It’s true. Sorry to disappoint. But really, hear me out!
Now, I’m not talking about you have to be a waiter at night and audition all day or a dog walker in the day and perform at night and balance the two. (Although, you may have to do this unless you have had the fortunate luxury of marrying rich or winning the lottery and you desire to continue eating and so forth.) What I am talking about is treating yourself like a business.
This is so stupidly important.
You can read monologues all day long and imagine and aspire your brains out; but unless you are marketing yourself and continuously promoting no casting director or agent will ever know you exist! This past December I had the extreme fortune of sitting in on a marketing workshop with the accomplished and extremely business-savvy Abbie Cobb. Here are some of the incredibly helpful tips that I took away from her -
1. Your head shot must look like you. If you cannot easily recreate the look, don’t use it in your head shot. No heavy makeup; no ridiculous clothing. They want you not the glamour-shot dishonest version of you.
2. PROMOTE PROMOTE PROMOTE. I’m sure you know that you should be sending in your head shot and resume to agencies and casting companies and so on… but do something out of the ordinary! Do you have any idea how many generic darkish yellow (what even is that color?) envelopes agencies get stuffed with hopeful’s head shots and resumes a day? A lot. Like, a crap-ton. More than a crap-ton. (I don’t in fact know the exact scientific measurement for a crap ton, but let’s pretend it’s very large) You have to make yours stand out before they open it. How is that even possible? Buy a crazy colored envelope! Put something in it! If I was an agent and I saw a bright green envelope amongst the masses and when I shook it there was obviously something in it - that’s definitely the one I would open! So many head shots and resumes don’t ever get seen by the agents they are sent to because the agents simply didn’t have time to get to them all and they didn’t stand out enough.
3. Keep In Touch. If you make a connection with an agent or a casting company or a director, keep in touch! Don’t let them forget you! Now, I’m not saying to turn into a creeper - no stalking, don’t email them and share with them that you just had the most fantastic breakfast burrito - that will work against you. But if you book another project, send them a post card inviting them to the performance or telling them where they can watch your short film/web series and ect. Connections in this business are SO important!
I could go on and on, really - and I will write more on this subject later on. But in the meantime - check out Abbie Cobb’s book.It’s a quick and useful read, geared more towards the LA Actor but chocked full of smart tidbits for anyone trying to break into the biz anywhere. It’s called “Stuck on a Ferris Wheel.”Do it.
As always, any questions and comments are welcome. My ask box is open!