The weekend just past I attended a conference hosted by Spotlight. Spotlight is an online casting website where actors, agents, casting directors and jobs are listed. I am not a member but my agent recommended going and I enjoyed myself. I learnt something new as well as refreshing my memory on other things. I ended up going with a non-actor which actually proved beneficial because I got to hear things from an outsider’s perspective.
Firstly if you have an event that would benefit your career I would recommend attending! Going to these can help create contacts which is always great and if it is free like this one was, then it’s just an hour of your time. It started off as a ‘How to’ seminar and then quickly turned into a question and answer session. I didn’t mind very much but everyone was clearly at different stages in their career so not a lot of new things were mentioned but rather the basic things most actors know about already. I decided to share the information with you because hopefully it could help out with your career. After all, aren’t we always trying to promote ourselves or business?
1# Keep everything up to date- Information about you should always be up to date and if you mention a skill you can do then make sure it’s worthy of being shown off. After all you don’t want to say you can do something when actually you had one lesson. Once. Same goes for contact information, keep it updated!
2# Show off- if you’re currently doing a project or job then why not show it off or let people know that you are involved? Someone relevant might see it and from there it could lead onto something else.
3# Be professional- I have mentioned this one before but it amazes me what people come up with. In the acting industry I’ve heard plenty of times when actors have sent agents a teabag suggesting they should take a break. The actor thinks ‘different’ the agent thinks ‘weird’.
4# Nurture Relationships- in any career, relationship development is a good idea. When you have met someone and you think you’ve made a good impression or they said they will help you then why would you not follow up? Luck and hard work is key but ‘it’s who you know’ that’s the saying.
5#Don’t be afraid to speak up- whilst sat there one particular guy kept asking questions, for example ‘how do you get an agent or should I Google it?’. Everyone seemed amused/shocked including the panel. No question is a stupid question and some other people may not have known either. With that being said, the internet is a great source of information. So perhaps it’s a good idea to research such questions beforehand.
6# Make an effort- With actors you get a full range of different looks and you get used to how casual they can look. However the person I went with said that a few people looked scruffy. This person works in an office, so of course they would notice the informality but as they mentioned, this was a conference on how to promote yourself. Casting directors were giving seminars straight after and they are the people you want to impress… Erm hello next job! I’m not saying going go OTT with your look but a presentable outfit and groomed hair never hurt.
7# Social media- Social media sites are a great platform to promote yourself. So link professional profiles to your social profiles that way it is easy to access for anyone looking e.g Twitter to a personal website. If you do decide to do this, then again keep it professional otherwise I would think twice about it.
I hope any of the things I learnt at the event can help you. Let me know by commenting below!