So, it started just like any other day off. I was wandering the streets of NYC and wound up in Central Park. It was a beautiful day and tons of people were coming and going in every direction. That’s one of the greatest things about the city: the energy (cliché but true).
To preface this story, I want to first state that I’m a big believer in synchronicity. I believe I found myself in exactly the place I was supposed to be at exactly the time I was supposed to be there. Trusting in synchronicity means that I also trust my gut instincts without question, almost always.
So when I walked by what would, to every “normal person” in the world, seem like a private conversation, I trusted my gut when I felt I needed to lend an inconspicuous ear.
Call me crazy (I may not disagree with you LOL)!
I took a seat next to that young couple and innocently eavesdropped on something that changed my worldview. After listening to her boyfriend complain about not being cast in yet another production, this wise young lady snapped and said
“Enough already! You’ve been doing the same thing for 3 years. Make your own damn movie!”
Truer words have never been spoken.
I sat for a couple more minutes as I heard him actually be encouraged by the thought of doing it. Apparently, he had an idea he’d been “working on” but never really put much action into.
This guy’s demeanor changed completely! He went from down and out to bursting at the seams with excitement. More on this in a bit.
See, this is one of the reasons that I trust in synchronicity. Unknowingly, I too was inspired by this random exchange at the park. As I strolled through the park, I was complaining to myself about hitting a plateau in my own career and not being able to get past it.
Putting my own ideas into action, is how I discovered The Walsh Effect. Really I re-discovered it, but that’s a story for another time.
If you’re reading this, you can get started with The Walsh Effect right away and you will find yourself in good company. It’s been used by people at the very top of our industry like Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks, Uma Thurman, Molly Ringwald, Russel Crowe, George Clooney, the list goes on and on and on.
Most of them have used The Walsh Effect several times, hitting new career highs each time.
It’s pretty a simple concept.
So, if you’ve been around Boost My Star for any length of time, you probably know that I’m huge fan of Entourage. Personally, I think Ari Gold (yes the character) deserves his own star on the walk of fame.
Through much of the series, the main character Vincent Chase works on films with an up and coming director: Billy Walsh. Enter The Walsh Effect
At the time the character was introduced, Vincent needed to find a project to get back in the game after a really long break. He ended up working on a small budget film with Billy Walsh. In the end the relationship allowed both of them to hit new strides and get their careers on track.
When you study the industry, you can see The Walsh Effect being put into practice all the time, in a couple different ways! It can be an actor that hitches his wagon to the rising star of a director, a director that forms a creative partnership with a rising actor, and it can even happen in behind the scenes roles. Think Steven Spielberg and John Williams, who spent over 30 years scoring Spielberg’s films.
By leveraging The Walsh Effect, you can unlock a treasure trove of new opportunities.
Here’s how you do it…
Find your own Billy Walsh. See, most of us are waiting to be discovered and that’s precisely why getting ahead in the industry seems so hard at times. There is an epidemic in the industry that no one talks about.
A giant case of the “if only” syndrome has been going around for decades! If only I could get my reel in front X person. If only I could audition for the CD instead of a delegate. If only I could get a better agent…
It all stems from a feeling of a disempowerment that leads us to believe that our careers are in the hands of others. As if all we could do is wait for “them” to come looking for us.
When you leverage The Walsh Effect, you flip the script. Go look for your own Billy Walsh and I guarantee that you will find someone. So many actors see the heads of production, even of small productions, as holding the keys to the kingdom. Not so!
They need you as badly as you need them.
As a member of the tribe, the key to doing this has been in your possession all along…
See, almost no one uses this incredible tool properly.
IMDb is the largest database of like minded people that are working toward the same goal as you are, that you will ever find. Use it to your advantage.
The members of our tribe that have the best rankings are finding that things are much easier for them in an audition setting. They have found that their level of credibility and professionalism is a nonissue in a casting decision. It can open doors for you that you never even knew existed.
That’s half of the equation. When you employ the other half of the equation it’s like an entirely different universe.
The goal is to find someone to collaborate with. See, in any industry, it takes a team to get to the top. Think sports: Tom Brady is nothing without Gronkowski. In music: Justin Timberlake was stuck until he found Timbaland. Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are among the most awarded actor-director duos of all time.
You can do this one of two ways. You can sign up for an IMDb Pro account, if you don’t already have one. They usually even have a free trial which might suffice for what you are going to accomplish. With the IMDb Pro account, you will have access to the contact information for almost anyone in the industry.
In under 60 seconds, I was able to get the direct number and email for an Oscar winning director’s Manager. Side note: remember the demonstration of Power Pack? Here’s your chance!
Think about it. Why do you have your information or your agent’s information listed in IMDb? For the exposure and opportunities, right? So when you reach out to a director that you genuinely admire it’s not weird or out of the norm. It’s what they are hoping for too.
The other way to do it is to compile a list of people you want to reach out to, using the free IMDb search and do it via social media. This might take a bit longer to do but you should still get to the same destination.
Here’s what you need to do now.
Compile a list of 10-20 productions that you would have liked to work on. Don’t aim for the moon just yet, think of smaller productions.
Next find the director and their contact information, either from IMDb, personal websites, or social media.
Finally reach out to them and strike up a conversation. People love talking about themselves and you should only be reaching out about productions you genuinely admired. If you want a more tactical approach for how to reach out, spend some time surfing the blog archives. I’ve put out tons of content about this subject.
Not everyone you contact will respond and not everyone who responds will be interested in having a conversation. That’s ok. You want to find a director that is driven and passionate about their work.
See, when you contact someone and complement their work, they like you and feel compelled to give you an opportunity. If they don’t have one, they’ll find one.
Just like you are constantly looking for new roles, directors are constantly looking for new productions to work on and those productions need talent.
Simple? Make sense? It’s not rocket science. Success in the industry is formulaic. Sadly, so many actors get stuck waiting for something to happen instead of making something happen. Which brings me back to that couple on the park bench.
Not too long after this encounter I found myself on Indiegogo, supporting a friend’s campaign. Lo and behold, I saw a familiar face prominently featured on the homepage. The guy from the park, has just exceeded his goal and raised $125,000 to make his movie!
Changing things up is part of the formula. Stuff wasn’t working for him and he changed things. So what will you do grasshopper?
If the above formula doesn’t feel right, it may not be right for you. Just find something that does feel right and make sure that it goes against what everyone else is doing. Chart your own path and make things happen.
Whether you choose to go down this road or not, you will need to stand out from the crowd with a stellar industry reputation and great social media following. Here’s the solution for that.
Remember that I’m always here to help so if you have any questions, I’m only an email or a comment away.
See you at the top,