, like you, are looking to surround themselves will people who will help them get to the next level.
We are so very proud of everything that Rasheena has done over the years and are excited to see what she will do next. We hope that her journey can be an example to you and to anyone else in the industry trying to make their mark.
Be Better. Be Creative. Be Engaged.