Does Your Resume Reveal Your Age?

In my previous blog posts on the subject of your resume I hope I’ve convinced you that this document is NOT a list of everything you’ve ever done in your life as an actor, but a road map or “vetting” doc of determining whether you’ll get an audition, meeting or other appointment.  It’s only job is to get you in the door.

The reader of your resume is a human being (for now – watch out for AI in the future) and has their own set of “glasses” or perspective they are reading with/through.  That being said, without actually having a number, or even range of numbers, printed on that doc, the format and contents of your resume say a lot about your age.

Age discrimination is a fact of life in today’s everyday job market and there are numerous articles in the trades that confirm it in our business of show too.  This goes both ways for the young and just starting out, and the older professional, been in the game for years, actor.

Home Address

For many years, we sent our resume and cover letter through the mail.  Even then we knew not to put our home address on the top, however many did. Fact is, there has never been a need to put your home address on the resume.  It often excludes actors who live a distance away from the “action” and also shows that you’re either very young and green or older and out of touch.  Thank goodness there’s no field for this in online profiles.

There are other reasons not to include your home address:

  • Economic profiling
  • Length of commute (especially in LA)
  • Personal safety

If anyone needs your home mailing address, they can ask for it.

E-Mail Address

One sure sign that you are over 50 is to have a e-mail address, or even an e-mail address from your cable provider like on your resume.  Yes, I confessed in a previous post that I still have an address, but it pulls into my @gmail account and is only used for log-ins and other personal matters.  For those just out of school, the same thing applies for your address.

Either sign up for a gmail address or get your own domain, i.e.

Your email address says something about your professional brand.  I see too many “cutesie” email addresses that don’t “ring” professional actor out there or long, complicated, hard to remember/read/spell addresses unrelated to YOUR NAME.  If possible I recommend using a separate e-mail address for your acting related business.

Home Phone Number

Who under a “certain age” still has a home phone? I ditched my home phone about 10 years ago, and I am a bit older than you may think! If you still have a home phone and do not want to give out your cell phone number, get a Google Voice number. Put it on your resume as your cell number. You can set it up so that it will ring on multiple phones (both home and cell). It can be configured to transcribe the message, and then e-mail and text you the transcription. Sometimes the speech to text function of the transcriptions can be really funny. When I was at the agency, I had a separate Google Voice number and one actor left me a message and her name was transcribed as stressed out waters.

Double Space After Period

I am going to go out a limb and declare that putting two spaces after a period is obsolete. It is how most of us were taught to type on a typewriter like I was in the 7th grade!  I’m super grateful for that education and definitely still guilty of the automaticity of two spaces but am working on it. This shows up mainly on the web where formatting in blog posts like this one and other forms and profiles have certain templates making two spaces after the period have it look “off”.  Therefore, most of us who do this are over 50 years of age.

Special Skills

Limit the skills you list on your resume to current and relevant skills. I have seen many actor resumes that list every sport they’ve every played but would no longer get cast doing. This also applies to the younger actor listing what “older” actors would be doing or tasks they’d be performing.  Anything regarding technology systems, like “proficient in MS-DOS” is obsolete.  By the way, putting any skill on your resume that anyone can be filmed as if they are doing it (working at a computer, painting, cooking) is not needed in the first place.  That’s the magic of the movies!

Look at your resume—what does it say about your age? Show it to others and ask them what it says about you.  And please forgive any and all double spacing after the periods!

I welcome, as usual, any and all comments below…

5 Reasons Networking Isn’t Working for You


You hear and read repeatedly that networking is one of the best ways to grow your acting business not only from me but, well, everyone! It’s true and I have created many such networking opportunities/events over the years for actors to practice this essential skill.

However, sometimes even when you try, the time you spend on it doesn’t lead anywhere. Makes you wonder if everyone is lying (not me, of course!) or you’re doing something terribly wrong (hummm?). Networking IS a great way to grow your show BUSINESS, if you do it right. In my last post I gave out my top 10 tips on proper networking. So check out some reasons why what you’ve been doing may not be working for you, so you can make a change that will likely make a big difference.

