Today is truth time. What I am about to say in this article – you may not want to hear. You might not find it sexy, you might not find it exciting.
But if you want to increase your credibility and opportunities to work as an actor, then this is a very important article for you.
One of the biggest challenges actors face is feeling like there’s nothing else they can do to get their phone to ring for auditions.
Best case for most actors do this:
- You get an agent and manager as part of your team, such as though the cover letter mailings with Smart Girls Productions. This is great.
- You look to see if there’s anything worth submitting to on Actors Access or L.A. Casting — and if there is, you do. This is good, too.
- You periodically take casting director workshops to basically get your chance to audition. — Probably better than getting no auditions.
But after this you go into a wait-and-hope mode, that leaves most people =feeling frustrated and helpless.
If you’re even doing this much, you’re ahead of a lot of actors, but the frustration is not fun.
You feel like there’s nothing you can do, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can actually turn the tables on the situation. How do you do that?
Answer is: Become a hyphenate. Create your own content.
A “hyphenate” in Hollywood is what you are when you do more than one thing.
Hyphenates are actor-writer, actor-producer, and so on.
My suggestion is for you to become an actor- producer hyphenate, because if you act and write but don’t produce, you could end up at the same place. Still waiting for a producer.
In case you immediately resist this idea, please read on with an open mind. I hear actors all the time say things like, “But all I want to do is act.” Or “I don’t know how to direct or write or produce.” Or “That sounds like so much work – what I really enjoy is acting.”
Okay, I get that. If that’s you, I know you enjoy acting and don’t want to do anything else. Most actors don’t have a strong desire to do something else. But if you want to set yourself apart from and above most actors, then you should seriously consider this.
When you create your own projects, you get many advantages immediately, starting with the fact you’re creating opportunities for yourself instead of waiting for a big break from a big shot director.
Becoming a content-producer, you put more power into your own hands as an actor. I want you to think about this so seriously that I am going to now tell you five benefits of becoming a content-producer. The kinds of projects you could create can range from short film to feature film, from a webisode to a web series and more.
Five benefits of becoming an actor-producer-content-creator hyphenate.
1) You stop waiting for others to call you and you become the one aggressively trying to make things happen with your project.
When you seriously take on being a producer and creating content, you will immediately begin feeling more empowered. Not to mention the fact that other people will also relate to you in a new way. Other actors from class who didn’t give you the time of day previously will suddenly want to hang out after class or get together to practice scenes. Why? Because you’re empowered and you’re creating projects!
2) When you go to networking meetings, you have something cool to talk about.
There are two types of actors in this world :): Those who CAN’T talk about themselves and those who CAN’T STOP talking about themselves; neither is very interesting.
Other Hollywood players will find you much more interesting and will be more willing to discuss the business with you as a producer trying to put a project together than if you are simply an actor trying to find work. And it is so much more fun to be talking about a project you’re excited about.
3) Your initiative and resourcefulness will increase your professional credibility with others.
You will no longer come across as an actor trying to get something from them, you will come across more like a peer filmmaker.
You have a bigger reason than just “yourself” to approach others and chat with them.
4) Event opportunities start to open up.
When you become an actor-producer, you start getting in the world of where to mingle and network. You will start to hear of competitions, contests, and film festivals you could submit to. Or you might start looking for investors or partners and have conversations with people about what you’re up to.
At networking events, when someone says, “What do you do?” you can answer confidently, “I’m an actor, and I’m producing a project about XYZ.” This is much more interesting than “Hey, I’m an actor, can I be in your movie?”
By having a different context and purpose for attending these events, meetings and parties, you automatically expand your horizons and meet more people in various capacities.
5) You will feel fantastic knowing that you are turning your “Waiting” into “Winning!”
Overall, it feels much better to be driving a bus – even if it is little — than to be sitting on the side of the road at the bus stop waiting for someone to pick you up. Get it? You might not really want to drive, but if you have to drive to get where you’re going, wouldn’t you rather drive than just keep sitting and sticking your thumb out hoping for a ride?
Becoming an actor-producer — content-creator as it is now know as — you can claim tremendous power within yourself that you are making things happen.
When you shift your paradigm and relate to yourself as making things happen instead of waiting to be called, things get exciting. New life is breathed into your career.
The more irons you have to stoke the fire with, the greater your chances are that something great is going to happen.
If you feel inspired to do this but feel you need guidance, you may want to book a strategy session to get your project started!
Meanwhile, keep your eyes and ears open for others who are doing this kind of thing so you get more ideas on what you might do.