Sunday, February 23, 2014
How to Promote Yourself as an Actor (Series) Step 1.
1. No one is going to promote you. It's up to you.
There was a time in cinematic history that studios would take an unknown talent, evaluate them, and if they were deemed worthy and had that little "something" extra, they would immediately be groomed by the studio's own star making machine. MGM, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Brother's all had multiple departments that took the fledgling actor through a process that would teach them the skills they needed to become a star. They would learn how to walk, and how to talk if they had an accent they needed to lose. They would have their hair cut, colored, and surgically altered if need be. They would be given singing, etiquette, and dance lessons. The publicity department would plant stories in the local papers to promote the new starlet or leading man. They would be given a screen test and bit parts in movies to help determine their type. They would be paraded in front of audiences to see what the public's response would be. All of this and more was used to generate stars. It was an extensive system put in place by the studios. They invested massive amounts of time, money, and skill to make the promising actor into a Hollywood legend. Today, that system no longer exist.
Today, the actor has to do all of these things for him or herself. They have to evaluate their own talent or hire someone to help them discern what their talent(s) are and how to develop them further. They have to spend their own money taking lessons, attending workshops, purchasing headshots, promoting themselves on social media websites, and so much more. The work never ends. It can be consuming if you let it. So don't let it. Though it may seem a bit overwhelming, never be discouraged. You're on a journey. Your own journey. All of this takes time. Don't rush it. Be consistent, continually learning, continually growing in your craft.
In the same tradition as the studio system, you are creating an image that will be seen by fans, friends, family, and potential employers. It is up to you to construct a pleasing public profile. If you don't already have one, create a Facebook page just for your acting persona. I would suggest you only use HD photos. Don't scrounge through and pull together casual snapshots a family member took. This is your career, your image. Think about what you want to portray to that casting director who decided she liked what she saw in the audition, and is curious to find out a little more about you.
Don't try to create something that's not a true representation of who you are. If you're an average looking individual don't convey yourself as someone glamorous. Seek out an extremely good photographer and pay for professional headshots if you have not done so. If you don't have the funds, save up until you do. If you have done work as a print model most of the time you can get copies of your work. Post these to your Facebook actor page as well.
On the information page you can post your resume, biography, and other links. You may need to get someone to help you write your biography. Not every actor has a flair for writing. Seek out someone with some real writing experience. Again, remember who will be seeing this. Don't throw something together just to put something up. Systematically think this through. Once you have everything in place ask your friends, family, and other actors to "like" your new Facebook page. You will have to see that it is worked often.
Experts say you should work your social media pages thirty minutes to an hour a day. If you don't have time for this, enlist people to help you or hire someone who can spend the time needed. Post something daily. Most people who will "like" your page will be genuinely interested in what is going on with you. Tell people if you have an audition or a callback. Write a sentence or two about what you are learning in acting class. It doesn't have to be lengthy. You just want to keep in touch with your supporters. Don't really have much to share one week? Post an inspirational quote or photo. Also look over other professional actor's pages and see what they have included.
In the few weeks ahead we will be talking about, how to create a following and why that is vital to your career, how to write a biography, how to start a blog, and many other topics that will help you develop a strategic plan about your career as an actor. I hope you will continue to follow this series by joining this blog. You can do so by glancing to the right and clicking the button that says, Join this site. I enjoy supporting you, the actor. I hope you will support me and this blog in return.
For more information about Bry Taylor: https://www.facebook.com/brytaylor
Photo: Free Digital Photos