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Marketing Tips For Actors From A Career Coach

First of all what is a network? How does that relate to being an actor?

"A network is a large group of people who communicate, are interconnected and work together as a system."

 
If you create a network you double, triple, exponentially multiply your work opportunities a gazillion times. The more people who know you, like you, want to work with you, the more work you will get. Then, the process of submissions, auditions and trying to get work is
reduced to zero. Offers come out of nowhere from people who know you, have been referred to you, have seen your work. It's like virus marketing or the internet which is a humongous network. Career-wise you can then focus on just doing the work-a film, a play, a new
primetime series.  

You become a working actor, not an actor trying to get work.


So how do you build a network? How do you get a team of people on your side to represent you?  Submit you for roles? Hire you? Create projects for you? Develop your career until you are at the top?

Here is a roadmap:

1.
Create a database of people you know- maybe that's only 10 at the moment: other actors, playwrights, directors, a few casting directors, agents you met through a "pay-to meet", a personal manager, an acting teacher. Enter their names in a database with email capacity. There are many database email programs out there. We use Constant Contact. There's also Icontact, eweber, infusionsoft, numerous companies and software but CC is easy to learn, has 5 minute tutorials and is free for the first 2 months - while you try it out. Then, if you sign up, it's affordable.

2.
Grow your list weekly by meeting more agents, casting directors, writers, directors. Join organizations where you can network-NY Theater Meet-ups, AFI, Shooting People, Director's Guild, AFTRA, SAG, AEA, NY Women in Film and TV, LA Women in Film & TV, New Dramatists Guild, theater groups, acting companies...anything that will allow you to meet more people in the industry. If you know 5 people you will probably NEVER get an acting job. If you know 50 you might get a call, an audition, a job once a year. If you know 500, you'll get a job once a week!


3
. Enter all the names of your contacts and check out the graphics, templates and usage of the program. It allows you to send out everything from press releases to holiday cards, download a photo into your personal messages (create your own stationary), design flyers, etc. Even if you are challenged on the computer-this is easy. It's all done for you with a few clicks. Not too difficult.

4.
Start by sending out a few - "Hi! How are you doing'? Just wanted  to say hello and tell you what I'm up to..." messages. As it becomes easier, send out an announcement when you are in a show, when you book a commercial, get a callback for a film, are appearing in an under 5 on a Soap, to wish them a Happy Birthday, Happy Labor Day, Happy Thanksgiving...there are templates for every reason, season and you can design more to relate to your career progress.

5.
When you have a new demo reel or a new website, send a link in an email so they can see your most recent accomplishment and work .This seems like a lot of fuss but it's not any different than
sending messages on Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace, only you are accomplishing a whole lot more. You are building not only your network of people who like you. You are building your career. Just like in the Tipping Point (a book you should read by Malcolm Gladwell) you suddenly have reached a critical mass- a list of 100 or 250 or more. Friends and Agents will forward your info on to other interested parties- Casting Directors who were looking for your type or tuned in to see you or Googled you when they were casting something. It all comes together. And you start working.

How long does this process take? Depends on how actively you apply the concept and follow up with the system. Months, a year or two. Isn't that better than staying in the same spot sending your resumes and post cards out and paying to meet one Industry contact at a time or having one audition at a time? Give it a shot!


Successful Marketing!

Gwyn   

 

Gwyn Gilliss is the Executive Director of TAM, The Actor's Market (http://www.theactorsmarket.com) a marketing firm for actors. They provide every marketing tool an actor needs - HEADSHOTS, RESUMES, BIOS, DEMO REELS, CAREER COACHING, MARATHON SEMINARS to met the INDUSTRY-AGENTS & CASTING DIRECTORS - as well as FREE monthly seminars, FREE weekly marketing tips and access to top photographers, graphic artists and videographers to create great demo reels (sizzle reels). There are Training courses via teleseminars, downloadable Podcasts and Home study courses with DVD's and the ACTOR'S MASTERMIND a bi-monthly FREE teleseminar for all actors globally. (check for more products and services at The TAM Store) . Gwyn's acting career spans several decades during which time she appeared on and off-B'way, in classical roles in American Repertory companies, in over 18 contract and recurring roles in Daytime/Primetime TV, Films and dozens of network commercials/V.O.'s. As a Career Coach she is available to work One-on-One with actors at all levels.

