Sunday, August 31, 2014

You be the judge: Are home warranties scams?

In July of this year, I had a problem with my garage. The door wouldn't open with the clicker, and when I tried to open it manually, it felt heavy. I spoke with a maintenance technician over the phone for advice, and he stated that whenever a door felt heavy it was usually because the cables had come loose. With some help from my parents, I was able to pry open the unusually heavy door, and I saw that my side cables had popped off, just like the maintenance technician had predicted.

Soon, I contacted my home warranty company, First American Home Warranty (AKA
First American Home Buyers Protection). I placed a service request, and I listed that my door was stuck and I indicated that it was due to the cables having popped off. (See below.) First American arranged for a garage technician to come to my home.

For those unfamiliar with home warranties, a customer pays a yearly fee to have covered problems with his or her home fixed. However, each time a service call is completed, the company charges a fee. In First American's case, they charge a yearly fee of $384, and their service fees cost $60. I was aware of this pay structure, but I was not aware of their policy of sending out repairmen, knowing that they will not cover the problems but still charging the $60 fee. 

The day that the garage repairman came, he assessed that my hinge needed to be replaced and that the cables needed to be redone. He informed me that First American did not cover these issues, and he had me speak with a First American representative who confirmed this and said I had a right not to use his services. The repairman told me that my repair and part would cost $165 plus I had to pay the First American service charge--total $225. I asked him how much I would have had to pay if I had called him directly for service. He said he would have charged me the same--$165. I would not have had to pay a service fee. I told him that I refused to pay the service fee because I had to pay full price for repairs. He said that if I refused to pay the service fee I would have to speak with First American later. 

When the repairman finished his work, I paid him for his service and for the part. Then I contacted First American, and I told them what happened. They said even if my repairs were not covered by First American that I still owed the $60 because they had sent someone out on a service call.  I asked them why they had fulfilled the request since I had explicitly stated in my service request that I was having problems due to my cables, which were not covered by First American. They refused to answer this question directly. I then asked for the statistic of how often they send out requests knowing they would not fulfill the requests. They also ignored this question. Finally after nearly one month of back and forth nonsense, I paid the $60 and chose to not renew with this company that has received hundreds of negative reviews on blogs such as Pissed Off Consumer and on review sites such as Yelp.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Darth Vader surfing and a mermaid riding a unicorn--welcome to the world of artist Sean Boyce

Wandering around the 626 Night Market on August 16th, I was impressed by many of the artists who had set up booths. For instance, I was attracted to the chic sexiness of Eddy Lee's female portrait work, and I liked the hyper energy of the watercolors of Geoff Pascual. A third artist who caught my eye was Boston-native Sean Boyce. His paintings, which included Darth Vader surfing and a mermaid riding a unicorn as angry Godzilla looked on, was brightly colored, psychedelic, and influenced by surfer and pop culture. It was as if Lisa Frank was on mushrooms while strolling on Venice Beach. I loved it.

"Since my arrival at Los Angeles, my work has become much more fanciful and whimsical," Boyce said. "I have taken the mermaid motif that I picked up first in the nautical lore of my hometown Cape Cod and have rode with it quite far to expand the mythology to Martians, unicorns, sea monsters, Godzilla, all kinds of pop surrealistic subjects."
"Dream at Point Dume" by Sean Boyce
After the 626 Night Market, I connected with Boyce through Instagram. He has a portfolio of his artwork on the site, and Instagram is one of his many tools he uses to get his work out there. In addition to social media, Boyce often exhibits at Venice Beach, usually on the weekends. He has also exhibited his work at galleries, art fairs, art walks, cafes, bookstores, and libraries.
"Duxter Skates Venice" by Sean Boyce
Boyce started drawing at a young age. According to his biography, he studied culinary arts and worked as a chef in the 1990s to support his family. When the time was right, he left the cooking world to become a full time artist.

