5 Ways to be a Savvy Actor
1. Get text alerts when your agent emails you.
Last week I got an email back from my agent saying, “Thanks, Speedracer! Fastest confirmer in the West. I love it.”
I was able to respond so quickly because I get a text every time one of my agents emails me. The quicker you can confirm an audition the better it is for you, your agent and the casting offices.
In Gmail, go to “settings”, “filters”, then “create new filter”.
In the FROM section put @youragencysname.com or (whatever your agency’s email is). You don’t have to put the full address- just the end. This way ANYONE from that agency can email you from any email address and it’ll alert you. Click “create filter with this search.”
Then choose “Forward to” and put your phone number in email version. I have Verizon, so mine is firstname.lastname@example.org (that’s obviously not my phone number).
If you don’t have Gmail or Verizon, you’ll have to do some research (aka Google it) to find out how to do this for yourself.
2. Learn to LOVE networking.
This business is all about building relationships. Stop seeing networking as “schmoozing” or going to “get something” like a job or an agent. Instead, see it as a way to meet fun people, and add value to the lives of others. Instead of thinking “What can I get tonight?”, think “What can I give?”
I went to a networking event last week and so many actors said, “I just don’t know what to say!” I told them to ask questions. People LOVE to talk about themselves. If you ask the agent or casting director about themselves and find out what they need or want, you can fill that need for them. Then, you won’t be the icky actor who can’t shut up about themselves. It’s like dating. Have you ever been on a date where they can’t stop talking about all the important things they did and never asked you a question? Gross.
You don’t even have to talk about acting. Talk about what makes you YOU. You are a human being and you do interesting things outside of acting (hopefully.) Find out what you have in common. Maybe you’re both avid gardeners or have a fascination with toy poodles. Who knows? You’ll never know unless you ask!
3. Savvy Actors always bring a headshot.
I shouldn’t even have to tell you this, but in the digital age we’re rarely asked for a headshot…until we are. Always be prepared. Casting director, David O’Connor must’ve been a Boy Scout because he says to have 6 headshots on you at all times. You never know how many people in the room will want one or if they’ll have another project auditioning for which you’re perfect.
4. Stop trying to read minds.
You have no idea what they thought of your audition. You have no idea what they’re looking for. Go into your audition & give the performance you want to give without worrying about what they want. Control what you can control and don’t worry about what you can’t control. Sometimes you think you had the worst audition of your life & they loved it. Sometimes you think, “That was perfect. They loved it. I’m going to book that!” and you hear crickets.
True story from this weekend. I get a text from a current coaching client.
E: “Just had the worst audition!!! I’m not that bummed about it…”
Me: “That’s okay. You’ll get better. Sometimes you book the things you thought were the worst. LOL.”
The next day…
E: “Guess what! They offered me the part! I forgot to walk in with my headshot, totally blew the script and they booked me anyway.”
Me: “I told you!”
YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT THEY WANT! Stop trying to read minds.
5. Invest in your self.
You are your product. You are the brand. Always do your best. You need to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. You need to invest, not only in classes, but in the development of you as a whole person. I started booking more work and making a living as an actor when I started working on myself. Your belief in yourself, your ability to master your emotional state, your attitude, your skill set and technique as an actor, your physical body, your mental & emotional health are all important when it comes to success in your career. If you’re not growing in these areas, you’re getting worse. Keep growing. Keep learning. Keep investing in yourself.