You Don’t Talk to Enough People

Networking events are about meeting as many people as possible. I’ve often said to go with a number in mind.  How many people will you meet as your goal? You shouldn’t stay with one person too long because that will take away the time you have to meet other people that could lead to great opportunities. Make a connection, hand a business card to the person or collect their contact info, and then move on to the next person.  Don’t stay in a conversation with your friends instead of meeting the new folks you came to meet.

You’re Talking Too Much About Yourself

This is big one and I’ve seen way to many actors make this mistake. There’s a unique exchange of information that happens at networking events. The key is to LISTEN more than you SPEAK. This is how people find out if they can help each other. When you focus on yourself too much, you won’t be able to help people because you won’t know anything about them. By helping people I mean being the solution to their problem…a role that needs to be cast or an agent looking for new clients.  Sometimes it’s a fellow actor looking for a great acting teacher. The more you help, the more people want to help you.

You Don’t Do Your Research Before an Event

I usually put out a “scheduled to appear” list for my events. Why? So you can do your research!  Many actors who don’t find the Research ladyvalue in networking will say that they never meet anyone who is worth pursuing after an event. This is probably true because they didn’t do adequate research either before or after meeting people. You must find networking events that cater to the audience that you’re part of. If you’re also a writer, go to writing networking events.  Want to produce a film? There are a ton of filmmaker events.  And if you’re an actor, go to them all, but beware of ones that promise HUGE industry professionals as guests, without an entrance fee, free food and booze.  In a world where everything costs something, I smell a rat.  Get referrals and attend trusted events with good reputations.

You Don’t Reach Out After the Event

This is my biggest pet peeve. Just going to a networking event isn’t enough to grow your business as an actor. Showing up is one thing but following up is the key to the Kingdom. You need to make contact with people afterwards. This is your chance to get to know your contacts much better, and figure out how you can work together.  Staying connected is essential.  You might not work together for years, but if you have been building rapport with folks you met via networking, over time it’s amazing how much fruit your biz will bear.

You Don’t Go to Enough of Them

Going to one networking event won’t boost your business to the level you want it to be at. I used to run my parties monthly until I became bi-coastal and now run them only as special events when time permits.  Don’t wait for my party to come back to your neck of the woods (currently NY and LA). Those successful at using networking to grow their acting business will attend a few events a month.  They are much more common now then when I started producing them over a decade ago. The more you go to, the more opportunities are available. Before you say that networking isn’t working for you, make sure you are going to enough of them to make that judgment.

It’s time to make some changes in how you approach networking. Get out there, meet as many people as possible, help them, research the events you go to, reach out to people afterwards, and keep going to events until you start to see results. It can seem like a lot of work, but believe me, it’s worth it!

Let me hear from you in the comments section below about any results, relationships and other magical manifestations you’ve created from growing your network!

Lisa’s Top Ten Networking Tips

Networking-Know-How-300x2251.  Be Prepared –  Great networking begins with great preparation. Bring your business cards, flyers, postcards for shows, etc. and have your “30 second elevator speech” about what you offer (instead of what you want) as an actor prepared.

2.  Arrive Early – Arriving early allows you to relax and focus on learning about the people in the room.  Calmly gather your thoughts and concentrate on your intentions so that your time spent networking will be of benefit to you and your goals.  First impressions count and showing up late isn’t a great way to start things off.

3.  Have a plan – Always have in mind your goal for each event you attend.  Know before going what your intended outcome is that you want both for yourself and the people you meet.  Do you want to meet 10 people and then choose 3 to focus on and get to know well?  Are you looking for an introduction to a certain person in particular?  Are you looking for information or connections that will get you that information?  When you have a plan, its easier to stay focused and achieve your expected outcome.  A plan also allows you to be generous with your knowledge and connections and help others that you meet.

