Many of you are looking to be proactive but get a little stuck when it comes to how to market yourself to a casting director when you haven’t booked anything big. Here are 3 Tips I can offer to the aspiring actor or model to get the attention of the casting director or the independent producer-director (such as myself) to get the gig:
1. Casting director workshops
I know that in L.A. they are huge and many actors are signing up for them, so here is what I suggest. Learn how to master the audition before you go to any workshop. It goes against much of what we learn as actors. There is no“craft” in auditioning however, to me, mastering it is an art form. Now here is a terrible reality that many of you know I am getting vocal about. I have worked with a lot of actors with a lot of different talents, many of them working and no one — not one — has known how to dominate the material and kill it in the room. That might sound aggressive but please realize that when you do these workshops you are going up against actors who have been doing this for years—actors who are seen by casting directors because their agents have submitted them. I have already offended a few people because I am going against traditional training. I respect and honor the craft and bow down to the greats — I would not be where I am today without learning their methods. However, if you are an actor and you are auditioning for any type of film or TV then I highly suggest you learn the art of auditioning first, otherwise you are wasting your very valuable time and money.
2. Create content
We are in the Wild Wild West here in terms of what is happening in the industry. There are so many opportunities, it just takes a lot more work to stand out. So create content. I always look at candidate’s YouTube channel to see what they thought some of their best work was, and what kind of content best allowed their talent to bloom. I also look for content they create themselves (another indication of hidden talent), and how they presented it. I am like most casting directors, in that we are impressed with the individual creativity we can find, and that we look beyond the typical sizzle CD each actor proudly provides. Regularly updating your YouTube channel with new original content is a great way to keep your CD fresh and to appear “new” to those who may have already seen you, and also provide a fresh look at everything you are.
3. Create your own clever production
Nothing speaks clearer of your talent that showing it off, and staging and starring in a clever avant-garde mini-production screams both confidence and ability. This does not mean you need to go and do some weird experimental theater as a showcase. Find something that is TV-friendly. And, be clever in how you package yourself and the ‘production’ in order to get all the attention you deserve. For instance, one of the restaurants near where I live has a theater upstairs and it was perfect for a Sunday workshop class to collaborate by participating in a mini-production to showcase 5 actors. Together they wrote a very funny, smart, relevant play that was 36 minutes and moved at the speed that TV does. They did a tremendous marketing job, the restaurant threw in bottomless Mimosas and it was a huge success. And yes, actors were called in from some of the casting directors that were there.
So … there you have it. The bottom line is that as actors, five or 10 years ago, were submitted by agents and then went on auditions. Now actors need to be their own agent, manager, director, writer, producer, grip, and well pretty much everything else. That requires huge motivation, unshakable relentlessness, and a passionate drive to do everything you can to achieve success. It is not impossible, even these days, but it does require a bit more planning and focused effort.