"I started drawing at age five, my dad and mom taught me how," Boyce said. "I read h.w. Hanson's history of art when I was young and became obsessed with Michalangelo's Statue of David. I then got into Spiderman and was obsessed with comic books. My mom took me to two comic book conventions in New York City when I was seven and eight years old. I have been avidly studying artists, filmmakers and musicians my whole life. I am self taught, but an artist can never avoid being taught something by his peers through the course of his travels."
"The Kiss" by Sean Boyce
Boyce takes his influences from various disciplines: paintings, music, and film, for instance. Some painters that have influenced his style include Salvador Dali, Van Gogh, and Eddy Lee (check out my interview with Lee here.), and musicians include Kiss, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Gucci Mane, and Far East Movement, among others. Films include Blade Runner, Monty Python and The Holy Grail, and Repo Man.
"Lucky Surfing" by Sean Boyce
Boyce's next project is inspired by his experience at the 626 Night Market. "I  will begin a horse racing painting now inspired by my times at 626 Night Market at Santa Anita Racetrack. It's also inspired by the fabulous horse racing paintings of Degas," Boyce said. Additionally, he plans to do a yachting painting "with a bunch of men involved in various nautical actions."

To connect with Boyce or to purchase his paintings or prints, you can find him on Facebook or Instagram.
"Darth" by Sean Boyce

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How much does category choice on Amazon matter in terms of book sales?

A fellow writer sent me the following question about self-publishing, and I wanted to share it and my answer with my blog readers:

How much do you think category choice on Amazon has mattered in terms of book sales? 

When it comes to self-publishing, category matters. For instance, all three books of my series  The Red Lantern Scandals has been in the top 100 list of Asian-American literature, and they were also briefly in the top 100 list of erotica titles. The books' placement in these lists helped me in regards to sales because being in a top 100 list helps you get noticed, and when it comes to book sales, one of the main battles is having readers find you amidst all the thousands of other titles out there.

The Red Lantern Scandals focuses on the lives of four millennial Chinese-American women in Los Angeles. While there is graphic sexual scenes in the books, the series could have easily been categorized under Women's Literature or even under the Thriller category because of a mystery element that is a thru line of the series. However, if I had chosen to categorize my books in those broad categories, I would have had to compete with mainstream titles that sell 100,000 to a million copies. If I went niche, I could make it on a top 100 list by selling much less than that and not having to compete with as many titles. That's why I  made the marketing decision to categorize my books as Asian-American erotica, and I believe it was that niche category decision that gained the books and myself attention.

One thing I should add to all writers, though, is to not miscategorize their work. That's worse than competing with traditionally published titles. For instance, if your book is marketed as African-American Christian fiction, but it turns out your work is not intended for Christian audiences, you will anger your audience and get bad reviews. Thus, although you should always try to be strategic, being honest with what you are selling matters the most.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Eddy Lee's artwork will take your breath away

The artist Eddy Lee
On August 16, 2014, I attended the 626 Night Market in Arcadia, California; and I stumbled upon the booth of artist Eddy Lee, who currently lives in Los Angeles but who originally hailed from Washington state. I was blown away by the beautiful, effervescent and dreamlike images of women he created, and I wanted to learn more about him.

Lee lists his artistic influences as David Choe, Audrey Kawasaki, Basquiat, Egon Schiele, Jim Lee, Michelangelo, Carravaggio, and Bernini. After receiving a BFA in studio art from the University of Washington with an Art History minor, he had a brief stint working in graphic design doing band posters and various projects for the indie music scene up in Seattle. He later made his way to Los Angeles. During the summer, he sets up on the Venice Beach boardwalk as well as various events in Southern California such as the 626 Nightmarket and DTLA artwalk. In the fall and winter, he usually paints in the studio working on commission requests or ambitious large projects.

