6 Ways to Manage Your Own Acting Career
Actors who are just starting out in their careers often focus on getting an agent. While having a quality agent or manager is extremely valuable — and, at some stages in your career, necessary — there are so many things that you can do on your own to manage yourself and advance your career. You can be your own manager! It’s very empowering. Here are six ways to manage your own acting career.
- Submit yourself on acting roles.
Right away, you can sign up for websites such as Actors Access and LA Casting and have access to a variety of breakdowns for film, TV, commercial and theatre projects. My advice is to check these daily, and to submit yourself in a timely fashion. Casting directors often get thousands of submissions, and you want yours at the top of the pile. Be specific and selective about what you submit yourself on. Always check the dates and the pay rates. Also, make sure that the “type” is a close match to yours – you want to be as consistent as possible in how you submit yourself to casting.
- Create your own content.
The beauty of today’s market is that you can create your own work, and share it with ease. You don’t have to have fancy equipment or even a large budget to create content to share online and on social media. Get creative. What are you passionate about? Do you want to be on a TV sitcom? Then create your own web series. Do you want to star in dramatic features? Create and act in your own dramatic short film. Find writers and creators to collaborate with, and have fun making a passion project! You will build relationships with fellow creatives, you will learn a ton, and you will have content to share which showcases your abilities. A total win-win-win!
- Build relationships.
It really is all about “who you know.” But to take that one step further — your success and happiness in this industry will depend upon the quality. depth and strength of the relationships that you have. Building authentic relationships with your peers in the industry is everything. And this comes from your being of service and adding value to other people’s lives. Instead of coming from a place of “what can I get from this person?” think “what can I give to this person?” Pitch in on other people’s film and theatre projects. Share resources on social media. Volunteer for an arts related organization. Offer to help your writer friends read through their scripts. Attend networking events, and really connect with people, and get to know who they are.
- Be a joiner.
Joining groups, classes, theatre companies, and collectives are all great ways to meet like minded artists, to build relationships, and to engage in your passions. Community is everything. The more you are creating with others, the more you will create with others! Consider taking acting classes at an acting studio or joining an improv troupe. Or find a local theatre company, and volunteer in the box office. Or you could even sign up for some sort of group that is skill-based, such as a community choir or a martial arts class. While these aren’t acting classes, they are great skills to have, and sometimes you will have the biggest breakthroughs in your career when you are following your passions.
- Leverage social media.
It’s no secret that people are now launching and advancing successful careers using social media. There are many successful actors, artists and musicians who gained vast exposure through YouTube, Vine, and other outlets. Do your research. Watch how some of the most successful social media users are engaging their followers. Figure out what qualities and traits set you apart from others, and decide which social media platforms are the best fit for you. Whatever you choose, be consistent. Engage your followers, and figure out how you can add value to their lives. The same rules apply to social media as to in-person networking. When setting up your tweets, posts, etc., you want to think “What can I give today?”
- Market yourself.
Of course, alongside your active social media accounts, you can leverage both online and offline marketing tools to market yourself to casting directors and industry professionals. In today’s world, you are just a few clicks away from educating yourself on how to build a website or online newsletter, and how to use programs such as Photoshop and iMovie. In just a matter of days, you can build a very efficient and visually appealing website using platforms such as WordPress and Wix. MailChimp is a super user-friendly platform for building email lists and sending newsletters. There are also very basic and free online graphic design programs such as Canva.com, where you can design social media banners as well as postcards to print. And if you want to educate yourself on how to use nearly any type of software or digital tool, you can go to websites such as Udemy.com to take classes…or even just search for tutorial videos on YouTube.
Enjoy the process
As always, enjoy the journey of building your career. Being your own manager can be a very empowering thing. The more you are creating your own opportunities and booking work on your own, the more opportunities you will have to connect with the right agent or manager who will really add value to your career and life. We wish you all the best as you embark on your next steps to creating the career of your dreams!