Monday, October 28, 2013

Networking Tips for Actors

Until you explode in the entertainment industry, a little bit of self publicity can help move things along. Religious leaders encourage Christians to "wait on God" but waiting on God does not suggest that we do nothing. The Bible is full of examples where people networked within their community to advance their causes and/or help friends. Paul wrote letters, friends told friends when Jesus was in town, etc. Additionally, since we are the light our responsibility is to shine that light. Matthew 5:15-16 puts it this way:

Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Here are some of the best ways to get your face out there.
Here are a few tips on shining your light as an actor.

Postcards: Send a casting director or agent a follow up post-card with your head shot on the front and a unique design as a followup. This really helps if you did not book the job. The postcard should include as much information as possible.

Websites: Many electronic breakdowns will request that actors submit a website link if one is available, so make one available! Anyone can have their own website. With the entertainment industry quickly advancing into the digital age, all actors should make their resume, headshots, and demo reel readily available on a professional website along with a biography and contact information. A website can increase a casting director's interest in your work when they see that you have taken time to organize your body of work in an easily accessible format!

Mixers: Keep an eye out for monthly mixers and seminars for actors. This will help you keep updated with the local entertainment scene and meet your competition. This will also give you an opportunity to hone your "elevator pitch" and put your personality n the best light. You never know who will attend these events; a meeting at a mixer may lead you to your next job!

Showcases: Every now and then, local theatre groups or networking companies such as The Houston Film Commission hold showcases that agents attend to meet new actors. If you are shopping around for an agent, this is your chance to meet directly with them and show off your skills. Even if you aren't approached by an agent, you have an opportunity to introduce yourself.

Business Cards: Similar to a postcard, your headshot will be on the front of your business card along with your agency, contact number, and your union affiliations. This will help at the aforementioned mixers and showcases; business cards also come in handy for day-to-day life.

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