Courtesy of Eddy Lee's Instagram
In addition to setting up his work at public arenas, Lee also showcases his art on Instagram. "I feel the best possible way you can help yourself as an artist is simply take that risk and put yourself out there" Lee said. "Artists are the most critical of their own work. By putting yourself out there you learn from the feedback, if what you're doing is moving in the right direction or not. It's scary at first because you are opening yourself up to be criticized and judged, but all that is crucial and necessary for growth. It also helps you interact with people as most creative types tend to be socially awkward. If a gallery takes you in, awesome. If not, find an event, an art fair, artwalk, sidewalk, anywhere you can find. Just get the work your work out there."
Courtesy of Eddy Lee's Instagram
Lee is fortunate enough to be a full time artist, and with this blessing also comes the responsibility of constantly working  instead of just waiting around for inspiration.

"Being a full-time fine artist doesn't afford me the luxury of sitting around waiting for inspiration," Lee said. "I find inspiration from simply getting up each day and doing the work, even when I'm not feeling anything creatively. Some of my most gratifying works were done on days where I didn't want to paint. In that sense you do have to treat it like a 9 to 5 job, it requires that kind of discipline. It does take a lot of work but at the end of the day it's a charmed life, I do what I'm most passionate about for a living and I do it on my own terms."
Courtesy of Eddy Lee's Instagram
Lee's next project is work that he will showcase at the upcoming 626 Night Market which will occur in September. He will also be showing at a Downtown Los Angeles event called "Pancakes and Booze."

"I'm always up for helping other aspiring artists in whatever way I can," Lee said. For anyone who would like to reach him in regards to art work or advice, he can be reached at

For more information, check out Eddy's website, Instagram, and Facebook

Friday, August 22, 2014

After seven years of hard work, University of Kansas alumni sees his comic book dream come true

To connect with CW Cooke, find him on Facebook.
CW Cooke and I were classmates at the University of Kansas, and since graduation, he has gone on to write comics, work the independent comic book scene, and create worlds for various companies. After years of hard work and effort, his first series, Solitary: A Superhero Prison Story, is going to be distributed to the public, thanks mostly to a successful Kickstarter campaign. CW's campaign not only surpassed his original goal by several thousand dollars, but it was also named a Kickstarter Staff Pick.

CW was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to share how he successfully crowdsourced his project and how other comic writers can get their foot in the door like he did.

TL: What inspired you to create Solitary: A Superhero Prison Story?
CWC: Inspiration started at a very young age for this one, honestly, and kept coming in different ways. I've wanted to make comic books my whole entire life, and started out creating crappy X-men and Superman ripoff comics. Over the years, I had great teachers and professors and friends who inspired me or gave me the push that I needed to make comics. And as I couldn't draw well at all, I took a chance at writing. And I've always wanted to tell my own stories and I've always wanted to have this ongoing piece of me out there for the world to digest.

TL: You have worked with such publishers as Big Dog Ink, Devil's Due, Action Lab, Arcana, Viper, and Bluewater. How did you form those relationships? What works did you publish with them?
CWC: A lot of the relationships were built over time. Most started by emails or letters or mail that I sent, submissions that I sent out, and just meeting various publishers and editors at comic book conventions. Big Dog Ink was a company that I met at a local comic book convention and lucked into handing them some of my work. Bluewater was the first company I worked for and they gave me a chance based on an email submission I had sent. That opened a number of doors and then blind submissions and request emails or interest emails were sent to the various other companies (and honestly, I probably sent emails and letters to every single comic book publisher out there, some more than once).

Check out Solitary's FB page
TL: Why did you decide to do a Kickstarter?
CWC: Kickstarter was chosen out of necessity. Putting together the book as I have been, I spent a bit of my own money and funds were becoming tight due to bills and various other issues coming up. Kickstarter was essentially a last option, to ensure that the people I'm working with get paid and get compensated for their time, their effort, and their hard work.  I had a lot of help and suggestions from Devil's Due in determining what amount would be necessary to get certain goal levels and how to ensure people got paid what they deserve. Exceeding the goal and continuing to do so has been a wonderful, amazing, and far less stressful aspect of the whole thing. Getting to the goal was tough and terrifying. Surpassing and getting higher and higher makes me think people are excited for the book and excited to see the story unfold (now I just hope I don't screw that up). Everything above and beyond will go back into the book and will take care of the rewards and shipping. The additional amounts will ensure that the book keeps running for as long as possible. Now I just hope people KEEP picking it up!

