Talent scout Elsubie Verlinden shares her top 10 tips on how to make it in the entertainment industry


Director of 33 and Me Talent Agency, Elsubie Verlinden, eats, sleeps, and breathes entertainment. She has spent most of her adult life assisting and inspiring young singers, dancers, actors and models to achieve their dreams.

Elsubie started modeling when she was just 12-years-old. When told that she was too short to become a runway model, she went on to build a sustainable acting career. Her credentials span some of SA’s biggest film and television productions, including Mr Bones 2 alongside Leon Schuster, Binnelanders, Egoli, Scandal, 2 Hallmark Series features called ‘Wild at Heart’ and so much more.

Despite her success, Elsubie soon realized that her true passion was to help others realize their dreams and to help them achieve their full potential. Her agency has booked over 1500 TV commercials locally and internationally, followed by booking brands for Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Dolce and Gabanna and more.

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Elsubie Verlinden shares ten tips on how to build a sustainable career in the entertainment industry.

1. Research. When presented with an opportunity, always do your research. Research the institution or company and find out exactly what it is they are looking for.

2. Preparation. Always invest time into your craft daily. Do your best to always grow your skills and expertise in the field of passion.

3. Kindness. Be someone of character that always treats everyone with kindness. You never know where and how life changes and the person you mistreat on set today might be the one that will hire you in the future. The industry is small; never treat people based on their titles. Treat each person with equal value and kindness.

4. Consistency and awareness. Never let your guard down. Know that there is always someone watching. Be professional and on point at all times.

5. Your brand is your business. Establish who you are and what you stand for, both professionally and personally and combine those two to become one. This way people, clients, your colleagues and fans can get to know the real you and this way you avoid disappointing people in the future. Allow your character to grow with you through each season and never fake perfection. Always arrive knowing ‘Your Brand Is Your Business,’ and dress it well.

6. Obtain skills through training. It is necessary to research your craft, do training and empower yourself as much as you can. If you are privileged enough to obtain a degree you will have a competitive advantage. Yet not each artist with a degree has a career. Passion, purpose, drive and determination takes you a lot further in the industry than just being educated. Training and understanding the craft you pursue as a career as a whole is extremely important to help you book work and move from being an inspiring artist/model to becoming a professional working artist/model.

7. Confidence has no competition. Never compare yourself to others. We are all uniquely created to fulfill our purpose. Trust the process and know that we are all running our own race and that you need to stay focused on your own lane. Your time, your breakthrough will come at the right time. Life is a journey, so don’t try skip steps. There is no short cut. With each step you learn and you will grow.

8. Surround yourself with people who motivate you and drive you. Don’t have people in your life that always just drink from your cup. Have a fair balance between those you uplift in life, and those who uplift you. I always say, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

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9. Your talent is a gift. A gift is given to someone and that gift must be shared. Know why you do what you do, and always lead by example. Let your gift leave a legacy everywhere you go. Be someone of value, substance and character. Strive wholeheartedly to be fashionable, always dress up, show up and know that your personality, posture and presence is what people feel and see first. First impressions last.

10. Know what you stand for and you won’t fall for everything the industry has to offer. Have a strong faith and belief system and know that you are gifted to bless others. Ego and fame are short lived. But character, faith and drive can take you far. Be bold, brave and fearless. No risk, no reward. Don’t let anyone’s opinion determine your destiny. Work hard and dream big, and you will become unstoppable!

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