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Scroll down this page for articles, videos, advice and other interesting tidbits about the craft. This month, I’m bringing back a gem from October 2012.
What stories do you tell better than others? What stories are in your DNA? In between jobs, [your] job is to find the people in town who tell the same stores that [you] do and build relationships with them.
– Blair Hickey – Co-Founder, CastingAbout
Introductions: Impressions are made in less than 30 seconds.
Practice your introductions with friends, so they are sincere and friendly even if you become nervous. If you’ve just met someone at a panel, audition or workshop integrate “thank you” into your introduction.
Tell your story when you introduce yourself in the order of present, past, then future. 1) Who you are now, 2) Prior to that, 3) what you are working in the near future that the person you’re speaking with may be interested in or even help you with.
Do your homework; know who you’re going to meet. What are they working on? Try to know the current industry news about them and/or their company. Memorize the names of the people who are likely to be in the room with you.
Building Relationships: A career-long process
You don’t need to know everyone in town. Contact producers/directors/casting directors whose work you admire – target them gently/unobtrusively to build a long-term relationship. Cultivate strong relationships with a few. If you meet them at a panel, workshop, or audition be sure to thank them for their time.
Build your target list. Keep track of what they’re doing and look for ways that you can help them. Follow up with personal notes or personalized postcards. Tell them what you’re up to, but also keep track of what they’re doing. Congratulate them on achievements and upcoming projects.
Booking is much easier with people you already know and have worked with. Have a gang of industry people who you support and support you in return. Help your friends and have a positive public persona. A positive/giving reputation will lead to more opportunities for people to trust you and the way you share ideas.
Support IndieGoGo/Kickstarter projects of people you respect. Even if you can’t donate to their project, share their project with others, so you can mutually build your networks.
Building Content: Empowerment of technology
You don’t need permission to create; build your own content. Consider showcasing it online to garner a following. Come to new projects with a built-in audience that already supports your work and will likely support your next big thing.
If you put yourself on camera for an audition be sure to move the reader farther behind the camera, so your volume and the reader’s volume are equal. When you put yourself on camera, make sure you’re lit well and the sound is good.
Create a Pitch Video when you’re unable to get into the audition room for a role you are perfect for. Identify two to three exemplar scenes that you identify with or most relate to playing. Be sure it’s well shot, well lit, and you have a good reader.
Tell Your Story: What stories are in your DNA?
What stories do you tell better than others? Build relationships with other people in town who tell the same stories you do.
We’re all freelance storytellers including producers, casting directors, directors, and actors. Go into the room knowing your story and how you would tell it. Leave it in the room. If they want to tell your story the same way, you’ll work well together. If not, you’ll have other chances to work together on a story you both want to tell.
Focusing on your career this way will reduce your need to worry about your brand/casting. The more you work, the more you’ll narrow down the stories you want to tell and your brand/casting will become apparent.
Marketing Tools Actors Should Have
Business Card: Include your name, cell, and email (no home address) in legible font and text size.
Reel on casting sites and Vimeo/YouTube as a Speed Reel (up to 1 min) or individual clips
Website: Can be just one splash page/homepage with photo, bio, body of work, reel/clips and links to your other sites like IMDb, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Facebook: Either keep personal posts private and post professional items publicly or create a brand page separate from your personal page. Include link to website in profile.
Twitter: other people can tag you & you can follow industry professionals. Include link to website in profile.
Review the winners of the LA Weekly Web Awards 2012 to see examples of successful Online/Social Media content.
Optional Tools Actors are Encouraged to Utilize
CastingAbout has up-to-date mailing addresses for casting directors, associates & assistants. They include notes for upcoming, current and past projects.
IMDb Pro tracks production details regarding upcoming, current and past film and television projects. It also allows you to personalize your IMDb page by adding photos and your demo reel.
Klout tracks your social media interactions and scores them by how often your interactions influence action in others.
Have demo or clips on the Actors Access casting site. Your listing will go up first, and some CDs will not cast off photo alone; they prefer video if they don’t already know you.
ActingLink, a branch of Actors Access, is a self-taped virtual showcase of scenes and monologues that can only invited industry professionals can search
Traditional Marketing Tenants that can apply to Acting
Four Ps of Marketing: 1. Product = Actor
2. Pricing = Negotiated rate; Scale +
3. Promotion/Presentation = Website, Facebook, Business Card, Pitch Video
4. Placement = Casting/Brand/Type/Image
The Rule of Seven: It takes 7 impressions of a brand before people are ready to make a purchase decision.
Soft Sell: Don’t aggressively ask for something. Instead, build long-term relationships that will allow you to work together to achieve mutual goals.