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Does this describe you and your marketing efforts?

1. Sending out pictures and resumes to agents, and getting little or no response.
2. Meeting agents and casting directors in those 2-5 minute "pay-to-meets" but no one calls or wants to represent you.
3. Submitting yourself with on-line casting but all you get are student and "indie" film auditions or non-union commercial jobs.
4. Spending too much money on "classes and workshops" to meet industry people who won't hire you except for an "extra job".

Stop! Change your strategy to change your results!


1. Stop All Marketing Activity That Costs You Any Money (so you can start making money)!

Stop mailing, stop submitting, stop spending your hard-earned dollars on envelopes, postage, labels, postcards and those "pay-to-meets". Take some time off. Why? Because if you aren't getting the response that you need, i.e., representation, auditions and work, it's not working for you. Don't worry about what you may be "missing" while taking a month or two off to re-gather your resources and re-plan your attack. Better to do it right than keep wasting time and money sending out marketing material that will just be tossed. Yes, thrown away.

First, you need to re-think your product and clarify your brand before contacting any more Industry Professionals. First Impressions are really important. If you haven't figured out your specific "type" and "brand," guess what? Neither has the Industry. If they don't know how to cast you, they won't call you for auditions. Get advice to define your brand. Ask a career coach. No one buys a product that is not clearly professional.

2.Re-Evaluate Your Marketing Tools - The 4 things that will get you work & Income

Excellent headshot. It's possible that your headshot isn't representing you accurately or maybe you need to re-think your "image". With the money you saved by NOT marketing with your old headshot, get a new one. Avoid the generic headshot, one with a blank smile that looks like your high school graduation picture It says NOTHING so that's the exact response you'll get! And be original. Try not to look like every other newbie, wearing the cliché t-shirt and jeans. It tells every agent that there's nothing special about you - you're just following the herd.

Your headshot needs to be specific and full of your personality and should tell them in a flash the specific roles you can play -i.e., prep-school dude, girl-next-door, lawyer, compassionate intern, tough head nurse, sweet secretary, suburban Dad, bad guy, FBI agent... in a specific market - primetime, soaps, commercials and film.

Professionally designed resume. Follow standard formatting -3 columns (NOT long lines of information running across the page). List training and roles correctly- PLAY, ROLE, PLACE/ DIRECTOR, and don't employ incorrect wordage.  Never say things like "stage experience", "lead" role, "student" film, Dr. blah-blah from college was my teacher or add "awards" for runway modeling or winning acting "contests". These things will definitely show that not only are you a newbie but you're still a student (i.e. amateur). Having a resume less than professionally designed may prevent an agent or casting director from calling you.

Great demo reel. And definitely have a demo reel that is amazing. If they can't see      your work, they can't hire you. Live auditions are less and less frequent without a preliminary click on your website to see your on-camera persona- type, range, ability.

Website. Have one! (they're reasonable and easily put up these days so there's no excuse!)

3. Create A Realistic Marketing Plan:

Target specific agents who may be appropriate for you. Often we aim too high or haven't researched a specific agency that isn't interested in our type.  Look for agencies that say they are taking on "new or developmental" clients. Most agencies, however, want ready-to-book professionals walking through their doors.

Update your marketing tools so they are the best they can be and represent you. That includes; headshot, resume, demo reel, website.

Set Goals-who to meet and when and then follow up.

Work with a Coach to assist you weekly in reaching your goals, stay on track and to get a personal referral. The sooner you present yourself professionally and have an agent, the sooner you'll work and make money!

Buy A Software Program with a database management system and communicate frequently.  Send Email blasts and create marketing campaigns linking to your website. Then the industry can see your work quickly and easily. You'll book more jobs and make more money.

Always have a project you are developing, a play you are rehearsing, a staged reading you are involved in or are producing, filming a short you wrote.  If you are focused on developing your talent and letting the industry know your progress, they will definitely be more interested in working with you. Work begets work...and that's how to start making more money!

Successful Marketing!

