So many artists graduate from college, degree in hand, and then find out that the jobs aren't as easy to get as your favorite teacher lead your ego to believe. Getting someone from your dream studio to talk to you, much less get an interview is near impossible. No one's hiring!
You're EXACTLY right. The job world is totally different these days - going 'old school' and waiting for an opening doesn't work anymore. You've got to get in front of the right people, and convince them they need you - whether there's an opening or not!Now, I don't mean going in there and acting like a jerk - but if you have talent and experience that's over and above the norm, they're just shooting themselves in the foot by not hiring you! Sometimes, just having a warm, charismatic, friendly attitude goes a long way. But, when it comes down to it - the squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you're REALLY serious about working for a specific studio, you've got to get a little unconventional in your approach. Regular, friendly, and consistent contact will wear down even the thickest walls. Keep drawing and creating your own projects and posting them online, sharing the link with your contacts in the studio (don't keep sending things to HR! branch out to the production manager, the creative manager, the animation department head, etc.). Create a blog that explains tips and tricks of animation production, and share those links with the studio members as well. After a few months of regular follow up, start pushing to set up a informal meet and greet - say, 'I'll be there on Thursday at 2:00, would really like to stop by and say hello!' Don't leave it open ended, make them say 'no' or 'yes'. It may take a while to get the meeting, but keep at it. Gently, politely, respectfully. Eventually, you'll get something, either a meeting, or a restraining order! (jk) The point is to be unconventional - and don't wait for someone to 'allow' you to animate. Just DO it, and let them come to YOU!