How to kick-start your career in 2016!
If there is one recurring theme I notice from actors that come to see me in my weekly mentorship surgeries is that everyone wants to give themselves greater exposure to increase opportunity and employment. But many do not know how to effectively utilise the tools available. Email, Digital Apps and Social Media has changed the way we communicate but the old school handshake and physical meet and greet is still as important. Each professional meet; digital or physical, has potential to lead to future opportunities.
Here are 4 over-arching rules for 2016:
- Remember: There are over 60,000 performers on Spotlight… and many more actors not (or not yet) on Spotlight. So if there is something you can or should be doing to better your chances then do it! Even if you feel you have a good grasp of the opportunities available to you… think… what else can I be doing?
Example: Twitter isn’t just for promoting your next show or following a Casting Director that might only tweet about their dinner or their dog. There are so many opportunities to fill your calendar with. Press nights, masterclasses, networking events, preview screenings, Q&A’s, trade shows like Surviving Actors… the list goes on. You should be trawling the day’s twitter and signing up for everything you can afford – money and time-wise. Make that digital footprint into a physical footprint to somewhere you can make contacts.
- Without sounding like an attempt to align your chakras… It is important to remain positive. Positivity breeds positivity. Use waiting time between auditions and castings to look for your next opportunity to learn, grow, connect or work…
Paul Clayton (Actor/Director and Chair of the Actors Centre Board) gives very simple and very sound advice to many an emerging actor about this, “Do one thing a day that might lead to work and then get on with living your life".
Never put yourself at a disadvantage
- This might seem like a benign sentiment but it is something you must apply to everything you do… no matter how small that advantage may seem.
- Your headshot is your primary marketing tool. Do not take any chances by getting your mate’s dad’s brother who is a wedding photographer do it for you to save a few quid, get someone that knows what they are doing, it is worth the investment.
- Keep emails to industry contacts concise, polite and fully linked. No life story. If the scroll bar appears at the side of the screen you have written too much.
Think outside of the box
- Once you are correctly managing your information streams, have all your digital tools finely tuned so that you are maximising on the opportunities available, getting out and physically meeting people and maintaining the contacts you make… what else can you be doing to raise your profile?
Example: Make work for yourself – writing, collaborate, play! From scratch nights, to the reserved production time in the Tristan Bates Theatre seasonal programme for Actors Centre Members’ work. There are lots of opportunities to be in and create work. The Tristan Bates Theatre Producers even do a free seminar each season for members called Producing A Show.
Neil Rawlinson - Creative Projects Manager at the Actors Centre