The New Year is upon us, so it’s time to make some great Affirmation’s rather than Resolution’s! Keep one thing on your mind that this is going to be your year to break out and push your career forward. But only if you want it to be. What can you do to move your career forward in 2016, you say? Remember, the business of acting is always changing, even as I am writing this, and it’s important that you, the actor, keep up with the current trends.
So here are nine tips to start off 2016 right:
1. Take a class with a working professional. Actors need to know how to book jobs in today’s market, both in NY and LA. But how does one do that, especially if you’re from say, Tupelo Mississippi, (Elvis was just lucky). Learn from someone who knows the business, who works in it, and understands current trends in the casting landscape. There are a lot of classes being offered all the time. Investigate the one’s that are suited best for you and aren’t going to break the bank. Perhaps an audition class to practice auditioning for the camera. Or an improv class which helps develop the quick think on your feet technique. Richard Kline, Larry from Three’s Company fame, offers an acting class that encompasses improv, mock auditions for TV and Film, blocking, mologue technique and theatre scenes. Plus you get honest critiques and the personal attention most other acting schools don’t offer. Best of all, the class runs for 2 and ½ hours and the first class is FREE!
2. Update your headshot and résumé. Remove any extra work and featured work from your résumé. Make sure to format it correctly (google search for good examples), and have it saved as a PDF so you can email it any time. If you haven’t had your headshots taken in at least 2 years, it’s time to get new ones.
3. Track down your footage. Still waiting for your student film footage or that one scene where you played that creepy stalker? If you must, stalk the directors and get your footage no matter what. If you don’t have any footage, have two scenes created and taped. City Headshots offers this service for a really great rate and the footage is truly professional.
4. Re-evaluate your type. Ok, ok, I know a lot of actors aren’t sure what their type is! Perhaps you’re in between types or maybe you are transitioning to a new type. Anyway, if you’re not sure ask a fellow acting buddy or an acting coach you’re taking class with (they can spot your type immediately, based on your personality. Remember, your type comes from presenting yourself the way others see you.
5. Create your own opportunities. Now more than ever actors need to take control and create their own content. Get your friends together, buy or borrow a good camera, write a good short script or webisode, and create a role for yourself. No More Excuses!Close
6. Get new audition material. With new content coming out all the time, there is no reason that every actor in town shouldn’t have a current, original monologue or scene from a Film of TV show that isn’t overdone, that they can transcribe for themselves. This is essential for actors who want to break into Film and TV.
7. Make a website. Don’t have a website? Welcome to the 21st Century where websites are essential for every single actor. Plus it’s free and easy, and everyone asks for it. Create a simple site in Squarespace or Weebly, put your headshot, résumé, reel, and contact info on it. Don’t forget to put your website link on your résumé and business cards. Trust me, I know what I am saying.
8. Learn how to self-tape. OK, actors, it’s time for an intervention on self-taping. It seems there are a lot of you out there who are sending in really bad audition tapes. I’m talking out of focus, poorly lit, unprofessional, shaky. I get it. You get the tape request at the last minute, panic, and need to make some quick decisions. What do you do when it’s10:30 p.m. on a Monday, and your agent emails you saying they need the tape by the next morning? You can either pay a lot of money to get it done professionally, or frantically call your filmmaking friend who goes to sleep at 9 p.m.! Or you can simply take a deep breath, and do it at home using the tools you already have. I promise you, it’s not that complicated. Plus, here’s great advice someone once gave me, buy a used professional camera and lens (do some research first), it’s cheap and will ease those self-taping woes.
9. Get a hobby. Acting can be very frustrating at times, trust me. You feel rejected, needy, and desperate. For the most part most actors are stuck in a so-so survival job that they start to question why they are doing this in the first place. Actors need to let loose and have some creative outlet, some inspiration, and a challenge right? But what can you do? Solution, find something else on the side to focus on that makes you, the actor, happy and get your mind off feeling used and rejected. Perhaps something within the acting world, such as filmmaking or photography. But take up this hobby because you love it, not because you want to make money doing it. This will help your sanity when those auditions come along, and you won’t be putting all of your eggs in that one basket.
I, being an actor myself, love interacting with fellow actors and other professionals within filmmaking, and I think it’s very important that we present ourselves as professionals, and we will be treated as such.
Good luck, and let’s kick off 2016 with Success!