Vince, in fact, is the main reason that all these like-minded people have an event to attend! Not only that, he regularly and single-handedly takes on the responsibility of finding the meeting locations each month.
He continued to smile, shake hands, frame a photo, and move on to another smiling face. While watching him dedicate his time and talents to our organization, a question suddenly hit me.
Why does he take all this time from his family and busy schedule to provide us with such a venue?
“Hey Vince! I am curious to know why you are not only involved, but take on such an active part active at these FFA mixers?”
Not more than a few heartbeats passed before he began to explain that, when he had first joined, the meetings had only a few members, and the energy was very low. (I am paraphrasing here). He said he decided to see what he could do to improve the scene. He went to work and, because of his efforts, the events have become the vibrant and dynamic experiences that we now all enjoy.
The more he explained, the more I understood his passion for our ‘cause’.
1. Being a personable guy, he naturally ‘liked the idea of seeing people come together and enjoy finding out about others who have similar interests’.
2. I realized that having an organization, like FFA, is an effective way of bringing talented people out into the ‘light’ (pun intended).
3. FFA offers the actor, writer, producer, etc. a fun way to get to know who is doing what in their local area. Sharing a moment or two is all that is necessary to find out who might be able and available to become involved in your project- or visa versa.
4. Looking to find out who is the successful and local talent and modeling agent? There was one at our meeting. Carollyn DeVore sends many talented people out on auditions- as far as to Hollywood! Although it is not appropriate to DO business at a casual social, it does not hurt to know WHO is in business- to know who to professionally contact in the future.
5. In this ‘biz’, we are only as good as our next gig. The FFA provides a great way to find out what projects are in the works and who is doing them- even before the information is public knowledge. (NOTE: “It is always good to have ones foot in the door, but better when the first foot in the door is yours”- I had to type this in here as I just made it up.)
6. HUNGRY! Vince knew that owners of new, and even well-established restaurants and diners, would be eager to have an instant crowd of ‘customers’. Having a group of people arrive on a particular time and date provides indirect advertising for the owner. For instance, the new diner will get recognized and it gives us a chance to sample some food at little or no cost.
7. Filmmakers may eventually need to find a place to meet and discuss their next movie project. The location of the last mixer may turn out to be the perfect location, as you already have been there before. Need a location where the script calls for a “small, quaint, quiet eating establishment”? Why not go to the place that you are already familiar with? In charge of ‘craft services’? Now you know a good restaurant, in the vicinity of the shoot, where you can get your food. You might even get the Producer a discount from the diner as well.
This is good for you, and good for a business- a win-win!
8. New to your town? FFA provided a super-fast way to get to know who the ‘players’ are in our city!
9. Get new FB and Twitter ‘friends’ and contacts faster and with more focused precision.
10. I, for instance, delivered two miniature buildings for Ian Pugh. He was attending the social and it was a great time to deliver them to him. After all, he lives an hour and a half from Fresno, so it worked out perfectly for both of us. (Movie in process: ‘THE FINAL CASE OF BEN SABIK’- more about this in a future blog entry).
11. Bring your business cards. Nothing better than handing someone a card when they can attach a card to a smile, hand-shake and friendly face! Great time to ask if they accept headshots and resumes.
12. My personal favorite experience at the last FFA social? Diana Vega-Pugh, Ian’s wife, revealed that she was ‘never popular in school’. (NOTE: Popularity in school can be pretty cliquish and usually lasts as long as mist- even though it is so important to us when we are young. Anyway ...)
You should have seen the group light up when she arrived! There were smiles, hugs, signs of appreciation- all bestowed on her, and mutually shared with wild abandon.
As Ian thanked me for the structures and returned to be with his wife, I watched as Diana was recognized, admired, befriended and happy.
It was great scene to witness and I realized that THIS is what it is really all about.
The experiences of the evening made the reasons for all the work and time that Vince devotes to the events become self-explanatory.
As a great personal motivator once said, “The best way to get what you want is to give someone something that they want.”
Why not become the “VINCE COSENTINO” in your city, village, or burrow? Be the one to jump-start a mutually supportive organization wherever you live!
“Annnnnd . . . . ACTION!”