Gwyn and the TAM Team

 

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If you're cast in a daytime or primetime series, film or even a major market commercial, there are usually professional teams of people to make you look great. But if you're on the set of a low budget indie, a non-union industrial, a web series or shooting your own demo reel- there may not be anyone to give you a professional "camera ready" appearance. The difference between good work and mediocre is a few simple things you should learn how to do. No matter what project you're shooting on camera, you need to look your best. Who knows who will see outtakes years from now of your early efforts? Oops! Here are some tips so you can always be camera ready.

1.
Bring your own make-up- guys included. Either cream or liquid foundation to match your natural skin tone and powder, especially powder! Everyone looks shiny, greasy, and sweaty on camera! It's either the hot lights or your own nervous energy creating that non-stop sweat oozing through your pores. Unless you're playing a long distance runner or are doing a re-make of Broadcast News (remember Albert Brooks who was so nervous he had "flop sweat" when reporting the evening news?) you don't want to let them see you sweat.
 
Solution: Use pressed powder in a compact. It has a flat round soft cotton pad that smoothes the powder on your skin- especially on your nose, forehead and chin- where actors appear to be the "shiniest". Or use natural mineral grains with a large brush-both available at drug stores and cosmetic counters.

2.
Bring hairspray, gel, mousse, glue. Unless you're running into the wind your hair will inevitably get into your face, your mouth, your eyes. Girls with WAMP hair usually suffer the most. What is WAMP? That long, straight, hanging hair that never stays in place when you start talking. Nothing wrong with long hair. You just don't want to be pushing it constantly behind your ears or flopping it back-it's annoying to your audience.
 
Solution: Just cut layers, curl it, wave it or straighten it with an electric straightening iron so it has body and is "disciplined" into staying in place, not hanging limply. If you have a buzz or military cut, no worries. You're exempt. Everybody else, spray it. You don't want hair to get in the
way of your performance.


3.
Unless it's a vampire movie, ladies, please avoid the red, cherry, black, dark brown, blood, wine, crimson, fuchsia, purple, cabernet or otherwise dark lipstick. (if your skin tone is very dark you are the exception and some of these shades might work). But most broadcast quality cameras are highly sensitive and will actually exaggerate the color-it will appear darker. You will appear bloody or just strange.
 
Solution: Go for a more fashionable natural or warm color of lipstick with a small amount of gloss. Be warned- heavily glossed lips make you look like a rock star about to shriek- too exaggerated.

4.
If you're bringing your own wardrobe, avoid red, white or black (depending on your character and the situation). If given a choice, choose more vibrant colors. On a lower budget set, the lighting may not be too developed so red may glare, turn orange, icky pink or appear to be a large blood stain-not attractive. Black just looks dull and absorbs all the light and energy (unless you are an FBI agent, at a funeral, a high powered attorney, etc.)-even then you can always wear a shirt with a warm shade-blue, peach, yellow, green. White may "ghost" - that's a thin green line that appears around you so you look ghostly. These things all depend on the experience level of the director. She/he may have lighting or camera angles in mind to counterbalance the effect of what you're wearing. Let's hope there's a lighting guy nearby-usually not. Dark wine, navy, dark green, dark gray-all these just make you appear to be a conservative, dull or depressed character. (If you've seen the recent TV ads for depression drugs-everyone who is suffering from depression is wearing these shades).

Solution:  If forced to wear dull or dark shades, counter the effect by bringing a bright scarf, accessory- handbag, shawl, tie, vest, hat...think around the dreary outfit you may have to wear. Solid colors always make you look thinner, happier, more professional, and elegant-the list goes on. If your character is a dowdy person- then stick to the ditsy little printed dress or blouses, the plaid flannel shirts, or the dull khaki slacks. If not, bring your own vibrancy and colors!

 
 Successful Marketing!

Gwyn   

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1Choose Roles That Show Your "Type" And Range. That means how would you be
cast in Primetime/Daytime TV and Films TODAY? Almost all TV series are written in a
consistent format which includes classic types: Interns/Doctors, Lawyers/Criminals,
Detectives/Investigators, Spies/CIA agents, Geeks/Ordinary people and Sexy women

doing something naughty or illegal. That's why we have series like; House, NCIS,
Raising the Bar, Law & Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, 24, Desperate Housewives,
Burn Notice, How I Met your Mother, 30 Rock, etc...
OK, so you need to show
WHAT characters in WHICH of these shows you could play. If the clip
you want to
put on your reel isn't in the genre of one of the above shows, exclude it. Simple.


