246. She Turned a Hostile “What’s Your Problem?!” into a Video Career
As a 20-something Southern model in Manhattan, Janet Arneau practiced her “person-in-the-street” reporting in Times Square. With microphone in hand and a camera man in tow, she approached total strangers and asked them questions for unseen producers. Quickly, she learned the popular New York greeting: “WHAT’S YOUR PROBLEM?!”
Janet Arneau’s career in the entertainment business began at age 5 on the local Romper Room in Charleston, South Carolina. Her acting credits include appearing in 16 films, 40 theatrical productions and numerous television commercials and roles on hit TV programs such as the FX channels “RESCUE ME.” Experience in front of the camera has led Janet behind the camera as a creator and producer. She currently is producing a web-series she created titled ‘Roadkill Art,” about a self-made South Carolina taxidermist, hunter, meat processor and chef of wild game, living off the land in order to support his four children and wife, airing on YouTube and Vimeo.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
In fifth grade, Janet remembers a writing assignment in which each student could write about anything they wanted to write, then read it to the class. She wrote a whimsical, imaginary story about elephants, and it made her laugh so hard she could barely read it to her classmates. “The fact that I had this silliness inside of me so young—and even later in life—I knew I wanted to create crazy characters.” Today she has a slate of about 25 show proposals ready to go. She’ll often rotate one off the list and add a new one.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“Before I was ever producing and creating video content, I was a talent in my 20s, a commercial model with the Wilhelmina agency. In Manhattan, being Southern, I was often hired to do on-camera interviews with people in the street, asking various questions. Right away I noticed that when New Yorkers got angry, they would scream, ‘What’s your problem?!’ I thought that was just hysterical.” Then, on a day when she had been to 10 casting sessions, Janet thought, “I just can’t keep going on a zillion castings to get that one job out of the whole week.” It was at that point she and her camera man decided to make a pilot featuring herself asking people on the street, “What’s Your Problem?” and find an audience for it. It was a crucial turning point from her life as on-camera talent to a creator and producer.
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“If there’s something you really want to do, find a person whose skills and talent you like, watch them, read about them, delve into their mind, see how they started out. Look at how they got to where they are, not the end result. I like to observe comedians that write. So, of course, Ben Stiller and Will Farrell are amazing talents. They’re comedians, and they’re writing. So I like to watch what they’re doing and read their works, because I know I’m watching these genius minds at work. That’s what I recommend to focus your reading: research that person you’d like your career to follow, and go in that direction.”
Steps to Success from Janet Arneau
Study the careers of people you admire and would like to emulate. Write down your ideas, then do the research to flesh them out and see where they go. Protect your creative freedom by staying debt-free. Free up your money to invest it in your dream projects.
Connecting With Janet Arneau
Free Gift Offer: The first 17 to subscribe to her YouTube page, get a free t-shirt with the message: “What’s your problem, lover?” Send her an email (email@example.com) after you subscribe, and tell her you found her on Discover Your Talent–Do What You Love.
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