How to be PRO-active Actor

Your acting career is a business, and you are the owner, president, and CEO

Your acting career is a business, and you are the owner, president, and CEO

There has never been a better time to be a Pro-active actor! Before we get into that, I suggest that the first thing to do is DECIDE what kind of acting career you would like to have. It’s very important to be CLEAR about how you see yourself in the marketplace.

The first exercise that I give to my students is to make a list of all the television shows they enjoy and can envision themselves  being on.  Then make a list of the casting directors (CDs) who cast those shows. There are several resources that provide comprehensive lists of all the CDs, including Cast It Messenger, a direct-messaging option available on Cast It Talent that allows you to send your media packages directly to CD inboxes.

Once you have your list of CDs who cast your favorite shows, begin sending your headshot/resume and demo-links to them. Then make a list of your favorite feature films over the last few years and do the same exercise. Make a list of the films and their CDs and be sure to contact everyone involved with those films.

Along with doing this pro-active exercise, I believe it’s important to SEE the results in your mind as well. I believe that ‘thoughts are things’ and before you can realize your goals you have to SEE them in action in your mind’s eye. So, take a daily ten minute break from your devices and do some deep breathing and relax, then take a few minutes to see your DESIRES in action; see yourself on the set of X television show, SEE yourself driving into the gates of Paramount at 5am to start your long day of shooting the film with your favorite director.

Don’t have a demo reel? As I said at the beginning of this article, there has never been a better time to be a pro-active actor and what I mean by that is if you don’t have enough credits to put a (five-minute) reel together, then now is the time to get really focused about what your strengths are and show them! If your dream is to be a comedic actor and you believe you have as much or more talent than the actors you see on your favorite sit-coms or (web)-series or films, then get your iPhone out and SHOW ME.

Are you confident in your writing ability? If so, write something for yourself, write the perfect five-minute vehicle and ask as many favors as possible and produce something that you can send around to all the CDs from your list.

It is important for you to know what it is you do best.  What is your unique quality that you bring to the (big or small) screen? Casting Directors will not be able to ‘get’ you until you know your strengths. Once you figure that out and decide to have an acting career, use all of the resources available to you to show us!

Suggested tools:

  • Read You Are A Badass By Jen Sincero – this is a very inspirational book to help you realize your dreams as an actor (or anything!)
  • Make a list of all of the people you know in your area who can help you create your ‘demo
  • Who do you know with a camera (if you don’t know anyone with a camera use your iPhone, which is completely legit)?
  • Who do you know with a great space/house/place of business to use as a location for your shoot?
  • If you’re not a writer, is there anyone you trust to partner up with to write your five minute piece? If you love writing, I always find it’s an advantage to be a writer/director/performer – no one knows your strengths, unique quality and vision as well as you do!

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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Joanna Colbert began her career as a casting director in association with Juliet Taylor on Interview with a Vampire for which she conducted a nationwide search resulting in the discovery of Kirsten Dunst. Colbert then went on to work at Universal Pictures as the Manager of Casting and then Senior Vice President of Casting, overseeing such blockbusters as The Mummy series, American Pie, Meet the Parents, and Bruce Almighty. She formed Joanna Colbert Casting in 2001 and Colbert/Mento Casting in 2006. Her credits include: No Strings Attached, the Step-Up series, Cedar Rapids, The Mummy, Everything Must Go, Hollywoodland and The Good Girl. Colbert is currently producing several projects, including a documentary about casting and its influence on film titled Casting By, a feature film titled Atticus Run, The Black Version tv series and Kate McClafferty’s blog, 356 til 30.

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