Dear grasshopper, if you’re on this page, it’s probably because something about The Demonstration of Power Pack intrigued you.
Rightfully so! Before I give you the details on it though, take just a second and allow yourself to approach this concept with an open mind.
It’s simple yet brilliant. When you read about it you might think that it’s way too much work for you to take on, or that your situation is different.
Relax. You can actually pull this off with materials you already have and it’s deceptively simple.
Plus, at the end, I’ll give you examples for how to do this easily and on the cheap. I’ll also go over how this will work for you in multiple situations.
First let’s talk about what The Demonstration of Power Pack is. It’s pretty self explanatory. It’s a literal package, delivered to your “target” that is intended to create a sense of Shock and Awe.
Let me give you an example that I learned about over lunch last week.
There was an agent at WME, let’s call him Tommy, that was pretty fresh out of the mailroom and he was just building his book of clients. Most of them were D listers looking to move up in the world or newcomers that showed promise.
Tommy had hit a brick wall with a client that happened to be a newcomer. She was super talented but because of her short resume, he could not get his new client an audition. Everyone thought she was just too green.
Normally, this is when someone would throw in the towel. But not Tommy, not his client, and I know you wouldn’t quit either.
So this it when The Demonstration of Power Pack was created. Like every other great invention, it was created out of need and in a do or die moment.
Tommy’s client fit a very important criteria that super agents look for when signing new talent…she was smart!
The brilliant idea that she came up with was so crazy that it had to work, or at least that’s what she hoped.
She wanted to read for a new project that would put her alongside some pretty big stars but of course Tommy couldn’t get her an audition the old fashioned way.
This is where it gets interesting. She went to Target and picked up a briefcase.
She loaded the briefcase with a portable DVD player charged and preloaded with her reel. She rigged it so that the DVD player would power up when the briefcase was opened.
She then printed a giant headshot, wrapped it in brown butcher paper, and rolled into a scroll. She even sealed it with red wax and a stamp.
While at Target she also picked up a neck pillow and a bag of popcorn that also made their way into the briefcase, along with a cigar, and 2 notes that said “read first, read second.”
The first note read “sit down, get comfortable, press play and enjoy a snack…Then call casting and tell them I’m your leading lady.”
If you think that’s bold, get a load of this…
The second note read “go to this restaurant tonight at 7:15 pm and tell them you’re here to meet Tommy. He’s my agent. You two can work out the details over dinner. After dinner, light your celebratory cigar because we are going to make a great f***ing movie.
Yes grasshopper I agree, this is totally nuts! But that’s the kind of business we’re in: showbusiness!
Her agent was super skeptical about it working but he admired her creativity so he said “you put the briefcase together and if you get him to show up to dinner, I’ll wine and dine the hell out of him.” All in, she spent less than $200 on this experiment and the return has been humongous.
She got the role she was after, and has since worked on many projects for this studio, starring alongside Ben Affleck, Paul Giamatti, Reese Witherspoon, and many more.
She pulled the career of her dreams out of this little experiment. These days, when she’s not doing a feature, you can catch her doing a recurring role on primetime.
Was there an element of luck? Absolutely. But she did something, instead of sitting on her hands waiting for the phone to ring. If she went through all of this effort and didn’t get a response, she would have just ended up right back where she started, so she had nothing to lose.
But let’s say that your situation is different. Let’s say that you’re trying to land an agent instead, or that you’re not going after a single role but just trying to get a few more auditions under your belt.
Ideally you would send a Demonstration of Power Pack to your top 5 agent choices or your top 5 CDs for auditions you want to get into.
While The Demonstration of Power Pack in its original form will have the best results and get you most responses, at some point it kind of gets cost prohibitive.
So, I’ll give you a few examples of how to lower or zero out costs.
The important thing to remember is that the goal is to create an experience for the receiver that is unforgettable and forces their attention onto your reel.
It doesn’t have to be as orchestrated a courier delivered briefcase.
If you need to scale The Demonstration of Power Pack down to drive down costs so you can reach more people, you could mail them a flash drive, comp card, a note, and a snickers bar instead.
This would be ideal for reaching out to multiple agents or multiple Casting Directors, without spending a ton of cash. It still gives you the benefit of differentiating and creates a unique-enough experience for the recipient, since no one else is doing this.
And if you really want to scale the concept down and accomplish this without spending any cash, you could do the entire thing online.
Put together a simple website using Wix. It should have your reel, your resume and headshot available, along with clear instructions on how to contact you. This simple website would only take you a couple of hours to put together and it would allow you to send out The Demonstration of Power Pack at scale, to whoever you wanted to, and without even paying for postage.
So, there you have it tribe.
You’re likely thinking one of two things.
1. This is crazy and it’ll never work
2. I have to try this!
Look, you only live once. Why not go all in, right? This is far from the only time that WME has used this strategy on new talent. The Demonstration of Power Pack is now an integral part of the talent launch playbook.
It has since evolved and gone to a level Tommy and his client would have never imagined. Think barbershop quartet, and Obama impersonators delivering classified intel. The beauty of it is that you are only limited by your will, and your imagination.
So, what will you come up with?
The industry is hungry for new talent, so hand it to them on a silver platter.
Research shows that you are almost twice as likely to succeed with something new if you just take 1 related action step immediately after learning about it. So shoot me an email and tell me what ideas came to mind.
Remember tribe, I’m always here to help in whatever way I can. I can’t wait to hear your success stories with this so keep me in the loop.
P.S. In case you’re new to the tribe, start here. This is what we’re all about.