So lately I’ve been taking workshops and classes on the business of acting. The main things I’ve gathered is making and building relationships, specificity, and a positive attitude.
Building relationships: this is key. Especially with casting directors/associates/assistants. They’re not the gatekeepers to my success, they’re my biggest supporter. I went to this workshop that talked about breakdowns. A breakdown is when a project needs casting, it’s posted online, and actors can submit themselves (or agents/managers submit them) electronically. Anyways, within 30 minutes, I saw a live post get over 1500 submissions. Jeez louise. I felt sorry for casting directors because they have to look through all those profiles, reels, headshots, etc. to fill in that one spot. For actors, it’s a crapshoot … if you don’t know the casting director. You’re just another one in the pile. That’s why it’s best to build relationships. If I can build a relationship with a casting director, he/she may even think of me for a role (that I’d be perfect for) even before the part is posted. Thus, making their life easier and me with an audition. They don’t want to look through 1500 submissions. Nobody does.
Specificity: I have to know what casting directors I want to know and which ones should know me. I’m a particular brand. I look very young, so my brand is the quirky student/friend that can be seen in shows like vampire diaries and the secret life of an American teenager. So, I have to target casting directors of those specific shows. By being specific, I have a method of going about my career, instead of slipping my headshots and resumes in random car window shields. Being specific also helps with acting. When given a role to audition, you’re usually competing with many people that look like you and can read. So, what makes you different? The choices you make for that particular role. The attitude, the mannerisms, the character. An actor is not about reading and memorizing lines, but bringing a character from paper to life.
Positive attitude: if you can visualize it, you can do it. And I can, most definitely. Of course it’s hard to stay positive when the industry is saturated with bad people trying to take advantage of you and bring you down. But it’s also up to us to let all that shit effects us or not. There are a lot of good people out there too and fortunately for me, I’ve had a lot of people root for me: friends, family, and industry people. There are enough roles for everyone!
I guess with all this in mind, it makes the whole career choice not as bleak and hopeless. I just have to trust in myself and the universe and everything will be ok 🙂