2- Don't put "Heavily Dramatic" Scenes on your reel.  This is the biggest mistake
of beginners who want something "juicy" and "serious" to show they can act. Wrong.
Good acting is subtle. Did you ever notice that most student films include a lot of
screaming, heavy drama, crying, yelling obscenities and firing of guns? They think
it's cool. The real industry does not. Scenes that are clever, fast-paced, witty or
humorous, entertaining, intelligent and subtle are closer to the real thing. Go for
those.

3 -
Don't Include the Horror, Alien Or Other Sci-Fi With Special Effects Scenes.
Exclude anything overly graphic, gratuitously violent and unwatchable. First time
indie directors love these scenes because it fulfills their agenda to produce a
sensational, money-making, low-budget first feature. It doesn't fulfill YOUR
agenda. No A-list Casting Director or top Agent wants a client whose tacky
demonstration of talent consists of being pursued across the Mall's parking lot
by a maniac wielding a chain saw. Get something better to represent you if
you want representation and any work at all!

4 -
Don't Shoot Or Write Your Own Scenes Unless You Really Are A Professional
 Writer
who's been writing for years. But then why would you need an actor's
 demo reel?  Find a company (see TAM below) that can produce, write, shoot and
 edit a scene or two for you. You deserve the best so go to professionals. And NEVER
 use a scene that's from a REAL series- it's illegal and you're breaking the copyright
 law! Besides, you'll never look as good as the original. Don't shoot yourself in the
 foot as well!

5-
Get The Advice Of An Excellent Editor Who Has Worked On Major Primetime
TV series
not just edited low budget indies. The style is different, the pacing, the
music, the LIGHTING and the length of scenes. Better yet, find a Career Coach to
advise you on choice of scenes/roles, wardrobe, image and style. The roles
you will be offered are exactly the ones you display on your reel. Get advice.


6- Make It Short, Fast Paced And FUN! - Show Off Your best traits, personality and
acting ability. Agents can tell in about 10 seconds if they want to work with you.
They don't need to see a long boring dramatic scene. On your website you could
post two or three (1-2 minute) complete "scenes" but if you have a good editor you
should create a "
SIZZLE
reel". It has about 6-8 (5-10 second) clips that come to a
total of one minute and is much like a fast paced, fun, intriguing trailer to a great
 movie. You can even include a clip from a commercial or music video. Agents, CD's,
 Film producers - EVERYONE in the Industry loves "
SIZZLE
reels"! So get one!



HAPPY AUGUST!

Successful Marketing!

GWYN

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1- Meet and get to be known by the Casting Directors- a lot of CD's. (There are HUNDRED'S!)
  
ACTION STEP: Meet as many as possible in one fell swoop- attend an Actor Marathon or get a personal referral to dozens- don't waste 3 years meeting one at a time in a 2 minute pay-to-meet. They won't remember you a week later let alone know your work and "brand".

2- Get an established Agent who can remind them of your existence....so in the flurry of a casting session- they can call you in immediately. No time wasted.
ACTION STEP: Meet a slew of boutique agents who may be looking for developmental clients. Attend an Actor Marathon and meet 50 in one weekend or have a Career Coach personally set up appointments for a few dozen.

3- Know how to audition with "cold copy" (you may have minutes from getting the script to the actual audition).
ACTION STEP: Study with Margie Haber- the BEST in the business.

4- Know where the studios are and how to get there-no "getting lost" on the 405 or the 101!
ACTION STEP: Get a Thomas Guide @ any gas station, book store or on line.

5- Be available and attitude-ready not a wimp preparing to fly back to NY (Kansas, Tennessee, Maryland) because it didn't work out in a few weeks or a few months.
ACTION STEP: Lock into an apartment, a car, a source of income and stay put. Begin an aggressive marketing campaign. Persistence will win out.

