This past year and a half certainly brought to the forefront the challenge of how to sustain longevity in an acting career. Astoundingly, it took only a couple of days for production, auditioning, acting classes and casting to adapt to changing times. No one really knows what the new normal will be like, but what I do know is if you made it this far and are in it for the long run, there are certain things to do to sustain longevity.
Have a Plan and Keep the Momentum Going
We all know that having a plan doesn’t mean everything is going to go as planned. But, having a plan is important to keep the momentum going. As circumstances change that affect your plan, you can decide whether to go with the new and different opportunities that arise, or not. It only took our industry a couple of days to shift gears, stumble, experiment and take risks to keep going. We are living through proof that keeping momentum going is key. For the actor, this means staying involved, taking classes honing your craft, speaking on and/or attending panel discussions, creating your own content and auditioning and filming in new ways.
Build Your Resume and Stay Up-To-Date
Look at your plan and build your resume to reflect your goals. For instance, if you gravitate towards comedy, take improv and comedy classes. And not just at a beginner level; you must go further. If drama is your strong point, study with a good drama coach. As a casting director, I look at what theatre, film, television, improv and comedy is on the resume. In addition, I look at your special skills. Sometimes, your life experiences such as being a massage therapist, an exercise coach, a paramedic or a cook can make you eligible to audition and book the role.
Create a Demo Reel.
Anything moving is an added chance of you being picked to audition. Have the right photos. Don’t look stiff or overly made-up. Show your personality and if you have a special skill such as yoga, karate, tennis, etc. have a photo and a video of you doing that special skill. As casting directors plow through thousands of submissions, the profiles where we can actually see the special skill will pop out and that talent will be selected to audition.
Keep Your Craft Sharp.
Acting classes never stopped during the pandemic. In fact, opportunities opened up. You can now study online with acting coaches that have great reputations in different cities around the country or the world. Acting classes are a great way to keep your juices flowing, network and add strength to your resume.
Keep Active In The Business. Use Social Media.
The momentum you have created will attract opportunities. Communicating through social media such as Instagram and Clubhouse are great ways to network. Many casting directors and agents have Instagram accounts. I can attest to looking at my Instagram account every day and seeing agents posting talent bookings, and seeing talent who are booking. When I have a casting director friend posting a breakdown on social media or CSA posts information that would be of interest to talent, I share it.
Clubhouse has changed social media. I have been on Clubhouse discussions where I got to know agents, who were previously just names, giving impressive advice regarding projects they negotiated or have been involved with. I have also gotten to know working actors who are speaking about complex acting situations. As they are speaking I click on their photo and see their profile. Be diligent with your Clubhouse profiles, they are important.
Surround Yourself With Positive People.
Through your acting classes and social media, you will meet positive people. I have been inspired by stories of tenacity and passion of talent and acting coaches I have heard on Clubhouse discussions. Hang out with the positive people who inspire you. Only good things can come of it.
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