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Coach Tales: Annemarie Gereis
From the shining lights of Hollywood to helping others' shine bright
We love nothing more than highlighting the work of incredible coaches from across the world, working in every possible industry.
We are thrilled to continue our Coach Tales series this year with a profile of Annemarie Gereis, one of Medoo’s earliest supporters. In this post we’ll look at what coaching looks like in an unexpected place, the entertainment industry.
Very few people’s careers start off like Annemarie’s. From the early days of her career as a Visual Effects artist, she worked on blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy, Agents of Shield, CSI, Power Rangers and many more!
From watching screenings at Steven Spielberg’s private theatre, rubbing shoulders with entertainment industry veterans to working in Government, Annemarie has had an incredibly rich career. She is now taking all of that experience and putting it towards coaching others on their creative lives in Film and TV.
Annemarie’s Coaching practice
Annemarie coaches people through transformational career moments within the context of the Visual Effects industry. Examples of this are coaching people through getting their first role in VFX, helping them navigate their next career move, or helping them level up their technical skills.
She’s found that a university education doesn’t give graduates all the skills they need to thrive in their careers. Critically important skills like collaboration, negotiation, creating a safe space to share ideas, conflict resolution, and boundary setting are not covered in university.
Unfortunately, this means that graduates often struggle when they enter the industry because these ‘soft‘ skills are what make or break your career in the long run, much more so than your technical skills. So Annemarie is filling this gap through her coaching. She is helping her coachees keep an open mind to trying new experiences, be strategic about the creative process, create organic connections, build communities, while also coaching them on their creative technical skills! We think this is incredible work.
Coaching in a creative industry
There is a commonly held belief within creative industries that getting into Film and TV is a pipe dream for most people. Annemarie wants to break this belief, because she doesn’t believe this is true. She believes that when people say this, it’s actually a reflection of their own beliefs, rather than a reflection of reality.
As coach, Annemarie helps her coachees understand that even well-intentioned advice shouldn’t be taken at face value, because advice is not a reflection of your potential. This doesn’t mean that it will be easy to break into or be successful in the industry: you will be tested many times, but the key is to try anyway.
So how does Annemarie help her coachees set themselves up for success in their creative careers?
1. Choose your community
Annemarie’s #1 piece of advice is to surround yourself with a community of people who are aligned with your values and goals. Not everyone needs to be people who work in the same field, however it is important that they have an abundance mindset.
Self-reflect and understand your core values first and then work towards finding or building a community of people who share those values.
She suggests being wary of input from people who have never attempted anything on their own, or are fearful and jaded. At the same time, watch out that you don’t end up creating an echo chamber. To avoid this, try and gather as many diverse perspectives as possible, before making up your own mind about what you want your life and career to look like.
2. Empower yourself
The second important piece of advice from Annemarie is to empower yourself. Empowering yourself means that you seek help where you need it. This starts with understanding your desires and what excites you, identifying where the gaps in your knowledge are, and then filling those gaps. Educate yourself of the risks involved with trying something new; but try the things you want to do! It’s better to try something and learn from it, rather than not try at all.
For example, Annemarie works with a business coach and marketing coach who are from outside of VFX to help her build business and marketing skills. This is super helpful because they are domain experts in their areas, and these skills are rare within the VFX community.
For anyone who is on a career journey Annemarie has two pieces of advice.
Learn to enjoy the process and the journey rather than be impatient for outcomes. Great outcomes emerge through the process, and enjoying it.
Being successful is not luck, it's about being intentional. Understand your motivators, self-reflect and set intentional goals for your creative journey.
At Medoo, we build intelligent coaching software that powers prized aha! moments, helping coaches increase your coachee retention, engagement and throughput.