Sunday, October 10, 2010

More on Networking

I was reading yesterday about networking at a web site and the writer was going on about how important it was for you to get to know people because who you know is so important. Well, yes, in a way. I prefer to turn that on its head and say your success is dependent upon who knows you. Either way it is important that you know people in the industry who can help you and it is important that they know you. To do effective networking you have to have the proper tools. Resume and head shot, of course, but also business card, personalized post cards and demo reel. It is very easy to put off getting these very important tools so I urge you not to delay and get these things together. Everytime you meet someone in the industry you give them a business card and ask them for one. The card is described in Networking for Success on my web site and is an appendix to my book. This means you have to carry quite a few cards with you at all times. If you have a job you can exchange cards with the other actors, the director, the AD's and others you may meet. When you get home you organize your cards in an album or rolladex. When ever you work with a director or casting director it is vital that you get their business card, and when the gig or audition is over, whether you are cast or not, you send them a postcard expressing your gratitude for the work or the opportunity and saying that you look forward to working with them again. The postcard is also described in my book and on my web site. When holidays come around you send the people in your collectiong of business cards, a greeting card with a note about your latest work and your business card in it. You also carry your head shot and resume with you at all times. This is easier if your resume is attached to the back of your head shot. Use commercial double sided tape. Do not try to make your own double sided tape. If you should happen to stumble into a director, casting director or agent, you want to get your head shot and resume in their hands,saying you would love the opportunity to work with them. Now the last tool is your demo reel. This is the hardest to get for beginners, but it is very important. You might want to work up your three monologues and go to a studio and have a professional make a CD of your doing them. If you are in any films or stage shows, try hard to get a CD of your performance. Put everything on one CD and make several copies. Carry a few with you and be prepared to give them to casting directors, directors and agents that you may run into. Okay, so you are loaded down with business cards, resumes/head shots, and CD's. Good, you are ready to network and get yourself out there and known by the people in the industry. I know, the cost of all this sometimes overwhelms the beginner, but you must never forget that acting is a business and you have to invest in your business if you are going to make it succeed. Thus, the first thing on the aspiring actor's list is to get a job so he can make enough money to pursue his goal. God bless, Doc

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