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Networking tips for Actors 2021

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Networking tips for Actors - 2021 - The Final casting frontier!

If you’re anything like me, even the word ‘Networking’ makes you a little bit ill...

You need to prepare for networking as an actor whether you're using actors access or central casting or spotlight uk? Or fishpond Ireland?

Your goal: To build long lasting relationships. That last. Over time.

Not your goal : Go on and on and on about yourself, your showreel, your photos, your agent and your sparkling reviews! 

Be cool. Be easy. Play nice.

Do your homework.

If you're going to an industry event "Google or IMDB" everyone and everything you can about the participants. Learn as much as possible about the people who you might meet with the intention of making a human connection.

Ok, so you see her (Famous person, producer, CD etc)and you walk up, a little nervy and then...what do you say? 

Take the Initiative - Break the ice. Put your focus on them.

Always have some kind of an “opening line” ready. Be positive, be grateful, be gracious and sincere. Being knowledgeable about the other person really helps a lot. But how do you weave the info in without sounding like a douchebag. Here are a few examples you might use:

“It's great to finally meet you! Isn't this a great event?” 

Notice how you start. The focus on THEM. Now we're cooking with gas!

“Glad you're here. I've heard some wonderful things about your movie project...how is it going?” 

Producers love to talk about their shows/projects. Go for it.

“I think you did a great job casting/directing that Netflix series/Short-film/Off-Broadway Musical - When does it open?”   

People love to be appreciated and respected. Everyone works with people they like, not just those who can deliver the goods. Then what...?

Get used to talking about yourself

Sounds weak, but it does take practice. Get used to talking about what you’re working on, what life is like at the moment for you. What do you feel about it? How are things going for you?

If life is tough at the moment that's ok, say so, mention it and then move on, back on to them - be gracious and focussing on them will dissolve anxiety faster than anything else I know.

If you're really worried - go into peripheral vision - search my site for that - that is stunningly effective!

If you’re excited about what you’re doing, then the person listening will naturally be excited too. It’s also okay if you’re a bit stressed out – you don’t have to go into massive detail, just be a little honest! Don’t talk too much about yourself either – when you see eye’s glazing over and people looking round the room for the exit - it’s time to shut up. As a friend of mine once said - Time to F Sharp!

Do your research

Actively keep up to date. Watch local productions (Film, TV & Theatre), and each time you do, check out the creative team involved - make notes, file it away, jot it down - evernote it! I make audio notes if i need. Spk into iphone.

In no time at all you will be very familiar with your industry. Social media is a great way to find out about events as well, and what people are up to. Link up and hook up and follow influencers - stay ahead of the curve - BUT....

Don’t try so hard you get anxious, your fear will transfer

“What’s happening in your life right now?”

“What are you focused on at the moment?”

“What are you most excited about right now?”

You’ll get much better answers to these kinds of questions than to your generic, run of the mill “how's it going?”

Steer the conversation towards things you’re interested in. Dogs are good. Works for me. Or soccer. Or good coffee.

Why? Because...

I love dogs.

I love soccer and I love coffee.

Natural.

At these Film and TV and theatre industry events everyone there is creative, and interested in the same things you are and thats a cool plus point.  

It’s all in your head

Confidence is a feeling, not a lifestyle or a personality trait.

It’s the perception that you lack nothing, and have everything that you need. A person who has confidence that they can talk about themselves in a relaxed, modest way, will be able to talk about themselves in a relaxed, modest way.

A person who lacks confidence in their ability to socialise like a normal human being, will probably trip down the stairs, spill their drink on a really important person, and say something inappropriate. The solution to this is not to trick yourself into thinking you are a confident person, even though I’m sure you’re pretty good at that.

The answer is in becoming comfortable in what you lack, and getting over it. This is basically a more convoluted way of saying, ‘be yourself’.

 Don't Write People Off. You absolutely never know who you'll bump into or where they'll be in the next couple years. Whether it's your server at your favorite restaurant or the mailman with a side hustle as an actor, it's best to keep an open mind and build good relationships with those around you.

By focusing on your personal PR, you will be surprised how many bridges you'll be able to build and how the most unsuspecting people can eventually help in your career.

Think Big. It is great to network with other actors who have shared experiences, but in doing so you just create a rather small network of contacts. Think bigger. The people you need to network with most are casting directors, producers, and directors. These people are the ones who have a strong influence on whether you are getting that gig or not.

Where do you meet these people? Exclusive events are typically a great congregation for these types. The more exclusive an event is, the higher probability that someone of 'importance' will be there. Be careful! Don't be lured by "industry events" that cost you an arm and a leg for admission; it's best to wait it out until the right event comes up.

With that being said, schmooze with the ones that can get you into those events (event coordinators, publicists, etc.) Maybe they'll be willing to help you out and get you in.

Find an Excuse. Having a hard time talking to that golden ticket? Think of an excuse. There's many ways to find a commonality. What I have found to be effective is to boost them up a bit. Tell them how much you value their expertise and how you would love to get their feedback on your current demo reel.

If they agree, you get quality one-on-one time and you get to showcase your previous work. Value what they say and the next time you see them, let them know how you've applied their advice.

Be Real. The best relationships you create are when they are genuine, that's when you'll receive the best help. In my career, almost every stepping stone can be attributed to an old friend or someone I helped out with no expectation of anything in return. When an opportunity for them arises, they know I'll be contacting them the first chance I get.

