Everyone has heard of the story of Cinderella- it’s a major part of our culture. And it’s a fairy tale. Most little girls grow up in our society thinking that one day “their prince will come…” to rescue them from the mean stepmother, the rotten childhood, the misunderstanding parents -and take them away from the pain, misery and lack of control of their lives. Then, they can then “get married and live happily ever after.” The glass slipper fitting ONLY Cinderella’s foot is a nice touch.
The Fairytale: Segueway to young actors who believe that IF they can just get that perfect agent who “believes in them” (the prince) – I hear this expression about 50 times a week – they can be rescued from a difficult career, be successful and live happily ever after. So the concept has been to seek that perfect agent who is just waiting for that exceptional someone, YOU to fit the glass slipper!
Then, that agent will-
1 – SUBMIT YOU FOR A STARRING ROLE
2 – GET YOU AN AUDITION FOR THAT ROLE
3- YOU ARE NATURALLY SO BRILLIANT YOU “BLOW THEM AWAY ”
4- YOU GET THE JOB AND BECOME A MOVIE STAR
5- YOU LIVE HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Right? WRONG. It doesn’t work that way.
“Waiting for your prince to come” and rescue you is a misguided concept among most actors I meet. It’s based on fear and a sense of being powerless – that you can’t do this, an acting career, on your own. Guess what? You can’t! But you can change your concept and your approach as well as build a network of professionals who will help you succeed.
The REALITY: Most agents aren’t willing or economically able to represent you for nothing (10% of nothing is nothing if you aren’t already booking high paying jobs in TV or Film… or any jobs at all!). Since it takes the average actor from 3-5 years to get established, 10 years for a major top slot in
the industry, who would work for nothing for 5-10 years? Would you? So, you should be more concerned about building your resume with credits,
getting more experience and developing your network of industry contacts.
When you have a stronger presentation, you’ll get representation!
Here is a better Concept and a Workable Strategy
Assuming you have training, talent and a steely resolve to succeed, believe that you are totally in control. Rather than waiting eternally to be rescued, make yourself highly “marketable” and attract as many princes as you want!
Here are the steps: FIRST, get the best marketing tools possible:
A – Head shots or Lifestyle Photos
Did you know that agents receive hundreds of photos a week and thousands of on- line submissions? 2% of the photos received are accepted as “up-to-speed”. DO NOT think that a mediocre photographer who does cheap “actor head shots”, a friend with a camera OR the “guy everyone goes to” is going to work for you. Go to the best. Spend the money. Bite the bullet. This is your life. You may not need a glass slipper but you definitely do NOT need a
muddy sneaker. BTW- “Lifestyle” wins any day over just head shots.
Lifestyle photos are about your personality and uniqueness. They are shot indoors, outdoors and include: a commercial “head shot”, plus 1/2 length,
3/4 length all shot in appropriate wardrobe for your 4 main “types”- the roles in which you will be cast! The difference between Lifestyle photos and just head shots is that you are showing your specific marketability to CD’s and Agents so you get a larger response. If they know HOW to work with you, they work with you – and you get WORK!)
B– Demo (SIZZLE) Reel
If all you have is: nothing… a clip from a bad student film- horror, sci-fi or immature video from an on- camera scene class… EEEKKK! on all the above!
Go to a company who can produce (write, direct, shoot, edit) original material FOR you. When agents and casting directors warn you about NOT hiring someone to shoot stuff for you- they mean NOT poor quality student films…but if you go to a professional, you’ll get professional quality. No one cares where it came from if it’s GOOD. (We have shot over 200 of these that get our clients WORK!)
3,4, 5+ pages with a video page and a lifestyle photo page to show your range, your talent and how you will be cast.
SECOND get a Marketing Mentor and Make a Plan!
D. A Marketing Mentor
A MM is someone who goes beyond a life coach or what you would learn in a “biz of the biz” class. A Marketing Mentor helps you create and implement
your personal marketing plan. A MM teaches you how to communicate with the industry and develop those valuable relationships promoting YOU as
you keep working! And a MM refers you to top Agents!
E. A Marketing Plan
1- Meet as many Casting Directors as possible
2- Build a network of people who know you, like you, trust you- actors, playwrights, directors, filmmakers, producers, ANYONE who likes you and
knows your work.
3- Audition for everything you know you can do well. Invite everyone in the biz you know- keep auditioning, booking, performing, inviting-it’s a process!
4-JOIN organizations...offer to do readings of new plays, films. Offer to be a “reader” with CD’s so they get to know you.Network, network, network!
5- Put all the info in a database (Constant Contact works).
6- Create email campaigns and communicate with your growing network. The more people who know you, the more auditions and jobs you’ll get.
THIRD, audition as much as possible to master the technique of auditioning AND booking! Focus on your special skills or talent preferably in
ONE MEDIA and be aggressive building your resume. Use the referrals you can obtain and meet agents. Begin the process of developing the relationship
with several. As you keep working (and refining your talent) they will see what your potential is. Agents do not ignore an actor who works ALL THE TIME. When you are working regularly and making money – the agents come out of the woodwork. You’ll have a handful of “princes” pursuing YOU. Those you were developing offer representation.
And THEN you can go to the ball… you’re IN!
And that’s how the Entertainment Industry works and how actors get established. Trying to get an agent BEFORE you’re ready is like, well… the proverbial cart before the horse.
Best idea ever? Get a MARKETING PACKAGE which includes some or
all of the above with a huge discount and a monthly payment plan –
get all the tools you need,the advice that will save you years and the referrals to agents in one neat package! (email us at:
firstname.lastname@example.org and find out more).
Break that glass slipper and walk on your own two feet! And watch out for Pumpkins!