My Favorite Bravery-Building Networking Tip For Actors

Bravery-Building Networking Tip For Actors

My Favorite Bravery-Building Networking Tip For Actors

Once upon a time, on New Year’s Eve actually— a group of friends and I got together to prepare goals for the new year, sip champagne, and celebrate our expected successes for the coming year.

Being the absolute dork that I am, I prepared some pretty little sheets to help us get focused during our little goal setting party. I’ve also included a game I made up called THE 50 QUESTIONS GAME.

The questions game is the PERFECT exercise to remind you that so many possibilities exist for you in the world if you go looking for them. It is also the perfect way to get used to asking for what you want and building up an immunity to the word “No.” A “no” is just another step closer to a “yes”— and if you look at the laws of probability… you WILL get some “yes” answers to some of your questions.

Here is how you play.

On a page you write out the numbers 1-50– each number on a different line. Then for each number you need to come up with a person and a question/request for that person. You can ask ANYONE but all questions should be things that would either cultivate great joy for yourself, open up an opportunity, or make a new connection.

I think the game is most successful when you have a mix of personal questions that would make you happy, new things you’d like to learn about, and career focused inquiries.

In your 50 questions… ask people you admire for a coffee… or 5 mins of their time for a specific reason (the key to an answer is be specific and don’t require TOO much time of the person). Ask for someone to make an introduction for you. Ask for a backstage tour of the zoo. Ask to be a free set of hands to watch how they work and help someone you admire for the day. Ask for an audition for the upcoming season. Ask someone if they’ll donate to your project. Ask someone if they need volunteer help on their project. Ask someone for advice. Ask someone to read a chapter of your book or a few pages of your script. Ask someone for feedback on your reel. Ask someone for something– anything! Ask someone out to dinner. Ask someone what books have inspired them. Ask someone how they got to where they are. Doesn’t matter what you ask or who you ask– but you NEED to ask 50 questions.

When you commit to doing this, you will get some surprises. Some people won’t answer…and others will. Either way, you will get something you didn’t have before. Part of the fun is waiting to see who responds and what new relationships are cultivated during those responses. Nothing lost by asking!!

So get out there and get asking!

Practice this Bravery-Building Networking Tip For Actors online, from the comfort of your home, by getting social and networking with us on Facebook.

Also, be sure to check out our Acting Classes now available online! Not sure what classes, seminars and special events you’re ready for? No problem. Actors Connection offers one 15-minute complimentary program consultation to guide you into the appropriate programs for you at this time in your career. 

Photo Kindly by Dee @ Copper and Wild on Unsplash.

 

Biggest Mistakes Actors Make When Looking for An Agent

Biggest Mistakes Actors Make When Looking for An Agent

What are Some of the Biggest Mistakes Actors Make When Looking for An Agent?

Trying to figure out how to get an agent?  Maybe you have started the process but aren’t sure where you are going wrong.

 

Whether you are looking for a talent agent in New York, a manager in LA or a commercial rep in Atlanta, there are some pretty common mistakes that many actors make.  Save yourself the time and energy and get your search off on the right foot when you stay mindful of these common pitfalls in the ever-so-important search for an agent.

 

You aren’t very knowledgeable about the business

In the age of the internet, there are numerous places to learn the basics of the industry.  You can find the correct resume format, learn about the proper percentages representation should take from your work, discover proper self-taping techniques, understand what makes a decent headshot and more.  You can’t rely on an agent to hold your hand this whole way and teach you everything about the business.  If this is your chosen industry, you need to do the research and come to the table already knowing the standards.  Take classes and ask for help if you need it… but remember, your agent isn’t your personal assistant.  At 10% commission, you better be doing 90% of the work.  Agents prefer professionals and not needy beginners.  Empower yourself with as much learning on your own as you possibly can.  It’ll also help you stay away from scams preying on hopeful new actors.

 

You don’t do your research on the different agencies

There are different types of agents out there.  Some specialize in legit work (LA calls it theatrical– and that includes theatre, film, tv), some specialize in Commercials, others in Voiceover.  Understand what the agent’s office specializes in and take note of what that particular agent’s focus is.  You should tailor any cover letters or interviews to the office’s specialty.  It may also help you determine that a particular agent is NOT for you.  The more research you can do on the personalities and communication styles of the reps at a particular office and the more you know about the type of work their clients are booking, the better you can decide if this agency would be a good fit for you and your goals.

 

You send the SAME form letter to EVERYONE

I even get them– and I’m not an agent!  Beware of the copy and paste!  Agents can smell a form letter.  Be specific about why you are trying to work with that specific agency.  Tell them why.  Is it because their clients often work on shows you are extremely right for?  Is it because you participated in an event with someone from their office and had great synergy with that person?  Did a fellow actor recommend them to you?  The more specific you can be here, the better.  This is an important business relationship— and like in any good relationship, making an effort is important.

