My grandfather knew nothing about almost everything…and this made him one of the smartest people I’ve ever known.
See he knew that he didn’t know and that he couldn’t know everything, so he embraced it. He took a page from the Henry Ford philosophy of “why should I clutter my mind with such things when I can have the answer readily available from 20 people in my employ.”
So whenever he encountered a problem, my grandfather asked someone for advice.
He knew that in our fast moving world, it took a village to do most things. Think about it. Did you build the device you’re using to read this? Is your home built of your own effort or did someone else put hammer to nails to build it for you?
Being an actor is no different. Not a single successful person in this industry climbed their way to the top solely through their own efforts. It always takes a team and more importantly, it takes a community.
That’s what today’s release is all about. It’s about you tapping into the collective mind of our tribe and getting answers to the most common questions I’m asked on an almost daily basis.
Question: I’m not getting as much work as I would like but I’m doing everything I’m supposed to. What’s the problem?
Answer: If you’re not getting as much work as you feel you should, consider that you may in fact be doing everything you think you’re supposed to be doing. We often get caught up in the minutiae and activity of the industry. These are things that make us feel like we’re making progress but are in fact, little more than busy work. Create a focused plan, and implement it with relentless focus. Here’s a great place to start.
Question: I know I’m a good actor and I audition well, why am I not being cast?
Answer: The reasons for this can be multiple. Every audition you go on, no matter how big or how small the part, should be for a role you were born to play. Are you going after roles that you’re not a slam dunk fit for? Take an honest assessment of this and ask a friend to help you out, if you need a second opinion. Ultimately, if you’re not being cast, it’s because you haven’t made yourself the only logical choice for the part. Check out the full strategy for that here.
Question: I almost always get a call back but can’t seem to land the role. What is going on?
Answer: If you’re having trouble closing deal, see answer 2 above. It stems from the same symptoms. You have to create a category of one for yourself and ensure that you dominate it. Getting a callback is great but you have to be able to consistently close the deal and land the role. If the back half of the equation is broken, this means that you didn’t do a good enough job of making yourself the only logical choice in the CD’s mind. After all of the auditions are over with and the CD is sifting through a pile of headshots, yours should be set aside. You should be the one that they are comparing everyone else to, instead of being just another one in the pile. The best differentiator is a great industry reputation and phenomenal social media capital. Here’s where to start with that.
Question: My reel is top notch, I’ve put a ton of time and effort into it and it rocks but no one ever asks me for it…
Answer: Sometimes the answer is in the question you ask, grasshopper. So many actors spend way more time tweaking their reel than they ever spend marketing it! Yes, you need a reel but more than that you need someone to want your reel! Instead of obsessing over your reel and wondering if it’s ready, spend some time creating a strategy to market yourself to the industry. If you’re going even 1 day without someone asking you for your reel or inviting you to read, your career momentum is nowhere near where it should be. So, put your reel together and then leave it alone for a while, it doesn’t have to be perfect just good enough to get you in the door. You’ll do the rest once you’re there.
Question: Is my agent really looking out for me? He sends me out on auditions that are basically open calls and I’m not getting work. When do I know if it’s time to switch?
Answer. Ready for a hard truth?...If you’re agent isn’t working out so well, look in the mirror to find the reason. When I first started in this industry, I went through nearly a handful of agents before realizing this. There was nothing wrong with any of them (except for 1 but that’s a story for another time), the problem was with me. I binged on Netflix, went to acting class, and waited for my phone to ring. I did very little to gain any kind of exposure in the industry. So, realize that your agent is only as good as you are. If you want to get into bigger and better auditions, give your agent more to work with. If all they have from you is a headshot, resume, and a reel that isn’t all that different from the dozens of other clients they have, how effective can they really be? Give them this to work with and you’ll be on your way in no time. When you have given your agent every tool available, including a unique angle and a category of one designation, and they still can’t get you into better auditions, then it’s time to seek new representation. Just be sure you do so tactfully.
If you noticed the recurring theme in today’s release you win the prize LOL! Your success is totally dependent on you. If you’re not currently where you want to be in your career, consider what you might be doing to hold yourself back.
Are you putting every tool at your disposal to use? Are you attempting to stand out from the crowd, while doing the exact same things they are doing? I don’t need to tell you that success in the industry is hard earned, you already know that. But I would be remised if I didn’t remind you that it takes more than just hard work. So I have to ask you what do you intend do differently?
If nothing else, make sure that you are at least building your career on a solid foundation. Remember, you’re not in this alone! I get tons of questions every day, so if you haven’t reached out yet, remember that I’m always only a comment or an email away.
See you at the top,