Yesterday we experienced the Oscars. Suddenly Ben Affleck is a talented thespian...instead of the co-star of a little
I personally love what I do, and since I am self-employed my boss is a slave-driver so I tend to work constantly...but I was thinking of all those people who woke up this morning shaking their little fists at the heavens, cursing the start of a new work week. (I include in that description all the losers at last night's ceremonies... not to mention the poor slobs who had to share an Oscar: wtf is that hot mess? Have the Oscars become yet another casualty of our "we're-all-winners" horseshit society in which everyone gets an award for showing up? Because that is not okay. All "ties" should be resolved in the Thunderdome...there can be only one!
Moving on. Say you, Gentle Reader, sitting at home, have stars in your eyes and waking up this morning, you were reminded of how much you dislike your "day job." Maybe it made you think,"How can I improve my career, so that one day I too can wear a poufy gown and trip in front of millions...I mean, win an Oscar? How can I create the opportunities I need to create the career I desire?" Oh, I thought you'd never ask!
If you're an up-and-coming actor, you could use social media to create an infinite platform for your personality AKA your brand. To wit, you could:
1. Start a weekly, or bi-weekly podcast, with some of your fellow actors/artists, and other people in the business A smart podcast in which you talk about going out on auditions, the creative process: essentially what it's like to be a working actor/director/producer today. This is valuable because, depending on how interesting you and your friends are, you can create a space for your opinions and ideas...thus becoming "valuable" to casting agents, for example, because of the name recognition you bring. You'd also constantly enrich your professional network by getting better guests which of course leads to better opportunities for you. Not to mention, if your podcast really takes off...where do you think networks get their guests to fill all that air-time from? Air-time = publicity = you're welcome.
2. Create a professional Facebook page for yourself as an actor. Oh, Sunshine, I know. We all, the cats included, love to hate on Facebook. (It makes us feel better about the times we've been drunk, semi-nude on Facebook, at 2am, covered in Cheeto-dust and checking out pictures of our friends' boyfriends, thinking, "...ugh, whatever, he's not even all that...!") But let's say you create a professional Facebook page, and you post professional and interesting photos on it; photos and videos taken from on-location, from big or small awards shows, from your auditions. Let's say you discuss auditions you went on, jobs you got, books you're reading, how you're working on your craft (#pretentious)...people checking out that page are going to view you as a serious actor. In this life, so many of the opportunities we receive are based on other people's perceptions. If you have a page that is routinely, intelligently and interestingly updated...people are going to take you and your professional aspirations seriously.
On the other hand, if you don't have a page, but on your personal page, amidst fart jokes, and whining about how much you hate waiting tables, you talk about, occasionally going on auditions...most people will unfortunately assume this is just a hobby. (I know that it sucks but life is high school. #getusedtoit) Also, I promise you: you have no idea whom many of your friends know, so one person can like your page, and it turns out that her best friend is a producer and lo and behold, one year later, you're on the red carpet somewhere talking about how you mentally prepared to play one of the lead rodents in Alvin & the Chipmunks: A New Beginning. (PS: I am not hating. People have to pay the bills. I would happily, with great intellectual satisfaction, write a cinematic vehicle for animated rodents.)
3. Have an up-to-date imdb page, with recent head-shots, an acting reel and anything and everything else that gives me a feel for your range and personality. You could also link to positive reviews, to articles written by you, or that you simply find could be interesting and relevant for professionals in the entertainment industry.
Why not also get on Twitter, and see what projects are going on in your industry? See who is talking to whom, what funding is out there for movies or plays, what's the latest trend. Yet again: Twitter is another platform for you to share your brand. So instead of waiting for some moronic agent to take 10%--I say moronic agent, thinking of one who took a vegan client out for sushi...sigh. She was then literally shocked that said client fired her. Shocked, shocked and outraged.--for doing nothing for you... get out there! This is your career: how big do you want to be?
At the very least, you should like my page on Facebook, "Carlotaworldwide Creativity Yenta," and have a free consultation. I will indeed be expecting you to thank me in your Oscar acceptance speech. Unless you have to share that award in some bullshit tie. #notokay