What do you do after the director calls the production a wrap?
Almost all actors go back the drawing board, waiting for their agents to find something else for them to work on.
Sometimes it may take a few months for the next job to come around.
But what if it didn’t have to be like that? What if you could continuously go from one production to the next whenever you wanted to?
Someone once told me “it’s great to open new doors, but you should never let one close behind you.” What he meant was that, to fully take advantage of an opportunity, you should leverage it into multiple opportunities.
One of the greatest places for you to find your next production, is the one you are working on.
Almost all actors ignore this.
Look at it this way. Successful businesses rely on repeat customers and for many businesses this could be as high as 70% of their revenue.
Businesses that fail tend to have revenue from repeat customers much, much lower than this. When this happens you never get to hit your stride.
You see this in the industry too, because it’s easier to maintain a relationship than it is to build a new one.
Look at the most successful actors and you will see that they all have a core group of people that they work with constantly.
Think Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg…
The reason they team up is because it’s the path of least resistance. Is it easier with Tom Hanks again or is it easier to find a new Tom Hanks?
Casting Directors spend the first few years of their career building a “rolodex” of talent. Their aim is to find actors to call on in the future. When they are casting a 30 something, witty blonde with great comedic timing they know just who to call.
CDs don’t want to go back to square one every time, any more than you do.
They don’t want to sort dozens of reels, go through the audition process, call backs, scheduling and negotiations. They would rather just call someone from their Rolodex.
The question then becomes: how do you make it on to the Rolodex?
You have to earn your spot by delivering an outstanding performance of course and proving that you are a serious and professional actor.
Beyond that you have to make an unforgettable impression on everyone you work with, in particular the Casting Director.
Almost everyone forgets about the CD the moment they get booked. You really should already be nurturing the relationship at this point.
Next time you go on an audition, the minute you get back home you should pop a thank you card in the mail to the CD. Be sure to include your name so that it is clearly legible.
Stuff like that doesn’t happen often to a CD and they will remember and appreciate it. That doesn’t mean you will be cast for that particular role, but your goal with this is to start a relationship and make an unforgettable impression.
When you are cast, you should do the same thing after you have finished the job. Along with a thank you card, consider sending a small bouquet of flowers or an Edible Arrangements type of fruit basket. Let them know how much you enjoyed working on the project, how great everyone else was to work with, and that you hope to work with them (the CD) again.
This will put you top of mind, and if you knocked it out of the park on set, you are well on your way into the rolodex.
After all, why else would they go back to square one next time they need to cast for something you would be perfect in?
Nowadays, since our lives play out on social media, it’s easy to find birthdays, new job announcements, and other reasons to reach out with a congratulatory gesture.
Don’t let those little opportunities go by.
Remember “it’s great to open new doors, but you should never let one close behind you.”
This is how you can leverage one job, into multiple ones. Don’t take it lightly. Do this systematically and without fail.
You can even do this for jobs you recently booked.
The great thing is that it you and the CD are probably on similar career tracks. So if you are reading for one and two liners at this point, that is what they are currently casting too and you can move up the ranks together.
Their career track tends to move faster so as they graduate to bigger and better projects, you will benefit from that too.
This effort will however be in vain if your industry reputation doesn’t match your goals.
Before putting their stamp of approval on an actor, CDs will look into you. They will review your IMDb profile, scan your social media and make sure that everything measures up.
Be sure that when they do this, you again make a good impression, otherwise you may never get in the room to begin with.
As I write this, 2018 is just about half over. If it hasn’t been all that you hoped for, maybe it’s time to switch gears and put this to work.
Remember, I’m always here if you have questions. Shoot me an email or ask away in the comments below.
See you at the top,