Are you Wile E. Coyote or The Road Runner?
A lot of actors run around chasing an elusive agent or the career they only dream about much like Wile E. Coyote – you know from those outrageous Looney Tunes? Let me give you an example:
*Self submitting on actor’s access– a good thing for getting your first few non-paying or non-union jobs but it won’t bring you the higher level roles that are out there. It’s a good starting strategy. It’s for beginners and non-union actors. Getting paid for a project – LESS than 1-2% of actors are paid.
*Doing Indie films, student films, non-union commercials...some of these may be good but most are mediocre because those guys- students, beginners- are also starting out- creating their first film and still figuring things out- not quite professional level work. Getting Paid or getting viable clips – 3-5%.
* LIVE showcases– There are exceptions like a great theater troupe with talented writers and actors in NYC) but generally they run the gamut from actors producing their own scene night or just paying to meet Agents and CD’s and showing your work with a monologue. Many CD’s will see your work, comment, rave, compliment but not hire. Unless your timing is amazing and they are casting EXACTLY your type that day, that week,they have no reason to call you in. And within a week they’ve seen hundreds more actors and forgotten you. So paying to meet or having industry see you in a “scene night” isn’t the best idea or the most efficient way to get cast. Most self-produced showcases are Not attended by industry Professionals- all that work,rehearsal, expense! Response Rate 1-2%.
(Paying to meet Casting Directors TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP and BUILD A NETWORK of Professionals who know you, like you and trust you is a good idea.)
*Casting Director Workshops and Seminars – These can be good opportunities to get some training on camera-doing scenes or just the experience of cold copy “readings” with CD’s. But getting work from these seminars? You don’t develop a career from constantly taking classes. Response Rate 1-2%.
*Webisodes…some are very funny, entertaining and some get “picked up” but most,sadly, are amateur or mediocre. The market is glutted with actors producing their own series- it was a great idea in 2008. Response rate: less than 1%.
*Sending a paper submission– head shot, resume and postcards...very traditional and can work for some- however, many Agents and CD’s don’t want paper clutter and want a Green office- would prefer an email. Unless you are “to- die- for- gorgeous” or under 16 or over 85- someone extremely unusual or highly rare AND marketable- they already have a dozen of you. Response rate: 1-2%
*Social Media-Facebooking or tweeting...some agents request this but many are annoyed if you crash their wall or facebook page. Do your research carefully. Don’t SPAM. Response rate stats. 0%
Of course, as an actor you have to publicize and promote yourself. But instead of wasting a lot of time like Wile E.- blowing up things with defective dynamite from the Acme company, paying for “tools” that don’t work or jumping off cliffs, why not cut to the chase, literally? Figure out the best way to get your career jump started and follow that path. How to do that?
Be a Road Runner. He knows where he’s going so he can go faster. He has a sense of humor and enjoys what he is doing- look at the innocent and amused expression on his face- nothing bothers him. He’s just doing what he loves and has mastered it.
Wile E. is angry, frustrated, and just inept at what he does. Plus he’s not paying attention. Half the time he runs so fast without looking where he’s going that he’s responsible for running off the cliff. He has created his own bad luck and bad timing. Nothing works. Sound familiar?
So here are some of the lessons and strategies from LOONEY TUNES:
1- Know your Road so you can go at top speed. Translation– know your market, study the show(s) you’re right for- TV, FILM, THEATER and target your niche- what roles you can play and who you resemble, your TYPE. Seriously. This is the key to playing that role which will recur in many different series. Prime time and films USE FORMULAS and TEMPLATES.
2- Know How to Run…FAST. Translation: Be up to sof your game with amazing marketing tools – are your head shots or demo reel from Acme? (Watch Looney Tunes to find out more about Acme). Know how to present yourself. When you meet a Casting Director are you walking into the room as a TOP VIABLE PRODUCT -i.e. “STAR” and giving a brilliant audition or are you just showing up as an average actor giving a good audition? Good isn’t good enough. Everyone’s good. To book you have to be TEN TIMES BETTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
3- Love the Process of Running.Translation: When you meet an Agent are you a “Hoot” to talk to? (Midwestern slang: Are you fun, likeable, someone who loves being an actor, a real asset to their roster?) Most top agents I know sign actors who they LIKE. They have to work with them daily and promote them and “go to bat” for them. Who would do that for even a talented actor who’s also: BORING, DULL, SELF-CENTERED, ANGRY, TENSE, EGOTISTICAL OR SHY? EEK! No one!
4- Honk your Horn with JOY. Beep-Beep! Translation: Do you promote yourself or reluctantly shy away from announcing who and what you are- what you have to offer? Your presentation whether it’s on paper, on video or in person should reflect your happiness at BEING YOU!
5- Be clever and spontaneous. When there’s an obstacle in your path do you figure out how to get around it or complain, suffer, try to blow it up, give up? The Road Runner just jumps over, goes through, laughs and Beep Beeps! No translation needed.
Ok, So besides the “Lessons and strategies ” from a silly cartoon, the other option you have is to seek out a Master – a Marketing Mentor who can work with you ONE-on-ONE, create a marketing program specifically for you and call an AGENT or two! Response rate: Getting Representation 95%
CUT TO THE CHASE! Keep running-FAST! (slow isn’t FUN!)
That’s all Folks!
P.S. If you’re ready to take your career to the NEXT LEVEL or you want to work with a Top Marketing Coach, check out my One-on-One Coaching programs, downloadable “LAUNCH YOUR ACTING CAREER” training CD’s and Winning Marketing Strategies (CD’s)…plus a FREE gift! check it out here..