It's the well known professional paradox: You need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience. So how should you go about improving your skills to make yourself as professionally marketable as possible?
First, ask yourself what you're aiming to achieve by acquiring more experience. A more impressive resume? Confidence in your field? Enhanced skills for a potential promotion? A new way of critical thinking? When you know your aim you can get the most out of your time and choose the most effective learning tools.
For example, if you're looking for better people skills and empathy, volunteering is a great way to encounter all sorts of individuals with whom you will have extremely diverse interactions. Stick around long enough and you may also gain more responsibility which will allow you increased leadership opportunities.
Or perhaps you are looking for tips in a specific trade. It is never too late to find a mentor. Say you want to start your own business and you have a family friend who has been incredibly successful with his own. Request if you can ask a few questions, take them for coffee. If you are willing to build a relationship and show enthusiasm, you will likely make a new contact that is willing to answer future questions that may crop up down the line.
Third, learn everything you can about the field of your interest BUT never be unwilling to change your ideas. It is important to discover what you don't know and show others in this field that you are invested enough to educate yourself about its intricacies. Knowing basic details will better set you up for learning more advanced info about this topic. Take photography for example. If you are looking for an internship with a professional photographer it is important that you present yourself with basic knowledge of a camera so that they can save time and immediately build on that knowledge on things such as technique. Many basic concepts can be learned in a book, it's those that cannot that you'll want to prepare yourself for.
However! Even once you have acquired years worth of knowledge, never be too proud to accept new information. Everyone has a different approach and being open to learning the most you can for as long as you can will help you hone your skills.
Finally, build a network. Remember how you found that mentor and had the opportunity to have all those questions answered? If you build professional relationships you will have an entire pool of knowledge you can consult. Furthermore, if these new professional relationships see your effort and interest, they may help you make new professional relationships or offer opportunities. Passion and openness to
If you are a new actor or frequently change your appearance, you may think it's a good idea to also frequently change your headshot. While it is important to keep your headshot up to date and maintain an accurate visual representation of yourself, too much change inhibits relatability.
For example, if you are in the market for business headshots, you may feel inclined to update your headshots more than once a year. Here's the thing: when people see your headshot, especially if your company uses it in newsletters, on their website, or you use it on business cards, others will come to associate you with that image. As our appearance is slightly different at every angle, every image taken of us is slightly different that one that came before. To change your headshot, especially if the image's color tone or background is different, means that others will not immediately associate that picture with you; the viewer will have to make another mental, symbolic connection that associates your name and person with this altered image.
The same concept applies to actors. You may feel that changing your headshot frequently may give you more opportunity to secure roles, maybe that you may not be receiving callbacks because of your headshot. While a good headshot is, again, very imortant, if you have a quality shot on your resume you need not replace it frequently. Especially if you have received work by using a specific headshot, it is beneficial to keep that shot in circulation. If a casting director recognizes your shot from having worked with you or from another director you are in a better position to secure a role, especially if they liked your previous work.
This article is not meant to deter you from updating your headshot; as addressed several times through this blog a current headshot is invaluable. Instead, we encourage you to build your "brand," or what you offer as an actor or a professional. Just as Apple or Disney do not update their logo perpetually, you do not need to consistently update your headshot. Your face is part of your brand. Send it around. Make it memorable!
No matter what your goals are you need to be productive in your pursuit of achieving them. Good things do not come to those who merely wait, good things come to those who work hard. Here are a few tips to help you be more productive with your day.
1. Get Up Early
You don't need to get up at the crack of dawn but even 20 more minutes added to your morning routine will give you the chance to plan your day, eat an energizing breakfast, and set goals for the things you'd like to accomplish.
2. Have Attainable Goals
Just like you wouldn't start a diet by running marathons, just three small goals a day can add up. Working towards your aspirations every day is better than overloading yourself every few days.
3. Take Time For Yourself
Go for a walk, listen to some music. In the midst of hard work you still need to take care of yourself. Taking time out to do so will make you happier and more confident with your work and your product will inevitably be better.