 

You don’t know how to interview well

Actors often forget to prep for this step.  So you have an agent that responded to your materials/email and they’d like to get to know you better.  Great!  They will usually set-up an interview to talk to you about your career goals.  This interview makes or breaks lots of actors.  The agent is looking to get a sense of who you are and the work you are passionate about quickly.  Be prepared to talk about how you feel you fit into the industry right now, give examples of shows/projects that you are right for and be able to talk about how you can be competitive in this industry.  They know you really really love acting.  That is a given.  Talk about details, specifics and even other hobbies and skills that make you unique.  If you feel like a million other people could have answered the questions the same way, then you aren’t letting your authentic self shine enough in your interview!  Also, have some questions ready for them!  Write them down so you don’t forget to ask anything important.

 

You sign with the FIRST person that shows interest

The first person may not always be the right person FOR YOU.  This is SO important.  Your agent needs to be on the same page as you when it comes to the work you both think you should be doing.  If there is a disconnect here, you BOTH won’t be happy.  Same thing goes for communication style.  Make sure both of you are clear on what needs to be communicated, when it needs to be communicated and HOW it needs to be communicated.  You should feel very comfortable working together– at the end of the day you are a team!  Take your time and make sure that you feel good about this new professional relationship before signing any contracts.  There are many agencies out there– and waiting for the right partnership had brought numerous actors incredible success.

 

You have stopped training

Even when you are booking consistently, your reps like to see that you are always keeping your skillset fresh.  If it’s been weeks or months since your last project, show your rep that you take your career seriously by maintaining and growing your skillset and connections in classes and events.  Your craft is a muscle and you should make time to stretch and improve it to keep your skills “in shape.”  The same also goes if you are minimally trained.  An agent or manager invests hours and hours of time into a new client before a penny is ever earned.  In order to get someone to be excited to make that investment in you, you should show the investment you have made in yourself.

 

I hope these tips will help you as you find great representation for yourself.  Don’t rush and don’t compare yourself to others.  This is a highly individualized career path and everyone has their own journey.  Stay positive and keep busy doing great work.  Getting fantastic work out there is always the best way to attract business opportunities of any kind!

Learn to avoid the biggest mistakes actors make looking for an agent by signing up to attend our Online Legit Agent Night – Showcase To 3 NYC Agencies on Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT! Register Now.

Find out why people love Actors Connection by checking us out on YouTube!

Avoid Feeling Powerless in Your Acting Career

Learn How to Avoid Feeling Powerless in Your Acting Career

How to Avoid Feeling Powerless in Your Acting Career

If you feel like you are doing more waiting than working in your career– well then honey this blog here is for YOU.

Actors are constantly giving their power away in this industry while they sit and refresh their email hoping that an opportunity or an audition will appear. Well friends, that is NO way to build a career OR live your life.

We see it in the dating world all the time. Someone waiting by the phone for that person to call or text. Putting all their eggs in one basket and placing all their happiness on one person. It’s a sad and lonely existence and ya know what it doesn’t prioritize? YOUR HAPPINESS and YOUR SUCCESS.

So if you feel like you have been waiting for the right agent, the right job or the right contact to really feel like an actor— read the tips below and take your power back in this career. Time to step into the Boss Babe role you have always deserved!

When you are an actor, you are the CEO of your own company and you should be working your connections and making new ones with the confidence of a BOSS. Act like a leader. Get focused and committed to your business with the confidence and knowledge of a 7 figure CEO. The successes and failures of the company are on YOU. So train, prepare, and work like you mean it.

When in doubt– MAKE and CREATE. Haven’t had an opportunity land in your lap? Time to make-one. Connect with writers or even write for yourself. Create a team and do play readings, short films, podcasts or even commercials for local businesses. You need to constantly be putting excellent work out there to help more and more people discover who you are and what you can do with your craft. Radio silence doesn’t put you in the right place at the right time so help the universe out! Creating and marketing your own work gives you way more opportunities to sync up with people who can help you get to the next level.

Research and Reach Out. Are you an expert on the type of work being produced right now? Is your brain a full-on encyclopedia of people who are working in the entertainment business who do work that you’d love to be doing at all sorts of levels? If not, then make RESEARCH your new best friend. Troll articles, postings and announcements for new names of people working on projects you’d love to get involved in and then dive down the rabbit hole learning about these people and their careers. But don’t stop there! If there is a project happening that you KNOW you are right for, REACH OUT! Offer to help or be of service in any way. Volunteer or help connect them with something or someone they may need. Get on their radar by being helpful and not needy and then keep tending to that connection until that person is a part of your network.

Help Other People. We mentioned this a bit above, but it’s worth saying again. We all have needy people in our lives and they can be exhausting. Don’t be one when it comes to your career! Offer to help friends and colleagues on creative projects instead of only just asking them to support you. Be mindful to be a giver more than you are a taker (also be mindful to set boundaries– you’re not an eternal volunteer, you are a person of value!). Being helpful is a great way to deepen relationships so your contacts will be more excited about being supportive to your success.