4.  Be a Giver and/or Connector.  When you focus on “giving” and being helpful to others, the “getting” will come later…and it will come in magical and unexpected ways.  No one likes a “taker” mentality.  When you are generous with information, introductions, and resources people will notice and respect you for your kind nature.  We love to work and do business with people we know, like and trust.  Act like the host of the event by connecting and introducing other people you meet to each other.  This simple act allows you to focus on others and grows your social capital in the room.

5.  Leave Your Troubles Behind.  Put on a happy face at the door and remind yourself that it is “SHOW TIME”.  Just like the curtain going up or the director shouting “action”, this is your time to sparkle and shine.  People will look forward to seeing you and meeting you if you are energetic, positive and outgoing.  Be a person that others will like.  Don’t bore people or burden them with your problems or dislikes.  Everyone has enough of their own and trust me on this, they don’t need or want to hear about yours.

6.  Listen with Focus.  When someone is speaking with you, give that person your entire focus and attention.  LISTEN and really hear what the other person is saying.  Keep your eyes and ears tuned into what they are saying instead of the “self-talk” inside your mind that you’re about to say when it’s your turn to speak.  The greatest gift that you can give to another person is to truly hear what they are saying.  You’ve heard this before but it bears repeating…”you have one mouth and two ears so listen twice as much as you talk.”  If you do this, you’ll be the most memorable and liked person in the room!

7.  Be Genuine.  Sounds obvious but even though you’re “on” you still need to be authentic.  This is directly related to building trust so that folks are comfortable in their decision to work with you, refer you, etc.  There is a big difference between being interested and trying to be interesting.  Being interested in learning about someone else and their career simply for the sake of learning about them, instead of how it benefits you, will leave a lasting GOOD impression.  It’s energetic.  Conversely, if you are interested only for what you think they can do for you, you’ve slipped into the category of “creepy” and people can feel that a mile away.

8.  Teach/Don’t Sell.  Even though you are ultimately a salesman of your own “acting services”, immediately launching into what you do and what you want isn’t powerful and shouldn’t be a goal.  Proper networking is about building relationships with people who will be happy to connect you to others who may need what you offer.  I like this phrase and keep it in my mind at events – “First YOU, then ME”.  By the way, every person you meet is NOT a potential someone who can help you directly but IS a person that can create a path to others who can.  Word of mouth is the best kind of “advertising” and definitely the best in our business.  A referral is GOLD, pun intended.  When speaking, be really clear on your focus and goals as an actor but don’t be pushy or insistent on ANYTHING.  Allow and receive, instead of force and press.  Your listener may turn into your best ally and your reach will become expanded far wider than simply the person directly in front of you.

9.  Follow up.  Many of the people you meet at a networking event will require no follow up, but for those that you have identified as either a great direct contact or someone who will lead you to someone else down the line, you’ll want to stay in touch.  In your follow up message, you’ll Watering peoplewant to mention something from your conversation that will be a memory jog for them.  Remember you, and they, probably met a ton of new people and keeping them all straight isn’t easy.   The timing should be fairly short between your meeting and the receipt of your follow up as more people, circumstances and content will have filled their senses.  Clearing through the clutter of it all will be easier the more timely your follow up.  Email or hard copy, the point is how you can help THEM.  You’ll really stand out by offering a piece of info, a referral or connecting them with something they need instead of asking for what you want.  Remember, the point of networking is building rapport and ON-GOING relationship.

10.  Follow up Some More!  Remember statistics say it takes anywhere between 8 and 15 “exposures” to something before a person makes a decision on something.  That’s buying a brand of toilet paper, choosing a restaurant, or in this case, calling you in for an audition, meeting or referring you to someone else in the biz.  If you’ve met someone at a networking event and done your immediate follow up (that’s two exposures!), you’ll want to keep track of them in a database of some kind to stay in contact over time.  It’s more likely you’ll have at least an average of 10 more times that you will need to be in contact with someone before a “result” is produced.  Networking isn’t an audition.  It’s an opportunity to plant the seeds of relationship and watch your garden grow!  Building strong relationships takes continued effort and doing so will ultimately be the basis of a long-lasting and viable career.


