The Artisans Behind ‘Dickinson’ Share Their Advice for Anyone Wanting to Join the Industry

All episodes of Dickinson season 2 are available now, and The Nerds of Color got to attend a virtual press conference with some of the incredible artisans behind the series. Participants included James Calleri (Casting Director), Martin Czembor (Re-Recording Mixer), Billy Henry (Editor), Ian Hultquist + Drum & Lace (Composers), Suzy Mazzarese-Allison (Hair Dept Head), Jennifer Moeller (Costume Designer), Tim Orr (Cinematographer), Neil Patel (Production Designer), Luciano Vignola (Supervising Sound Editor), DeVoe Yates (Music Supervisor), and Ande Yung (Makeup Dept Head).

Dickinson is a half-hour comedy series that audaciously explores the constraints of society, gender, and family from the perspective of rebellious young poet Emily Dickinson. Set in the 19th century, the series is a coming-of-age story that finds Emily to be the unexpected hero for our millennial generation.

I asked some of the team behind the hit Apple TV+ series what their best piece of advice for anyone looking to join the entertainment industry would be, and they shared some really great answers.

Apple TV+

“I think it’s just working hard, reaching out to people, and doing as much work as you can on your own within whatever you want to get into. So for makeup, for instance, if that’s something you’re really into, maybe start working at a counter or somewhere like that. Then build your skills and make your phone calls, so you can start working with other people who are in the industry and make your good impressions,” Ande Yung expressed. “If you have a passion for something and a drive for something, people will be able to sense that and if you’re able to get your basic skills under your wing, you can start reaching out to people who are in the industry. They’ll see that passion and if you’re a right fit, people will take chances sometimes. So just going out there, sticking to your guns, and not giving up, even when doors might close, because there will be one door that opens. It’s like that general concept that you just keep going and that last step, when you’re ready to give up is gonna be the one that gets you there.”

“For hair, basically, you still kind of have to go to hairdressing school, cosmetology school, learn the basics and get your license. Then move forward to try to join the union or just doing commercial work and stuff like that, you don’t have to join the union, but learning is everything. Going to any kind of education you can get, learning off people, as I’ve been in the business for a very long time, and I learn every day from somebody new. So never close that door of learning and being creative,” Suzy Mazzarese-Allison shared.

Apple TV+

Jennifer Moeller said, “Something that’s specific for me to this project is that I think when you find those people in your life, for whom you have a creative connection, you need to hold onto those relationships because Alena, the showrunner for the show, and I met when we were in graduate school, many, many, many years ago. I just remember going to see her plays and thinking, ‘This is somebody who’s really doing something different and really interesting. I want to be a part of that, someday when something happens with it.’ So we maintain that friendship and that working relationship this whole time. So I think now we get to this– to where we start to do this. We’re really sort of on the same page. I understand what she is looking for and we’re having an amazing time. So I would say when you meet those special people, don’t let them go.”

“I think musically, the way that we were brought on to this was that, kind of what everyone said, to have your own voice, style, and things. You know, obviously, it’s a lot of work, putting a lot of work in. A lot of the industry, I don’t know if it’s just music, but for everything, it’s a lot of luck, but also a lot of hard work. I think for us, we were brought on because we made music separately; we make our own music as well. And I think that the folks at Apple saw that as an asset, that they knew that it was going to be a very music-heavy show and they just knew that they needed somebody that could write something that sounded like a song,” Drum & Lace explained. “So, the biggest advice is to just kind of, if one is trying to get into composing for film and TV, just make sure you have something to say with your music because there’s a thousand folks out there that know how to kind of sound like John Williams, but like no one wants to hire them, you know? People want to hire people that can do things that are different. Like everyone else in all of their departments here, everyone has a voice and a very, very big talent in what they do.”

Apple TV+

Watch Dickinson season 2 now on the Apple TV app with an Apple TV+ subscription.