Live a FULL and Happy Life Outside of Your Career. You are not and will never be just an actor. You are a beautiful and powerful human being capable of all sorts of things so spend some time cultivating what some of those “things” are. Have hobbies. Have friends OUTSIDE the business. Spend time with family. Get involved in a cause you care about. The more you grow your holistic self, the easier it becomes to feel confident and happy in who you are. Never place your worth on any one thing. You are so much more than a particular acting job or a relationship. You are multidimensional greatness!

I hope these thoughts and tips will help you get back in the driver seat of your career and your life. You are the writer of your story and you DO deserve to have all the wonderful things you crave. Go on out and build the YOU that has always been hanging out there in your heart.

Take your acting skills to the next level, and learn how to avoid feeling powerless in your acting career by signing up for one of our online acting classes today! 

[Photo Kindly by Ian Dooley]

 

Acting Career | 5 Important Questions Every Actor Should Ask Themselves Right Now

5 Important Questions Every Actor Should Ask Themselves

5 Important Questions Every Actor Should Ask Themselves Right Now

Staying focused and positive during this pandemic can make a big difference when you get back in the running for great acting opportunities.  Fall also has this special way of inspiring us to get back to work and back to the goals we have in our heart– So if you have been craving a RE-FOCUS sorta Fall— then this blog is for you!

When it comes to your acting career, I find that there are some BIG questions that you can answer for yourself that can help you get clearer on the type of work and opportunities you should be focused on.  There is a lot of information out there in the inter-webs on things you should be doing as an actor, and without a few guiding principles, it is REALLY EASY to work yourself into the ground.  Don’t be busy for the sake of being busy– get busy doing the RIGHT THINGS FOR YOU– which newsflash… may be different RIGHT things for someone else.

To help actors get focused on who they are meant to be in this industry, I have a few guiding questions that they can answer themselves to help set the stage for tasks and priorities for Fall 2020.  Check them out and answer them for yourself below.  I hope they help you hone in on the type of artist you want to be this year.

What three words describe your career right now?

Think 3 descriptive words and be honest with yourself on how you would describe the current state of your career.  Don’t over edit, go with your instincts.  You need to really understand where you are at right now.

What three words describe the career you want to have?

When you imagine yourself having the acting career that fulfills you, what descriptive words come to mind?  Let these words be varied and joyous.  Compare your answers from question 1 and question 2.  Think about what steps you need to take and thoughts you need to think to start feeling the energy of your question two answers in your everyday life in your NOW moments.

What are the types of stories you feel most inspired to tell?

Surprisingly, so many actors don’t have an answer ready for this one.  You should ALWAYS have an answer here.  What are the stories and the character types that you feel attracted to?  Do you like portraying young women who can go against the odds and win?  Do you love stories about men discovering a deeply hidden softer side?  Do you like stories that depict a battle of good and evil?  Or stories that prove the importance of love?  Do you particularly enjoy historical pieces?  Sci-fi that challenges human perception?  Note all your tastes as a storyteller.  Explore what makes your most desired characters the ones you most like to play.  Understand those reoccurring themes.

Who is producing work surrounding those types of stories?

Now that you understand the work that you LOVE on a deeper level, you need to find EVERYONE in the industry who also LOVES that type of work.  Who writes those stories?  Produces them?  Casts them?  Finances them?  What types of audiences support them?  Learn the entire ins and outs of that type of work.  Compile bios and begin understanding how the most successful people making those stories started their careers.  Notice certain things show up more than once.  Use this research to make a list of people you should network with, places you should train, festivals or conferences you should attend and more.  The more you can find ways to surround yourself with this network, the better.

What can you be doing to have more JOY in your career right now?

Bad energy can repel new relationships and opportunities from developing in your life.  How do you stay away from that career-killing vibe?  One word- JOY.  Bring as much JOY into your acting career as possible.  There are so many ways to do this.  Surround yourself with joyful artists and create opportunities for you to joyfully play in the craft (do mini readings, have an online improv night with friends– get creative).  Find an online acting class that makes your heart feel powerful.  Protect time to discover non-acting related activities that give you joy.  Think you don’t have any?.. ALERT ALERT– make this a PRIORITY.  Don’t be an actor/robot…. You are a human being.  Discover hiking, painting, learning about marine life, tae kwon do– whatever.  The more you enjoy and learn about your world, the more FULL your craft becomes.  Other ways to find joy?  Audit your inner circle.  Spend time with people who ENERGIZE you and not those that leave you feeling exhausted.  Make a HAPPY list of things that make you smile each morning.  Find your inner kid and give them a chance to PLAY within the world in a small way everyday.  By doing these things, you are tending to your energy– and that energy is the IT FACTOR that opens you up to greater success and happiness.

I hope these questions have helped you get some clarity on some changes you should make in order to be the type of actor you WANT to be this Fall and beyond.  Feel free to revisit them anytime you feel stuck in your career.  We change, and sometimes some fresh answers will be all we need to make sure our sails are taking us in the right direction.

Want to do more learning about what can help you in your career right now?  Check us out at ActorsConnection.com.  Our varied classes and free program consultations are designed with YOU in mind.  We are ready to support you as you discover the career path that was always meant for you!

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