I’d love to hear about any stories you can share with the community about your own networking breakthroughs (or breakdowns) so we can learn from your experience. Please comment below!

25 Questions. Your Answers May Be A Surprise.

qaWould you like to know a little more about who you are and what you truly believe? Well here’s a simple test that only
takes about 2 minutes. Just answer yes or no to each of the 25 “Do You Believe” questions. Your answers may surprise you!
1.      Do you believe that attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference?
2.      Do you believe that we miss 100% of the shots we don’t take?
3.      Do you believe that our aspirations are our possibilities?
4.      Do you believe that projects don’t succeed…people do?
5.      Do you believe that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give?
6.    Do you believe that those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves?
7.      Do you believe that many times… less can be more?
8.      Do you believe that in the middle of every difficulty comes opportunity?
9.     Do you believe that you’re always one choice away from changing your life?
10.   Do you believe that when you’ve done your best you can wait for the results in peace?
11.    Do you believe that sometimes in the winds of change we can find our true direction?
12.     Do you believe that laughter is sunshine in any life?
13.     Do you believe that the most important things in life aren’t things?
14.    Do you believe that a leader’s job is to look into the future and see things not as they are, but… as they can be?
15.   Do you believe if you throw your heart over the fence, the rest will follow?
16.   Do you believe that customer service is not a department… it’s an attitude?
17.     Do you believe that the price of leadership is responsibility?
18.     Do you believe if you change your thoughts you can change the world?
19.     Do you believe you can burn brightly without burning out?
20.    Do you believe that the greatest principal in the world is… the things that get rewarded and appreciated get done?
21.    Do you believe that after the verb to love… to help is the most beautiful verb in the world?
22.    Do you believe that whether you think you can, or you can’t… you’re right?
23.     Do you believe that gratitude can change your life?
24.    Do you believe that its not the things you get but the hearts you touch that will determine your success in life?
25.    Do you believe that if you teach your child the Golden Rule, you will have left an estate of incalculable value?

Your answers to these questions will help you determine what you truly believe. For me the answer to each of these questions is… YES. I believe it! My mission is to inspire people who share these beliefs, particularly creative artists.

As the founder of Act Outside the Box, I’ve created over twenty-five seminars/products/courses illustrating these beliefs. The content is about what you need to know about your acting career – the logistics.  The context is what you believe and how to persevere in a very lop-sided business arena.

This Q&A test was derived from my friends at – repurposed for our community.  Please feel free to share YOUR beliefs in the comment box below!

Are You Interested or Are You Committed?

“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when time and circumstance permits. When you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses; you take inspired action, and create miraculous results!”  ― Art Turock

This is one of my favorite quotes because there are too many “interested” actors in our business.  The kind of actor I can make the biggest impact with is possibly reading this message right now. “Committed” actors find a way over, through, or around any obstacle.  (Time and money being the two most prominent in our field, with overwhelm a close third.)

So which one are you?  Read this post all the way to the end and take ACTion, or you will, by default, be in the “interested” category…see ya.

It’s my up close, personal experience of working with so many actors over close to two decades now, that I’ve unfortunately seen way too many folks simply not show up, chase the next “shiny object” and stay stuck in a holding pattern doing the same things over and over again. I think this is a product of interest and not commitment.

So I ask you to take a really deep look.  Are you COMMITTED to an extraordinary career?  

Here’s a little to do that if you actually do it, will help you get what you want for your creative life much faster!  Go back and read, all the way through to the end, my last 3 blog posts regarding your resume.  Then make all of the suggested changes to your online casting profiles and hard copy versions.  

Give your new marketing piece a chance out there in the world, track your new and improved results, and get back to me in the comments. Here are the titles with direct links…I really can’t make it any easier for you than this…  

So COMMITTED actor, get into ACTion!

  1. Your Roadmap to Your Success
  2. Rescue Your Resume
  3. What’s In A Name?

Even before you take on this task, give me a taste of what’s to come.  How do you feel about actually doing this and reporting back?  Inspired? Resistant? Feeling empowered or thinking too much about it all? Comments please and thanks!

