Are you an actor? Then you are a business. You need to market yourself, just as you need to market any other business. You are a brand—look, speak and act like one!
Dearing Acting Studio co-founder Leeann Dearing is a multi-talented actress who can play a wide range of characters with expertise. For now, however, as a Go Daddy Girl, her natural sexiness is played up and brought to the forefront, giving her a sexy image. That image helped her land a role on a national Tilted Kilt commercial, among other projects. Of course, she plays other types of characters as well, but for now, sexiness plays a role in her branding. Her demo reel and public appearances help feed into that brand—as well as another image she has quite easily developed of late: young mother.
What roles are you consistently landing? Girl next door? Jock? Nerd? College student? Doting grandmother? Businessman? Pay attention and cultivate that image to your advantage. Continue to work your range so that you can and will land other types of roles, but don’t ignore what is working for you right now. Your image will change as you age in looks and character, but recognizing, embracing and marketing your image as your brand will capture the attention of casting directors, producers, and other industry professionals. They don’t always want to know what you can do; they want to know who you “are.”
Your head shots, resume, demo reel, Facebook page, Twitter account, YouTube videos, and other online presence and networking appearances all count as advertising. Be certain you are taking advantage of all mediums, keeping information current across all of those mediums, and monitoring your feedback. Also be certain that all of these advertising outlets present a uniform image, as well as showcase you as a professional who is reliable and a joy to work with.
Show your “customers” (casting directors, agents, etc.) not only why they need you specifically for their project, but also why you’re the one everyone would enjoy working with. You work hard, are responsible, and are pleasant and fun to work with—at least, you should be. Furthermore, you know how to promote their project and attract a large audience. You provide more than a product; you provide excellent customer service as well.
A quality product continually improves, evolves and expands. Are you? Are you continuously training, auditioning and performing? Can an audience recognize your growth? An actor that keeps getting better is a valuable product indeed.
Presenting yourself as a business does not and should not drain the fun and pleasure out of acting; rather, do so will ensure that you enjoy acting to the fullest.