You get thought of in terms of your last job. So if my last job is that of a meat cleaver-wielding character, I will hardly be cast as some benign, older gentleman.
Go out and make something that reflects your interests, your taste, and your ideas. No one will pay you to make something until you have a few things you can show that you've directed. I got my start by making short films on my own.
I really do believe in the influence of your surroundings.
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