What’s In A Name? Should It Be On Your Resume?

Let’s dive a little deeper into the psychology of your resume and the effect of names, or in fact the words in general, that you put on it.

Of course your name should be on it…big and bold and at the top of a hard copy or PDF version along with your contact info.  Your online profiles place your name prominently by default. But what about names of directors, teachers, or even stars that you’ve worked with?  Should they go on there too?

In a word YES, but ONLY if they are just as, if not more, recognizable as yours and give influential meaning to the reader of your resume.  I’ve seen in the last few years the trend of adding a 4th column or replacing a production or theater company with a director’s name.  Why?  Because someone told you to or because everyone is doing it?

That’s called the blind leading the blind.  Mass mentality.  Not knowing how to market yourself correctly.

Why would you put student director, Joe Blow, on your resume?  Wouldn’t Columbia Film School or USC Grad Film seem a better visual and psychological connection for an agent or casting director to view and evaluate you on rather than an unknown person that has no meaning to them?  Industry professionals appreciate work done at the University level and of course these schools have a credibility and history so it explains more about YOU to see the recognizable school names…so take Joe Blow off.

What about Steven Spielberg?  Do not put his name there unless you had a speaking role in a recent feature and were actually directed by him.  The industry can certainly tell based on your union status and other credits if you were a background actor and putting Steven’s name on your resume now doesn’t enhance your status it hurts it.

In fact, agents and casting directors connect more to production companies and theater companies/producers because of their (most likely) multiple and prominent projects over years.  The more well known the name of the person, company, network or school is, the better for you!

The same thing applies for stars.  If you worked with them in a speaking role but the play, webisode, indie film, or other work title isn’t well known, putting the star’s name raises the visibility of the project, and you by association.

How about those teachers?  Absolutely…and it’s even better if those teachers are known and respected by the industry.  Take this into consideration the next time you’re looking for a great class and skill set to add.  Your talent agent (or perspective rep) would certainly like to see an audition technique class taught by a working casting director as that then becomes a connection for them to leverage in a submission for you on their next project.

And if you want to get to the nitty gritty of the psychology of words in general, consider the example of an email address these days. You know immediately that anyone using one is over 40! (Yes, I still have one!)  It’s all about the immediate and automatic psychological connection we make between the words we view and our thoughts about them.

The names of the characters or kinds of roles you played can have a great impact.  For example, if your brand and product is an innocent/ingenue and you played a character named Gladys, that’s a disconnect, as we stereotypically think of Gladys being an older person’s name.

If you’re a leader type and you’re carving this perception with the credits on your resume, seeing the words (roles) Lawyer, Politician, Judge will have the reader of your resume understand this.  This does help in the beginning of your career when you have background credits or non-speaking roles in projects.

This is not to say you will be making things up that aren’t true on your resume, it’s saying that you can position your credits, take things off that don’t belong, and have complete creative control over the perception and product you’re selling.

There’s a ton of marketing psychology in play when industry professionals are reading your resume and looking for that “gut check” (at a glance most of the time) so the more you know about proper placement of words and name value, the better odds you’ll have of getting in the door to show your stuff.  After all, your resume is the tool that, along with the picture(s) that they see first, will get you that audition or not.

Have any comments or stories to tell?  I’d love to hear from some of you that I’ve worked with and hear about the adjustments we made on your resume and how they’ve impacted your audition rate.

Rescue Your Resume – Before It’s Too Late

Rescued from what you ask? A HUGE and most common mistake! Thinking that your acting resume is nothing more than a compilation of all of your previous work is folly. Why? Because that’s not how casting directors, agents, or anyone else in the industry view it.

Yeah, I thought I might get a “huuuhhhhh?” on that one.  Your resume is a living, breathing document that, at a glance, needs to tell agents, managers, casting directors and ultimately the creative team that will be hiring you, exactly what you’re capable of…now or in the immediate future!

Getting the right info on exactly how to position yourself for the roles you want can be tricky, but there is a strategy and system that works.  The first step is to change your thinking. You need to look at your resume from the reader’s point of view and realize it is simply the marketing tool that gets you in more doors, garners more auditions, and identifies what you uniquely have to offer.