TL: Now that crowdfunding has become trendy, it seems to be harder to stand out in the crowd and get people to open their wallets. Why do you think your Kickstarter succeeded? What advice would you give to other writers/comic book creators when it comes to fundraising?
Artwork from Solitary
CWC: I think mine succeeded because it's a story that hasn't really been told (I hope). I'm a big fan of the mash-up and throwing two ideas as disparate as Superman and Death Row just seemed too incredible to pass up and too bizarre not to try (and like I said, I hadn't really seen anything like it where the hero was behind bars and that's how the story starts). I think the other lucky bit has been that Orange Is the New Black is a huge thing right now and I lucked into that being around when my Kickstarter started. Not to mention the countless other just strange and lucky coincidences that happened and helped get this thing out there. I also think the cover seals the deal with a lot of people and the image of the electrocution. I have had preview copies of the book for a little while and those two images are what catch people's eyes first. Beyond that, I think my honesty and my truth helped a lot. That's the first and best advice I can give to people. Be honest. Be open. Giving the people what they want is nice and having a brilliant and strange new idea is wonderful. But if people don't trust you or think you're a used car salesman, it might not work out. To say I'm lucky is one thing, but you have to build on the luck and you have to do the work and you have to show people that you are willing to do the work and put in the time to build the audience. It's been a long time coming, and I still owe a great deal of it to luck.

TL: Publishing a comic book requires multiple components such as hiring an illustrator and editor. How did you put Solitary together?
CWC: I've been putting it together in one fashion or another since I was 8 years old, but since 2007, it has been the major focus of what I've been doing. I've found and started with a number of different artists on interiors and put together a large number of pitch documents. I've pitched it to various different comic companies since 2007 and I've changed the title, the artist, and large portions of the story at least 3 or 4 times each (if not more). This final iteration, this final version, took the time to get here. Carl Yonder, the cover artist, has been with me for a long time and has helped struggle and fight with me to make this better. I found him and the interior artist, Nando Souzamotta, on websites like Digital Webbing and then built a friendship/relationship/working relationship from there. Carl & Fake Petre, the colorist team, were found for me via Devil's Due and I have zero issue with that as they do incredible work. And I can't, for one second, do anything but say how great Devil's Due has been. Josh and his team have been a blessing, have helped with heavy lifting like marketing and getting the word out and spreading the news everywhere they can. Getting them to pick the book up was a wonder and just luck, like I mentioned before. It was from a blind submission to them via email, and Josh got back to me, told me how much he loved it, and that's where we are now. And I can't forget Alex for his logo and design assistance, Kit for her amazing help in getting stuff done, Johnnie for the lettering, and Shawn for his editing. I know I've been the voice and face, but there are so many amazing people behind the scenes (and I'm probably forgetting somebody).

TL: Now that your passion project is finalizing, what are you working on next?
CWC: I have SO many things going on right now. I have at least 4 active pitches out there at any given moment, two that I'm currently working on getting out there and hopefully both will be out there as creator-owned ongoing series as well. We shall see. Beyond that, I have a number of different stories I have to tell. I have science fiction, horror, romance, action, everything. I love comics and want to create for the rest of my life.

TL: Thank you for the great insight into how to break into comic book writing. You really provided some valuable resources. Is there anything you would like to add before you go?
CWC: It's been a hell of a ride so far and I'm just so happy for my friends, family, and fans for helping get me there. I'm especially happy to chat with you again as it's been FAR too long! But yeah, it's been a strange, wonderful trip, and I have one last thing to add for all the creative types and people who want to create or want to work in a creative field: Never give up. You might hear a million people telling you no and a million people telling you that you can't do it, but if you keep trying and keep working and keep growing as a writer or artist, you just might have a shot. Giving up means you won't do it. Trying means you just might. It took me 7 years of hard work, edits, changes, rewrites, and absolute luck to get where I am.