6- Have a job or funds available (for the first year at least) that allows you to be free from financial stress. There's no time to negotiate "getting off" from a dumb day job- the casting process is over very quickly.
ACTION STEP: Plan ahead. Set up your personal life. Find and develop a "support" group- both social and professional to hang out with. Make sure you're around working, successful winners.

7- Have excellent marketing tools- a fabulous headshot or 5 showing how you look today and what roles you can play, a resume with TV and quality film credits, not NY showcases.
ACTION STEP: Get the advice of a Career Coach- have her check out your marketing kit before going.

8- Have a great, short, entertaining and brilliant sizzle reel..1-2 minutes with the many (5-6) roles you've played (or can play) ...no student or indie film quality!
ACTION STEP: Find an editor who has worked for a major primetime series and hire him to edit your reel. If you have nothing of quality that shows your work- find a company that shoots demo reels and writes scripts catered to you. Don't leave home without one!

9- Be positive, cheerful, FUN to work with, super trained, aggressively persistent and charming as well! If people know you, like you, trust you- they hire you! Learn to be likeable.
ACTION STEP: Go to charm school? (Just kidding) Remember, you chose to be an actor so tap into the passion and FUN of it all...not just the hard work.

10 - Be 1000% with every interview and audition-know your goals, your niche, your brand and show it!
ACTION STEP: Develop military discipline- every interview and audition is a battle you need to win! Be prepared, have the weapons, be psyched and go for it! 

Again, the reason you go to LA in April, June, or December (anytime can be good as long as you are prepared and have your life/network already set up but those are the optimum times) is so you can get settled, sign with an agent, learn your way around town. Then, when a role comes up for which you are right, they
already know you, can call your agent and you just have to show up. Easy, simple, logical.

Then, just do your work and get paid....plenty!


Successful Marketing!

Gwyn   

 

 

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How Does the Industry see you? What is your strongest talent? Are you camera ready...or highly photogenic? Do you love working on camera? Or do you shine the most while on stage? Where should you spend your energy to develop and succeed at your acting career?

 

There are FIVE WAYS of determining your most likely successful media.

1- Your physical type

2- Your training

3- Your own option -what do you do best and LOVE

4- Where you get cast (work) most frequently NOW

5- Where you WANT to be in the future (not what is happening in your career right now)

 

Daytime or Primetime TV requires a "camera ready" appearance and the skill to act believably on camera. That starts with solid acting training, however a lot of theatre trained actors find it difficult to make the transition.

 

Musical Theatre depends on your singing and dance abilities.

 

 Theatre is very diverse and requires all types but the best trained and most talented actors  generally win the majority of roles ...Or TV/Film stars who are Big box office lures.

(*Smart Marketing tactic? Establish yourself in TV or Film  FIRST. Then you'll get a starring role in a Broadway show MORE EASILY because you're a NAME- you have drawing power).

 

Film, like TV requires a specific "look" and photogenic requirements for a majority of roles. But great film actors have one thing in common- they're brilliant in the "close-up" expressing every emotion as a delicate stroke. Most have trained in theatre first.

 

FYI:It's best to get solid theatre training if you want to work in any media.

 

Models and really pretty people book modeling jobs, commercials (beauty products) and tons of roles in TV and Film because people like to look at beauty. It's easy on the eye. So instead of just a cop or a detective, who's most often cast? A tall, dark and handsome actor and if the role is for a female forensic expert,she's gorgeous. But, in the last 10 years "character types" (read normal, average looking, very unusual or mature) have been the trend. So Primetime is filled with "real" people not just the "babes". Some shows specialize in being gritty and are very realistic. No pretty or movie star types there.If you want to work, study the market, watch every PRIMETIME SHOW from 7:30 PM - 11PM,  Mon-Friday and KNOW where you fit in. KNOW YOUR MARKET!!!

     

"It's a waste of time trying to meet the Casting Director of a

show that will NEVER hire you because of your type."

 

Most TV shows are fast paced sitcoms or action series so there's less dialogue and more action. And "type" plays a major factor in the casting process - your character is either very good or very bad -sweet girl/nasty girl, evil villain/rescuing hero, geeky guy/handsome guy.

"The reality is- you can work in ANY media if you're trained and  professional...but the likelihood of being specifically cast in roles on Primetime TV or in Films is based as much on your appearance as it is on the brilliance of your talent."

