Hollywood is all about access. How far you go in the industry will largely be determined by the people and the resources you have access to.
Unfortunately, this business is not a complete meritocracy.
Some actors choose to complain about this and sulk when they are passed over for a role by someone who had the right contacts.
Others choose to adapt to the way the industry works rather than fighting against it. After all, this is a people business, just like anything else.
What follows is the tale of one of the busiest actors around and the way she got into the industry. I’m sharing every detail with you so that you can do the same and force the industry to take you seriously already.
She came to this town with a dream and a lot of hustle.
Her journey may be different than the path you’re on but that’s kind of the point. If you continue doing the same thing you’re doing now, then you will continue to get the same results you have always gotten.
She graduated FSU with a degree in journalism.
Just like most of us, she came to the industry with zero contacts and started doing what everyone else does: acting classes, workshops, open calls.
She landed a few things here and there but nothing meaningful and more than that, she was struggling.
Without a support system to turn to, she began documenting her journey.
One blog post every now and then, turned into a blog post per week. Soon, she was blogging daily. Even that morphed into a daily Vlog.
It wasn’t self aggrandizing, it was genuine. She was basically journaling her experience with trying to make it in the industry. She documented the struggles, the heartache, and the successes.
As her influence grew, the industry started to notice. First, she started appearing on podcasts, then came the occasional local morning shows.
Pretty soon, she was seen as an industry insider and an industry expert. She was being asked to do everything from movie reviews to participating in script development panels.
That’s where her story pivots. She leveraged that insider access into conversations about her acting aspirations.
See, Steven Spielberg built his career from an internship at Universal Studios. He would work until noon everyday and then spend the rest of the day going from one sound stage to the next, getting to know the people.
He got to know everyone from the leading actors to the stagehands.
He leveraged the one card he had to play: access.
You may be a once in a generation kind of actor but if you don’t have insider’s access, no one will get to see that about you.
The question then becomes “how do you get it?”
You could go the traditional route and try to work your way up on the audition circuit and hope that one day you’re invited into the fold.
You could force the industry to take notice by bringing massive amounts of attention with you. That’s what the subject of today’s post did, though she did it largely by accident.
You can do it on purpose and achieve what you’re after faster and more effectively.
The way to get the industry’s attention is to bring some of your own. They are no longer willing to build new talent from scratch. That’s why everyone in the industry is so focused on social media and building a platform.
A lot of actors get this wrong and go after attention arbitrarily. You have to leverage that attention into access.
Consider it a bridge to your destination, not the destination itself.
Once you get into a premiere, for example, no one cares why you’re there. They won’t care if you’re there to review the event for your blog or if you’re there being swooned by a new manager.
To get started on this today come up with an attention-getting plan. It doesn’t have to be blogging, that’s just an easy one with a low barrier of entry.
You could start a podcast and interview the decision makers in town. Interview the agents you would like to represent you and start the conversation that way. Interview directors you would like to work with and other actors you admire.
If there’s one thing everyone in the industry wants more of, it’s attention, so getting guests on your show will be relatively easy and they will help you spread the word about their appearance on your show.
That will help you go from zero listeners to the stratosphere, fast.
That’s a pretty good strategy, I encourage you to give that one quite a bit of consideration.
To make things a bit easier on you, here’s how I can help.
Attention, begets attention so it’s easier to go from 1,000 listeners to 100,000 listeners than it is to go from 0 to 100 listeners.
Having some of it already will help you in the initial stages, so let us give you a bit of a boost.
Aside from that, you want to be sure that your pedigree matches your project. So, if you’re trying to launch a podcast for example, it will be difficult to get people on your show with a STARmeter of 100K!
That doesn’t mean you have to be in the teens, but your guests will want to see that your career is a work in progress not DOA.
So, what will you launch as your attention getting plan Grasshopper? Let me know if in the comments below or shoot me an email. I read every one that comes through.
If there’s a way that I can support you in your pursuit, let me know that too.
After all, my goal is to…
See you at the top,