Every resume will be different of course so you’re going to have already done the work of determining what you are “selling”.  Your resume (along with your headshots and media clips) are simply the “brochure” that gives the industry professional you want to attract, the “first look” to determine whether they want to “taste” (audition) the real thing in person.

Your talent agent knows that this is the same tool, the one you’ve created, that they will be using as well.  The casting directors they submit to are looking for first and foremost a few things to connect to and you’ll need to make these easy for them to find.

Psychologically the resume is a “mind map” – images for the reader that identify the roles you’re right for but haven’t played yet.  Remember, they are looking to see if you’re a match to the future role and looking for evidence that you’ve done something similar or have the training and “industry proof” via other people that have hired you in the past.  Everyone out there is reducing risk, valuing time, and need exactly what they need when they need it.

Your resume has to give them this info fast, clearly, and also create a big gut reaction that says “YES”.  Because if it isn’t a “hell yes”, it’s a “hell no”!

Here are a few tips for you to apply to your resume today that will help you immensely:

  • Do keep a separate electronic version 40K or less in a Word or PDF doc ONLY
  • Do put your NAME in file title extension
  • Do keep it easy to read, 3 columns, not 4 – forget those directors no one has ever heard of
  • Do put degrees earned even if not in theater studies
  • Do make sure it’s only 1 page, fits 8X10 should they choose to print it out


  • Don’t reference any years or dates EVER
  • Don’t put credits no longer valid (like Matlock or Annie when you were 10)
  • Don’t put non-special skills (you must do this better than 90% of others)
  • Don’t put your address on your resume
  • Don’t use funky or fancy fonts to stand out

Though we typically submit for representation and work through online casting sites, for now you’ll still need the old fashioned printable version that you can also email separately.  Make sure these have the same credits and are consistent.  Though some platforms limit you to the actual structure, try to keep the experience, people, and training the same.  You may want to move credits of your focus to the top to make them easier to find quickly.  The example here would be to put commercial credits at the top of the resume on LA Casting, though you may only put “list upon request” on the pdf version.

I’m sure I’m ruffling a few feathers here and may even illicit some contrary comments, but would love to hear your thoughts.  I can tell you that actors who have employed some of these simple changes have seen fabulous results!

Your Roadmap to Success – Your Resume

It seems like it should be much easier to convey your artistry and skills as an actor than through the process of submitting a picture and resume online among hundreds, if not thousands, to even GET THE CHANCE to show what you’ve got in person to get work.  A lot has changed with technology and the primary use of the internet as a vetting process before you can show off that great talent of yours.

It used to be that your credits were confined to one single 8×10 piece of paper attached to your headshot (electronically or hard copy no matter), but even with online casting profiles being prevalent, no matter the format or delivery system, exactly what and how much to put on your resume is a topic of consternation, frustration and/or mystery.

So how do you inform the reader of your resume “at a glance” (’cause that’s what it’s gonna get at best in the rush of this biz) that you are the RIGHT ACTOR for the job?  Or, if wanting representation, what is your future talent agent or manager looking for (again quickly) that speaks clearly, concisely, and most importantly stands out and shows you off as as potential income producing possibility?

Most actors have been taught to list everything they’ve ever done on their resume…especially when just starting out. Then, when there are many credits to choose from, you can start eliminating some of them…but which ones?

I have news for you.  “They” are wrong.  When  looking for a guide, consider your resume to be road map.  Do you take out a map to see where you’ve been? (OK, there’s a few in every crowd!)  Or do you take out a map to see where you’re going?

The first thing to consider is that your resume is the road map to your success.  What kind of success?  YOU get to say, and that’s the beauty of  it.  Instead of putting every darned thing on it that you think someone might possibly be interested in, who needs an actor for any given project of any and every kind, what are the projects that you want to be in?

