Boardwalk Empire creator and showrunner Terence ("Terry") Winter started his hustle with some letterhead, a phone line, and stark determination. Years later, and after a writer-producer gig on The Sopranos, his Boardwalk Empire is racking up big ratings for HBO and big awards for the cast and crew.
Agencies are the best starting place for anyone launching a Hollywood career… even if you don't want to be an agent. Many networks, studios, and producers won't even hire assistants who don't already have agency experience.
There's often a difference between what aspirants, even talented aspirants, WANT to be true… and what IS true. And when I smell bullshit, I call bullshit. And I am calling MAJOR BULLSHIT.