By Jill Place, The Acting Intuitive
This is the first in a series of marketing ideas for actors . . . little things you can do to advance your career.
Years ago, fresh off an audition which I aced in spades (and got!), I was driving down Laurel Canyon and waved at two others who had also auditioned (they didn’t). They seemed like great girls. And later they became my many-year friends. But then, they rolled down the passenger-side window and yelled, “Going to Mirabelle on the Strip. Wanna come?”
Mirabelle is still there on Sunset. And so is the concept put in my head all those years ago by Vic Tayback, riding the wave of incredibly successful TV sitcom after many years as an equally successful character actor. I was really cute then, fresh off yet another diet and exercise program to squeeze into a size 6 for a show. And wearing a really revealing outfit to boot. After a few minutes with my newly-found friends, I joined Tayback at the bar. And, after he found out that I had a brain and was an observer at the Actor’s Studio, light flirtation gave way to serious talk about acting.
We closed the place, my friends long gone. And, as he walked me to my car, he said something I’ve NEVER forgotten to this day. “In order to succeed in Hollywood, you have to be great at both acting AND business.” (I wasn’t, so I didn’t.)
I’m still learning about business to this day. And I’ve seen business-savvy actors with little talent or training working all the time. So I know that Tayback’s advice was true. My advice to you, therefore, is to learn as much about the acting business as you can. And begin to think of your acting as a commodity . . . one to excel at and sell equally.
Here are some ACTION STEPS to do that:
1. Check out 5 to 10 classes that teach the business of acting and take the 1 or 2 that resonate with you. I’m readying my own marketing program but, in the meantime, check out Dallas Travers, Shawn Tolleson and others like them.
2. Type in “Top 10 Acting Blogs” in your search engine and subscribe to several. I like http://www.actorhub.co.uk. Yes, It’s a UK blog but has many, many articles for actors, including a “career” section with lots of good articles on the Biz of ShowBiz. www.dailyactor.com is an L.A.-local blog that has good advice also. And subscribe to www.flipboard.com on your tablet or smart phone; it’s a great way to organize all those beloved blogs and articles.
3. Find some books that give you the down-and-dirty about ShowBiz Biz. I like Bonnie Gillespie’s books and the Michael Shurtliff classic, Audition, but there are many others.
4. Develop a mindset that negotiating the Biz of ShowBiz is a skill and as much fun as learning how to act. And that networking and meeting new people is essential to your success. I can’t see a downside in all that. Neither should you!
Leave Your Comments About “You ARE an Actor-Business” Below
How much ShowBiz marketing expertise do you have? What books have you read? What classes have you attended? Do you find that you’re as good at business as you are at acting? What major experience can you share about meeting with an agent, Casting Director, or other ShowBizzer that took your Actor-Business to the next level?