If you'd like to donate to Cooke's Kickstarter, click here. There's still one day left to contribute! You can also connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Hollywood doesn't want to give people of color starring roles, #BoycottExodusMovie

Ridley Scott's latest film, Exodus: Gods and Kings, a Biblical story set in ancient Egypt, is the latest Hollywood film to be accused of "whitewashing." The royal and high class Egyptian characters are played by white actors such as Christian Bale and Sigourney Weaver, and the slaves and lower class characters are all played by black actors. If this were a story about slavery in the United States, this would make sense. However, in Egypt, no one was white so the choice of casting has been met with an understandable firestorm of criticism. Many on Twitter have used the hashtag #BoycottExodusMovie, and I learned of the story from a discussion of a Huffington Post article that was on my friend's Facebook timeline.

Seeing this type of casting again and again bothers me, and although I am resigned to the fact that Hollywood has a right to tell whatever stories it wants to tell, I also feel that all of us people of color have the duty to not support these filmmakers.
Photo courtesy of HuffPo. For the complete story, click here.
Hollywood movies cost millions of dollars, and they employ professionals to make decisions that affect the representation found on screen. Besides Exodus, another questionable big  movie casting choice was the casting of white actress Rooney Mara (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) as the Native American Tiger Lily in Peter Pan. The part of Tiger Lily could have easily gone to an up-and-coming Native American child star, but instead they chose to cast a white woman.  In the same article, entertainment news source Variety said that "The world being created is multi-racial/international..." and that the film would star Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, and Rooney Mara.

To tout a movie as being multi-racial and then listing three white actors as its stars is ridiculous, and
I find it even harder to believe that the Exodus movie could not find any actors of color to play the Egyptian royalty. This casting may have been based on the bankability of the white stars. However the whole process is a Catch-22. If you only cast white people in big parts, how will one ever find a minority star?

To say there are not any great minority actors is complete bullshit. There are many who are relegated to small parts or theater, while some white actors with connections are given starring roles. I won't name names but I often roll my eyes at how many bad white actors are repeatedly given work while quality minority actors aren't even given a chance. A recent study published by USC found that white actors make up nearly 75% of the speaking characters in movies, and my own study of leading actors on broadcast comedies provided equally abysmal diversity numbers.

Noah's movie poster (courtest of Godawa)
I'm actually going to be so bold and say that white casting is a conscience decision that involves more than just money or lack of finding the right actors . Old school filmmakers don't want to see casts of color, and no one has held them accountable for this racism. If this accusation sounds crazy, look at the recent film, Noah, another story based on the Bible. This film received heat because it chose to create a non-diverse world when it had a setting that would've allowed a multi-ethnic cast. When asked about this lack of diversity, its writer Ari Handel cemented the idea that Hollywood just doesn't want to see ethnic faces:

“Either you end up with a Bennetton ad or the crew of the Starship Enterprise," Handel said. "You either try to put everything in there, which just calls attention to it, or you just say, ‘Let’s make that not a factor, because we’re trying to deal with everyman.’

Let's digest for a moment what this guy said. Regardless of the offensive shade that he threw towards Bennetton and the Starship Enterprise, he acknowledged that the film deliberately chose to go non-diverse to make the issue "not a factor." In his and his colleague's eyes, he felt that white people represented "everyman" and that casting all white was the best choice to reach his audience. Although I doubt the Exodus filmmakers would put words like that on the record, I think it's important to let audiences know that this is the mentality of those making these kinds of whitewashed movies. Whitewashing in movies is a filmmakers choice, and if this choice does not agree with you, then let the filmmakers know by not watching their films.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Changing your mind isn't quitting: a story about fishing

As I have previously shared in my essay After The Flood, I grew up in Coffeyville, Kansas; and my parents owned a restaurant called China Garden. Although I think my parents liked the autonomy of owning their own business, the stress of it was hard on my family, particularly my father. He was angry a lot, and whenever I acted up (I was technically the "bad" kid because I was too opinionated), he would retort, "You think I want to work this hard? You think I like this? All I want is to go fishing!" Every time he would say his great want in life was to go fishing, I thought he was full of shit. After all, not only did it seem absurd to me that to fish was the life dream of someone who had a master's degree, a successful business, and assimilated to another country's culture; it seemed like a cop out.

