So one of the most interesting questions I was asked by a CD was “How many Twitter followers do you have?”
This has now become a sad yet acceptable inquiry. Forget your performance. Forget your credits. They want to know about your online presence. Twitter, Face Book, IMDb, Websites, SEO, Google Hits, Backlinks, this is the stuff of stars people! Ahem.
You learn pretty quickly that EVERYTHING is done on-line here. From submissions and emails to CD’s, Agents, Managers and Auditions, the Internet is your key to it all. When I first moved here I found out about Actors Access, LA Casting, Now Casting and Casting Frontier. All of which you leak money into monthly, and set up your online profiles. This allows you to submit yourself for auditions and castings. It’s a good way to get commercial auditions, and the commercial agents submit you through LA Casting too. The top briefs are on “The Breakdowns,” which (supposedly) only managers and agents have access to. I say “supposedly” because, where there is a will, there is a way. Although it becomes tricky to submit yourself on the Breakdowns as you need your rep to really do it for you.
Please bear in mind, this is only my experience, there is NO RIGHT WAY. This is only the way I have learnt.
I hate Twitter and Facebook Actress Page rubbish, but it’s a necessary evil. The bigger your online presence, the more bankable you appear. Dollar signs make these people happy. If you ever upload an article, and review, an update of your latest project or picture of yourself on line, make sure you label it correctly, with your name, not just JPEG or image. This way, the little “Google Spiders” will find all this information easily when someone Googles you –and they do. Explore your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) options. This helps you become top of the list when people search for you on the Internet.
Some people say you don’t need a website. Well I disagree. I think the more online links you have, the better. A website is a concise and easy way to send your information to a potential employer. All your work is accessible through the one link. Hard copy submissions are slowly becoming obsolete anyway. People want a “mix with water and go” type access to what you can do. Due to the “I am too busy and there are too many hopefuls vying for my attention” attitude, I would suggest making sure your website is responsive, and can be easily seen on all devices. You have 30 seconds for them to give enough of a shit to look at your stuff. If they are viewing it on a Smartphone or Tablet, you want to make it as easy as possible to see your entire site. Apparently, moving their fingers across the screen to find things is too stressful.
If websites are proving difficult to get up and running, the next best option is a YouTube Channel. Look out for the copyright laws here, but as long as it’s for demo purposes only, you should be fine.
IMDb is well regarded out here, and you should try your best to flesh out your profile as much as possible. Get those credits down, do the bio, put the picture of you standing on a piece of red rug at the local Supermarket opening.
America is way more Internet based than SA with regards to everything. You hardly speak to anyone, and the general answer you get is “You can do it online.” I think they just have phone lines so people can go to work and have coffee.
Building credits is important. For your profile and your sanity. Submit for Union and Non-Union work, paid, unpaid, copy and credit. Build experience.
Look up CastingAbout.com too. This a brilliant site that keeps you in touch with who is presently casting what, what shows are on hiatus and what’s happening for Pilot Season.
Online, offline, between the lines, it all helps you eventually learn your lines and book that gig.
Nothing succeeds like success – or the illusion thereof.
Happy web weaving.