Alright. This has to be said out loud. Most of you know it, some of you do it, but majority of you only have good intentions and never follow through.
I understand that it isn't always easy - you might have a full time job, or enough chores to keep Hercules himself busy for 12 days. Whatever the excuse is - it's just an excuse.
It is crucial to do basic research before any meeting, screening party, audition or a meetup. No matter what event you are going to, if it is in any way connected to the film industry, and you're connected to the film industry, take 5 minutes to find out more about it.
Imagine a scenario where everywhere you turn, everyone knows everyone, they even know you, but you know no one. There was an invitation list on the meetup page, or you could have checked the cast and crew on the project's IMDB page, but you didn't do it.
Now you're either asking people "Who's this? Who's that?" or you're sitting in the corner all by yourself because no one wants to play with you.
Don't mope, be prepared instead. This doesn't only apply to meeting new people. As an actor, you should prepare for a role. As a filmmaker, you may need to research the neighborhood you're about to shoot in. As a director you may want to find out more about the laws regarding shooting in public. It's different on a case by case basis, but we've been prepared for it our whole lives.
We went to school to learn how to learn. We went to college to show that we're capable of learning. We got our first job to show that we're getting ready for the big world around us, don't draw the line there.Do your research. Be prepared. Sometimes it's as simple as spending a few minutes in front of a screen just to get a basic idea or concept. You don't need to study an Almanac. Sometimes knowing enough not to offend anyone is plenty.