Sunday, March 23, 2014

Google is your Friend...

Sunday musings...

Perhaps it is being of a pre-computer generation,  where "pounding the pavement" literally meant getting up,  and taking materials into casting offices;  where searching meant going to the library,  knowing the Dewy Decimal System and finding books with information;  when you sent inquiries via hand written letter with a stamp on it and waited for the response;

What I am finding lately,  is that the computer generation - information literally at your fingertips - is separated not by your talent per se,  but by your ability to type in your question to a search engine or not.

What has not changed,  and will not change,  is the human aspect of this:  curiosity,  and the willingness to do the work to find the answers.

Whether it is literally pounding the pavement,  or whether it is discovering the right questions to ask and where,  THIS is what often separates the wheat from the chaff.

Nobody can hand you a career.

Nobody has all the answers.

Nobody can do your work for you.

YOU have to do it.

So how do you start?

Sit on your bum,  in your pjs with your coffee beside you and begin a list of questions of things you want to know.  Let that list develop as things occur to you.

So often,  I see this "list" posted on facebook pages,  or forum message boards.  This my gentle snowflakes,  is your INSIDE list.  Nobody sees it but you.  Don't share your inside list.  You need to absorb that list and let it gestate internally with a pen and paper or on your hard drive.

As the list develops,  then start asking the questions by typing them into that search engine called Google.  Yes,  Google is your friend.  Google isn't going to say "that was a really stupid question";  Google isn't going to laugh at you;  make fun of you;  chastise you;  Google is simply going to provide you with some valuable sites it feels may answer those questions.

Then,  YOU pour over the "answers" and see if what you are reading helps your query.  Maybe it leads you to another question.  Maybe it fulfills the question.  Maybe you gain information that can allow you ask an even more specific question.

The questions you pose via anonymous forums or message boards reveal much about you.  First,  nothing is that anonymous.  Second,  the world is small.  Six degrees of Kevin Bacon remember?

How do you want to be seen?  Does your question reveal that or does it reveal something else?

If a question you ask of someone or a place is something that the more knowledgeable see as an easy "Google" question,  you are marked as lazy,  clueless,  and a whole bunch of not particularly nice words. 

People in our business are more than happy to help each other,  if they see the person asking is doing their work and finding their answers!  We are the first to smack you upside the head if we see you asking questions that are easy to Google and show your unwillingness, inability, or pure laziness, to simply type and hit send.

No question is stupid when it comes from common sense,  your ability to reach out and find answers, and truly want to know. 

Even though things have changed in how quickly we can access information,  some things have not.  It still comes down to your ability to research,  to discover,  to know how to ask the right questions,  to recognize and follow the breadcrumbs.

Don't give up.  Keep asking the questions.  Ask those questions in the right places, and absorb the answers.  Don't make excuses for the answers if you asked the question.

So pour another cup of coffee,  take a big breath,  and begin the "inside" list.  Then open that browser,  and type in that question and hit send.  You will be amazed at what you find!

Ever try to exhaust Google?  I dare you!  It will then lead you to the human beings that can specifically answer your SPECIFIC questions based not on your lack of knowledge, naivete, or laziness,  but rather, based on your research and your discoveries.

THAT is what we want to see.  Performers and artists that are willing to DISCOVER for THEMSELVES.

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