Here's ten tips for getting more work than you can handle:
1. Be good at what you do. You can market yourself as much as you want but if you aren't good at what you do, you'll never get past the audition. And if you do, you won't get much farther than that first job. Master your craft.
2. Get professional headshots. You can either submit a crappy picture taken by your friend or else contact someone who has knowledge of what sells, and what looks good. But I'd do the latter if I want to become successful as an actor.
3. Make yourself a website and for crying out loud, buy a domain name. You need a website in this day and age if you want to make it anywhere. And you don't want to look unprofessional by having the website say johndoe.weebly.com or something like that. Just spend the $10 for a year and buy a domain name and actually look like you are investing yourself in becoming an actor. Casting directors won't look twice and someone who doesn't seem to care about their craft.
4. Act for free in as much as possible. Look for student film and other non paid projects. They are much more likely to hire than paid projects because when it is paid there is greater competition and the payer is looking for the best value for the money, meaning if there is someone slightly better than you, you probably won't get the job. Non paid jobs are great for increasing your exposure, adding to your resume and reel, and making contacts. It's like advertising yourself. - Remember this tip... you get tenfold back what you do for free.
5. Build a list of everyone you worked with, and stay in contact! Don't let those people out of your phone book! They are the ones you need to keep in touch with because what happens if one of them gets an awesome opportunity? If they remember you (from all the times you contacted them to say hello), chances are they might help you out too.
6. Always take opportunities and always be on the lookout for them. Every once in a while a great opportunity will come your way... Someone might offer to give you a role in a big film, or someone might offer a three or four week excursion for a big shoot. These opportunities might seem like a lot of work and might make you feel a bit worried, but don't let that deter you. Always take all the breaks and opportunities you can get, but don't ever cheat or lie to get something, especially in acting because your reputation is so important.
7. Put more effort into the project you are working on than anyone else, and let it show that you care. If you do this it is almost guaranteed that you will be remembered. Even if the project is something you don't think will give you much in return, you should still put a lot of effort in it. You will be remembered and it could lead to jobs in the future. All the people I have spoken to who have landed a good job off of something unpaid have done so because they show that they truly care about everything they do by putting the most effort into it. This goes for 9-5 jobs and for freelance jobs, like acting. It pays in the long run to show people you truly care about what they are doing, even if you don't.
8. Brand yourself. Have you heard of the term branding? No I don't mean a brand like Kellog's versus White Rose. But wait a minute... Maybe I do? Branding means being able to make yourself stand out from the competition. You want to find something uniquely you, something that other people would really like to have. Now, exploit it! Like the Kellog's example, you have to separate yourself and make yourself seem better than everyone else, and you need that difference to be memorable. Maybe you have a comical flair, like Jim Carrey... Or a way about you like Jerry Seinfeld where you can just notice the most normal things and then take them and tell people something they may have never noticed about it, and make it funny. You need to find something unique about yourself that people tend to notice (maybe they have mentioned something to you) and really take it up a level. Brand yourself and you'll become memorable.
9. Make business cards. Don't even try to slip by without doing this. It just looks unprofessional when someone asks for a card and instead you pull a napkin out of your pocket and write your number down. Get business cards, get jobs. It's as simple as that. And put your headshot on your business card while you're at it. See Using Your Headshots.
10. Be confident, but not cocky. Every time someone says to me (as a film director) that they will try their best and really look forward to working on something, I can tell when they are being honest or when are worried (or uncaring). You have to have confidence in what you do. It shows in everything, from the way you act around people to the way you dress. Even the way you look someone in the eye. If you're not confident in yourself, a casting director will notice right away. Why would he give a job to someone who is not fully confident in his or her ability to play the role? Get confident or get fired. But don't be cocky, because no one likes an asshole.
11. Don't give up. Sorry, I meant to stop at 10. But this is just a little extra advice. Remember, and this is entirely true: those who fail only fail because they thought they could not succeed. If you keep pushing, eventually the roadblock will budge. That is guaranteed. If someone else can do it, why can't you? They key is to want it badly enough.
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