20 October 2007

sweet naïveté

I suppose I've reached the point in my life where I have to start networking.

Less than a year from now, I will hopefully embarking on a career of some kind, so I guess I should start planning for that...well, right about now.

The other night, a friend of mine invited me to be his date for a film festival meet and greet he was attending. Despite him being well into the indie film scene, we had no idea what to expect from this party. What we found was a crowded, mahogany-paneled room full of people who were much more dressed up than we were, trays full of hors d'oeuvres that I could not identify (I accidentally ate foie gras thinking it was tofu)and lots of name-dropping that I sure couldn't keep up with.

At one point, I was asking an British man which film he had directed. He told me the name and I said,
"Cool title."
"You don't have to say that," he replied.
"Say what, that I like the film title?"
"Yes, you're too polite."
"Okay, well, I do like it. Can you tell me about your film?"
"Sure," at this point is is laughing at me.
"What's so funny?"
"You don't mean to tell me you actually want to hear about my film, do you?"
"Yes, that's why I asked."
"Oh. It's just that when most people ask about your film at events like this, they don't really want to hear about it."
"I guess I missed the memo."

I totally missed the memo. The one that informs naive young party-goers, "being genuinely curious will make you seem like a crackpot."

My friend, on the other hand, having attended countless parties such as this one at various film festivals, is quickly becoming a networking pro. He even inadvertently landed an invitation to be hosted by a huge media exec the next time he's in Toronto. She took out her wallet, handed him her pearlized card. She looked over at me, smirked slightly, and put her wallet away. She has been networking so long she knows to save her cards for bonafide networkers, not waste them on the tag-alongs who are busy sucking back the unlimited free wine and trying not to fall over in the stilettos they never wear except for fancy events.

So, in short, in the near future I either have to start really networking, or at least learn how to look like I'm trying. Sigh.

No comments: