Your name, your face are your brand. Make sure that everything in your marketing material reminds me, a Director, Casting Director who you are. For example, Director's & CD's see a minimum of 10,000 actors per year. They receive a minimum of 10,000 emails/mailings per year that most don't ever see because their interns file them because the mailings are not focused or they come from actors who have not formed a relationship with that CD. So when do you make an impression? When you enter the room and they look at your picture, your clear, uncluttered, resume and clear contact info. You have a professional photo that tells me who you are and what your emotional playground looks like (strong, funny, sweet and vulnerable, underdog that wins, etc). You name is clear across the top, your email address (THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT) is your name. Not numbers, not what you want to be (workingactress@gmail or authorjohndoe). Your email address should be the same as your website: one consistent message. You remember Coca-Cola and that red & white banner. Their website is coco-cola (superdietdrink.com), but Coca-Cola. Sounds simple, but you have no idea how many actors' email address get typed in incorrectly because they have a clever email address like (supadupafly@gmail or Jane_Doe234@nyc.rr). Not using your professional name as your email address is a missed opportunity for me to remember who you are. As a film producer, playwright and actor, each time I cast a play or movie, I see a minimum of 20 people for each role. Most of the time, it's the first time I'm ever meeting you. Their email addresses are almost always different from their actual names or even worse, they have no website or ImDB page or any online presence whatsoever. As an Indie film producer, we often cast from reels. I saw a brillant actor in a play in Jersey a few weeks back, I mean stunningly brillant. I have a role for him, ready to make an offer. He has no representation, no website, nothing. I have no way to contact him and offer him a job. If I'm on set, and the director and I are casting from watching reels on our Iphones, the actor with a reel on their site, or imdb or FB page that's is clear, accessible from a mobile device and has a clear contact email or agent, is the one who's going to get the offer because that level of professionalism tells me that this artist is ready to move their careers to the next level. If I can't find you online to offer a job, you don't really want to work.
2. **Somebody's getting paid and if it ain't you**_, you need to find out why and remedy the situation instead of pursuing a life long career in which you work for free or less than unemployment.If you cannot listen, read and then follow directions to the letter, then you can certainly be an actor, just not a very successful one. Acting is a business. Though there is an very personal, laid back atmosphere to the workplace, it is still a workplace. I strongly advise actors who have never held a job outside of the acting world, to make it a part of their actor training to get a job in the business world. Even if it's for a summer. An internship, a long-term temp job (3-6 months) in the corporate sector and commit to being successful at this job. It will give you a sense of working under pressure where decisions are based solely on the financial bottom line. Because even if artists never see it, this is what is happening on the other side of your acting work be it theatre/tv/film, there are folks working to meet that bottom line and decisions are being made that have nothing at all to do with talent or merit, but rather the bottom line. This experience will
1.) Help you value your artistic work.
2.) Teach you the importance of high stakes, professionalism and it will depersonalize moments when you went in and did your best work and didn't get the job.
3.) It will teach you to have everything that is within your control covered from showing up in the right suit, to working out, memorizing 10 pages of lines in 10 mins, to having your own production company producing or optioning work for you.
It will make you smart and ultimately an artist who works more and on increasingly high profile projects.
April Yvette Thompson