Advice for actors – essentials.
The world is-a-changin’, and it’s no longer enough to have your printed black and white headshot in your folder to send to casting directors anymore. Nowadays, the potential avenues to market yourself as an actor are limitless.
I got in contact with the guys at ToBeSeen, a community for production and talent alike and asked them for the bare essentials any actor should be in possession of if they want to net the parts they want. For a lot of you, this might seem like common sense, but you wouldn’t believe how many people I shoot who don’t even have Twitter! Read on:
OK, this is an obvious one. I have to be careful here, because I don’t want to make this an article about why you should choose London Headshots. There are plenty of seriously great shooters out there, so you’re spoilt for choice. You need a quality headshot in order to be taken seriously. It’s got to be an image of YOU. A casting director needs to know who he’s looking at, and needs the best possible idea of who is going to walk through their door on the day of the audition. Google headshot photographer sin your area, there’s millions of them. Word of advice: Don’t EVER book a headshot session with a budget in mind. Your headshots are an investment, so if you like someone who’s shooting £500 headshots, save up and book ’em.
The showreel is a tricky thing. You need one; it can be the difference between getting an audition or not. However, like a bad headshot, a bad showreel is going to do more harm than good. Have your showreel professionally made, but watch out for what you’re buying. A showreel is something that doesn’t have to cost the earth, and try to avoid companies that sell themselves based on flashy editing techniques.
A simple, concise showreel featuring a breadth of your work will suffice. Update it regularly, and try to ensure it shows your versitility. Aim for 3-4 minutes, no longer. Attention spans are short, so grab ’em & dazzle ’em.
You can get a profile on ToBeSeen.co.uk (that’s a definite plug, they’re worth it!) for free. A profile functions essentially as a personal webpage to house all your details, headshots, showreels and acting credits. This is what you can send to people and companies in the industry, you can print it on business cards, email signatures, social networking profiles etc. There’s plenty more profile sites, but I like ToBeSeen (hence this article). Everyone thinks the buck stops at Spotlight, but it really doesn’t.While Spotlight is essential for success, it’s not the only website. You need to be as visible as possible, and that means extending your reach to other sites. If a website attracts even one casting director, that’s a potential job. There’s plenty of sites such as StarNow, and all of them give juice. Don’t limit yourself to thinking Spotlight is your only option. CastingCallPro is another.
This is one people overlook the most, and it’s probably the one with the most potential to net you parts. Open social networking sites like Twitter/Facebook pages etc are absolutely essentially in my opinion, no matter WHAT sector of the creative industry you’re in. It’s no secret that the smash drama Misfits owes a lot of it’s cult success to it’s amazing viral marketing campaigns exacted across the Twitter and Facebook universes. People who know about the power of social networking, Twitter, in particular, are generating huge amounts of interest in their projects. It’s almost like a traffic generation tool that you can use to direct people to your sites. Updating your feed with behind the scenes shots, costumes, etc, can give others a unique insight into the craft, which will ultimately get you noticed.
Engaging with your fans and audience will pay dividends. If you don’t believe me, compare the follower count of Hollywood stars who manage their own Twitter compared with those who don’t.
Finally, social networking pages post jobs all the time, Especially CastingCallPro on Twitter.
Auditions are happening constantly, and there’s always a job that fits the roles you play. The CastingCallPro Twitter account constantly updates with roles and job opportunities, and again, www.tobeseen.co.uk updates job posts regularly right on the front page. Check regularly.
It might come as a surprise, but a lot of jobs can come just as a result of gaining a reputation for being reliable and dependable. Double check the time and date of the audition, and always arrive to the audition with 10 or so minutes to spare.
Once you’ve had the audition, don’t pester them for feedback, no matter how tempting. Check phone and emails regularly and just wait for them to contact you. They will. It’s a competitive industry, so continue to audition for other work, perseverance is key here.