Do You Want More Acting Opportunities? Create Them! – @castittalent

iStock_000000533385Small5 Ways to Create Your Own Acting Opportunities

Is the biz getting you down? Are your acting chops rustier than a tin can in a Louisiana basement? Are you talking yourself into taking that sign spinning gig because you think you’ll put more heart into it than “Jeff, my neighbor’s drop-out son?” Then this article is for you! (In fact, even if none of the above situations resonate, this article is still for you. Because your acting career is an ever-evolving, mythical beast and you must feed each of its many heads in pursuit of refined technique and artistic satiation).

The fact is, even when your career is at the peak of success, chances are, there will be some down time: Space between gigs, or stretches full of beautiful tragic roles that leave you gratified, but slightly nervous about jumping back into a comedy. More often, especially for young actors, these “between gigs” times can stretch into months, or even years. This is why it is so important to know how to create your own acting opportunities. It gets the ball rolling again, keeps you sharp, and puts you in the habit of running your own careers, rather than the other way around. (Not to mention it’s good for networking). Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Workshop! Even if you’re taking classes, (and especially if you aren’t), workshopping scenes and audition material with your actor friends is a great way to keep you sharp. Make it a weekly commitment. Build in some socialization aspect (potluck is always a winner). Try to get a diverse group of actors interested, and keep the door open. Keeping up the habit of showing your work to others, and taking direction will keep you on top of your game, plus consistent workshopping is a great way to network with other young professionals.
  2. Put Together a Showcase. If you’re not getting in the right doors, create your own opportunity to be seen. Team up with other young actors and put together a showcase. This is a tricky game to play, and there are a couple things it’s important to keep in mind. First off, make sure the material is strong. You want to put your best foot forward, so everyone involved, the scenes chosen, and the quality of the overall show needs to be the strongest you can make it. See if you can get a studio or theatre to sponsor the event (or at least let you use the venue). Also, the point is to get seen. Establishing a connection with local talent agents, acting instructors and/or casting directors is key. Make an event out of it—offer wine and refreshments in the lobby for meet and greet opportunities. The more professional the entire event the more likely you are to be remembered in a positive light.
  3. Create a Web Series. Have a friend with a good camera? Know some aspiring screenwriters? Team up and put together your own web series! The internet is an endless resource for self-promotion, and the power of a cult favorite is not to be underestimated. At the very least, it keeps you collaborating and working with other young artists in your field.
  4. Film Festivals! Remember that camera-flush friend who helped you film a web series? Time to graduate to your very own indie film! Low budget films can be surprisingly easy to make, especially if you live in a city that is replete with actors and artists. Once you create a strong product (and it may take many, many attempts), consider shopping it around to film festivals. Even better, get involved with a festival or contest from the get-go. The deadlines and demands will hold you accountable.  You can also search Cast It Talent for actors to join you by posting your project:
  5. Put on a Play. Remember those? You probably did some in college? Or perhaps you’re a diehard theatre actor and for some reason you’re just not getting the kind of work you care about. Find some like-minded people and tell your story. I recommend a low-budget show with a tight cast and flexible-to-zero set needs. Pick something you really care about and people with equal passion and dedication. Advertise the bejesus out of it. You never know where it can take you or who might see it. If nothing else, you will have told a story you care about, and that kind of artistic rejuvenation can carry you through the lean times.

Creating your own acting opportunities is more than just a tool to get you seen, more even than a way to network within your acting community. It is an artistic obligation to your career, to keep producing, to remind yourself what inspires you, and to keep your work fresh and your technique sharp and challenged. These ideas barely scratch the surface. As technology and media evolve, as artistry finds news methods of expression, so too must we, the artists, invent and grow. In the spirit of Walt Whitman, keep sounding your barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world. Sooner than you think, someone may find your work translatable.

We  would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and we would definitely appreciate a visit to the Cast It Talent website. Stop in and tell us what you think!  Start building your online brand with Cast It Talent as the centerpiece.  #RightActorRightJob

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