Switch Circles. Instead of going out with your usual crowd this weekend, switch it up and go to a well-known industry bar. Ask your industry friends where the studio heads congregate and make a cameo. It is imperative that you branch out and get out of that bubble! But having a solid foundation of good, close friends is always a great thing.

Map It Out. Map out your six degrees of separation from that one person who you feel can help you out. Who do you know that may know them? Hollywood can seem daunting but actually it's not as big as you think.

You have probably noticed that you continually bump into the same people. Create a clear goal and path toward the person you want to meet and over time, it will come together.

Have Fun! Remember, this is the best time of your life. You're actually pursuing your dreams that so many people are too scared to get up and go after. This is a time of experimentation and figuring out your career and what steps you want to take to be successful. Networking with people isn't a formula but a lifestyle.

Coming across as a person seeking pure gain from others will place a red flag, causing those you meet to be wary of your true intentions. In the end, your success is derived by your actions, no one else's. People can open doors for you, but you ultimately are the one that creates those opportunities in the first place.

2. Your 30-second “elevator” speech. Sum up your greatest achievements—getting into that prestigious drama school, a role you performed to glowing reviews, working with a major talent in a film or series, or just how passionate you are about your career!

Don't waste time telling them how you're struggling, you're doing student films, and you hate your bar job. This is a blind date—look and sound appealing!

3. Know when to leave. Make your brilliant impression and move on. Circulate. Give the Industry Pro just enough time to get a taste of your personality and likability. It's those qualities that they will remember about you.

Say hello. Perform your elevator speech. See if there's any interest to continue talking. If not, leave graciously.

Think of networking as little “jewels,” mini-monologues that you can handle with enthusiasm, not a torture session of small talk and phoniness. Don't be frightened! Enjoy schmoozing. People hire and work with those they like and are comfortable with. Have fun!

Never use a template like this i found on the internet agh!!

 “I'm________________ currently doing____________ in___________ with_________ because of my passion for__________________and my commitment to__________so that_________________ will be a major success!”


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7 Tips for Networking in the Film Industry, According to an L.A. Acting Coach Mae Ross

Photo Source: Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

I know you’ve heard the saying before: In Hollywood (and in life, really), “it’s all about who you know.”

Your network is everything! Being surrounded by an uplifting, motivating network of people who believe in you and support you is crucial to your success in the film industry. In addition to training at a top acting studio, it is very important to know how to network in the film industry. As such, here are seven tips to help you get started.

1. Attend events that filmmakers, writers, and casting directors attend.
You should definitely fill your life with creative actor friends but actors often get so comfortable in their “actor” groups that they spend less time connecting with the people who are actually making casting decisions.

Seek out events you know directors, writers, producers, and casting directors will attend. Q&As are great. Screenings are great. Charity events are great. Be strategic. Do your research and expand your network to include a diverse range of players in the film industry.

2. Engage with industry professionals online.
Social media is such an effective tool for connecting with industry peers. There are so many casting directors are on Twitter! Follow them, engage with them, stay on the pulse of what’s happening around you.

We know many actors who have begun significant career relationships—and even directly booked work—through social media.

3. Make friends in non-industry settings.
You never know who is doing a downward dog next to you in yoga class or walking her dog next to yours in the park. Do you know what your three closest neighbors do for a living? Do you even know their names? In Los Angeles especially, it’s almost better to meet film industry professionals in a relaxed, unstructured, non-industry setting.

This feels more authentic and organic for all parties. So start getting genuinely interested in the world around you. Start making new friends!

4. Become genuinely interested in other people.
In Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” one of the central messages is that the best way to get people to like you is to become genuinely interested in other people.

Focus out! Ask people questions about themselves. Become genuinely curious about other people’s lives, interests, and passions. Make people feel special and appreciated by truly caring about who they are and what they love. Do this and you’ll make new friends left and right!

5. Add value to people’s lives.
In the vein of focusing out, you always want to look for ways to add value to people’s lives. Do you know of an actor who fits a role your casting director friend is looking for? Make an introduction. 

Is your agent looking for a new nanny for her daughter? Send out a blast on Facebook. Figure out creative ways to support people in your network. You will build a reputation as a standout, reliable industry professional who makes things happen.

6. Follow up!
Once you meet and connect with someone, be in touch regularly—not just when you need something. Be on the pulse of industry publications, and know when people in your network have been promoted, have released a film, or have received any kind of award or accolade. Reach out to congratulate people on their wins!

Schedule coffee meetings, hikes, movie screening dates, and karaoke nights out just for the sole purpose of connecting and getting to know people. You can even set up notifications on your calendar to remind you to reach out to certain individuals on a regular basis.

7. Be consistent.
Again, following up just once is not enough. Stay in touch with your network. At the very, very least, you should be contacting everyone in your network at least once a year. But I say every four to six months.

You can set yourself reminders on your Google calendar so that you are reaching out to people on a regular basis. Again, add value to other people’s lives. Reach out for the sake of saying hello and checking in!

You can always have a photo or graphic attached to the footer of your email that markets any recent career wins. No need to announce them in every single networking email.

Have fun creating and expanding your network! Enjoy the process of meeting and getting to know new people. It truly does take a village to move someone up the ranks of this industry. Have fun building yours!


 More Tips on Networking For Actors  

Tired of facing ANOTHER rejection from Casting Directors? Learn the 7 ways you are really ruining your Self Taping results.

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