How to figure out how to sell yourself as an actor in the business of 'show business'

Authenticme By Authenticme, 5th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Business>Sales & Marketing

Acting is a competitive industry, here are some tips to help you stand up and be counted in the business of acting

How to determine your selling point as an actor

The first thing to consider when determining your selling point is that you are, in fact, a product. The sooner you begin to think in those terms, the sooner you will get on the right track and set the wheels in motion. That doesn't mean you aren't acting for the love of it, but you also deserve to be compensated for your skills and talents. If you work hard at your craft and have ability, why shouldn't you be compensated as much as the next person?

In terms of your selling points, it's easy to look at the array of actors' headshots gracing the walls of drama schools each summer, and feel somewhat defeated. There may be hundreds of actors who have a similar 'look' to you, eye colour, hair colour, build. However if you look at it that way, you may as well give up now! Whether or not they look a bit like you, the fact is they AREN'T you, nor can they play a role in the unique way you can. As Woody Allen was quoted as saying, 'You wake up and you're 80 per cent the role ' - in other words, a large part of who you are as a person comes into play when approaching a character. Try as you may, you can't BECOME someone else, you just can't, you can only reveal different sides of your own self in a role. The point being, you need to believe that you and you alone can play certain roles better than anyone else - or at least in your own unique way, with your own insights.

So once you have your self esteem in tact, you can begin to think in terms of selling yourself. You may not be able to be objective, so ask other actors who have worked with you what it is that makes you stand out from other actors. Maybe it's your work ethic, your energy, diligence, easy going nature, ability to listen. Directors and teachers are also of course great sources for feedback - perhaps you are able to take direction very well, bring something new to the table for each rehearsal, and are able to leave your ego at the door. All of these personal and professional qualities will stand you in good stead when approaching agents in the first instance, and attending interviews with potential agents. If you know what you can offer an agent and have confidence in your own ability, the agent - actor relationship can get off the ground.

In terms of your 'look', this is an important part of your package as an actor as your headshot is essentially your calling card. Choose a headshot photographer who can highlight your selling points and accentuate your best features - one who will give you a sit-down consultation first and discuss yoru casting. For colour shots think about the colours which best suit you, and for women make sure your makeup isn't too overpowering - easy on the eyeliner as casting directors need to see your 'canvas', rather than a mask.

In terms of your selling point for casting, make sure your CV lists those roles which will support the casting direction you are going for. Streamline your CV - you may need someone who knows their stuff to look at it for you- and tailor it to your desired casting - much like you would tailor your CV for a job.

If unsure of your casting, watch tv dramas regularly and consider your 'casting type' - after all you will be up for actual roles and most of those are advertised through Spotlight. Are you the down to earth young mum, the competent doctor figure, the wayward younger brother or sister, the streetwise best friend to name a few? Even if you are quite versatile there will be a casting which best suits you, and you need to be in touch with what this is. You can then sharpen your image for future castings, with the help of your agent.

Above all make sure your promotional material - headshot and CV, are top notch, as these are casting directors' first impression of you. It's worth investing the time and money to source photographers and filmmakers who will deliver quality work, and who put you at ease - we always work best when relaxed.

There is no other 'you' in the whole world, and you are the youngest you will ever be, so self belief is the cornerstone for the business. Also continually develop your craft, and keep yourself in shape and 'camera ready' - there's no substitute for discipline and a healthy diet and routine. A heathy body is a healthy mind, and you need to stay mentally on top of your game to want to get out there and try for things. As the saying says, 'nothing ventured nothing gained'.

It's only by stepping out and auditioning, and getting to know new plays and roles that you can possibly find where you 'fit' in the industry. If you're alive, there's certainly a place for you, both in the world and in the acting profession. As the saying goes, 'there's plenty of room at the top


Acting, Self Belief, Self Marketing, Self Promotion, Show Business

Meet the author

author avatar Authenticme
I'm an actor, musician, teacher and life coach. I will be publishing articles related to those topics, as well as common interest topics

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