Written by Amy Lyndon
The new buzzword in the acting community is “branding.” Going beyond type, the term “brand” is meant to put your type in the context of show business rather than just casting. If you understand your brand, your marketing package will always be in line.
The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.” In acting terms, it’s the stuff that makes you unique and different from other actors – even those within your type.
Therefore it makes sense to understand that branding is not about getting casting directors to choose you over the competition, but it is about getting casting directors and producers to see you as the unique solution to their casting needs.
Your actor-brand does the following:
Delivers your “essence” clearly – At the very core of you is a set of qualities that make up who you are as a person. This is deeper than type – this is what you’ve been told your whole life. For example, I have often been described as hilarious, innocent/gentle, and smart, but with a mischievous side to me that runs through it all. From that, I developed my main types: the funny best friend, the slacker/stoner, and the cool geek. My website, postcards, and even resume are whimsical, brightly-colored, and a little sassy. You know exactly what you’re going to get when I walk into the room.
Reinforces your professionalism and credibility – Amy talks a lot about one’s work being “crispy,” which means beings so specific that it pops. Your brand, when it’s crispy, shows that you are on top of your game. No sloppiness, no doubt – your brand says, “I’m a pro, and you can trust me to be on a set that costs $2000/minute to run.”
Emotionally connects to the casting director & producers – Remember, you are in sales, and the product your selling is YOU. Think of a product like Apple: they’re not selling phones, they’re selling the experience of the phone, and you connect on an emotional level. “That’s so awesome!” or “I could do so many cool things with that.” Etc. The point is, you want to be their go-to actor, the face that pops up in their mind when they’re casting your type(s). When they get your postcard, or see your website, you want them to be emotionally affected so that they get excited and start imagining all the ways they could use you as an actor.
There are thousands and thousands of actors that look like you. There are thousands and thousands of actors that are as trained as you, have MFAs, etc. Your type is not unique. Other actors work just as hard as you. Your competition is fierce, and it’s easy to psych yourself out when you walk into an audition room because you’re going to see 20 people who “deserve” this part as much as you. The ONLY special thing about you is that there is only one of YOU – the special qualities and experiences that make up who you are. Figure out who that is, and you’ll have your brand.
Guys, casting directors and producers have a hard job. If you create a clear brand of the kind of actor that you are, you make their job easy – and that means more WORK!
Amy Lyndon is the Founder and CEO of the Lyndon Technique, the 15 Guideline Map to Booking for actors at all levels. With over 20 years experience and clients at all levels of the industry, Amy provides insights found nowhere else. Jump start your career by downloading her totally free 4-Week Booking Kit at www.TLTaccess.com!