How about being the designer of your future success, and creating the resume that reflects that instead of confusing the reader of your resume.  They are always  looking for a specific kind of actor for a specific role or addition to their talent stable.  Honestly, you can’t be all things to all people as you’ll end up being nothing to no one.

The first step is to cut out all of the things you’ve ever done that don’t reflect what you can currently do (get cast in).  Take off all of those roles that no longer support your “brand” or archetype you’re most likely going to be paid to play.  You do like that word paid don’t you?

In show BUSINESS, your talent (the product) is purchased to fulfill a need (acting role) and this is not a one size fits all business.  What “size” are you?  You can’t be all of them (though your acting teacher told you you could – and that’s your problem!)

Figure that out first – what you have defined as the type/product you’re going to market and then your resume (brochure) reflects that!  Actors that do take the time and lay that groundwork initially make far greater strides faster than those who continue to insist on the ability to “be and do” anything.

What’s you’re take on the subject?  Still have point 8 type on your resume so you can fit it all on a page?  Still listing unknown directors?  Still have the starring role of Annie on your resume but you’re 28?  Stay tuned for more info in coming posts about everything that should and should not be on your RESUME!  Love your comments below as per usual!

The 5 Traits You Need To Succeed Financially as an Actor

Hard_WorkAre you still (or constantly) struggling to stay afloat? Could you use all the help you can get to build your financial foundation?  Are you practicing a starving artist mentality or an abundant artist mentality?  Read these integral traits you must have to be successful within your actor economy.  You may not possess all of the above traits just yet, but knowing them can help you make changes so that you nourish the ones that you have and go after the ones you’re missing.

1. Hard AND  Smart (not VS)

Creating financial abundance and staying out of debt rarely comes about without a lot of hard work.

Many actors might hope that winning the lottery will solve all their financial problems and/or winning the “big break” lottery of being a poor unknown actor one day and the next day starring in a TV series (MYTH).

The true path to financial freedom is to work hard to earn money, while constantly and consistently educating yourself to continue to have more value in the industry which will increase your salary.  This is a gradual process that you can easily accomplish with the right knowledge and tools.  Being smart AND working hard is what will get you off that “rat on a wheel” cycle of making money and then being broke (again, always…)

2. Goal-Oriented

I’ve said it so many times and I’ll say it again until you hear it to the bottom of your soul – most actors don’t plan to fail in this Goal Settingbiz…most actors fail to plan!  The importance of setting and working toward goals is obvious. If you don’t know where you are going, it’s difficult to get there.

This is just as important when it comes to your financial goals. If you have money goals and are motivated to reach the goals that you have set for yourself, it will naturally translate to your wallet in immense and immediate ways.

Those actors who lack financial goals and just declare “I just want to work; it doesn’t matter how much I get paid as long as I get paid” don’t have a road map to take them to the financial destination they want.

3. Risk-Taking

To build not only a solid financial foundation, but real wealth, one needs to be willing to take risks. This doesn’t mean un-calculated, uneducated risks. It means weighing all the options and taking risks when appropriate.

Everyone knows the stock market has risks involved, but over the long term, history shows that it provides good returns on money that is invested wisely. People who invest in the stock market do their homework and have educated themselves on the risk…or they have trust in someone else who has that education.

For an actor, knowing what to invest your money in, i.e. classes, coaches, marketing materials, etc. reduces your risk if you’ve done your research and gotten educated on the value provided. Those actors who fear risk altogether end up never investing in themselves in ways that could impact their career and would ultimately save them money in the long run.

curious+cat4. Curiosity

Being curious helps you learn, study and improve yourself.  My least favorite 3 words I hear actors utter are “I know that.”  There’s ALWAYS something to learn if you stay curious.

The curiosity of wanting to know more, to take the time to study and then take what is learned and put into practice is an important process that is driven by curiosity.  This leads to untold treasures and abundance, not only with physical dollars, but contacts, information, experiences and more.

5. Creativity

The work we do as actors providing our joyful self-expression, art and talent and our earnings don’t always match.

