I remember a particular time when I first got in the industry. I was “in between agents.” That’s code for: my agent dropped me because I couldn’t afford to get a new batch of headshots printed.
I was going through a particularly long dry spell and I hadn’t booked a gig in months. Desperate didn’t even begin to describe what it felt like.
After a while, all kinds of negative things start to go through your mind.
“Why did I ever think I could be a professional actor? Should I pack it up and go home? Will anyone even hire me again after not working for so long?”
The best time to find your next role, is when you have just landed one. Some of this is the market factor: you’re in demand all of a sudden. Part of it is psychological: you have nothing to lose because you already have a gig anyway.
But what if you don’t even have an idea of where your next gig will come from. What if you have no one to turn to for help and no network to tap for audition leads?
This is when you have to get a bit creative and most of all you have to be bold.
I got an email not too long ago from someone who said that he hadn’t even been on a good audition in months, so he invited himself to one. He did some Instagram sleuthing found an audition that would other wise be out of his reach and walked right in.
He acted like he was supposed to be there and like there had been some mistake for him not being on the roster. In the end, he had to wait a few hours but they finally squeezed him in.
He wasn’t cast for that role but it gave this guy the courage to get back on the horse and get after it again. It only took a few days for him to land some regional commercial work.
While that may not be the best strategy, the point is that you have to be bold and a bit creative. You have to make things happen when nothing is going on.
One of the easiest ways to land an acting job is to create one for yourself. Chances are you have tons of actor friends with time on their hands too. Surely, one of you knows a writer with a few scripts laying around and a director that needs to get back on the horse too.
Just getting back out there and working (even if it’s for yourself) will create tons of great energy that you can capitalize on and build momentum from there.
Great things happen when you let go and let it flow. One of our fellow tribe members was doing just this, and because she was in the right place at the right time being bold and creative, she got an A-lister to do a speaking cameo.
If this seems like too much to do on your own, just attach yourself to something already in production. Call around to film schools and ask about the projects everyone is working on.
You could also find film students on Instagram and reach out to them telling them that you like the work they do and that you’re available for their projects.
This is super flattering for a young filmmaker, and they will end up telling you about their friends that have productions going on too.
I’ve known multiple actors who broke their cold streak by reaching out and booking meetings with new agents. Even if you’re not looking for new representation at the time (though if you do have an agent but you’re not booking work it may be time to consider switching), there’s no harm in seeing what else is out there.
Plus, if a new agent is interested in you they will tell you about what projects are casting. Ask them about sending you out on a few auditions to test the waters with them and see if it’s a good fit for both of you before you sign with them.
Many agents will decline, but if you present yourself well, the good ones will almost always agree.
The most important thing is to get you back in the game and acting again. It may require some humility and you may end up in a production that you don’t exactly want to put on your resume. That’s ok.
I think it was Jack Nicholson that said, “it’s ok to be in terrible movies, but that doesn’t mean you have to be terrible in them.”
When you’re going through this, remember that it’s not about going straight to the silver screen. It’s just about breaking the dry spell.
Just get some positivity and momentum going.
You have to feel and actually make forward progress, so don’t just enroll in another acting class.
Some actors will do this under the guise of “networking” and there is some validity in that but only if you actually do the networking. If you do make it a point to get to know everyone in class and get to know your instructor, by all means go to class and make the most of it.
Mostly, I wanted to give you different ideas than what you may have already seen elsewhere.
Truthfully, if you spend some time at the Boost My Star blog and actually do what it says, you should never experience a dry spell.
A good industry reputation will also open doors to new and better representation, which in turn leads to better opportunities.
Here’s how to dramatically boost your industry reputation quickly.
Combine this with a good social media presence, leverage these tools correctly and you should never be at a loss for work.
I wrote this release because over the last few weeks, I have seen an increase in the questions coming in from actors who are facing this scenario. Now that we’ve tackled it, I want to know what you would like me to write about next.
Let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email. I read every one that comes through.
I always want you to get the most of Boost My Star and that it remains the go to place for everything about the industry that no one else talks about.
See you at the top,