 

Why not go to the market that will give you the most opportunity and work? That means NY or LA if you want to be in the big leagues. To find out in which media you will be most successful, assess your training, your greatest interest, your experience, where you feel you are most talented AND your physical attributes, complete this simple exercise:  

 CIRCLE YOUR CHOICES                                           

 ADD YOUR POINTS         

 Sex:

M -2     F-1       

    Age range:

16-21: 5      22-26: 4              27-32: 3         33-42: 2          43-50: 1          50-90: 4       

 Physical attributes:

Tall-5      Average/short-4       

 Physical attributes:

Slender/in shape-5    Average-4     Overweight-3       

 Hair:

medium-5  dark-4  fair-3    white/gray-2   bald-1       

Strongest talent:

   Musical Theatre 1    Theatre 2     TV 3       Film 4       

What do you love to do the most?

    Musical Theatre 1    Theatre 2     TV 3       Film 4

        In what area is your most experience?

    Musical Theatre 1    Theatre 2     TV 3       Film 4

         What is your #1 goal  - to work in which media for the next 5-10 years?

     Musical Theatre 1    Theatre 2     TV 3       Film 4       

 In what media did you work last?

     Musical Theatre 1    Theatre 2     TV 3       Film 4

                                                                                             TOTAL POINTS      _____________ 

 

Add up your TOTAL points. Which best fits your score? Are you:

GROUP I   15-27

GROUP 2   28-36   

GROUP 3   37-42

GROUP I actors are best suited to pursue Theatre and Musical theatre.

GROUP 2 are probably going to work a lot more in Primetime TV.

GROUP 3 should definitely pursue Film work.

What does all this mean in terms of WHERE YOU SHOULD BE?

If you are in Group 1- You should be in NY- for Broadway Musicals, Theatre work and CASTING for all the major rep companies, summer stock, tours and musical tours for jobs outside NY.

If you are in Group 2- you could be in NY or LA but there are thousands more roles for Primetime TV in LA  -(about 115 shows - give or take) compared to NY. (15 shows)

If you are Group 3- no doubt about it, LA should be your home.These are generalities and the quiz is based on the 5 points mentioned earlier so you could fall outside the norm...take it a with a grain of salt. But, it might be helpful in deciding where you should be and how best to advance your career.

 

Next week we'll deal with the LA MARKET...WHEN'S THE BEST TIME TO GO TO LA TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

 

Successful Marketing!

Gwyn   

 

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The best way to successfully jumpstart your acting career is to clarify what you are selling. What is your Market? Niche? Brand?

The first step for most actors is getting roles in unpaid off-off Broadway
showcases which give you experience on stage or in student/indie films
 which give you experience in front of a camera. It's good to observe
and see the process but not so good for a healthy income or any at all!
When you want to move on and have a real acting career (great roles,
income, credibility, status) you need to meet agents to get representation
and casting directors of major series and films to get cast.

But here's the catch. If you want to be successful at your meetings, you need
to bring something crucial to the table-your brand, your unique quality.
(Otherwise you just get lost in the shuffle- Agents and CD's see hundreds
of actors monthly!)

The way to make that happen is simple. Here's an example.

1- Choose your one market and focus on that first.    
PRIMETIME Drama
2- Then, find your niche - the kind of roles you can easily play and for which you
      will be called frequently.              
Spies, Action adventure heroes, CIA Agents
3- Define your unique quality/brand.    
"Sweet-Looking, but Tough Wise-Ass"
                                                      Result: 
Michael Weston on Burn Notice

The clearer you are about your brand the sooner you will work. Why? Because
if CD's see you as a specific type you become memorable, a recognizable
product. Recognizable products become very popular just like designer fashions because when someone buys your product they know exactly what they're getting.


Guaranteed. Every time. So, if you specialize in "spies, upscale lawyers, nasty
teenagers, vulnerable sweet guys, psycho-murderers" those roles will be
offered to you, you suddenly get booked a lot, your income skyrockets and
you get put on the A list. Then you have control over your career and the roles
you want to play. You're in demand!  Success! That's how it works.

