What Every Actor Should Know About Networking & Building Career Equity

Equity represents the value you’ve built-up. It’s built-up in all walks of life. You build up equity in business transactions like a mortgage and even in relationships.

1In acting, whenever you make a new relationship or contact, you are building up your contact equity.

In Hollywood, as in a number of businesses, contact equity is critical.  The more of the right people you know, the more valuable your Rolodex is and the more opportunities and power you have to “cash in on” in the future.

It doesn’t matter where you start, but immediately, be sure to track all of the professionals you meet in the film and TV business.

This includes all the casting directors you’ve auditioned for, agents, managers, directors, producers, development execs, and more.  Even students you work with who you think may go somewhere.  This is a long-term plan.

Keep track of your contacts and find ways to stay in touch with them over time.  This is how you build your career equity.

Drop them notes, birthday cards, or announcements, but also try to see them again at functions, whether it’s attending screenings, seeing them at Q & A events or on panels, or even taking them to lunch.

When you chat with them, make sure you’re working on something you can talk to them about.

This is why it’s good to start your own projects as an actor, because you can then talk about a “web series” you’re producing and acting in.

The internet and YouTube give you enormous opportunities to create and distribute your own projects that you can discuss with professionals.

The more initiative you show, the more value you will have in their eyes.

When you have legitimate, professional acting jobs that you’re working on, it’s very simple and easy , of course.  But if you don’t have those, then the idea is to come up with something that you can talk about that makes you seem like a valuable professional to them.

It could be anything from telling them about your new agent or the web series you just created, or even telling them of a great new site that’s related to what they’re interested in or working on.

To summarize, create a system to keep track of everyone you meet.  Then keep in touch with them telling them news about you that may be of interest to them.

Do all you can to establish yourself in their eyes as a professional that they would want to know.  And eventually you may have the opportunity to work with them.