Unexpected obstacles and set-backs can mess with your financial plans. The film you got cast in lost its funding and won’t be completed or released (or pay you!); that “manager” collected the money for your work and went out of business; the class you paid high dollar for and expected brilliant teaching wasn’t all that. When this happens, changes are needed to deal with the new circumstances.

Creativity is essential to accomplish this.  I love this part of the energetic around money and finances because creativity allows you to make something good out of something bad or even when you don’t have the money to spend on what you’d like to invest in. It means juggling money to stay out of debt rather than simply paying with a credit card. It means bartering your value and skill set offering something for something.  It means figuring out a way by shifting from thinking “I can’t afford that” to “how can I afford that?”

Being creative plays a large part in keeping your finances and personal economy in order!  Seeing your ability to create in ways outside of actual acting will keep you interested and inspired around what you might have considered mundane or unimportant.  This stuff is just as, if not more important than the latest acting technique you learned.

STOP being a starving artist by adopting several, if not all of these 5 traits today!

The Hype over #Hashtags

hashtagOK, so I’ll admit it.  I’m NOT the most tech savvy person on the planet and sometimes even wear that fact as a badge of honor!  But being in the business I am, heck being in any business, and yes, even the business of show requires that a person has some basic working knowledge of current social media trends.

I just started to check out this HASHTAG phenomenon that seems to have crept up in the last year and thought I’d pass on some of what I came up with during my research.

Originally the ‘pound symbols’ that were used to catalog content on Twitter, these puppies are popping up on all of the social platforms today – Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and most recently Facebook. You have to pay attention or be left in the dust.

The purpose? They’re an effective way to discover and organize specific content, and an easy way for social media users to find posts that are relevant to them. For example, I started to use the # before my networking parties and put it together with the acronym for my company as in “The #AOTB Industry Networking Mixer”.  I put it on all of my social media sites and even in emails.  Why? So that other people out there can find out about all things “Act Outside the Box” by searching for that #AOTB.  Of course you have to know about it and see it before its use is effective.

We also know they’re easily abused and can be pretty meaningless, too.  Have you seen strings of fairly nonsensical phrases with the # in front of them that no one would ever search for?  #whythehellwouldyoudothat?  I mean, really, who is searching for that? How do you rise above the noise online and help your audience or target market find and engage with your show, latest update or other event?

Here are our four tips:

KISS (Keep it Sweet and Simple): Is your show called The Greatest Story Ever Told? Then make your hashtag #greateststory or something equally simple. Make it easier on your viewers and use a hashtag that’s similar to the name of your event.  A bad example 2hashtagwould be #Mikesshow.  If it’s super long, sometimes an acronym is best.  #AOTB or #actoutsidethebox?  Either one could work but it’s up to you to choose (brand).

Don’t Go Overboard: Quality, not quantity, folks! Limit yourself to using one or two hashtags when promoting your stuff. If you tag tons of terms, you might come off as a bit spammy or overwhelming and it’s easier for your message to get lost in the #ebb #and #flow #of #a #sea #of #hashtags.

Do Your Research: Think you’ve found the perfect hashtag for your next event, show or idea? Type it into Twitter, Instagram, Vine, etc. and see if anyone else is using it. If you’re using the same hashtag as another person or group, it could confuse your intended audience.  If it’s already there and associated with something entirely different, rethink your strategy.

Be Smart: Consider the platform you’re using. Is it Twitter? Then you have limited real estate. Be mindful of the number of characters in your hashtag. Keeping your hashtag under 10 characters leaves plenty of room for the rest of your thoughts.

In the end, this girl will always prefer s-p-e-l-l-i-n-g things out.  I don’t even like to use LOL and instead Laughing Out Loud…but I’m old school.  However in business I often subvert my preferences for what works.  And just like reality television, these hashtags aren’t going away. (Just for the sake of transparency, I was really wrong on that one when I thought Reality was just a passing fancy all those years ago.  Maybe it was just wishful thinking!)

Getting in the groove and using hashtags effectively will improve the chances of you clearing through the clutter.  And there’s ton of clutter (some like to call it content) out there!  To your #success, Lisa Gold