But first, you need to do a little work. You have to figure out your brand.

This exercise works:

 Send an email to 10 friends, family members or co-workers and
ask them to describe your 3 most striking qualities. You'll be amazed when several depict YOU in the same words - that's your unique quality, your brand.
Just sum it up in a short log line and relate it to role in a TV series or film.
Here are a few from current clients:

Green-eyed Southern Belle with a husky laugh, war hero gone to seed, “flubby” suburban Dad, chain smoking, adoring Mom, psychic sidekick with a handgun, Hippie biker chick, ditzy office worker, sweet 4th grade teacher-victim, Hot guy with a dorky smile, striking brunette with a passion for shopping, pageant queen turned soccer mom, brainy, arrogant computer geek  

FOCUS on making your brand a standout, memorable. Refine it, polish it, and make it sparkling like a diamond. Spiff up. You may have to do some "tweaking" to your image. Long straggly hair not working? Be different- curl it, wave it, cut it, or make it swing and frame your face. Make it work for you. Find a "YOU" hairstyle. Scraggly beard, goatee, shaved head not getting you an agent or any auditions? (The style could be too common right now and unless you have to have a shaved head because you are close to being bald- it's probably a better choice to move on with another look).

The idea is to stand out from the crowd not fit in. If you look like every other actress and actor auditioning how are they going to remember you? Maybe you need to go back to the real you before your current hairstyle OR commit to having a style. Highlight those drab brown locks, grow that hair back in, re-create your image so it's unmistakably yours, not the trendy look of yesterday or what every other out-of-work actor is doing currently with their image.

Dare to be different. Different works. Different books. Different is memorable, the goal of every actor. If Casting Directors remember you, they hire you! If you
work a lot...Agents come running!

 

Revise your wardrobe- if your image above the neck has evolved, maybe
your clothes have to be "tweaked" as well. Still wearing your college jeans and
t-shirt? Yeah, great! So when you go to meet a top Agent or Casting Director they perceive that you're still in "school" mode (read "student, amateur, unpolished").

"More actors lose roles because of their too casual, unprofessional
appearance then because of the lack of training or talent."


Think "professional" as in doctor, lawyer, FBI agent, news journalist, military hero,
cop, forensic expert, fashion editor …just like the roles you’ll be submitted for on every current show… unless you're 17 and going out for a role on
Gossip Girl. Even then, those kids dress pretty upscale for teens-designer
clothes not sloppy blue jeans. You may also have to get new head shots,
re-design your resume, re-edit your reel or shoot a new one and update
your website. (Moan, groan..."I have to spend any money?" Yeah, you do
if you want to be in the running for any major roles).

All your marketing tools need to reflect your brand and how you look now
s
o when you walk in the door that Casting Director holding your picture in her
hand and smiling, says to herself, "YES!" That's exactly the guy I wanted for
this project."


You're in! Now, all you have to do is act. Easy!


Successful Marketing!

Gwyn   

 

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Often actors will neglect one of the most important parts of their resume, SKILLS.
We all know that Experience, Professional Training, Education is MAJOR-the main categories that tell the industry you have what it takes to play a role. But WHY is it important to have a STRONG skills section?
 

Many roles from commercials to Movies require some skill or the appearance of a skill, talent, language or artistic ability. It's important to let casting directors and your agent know what you can do comfortably.  
 

Athletic Skills- playing golf, swimming, diving, racing
Kevin Costner really does play golf and did many of his own shots in Tin Cup and the famous Johnny Weissmuller did dive off cliffs and stay underwater a long time in jungle streams for all the Tarzan movies. Paul Newman did drive race cars in a movie as did Jason Statham in The Transporter. Many actors do dangerous sports and stunts in their own projects. But for most action adventure movies there are stand-ins. For casting purposes they still need to know that you are relatively in shape and can move, run and do some "appearing to be dangerous" stuff. If you DO play golf or tennis bring your clubs and racquet to the audition and dress in your best golf shirt or Wimbledon tennis togs. 

Dialects and Languages   
If a film or series is set in a different country or your character is from there, you DO have to sound authentic. Yes, Meryl Streep and Even Robert DeNiro got expert speech coaching for some roles to learn an accent or get rid of one but it's great if you're already skilled in dialects. 