In the past, my mother reaffirmed my disbelief with my father's words. She often said she wished that he didn't have to sacrifice his dream of being a scientist, and that he had to give up science to take care of his family.  However, never once did I hear my father say this. He talked proudly about his career as a physics teacher and of his time in school, but when those words escaped his mouth they were always past tense. They weren't passionate declarations of what he wanted, even though at the time, I thought they were. It wasn't until later in my life that I really grasped the concept of moving on.

Coffeyville under water 2007 (Courtesy of USA Today)
In 2007, my family lost China Garden in a freak flood that wiped out half of the town. After years of adjustment to the change in lifestyle, my parents have now retired and live close to my older sister, who resides in Kansas City. While owning a restaurant was stressful and manually tiring, they now enjoy every day seeing their grandchildren. My mother cooks for everyone, and my father spends hours fishing. Never once since he lost the restaurant did he make any serious steps to own a new business or go back into science. When he was finally able to have the freedom to live out his dreams, he actually lived out his dream, which was to fish; and every time I see him post a picture of him smiling with his catch of the day, I laugh a little and I almost tear up. Who was I to disbelieve his expressed want? Who was I to think he was "copping out" when really he was just being honest in a world that forces people to veer away from true happiness and chase superficial things?

My dad, my niece and my nephew show off their catches (Courtesy of Facebook)
People often ask me, "What do you want?" I tell them that I want to write, and this vague answer annoys them because it appears as if I have no career goals. Sometimes people try to push me to continue trying to "make it" as a big shot screenwriter because that's what I wanted seven years ago, and it is they, not me, that can't seem to let that concept go. But unlike my father, I am too much of a coward to say, "You think I want to politic with assholes? You think I want to work 60 hours a week with no life stability? I just want to laugh, wear sweatpants, and drink lattes." And maybe writing that sentence and sharing it with the world is my declaration of fishing.

My dad brings home dinner (Courtesy of Facebook)
The goal of fishing is different for everyone, but the general concept is to express what it is you truly want to do with your life and not what you started off doing, or what you think you should be doing, or what others think you should be doing. It took my father decades before he could retire and spend his days fishing, but I use his life as a model for my own decisions. For instance, would it really make sense for me to take a low paying job to obtain "connections" (I'm referring to entertainment jobs) when I could just take a  non-glamorous position that would give me the ability to save? Would it make sense for me to date a superficial man who wants me to doll myself up all the time? Would it make sense for me to allow people who hurt me to continue being in my life? Absolutely not to all three of these questions because they would stop me from my dream of laughing in sweatpants while drinking lattes.

My nephew wants some sushi (Courtsy of Facebook)
It hurts me when people think a woman has given up because she chose a family over a career. Maybe she "leaned in" and realized seeing her children grow was her fishing. Or maybe an athlete realized that he didn't want to go pro even though he had the talent. Maybe he wanted to be a musician instead. That was his idea of fishing. Maybe a couple doesn't want children and just wants to own a dog. That's fishing too. To those who think I'm advocating being less ambitious, I don't think you have yet grasped the concept of fishing. Fishing is about figuring out your heaven on earth, and your true paradise is often something simple.

In conclusion, whatever it is you want in life, it's okay to be honest about it. Most people will try to help you find a way to get your dream, and those who doubt you will one day be in awe of you the way that I am in awe of my father.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Protect your personal information by opting-out of background check websites

Whether or not you're an open or a super private individual, your personal details are spread online on various websites that aggregate information from public records or your social media. If you don't believe me, just Google yourself and be horrified. By searching your name, information such as your address, address history, and family members can easily be found by anyone on the following websites:

  • Knowing all of these websites exist, how do you protect your privacy?