4. Know What Your Actual Goals Are
Be definitive in what you're looking to achieve. If you are unsure, your work will show it and you will likely lose a lot of time. Find your passion and be committed!
5. Know How To Say No
You don't always have to commit yourself. If you are receiving little payoff for a job or need more time in your day know that it is okay to decline a job or request. Keep your goals in mind when agreeing to those things that may eat up a lot of time when compared to the
So you've just booked your first real acting gig. You've impressed the casting directors and you're excited about the character you're going to play. But what now? You want to ensure that your professionalism is exemplified. If you impress the people you meet here they could very likely help you find another job in the future. Here are three tips that will help you feel confident you're giving off a good impression and making sure you do not look like a novice to the industry.
1.Know the Script
Know it better than your own name. Know it backwards and forwards. You are enabling a story to be told and you should know what that story is. To come to set with only your lines memorized conveys that you value your position in the production more than the collective effort of the project. Have passion for the story and every other character that comprises it. After all, your role would not exist with out the holistic script. To know the script well is to show respect for the innumerable other people working on or in the production.
2. Know Set or Stage Terminology
The terms on film sets or play stages developed because it is functional. It ensures that messages are delivered directly without any misinterpretation, a vital component to completing a day's shooting in its allotted time and addressing any challenges that may arise in shooting. This terminology also means the creation of an "in group" and an "out group." If you know the terminology, you're part of the "in group," you show an understanding of how sets operate and convey a sense of filmic professionalism. Not knowing these terms places you in the "out group," leaving you with minimal understanding of what goes into the production. Positioning yourself in the out group, not knowing set terminology, means that your on-set credibility is decreased; you don't want to seem like an amateur because you don't know what a medium shot is.
3. Be on Time
If this is your first significant role, perhaps you're playing a supporting character, or maybe you just have one line, be on time. Better yet, be early. There are so many components that contribute to a successful day of shooting, waiting for you to show up should not be one that jeopardizes a good day. Not only does the production lose money in the case of your tardiness, but it may mean that certain shots have to be sacrificed. Once again, this shows your appreciation and respect for the crew and the project. Illustrating that you are passionate will make others more inclined to recommend you for future projects that are well suited to your skill set.
As an actor, even one who is well established, it can be difficult to face the rejection that so frequently accompanies auditions. Here are a few tips to keep your motivation up and avoid taking rejection personally:
1. Remember that Acting is a Business
Casting directors need certain individuals to play certain roles. You may think that you are perfectly suited to a part, but the production may warrant something completely different. While your rejection may be the result of a choice you make in your audition, this choice by no means defines you; it could in fact be exactly what is desired by another casting director looking to fill the same role! Or it could be the result something you can't change, perhaps they need an actress shorter than male love interest who was already cast. Such rejection is not a reflection of you as a person, there are so many other factors involved. It does not deem you a bad actor.
2. Don't Fear Rejection
Understand that everyone in the acting game has been rejected before and it has likely happened A LOT. If anything, use auditions as an opportunity to pay attention to your strengths and weaknesses. If you are rejected for a dream role, pay attention to who is cast. What different features did they bring to the table? Use rejection to fuel motivation. Don't let rejection make you so eager to please that you become unoriginal.
3. Be Confident, Persistent, and Passionate
If you let rejection defeat you, your goals of being a successful actor will never be realized. By being confident in your craft you will be able to better emphasize your unique skills. Keep auditioning! Know that you are likely suited very well to certain roles, you just have to find them. The previous rejections you felt will not only make you stronger as a person and an actor, but the victories will taste much sweeter. Finally, be passionate. If you care about your craft and are willing to learn and grow to the best of your ability your dedication and growth will make you stand out to those who merely expect roles. Hard work is respected everywhere.
Hey I'm Martin, and my goal is to help you reach yours. I love writing content about career advancement, marketing strategies, productivity, and much more.