Musical talent- singing, playing an instrument

Sometimes a character will sing, play the guitar or be in a rock band. Kris Kristofferson sang and played in more than one film and of course Barbara Streisand sang in Funny Girl and others. But not everyone remembers that Meryl Streep sang the film's theme song, Amazing Grace in Silkwood. You might just get hired to sing the theme song or appear within the movie as YOURSELF performing in a cabaret or nightclub.

World Traveler- can you handle traveling or have a passport?
So many films are shot on location. If you've traveled there you'll be familiar with the language, the customs and will certainly have your passport. I've met actors who got smaller roles in adventure films because they had been on safari in Africa, had surfed on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and climbed the Himalayas.  

Other hobbies or artistic pursuits   
Are you experienced in painting watercolors, sculpting, gardening? These may be part of a character so it's more likely you'll be called to play them if you ARE a painter, sculptor or have a real garden. You'll even have the appropriate paint/mud splattered wardrobe for the audition!  

Degrees in other professions- nursing, medical degree, MBA-business
These things will help if they need someone on the set of a Soap as an "advisor" and to speak the jargon/lingo for Corporate videos and in house training films.

How skilled must you be REALLY?   
Never lie. Be competent but not necessarily professional in your skill or talent. For example if you're on a sailboat for a toothpaste commercial you don't have to "crew" but it might be best if you don't get seasick easily, especially in close-ups.  
 
If you have to play the piano for a coffee commercial, be able to do so for at least 8 bars. The whole commercial is only 30 seconds so it's not going to be necessary after that. (I know!)    

If you state that you are "conversational or fluid" in a language that might be sufficient for a 30 second commercial or short scenes in a movie. Fluent means you are really up-to-speed.   

Any other sport-biking for example, even if the movie is about a 3,500 kilometre bike hike, the Tour de France, you'll probably have a stand-in. You're being hired as an ACTOR not a biker. The extras might have to be better than you or actually be real pro's.   
 
If they want a gold medal Olympic athlete for the movie or TV series they'll probably hire one or have HIM stand in for your stunts while YOU act. So although you should be "proficient" at your sport or skill you don't need to be brilliant. Even Ingrid Bergman didn't play a note in her Academy Award winning role in Intermezzo where she portrayed a concert pianist. 

So add all of your talents, skills, sports, languages, dialects and special "activities"-ballroom dancing to salsa and you might just double your auditions and bookings!

Successful Marketing!


Gwyn

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Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! Have a happy and healthy new year!!

Love,
The Actors Market
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Crisis! It happens in everyone’s life…how to cope? See it as a disaster, a threat, an obstacle ….OR as a OPPORTUNITY to grow and learn.

THE Potential STRIKE …I’ve gheard so many actors say in a dire voice-well, that will screw things uop. I won’t get any auditions, It will delay my finding an agent. Sigh! Sigh!
They’re missing the point. Astrike is a turning point-no goingback…there is new media and a need for new contracts, new jobs and NEW THINKING!

There is a ton of casting for new mini-series on the web…a slew of new producers creating shows- mobisodes & webisodes while there is still an open market…new words for new platforms. THAT is what the strike is about. As actors we can explore these markets, audition for, get cast, and even WRITE, create, produce OUR OWN series so easily if we are technically adept or can hire a friendly” techie” to help.

We can update our marketing tools-headshots that are older than 9 months/ a year…get a new image (haircut or grow it in, shave that old goatee), update the wardrobe, shoot a new scene for your demo reel… our SIZZLE REELS will be bi-coastal as a production company starting in January so you can order an original scene that looks like you were just on Grey’s Anatomy, House, Shark, Law & Order, CSI or Weeds….

Once you plan and take new steps the energy starts flowing . The SECRET to ATTRACTING wealth and happiness is nothing more than FOCUSing on exactly what you want. Energy in the right direction instead of energy drifting randomly.

THE STRIKE IS A BLESSING-It’s about change and It’s awake up call… a wonderful time to re-think, re-organize your goals and your tools for getting them.

Email me, send me a note...I’d be glad to give you a mini-career coaching session or a quick tip. gwyn@theactorsmarket.com
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