    Luckily, Reddit user LawyerCT compiled a handy list of how to opt-out, and the list can be found on Reddit. The post was submitted three years ago so some of the information is outdated. However, the list is still easy to navigate, although the process itself does take time because you have to go through each background check website one by one.

    The downside to all this work, however, is that it doesn't opt you out for the future. For instance, if you remove yourself from MyLife, but later, you buy a home, your home buying record will create a new record for you that will appear on all of these sites. Public records have always been public like their name suggests, but with the internet it is now way too easy to find information about someone. However it is not illegal for these websites to exist and they do offer free opt-out options so it looks as if these types of sites are never going away.

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

    Top 9 websites to help you find an entertainment job!

    Although finding employment in the entertainment industry can be tough if you don't hear of anything through your network of friends;  there are luckily several job boards that exist with plenty of legitimate opportunities. The following nine websites are the top ones that I personally use or that my friends use to find entertainment work. So in no particular order:
    1. LinkedIn: I like how LinkedIn has many professionals of all industries on its site, and I like how everyone's profile showcases their resume, skills, and network. When LinkedIn began to offer the feature of finding and applying for jobs, that added even more value to the site. I've applied for a ton of writing-related jobs using LinkedIn (mostly copywriting and social media gigs), and one feature that I'm a fan of is that they notify you when a recruiter reads your resume. Bonus that I know several people who have been recruited for new jobs with their LinkedIn profile.   
    2. Facebook: Finding work through your own network is usually the most powerful tool to finding a job. Since Facebook's primary purpose is to connect you with friends, it's naturally a great place to find work because often times it's your friends who are advertising that they are looking for staff. Besides using your own friend list, try to target alumni groups or filmmaking communities. Often those pages list job opportunities. 
    3. Craigslist: Craigslist is the wild west of job hunting. For every unpaid gig or porn listing, there are a few gems hidden in the mix. The important thing when job hunting through Craigslist is to be discerning. Is the listing detailed and written well? Does the person who responds to your query sound professional? Trust your gut when proceeding, but you would be surprised about how many legit opportunities can be found there. 
    4. MediaBistro: I look for copywriting, journalism, and ghost writing opportunities through MediaBistro, and most of the major publications, networks, and online companies post here. A great feature to the site is that it's easy to apply for multiple job listings, and they email you a confirmation with each submission. Plus, Mediabistro is not just a job search site. It has various blog posts about the media industry, and it's an insightful website for writers to check out. 
    5. EntertainmentCareers:This website has a ton of listings for assistant jobs in the entertainment industry. It also has listings for other areas of entertainment, although maybe not as many. For instance, if you're looking for an advertising job, MediaBistro usually has a larger selection; and the same can be said for casting notices. Check out Infolist or Nowcasting instead. 
    6. TrackingB:To gain access to TrackingB's job listings, you have to pay a subscription fee. I found that the fee is worth it. However, they also have pretty kick ass writing contests and if you enter two or more scripts, they give you a year's subscription for free. TrackingB is great because it lists a lot of assistant jobs, and it also provides industry posts about who got hired where and what scripts are being sold and by whom. 
    7. Mandy: I worked for one season as an office production assistant, but ultimately, I knew that production was not where my interests were. However, the people I know who do job searches for production gigs use Mandy when they aren't just being personally referred. Mandy has a mix of unpaid and paid work, and not only can you find professional gigs on there, but often student film projects or other independent endeavors. 
    8. Infolist: Jeffrey Gund started Infolist to share entertainment opportunities for whoever wanted them, and I'm a big fan of his newsletter. On his website and his newsletter, he posts a ton of casting notices as well as party invitations, script requests, or free classes. This list is especially useful to anyone who wants to be on a reality show or do acting in commercials. 
    9. NowCasting:I've never used NowCasting because I'm not an actress, but when I was in film school, this website was a popular recommendation for student filmmakers looking for actors. Since the website only offers access to members, I have no idea who is on here, but it seems worth it to check out if you're an actor.