I have a story for you today called "The Donut Hole."
A good friend of mine was stuck in his acting career for years. He told me that it felt like no matter what he did, he just kept falling through "The Donut Hole," as he put it.
I asked him what he meant - I had never heard of a "donut hole" before.
He told me that it's basically where you go in for audition after audition and everyone likes and appreciates you for coming in, but they never actually book you for anything.
He said that he used to book a few acting jobs every month, but about three years ago everything changed and he started falling through the donut hole over and over again, and was now only booking a few jobs per year!
We wondered what could have caused it. Why would he suddenly stop booking?
Was it his headshot? No.
Was it his training? No, he was extremely natural on-camera.
Was it his resume? No, he had just as many credits now (if not more), than he had 3 years ago before he started falling through the donut hole.
So what changed?
Well, after thinking about it for a while, we realized he stopped booking auditions right after he joined SAG-AFTRA.
Stopped booking auditions AFTER joining a union???
Most actors think they'll get MORE work when the join the union, so why was it the opposite for my friend?
Well, while he had a ton of training and some decent credits on his resume, he began to notice that he didn't have enough connections and his resume could have been significantly stronger.
He realized that by joining the union, he was suddenly competing against actors at a much higher level.
He didn't realize how much the playing field had shifted.
It was like suddenly going from playing golf with his buddies to competing against people on the PGA tour. Or going from playing tennis against your friend to playing against Serena Williams.
Joining the union puts you up against the best of the best.
So I want to ask you now... Are you ready to join the union?
Because once you join, you'll no longer be allowed to perform in non-union projects.
If your resume isn't very strong and you haven't spent time building relationships with people in the industry, you're going to have a much harder time booking roles when you join the union.
Just like my friend, many actors I know had to spend an extra 2-3 years trying to book jobs once they joined.
I don't want you to make the same mistake, so here's my recommendation of what to do, in order:
So now I'd like to ask:
When do you plan to join the union? Do you think you're ready? Write a comment. I'd love to hear your perspective on why you're ready or why you're not.
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