You’ve got to meet, listen to, work with, and hang out with people at the next level and you will get to the next level. No exceptions.
When I first started out I did background work like a lot of actors do. I spent my days on set counting the hours until lunch and reading magazines. Sometimes I’d be upset when getting called to the set. I was in the middle of something important…like a card game with another actor.
Yes, you read that correctly. I didn’t pay attention to the crew and learn their names, but I sure knew I’d like to be in the union and get the better food and more money. Oh yeah, and I thought that if I looked really sweet at the director he might give me a line. I was such a novice back then and I really needed someone to tell me what to do to have my career work out. Now I’m the one that does that for a living. Full circle, right? And that’s why I do this…to pass on what I’ve learned the hard way through lots and lots of experience so it doesn’t have to be as hard for you my friend. Read on please…
Actors who’ve created an enviable career have a knack for understanding how to make every experience a small step on the ladder to where they want to go. (Goal) They observe others, pay attention and they can undoubtedly share a lot of lessons they’ve learned along the way (many of which they probably learned the hard way too).
So here’s are a question to ask yourself if you intend to expand your network of influence by forming some new stellar relationships in service of the forward progress of your career:
1. How many casting directors know your work?
You know the old saying “It’s who you know” that will help you get ahead in this biz? It’s actually our tag line at Actors Connection. Well honestly, I think that’s only half true.
My take on it is “it’s who knows you”.
For every agent meeting you take, you will be asked, “How many casting directors know your work?” Before you interview, my recommendation is that you have at least a list of 10 or don’t go! And when you have an agent, they will want you to continue to grow your list on your own in addition to the auditions they send you on.
So how do you create a network of influential people like those top casting directors that know you, like your acting work and are in your court?
Let’s look at 5 ways to do just that:
- Mail or email your headshot and resume to the 20 top casting directors in your area of focus every quarter, without fail, letting them know that you’re available and what else is going on in your career. Ex. new class, skill acquired, call back or booking.
- Identify which CD’s you’d like to show your talent to in person and book a meeting with them at a casting director workshop establishment like Actors Connection in New York or Ace Studios in Los Angeles. If you’re not in either of those two cities, check for local opportunities or submit a reel for critique on ActorsInsite.com.
- Attend a networking party, brunch, assistant’s night, screening or other event where casting directors and other industry professionals will be in attendance. Introduce yourself as an actor and be interested in them and what they do before you offer a headshot and resume.
- Volunteer at or attend a charity event frequented by the entertainment community. Animal rescue and health awareness causes always draw actors, agents and casting directors alike. Do your research on your top picks to see what they stand for and if you get behind the same cause, you have commonality.
- Follow or friend them on Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Today casting directors use the web to offer advice, post auditions and offer feedback on many things hoping to help the actors they will meet someday in an audition room.
It’s time you understood that without a HUGE network of people that have you on their radar, the chances of having the BREAKTHROUGH, kick-butt, acting career of your dreams are pretty much dead in the water. Talent is not enough…people have to know you’re talented, like you, and have you be on their list in order for you to be able to act for a living. There are many people in the showbiz world who are ready and waiting for you to get connected and STAY connected. You never know which one of them will be key in your forward movement.
I’d love to hear some of your thoughts on meeting new people…how you do it, why you do it and most importantly, how you keep in touch!