"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Dear Struggling Actress

Fellow Theatre Nerd  Sarah Jane is moving back to LA later this month! Hooray! But she's been out of the LA scene for a while and she has a question:
So... we are very excited to get back to business.  I LOVE marketing and your blog posts about Actors Access were really helpful as I learn about how digital the whole business has gone since 2005 when we left!  My biggest question for you is which sites should we post ourselves and/or submit ourselves on?  There are so many and often they come with subscription fees at various levels.  From my research so far its seems we need to have a presence on:

LA Casting
NOW Casting
Actors Access
Casting Frontier
and the SAG website.

It all seems like a little much!  What are your thoughts on this?

Well, thanks for reading Sarah Jane! (and readers, stick around for Monday's surprise from her!) I agree. It's a lot of stuff.

Here's how I (a struggling actress for a reason, so grain of salt and all that) am going to break it down:

LA Casting -  They are primarily known for commercials so once you have an agent, s/he will make you sign up and upload your pictures and resume, but you don't need to spend the extra money on a membership that lets you submit on projects that are pretty much non-union stuff and student films. If the project is somewhat good, they'll repost the same thing on Actors Access.
NOW Casting- This is great if you're just starting out. But I mean, still in college, need to get credits, that sort of thing. You're a bit past that. It's all non-to low pay projects, and a lot of it is student films. You don't need it.
Actors Access - YES. Get on here. You can read my three articles on how to Effectively use this website, and you need to be here. Get the pictures up, the resume done, and upload your reels. Worth it. There's a lot of non-union work here, but there's a few union stuff and paying student films. You need to be on here for your agent to submit you for film/tv projects, but the Showfax membership to AA is invaluable, in my opinion.

IMDB Pro - I think having pictures up here is nice. People will look you up, and having your photo up here will help them go, "Oh yeah! Her!" I don't have my reel up on here yet because I don't want random Joe to be able to watch clips of my work, which is completely hypocritical, considering I have places and links to do so from my public blog but this is up to you. 

Now, having a subscription to IMDB Pro is incredibly useful for other things. You can research agents, their clients, and whether you think you'd be a good fit at the agency when you are submitting for representation. Also, the addresses, websites and emails are all up to date on here (as opposed to The Agency Book you can buy at Sam French). And a lot of agent's websites, listed on their imdb profiles will include information on how to submit to them online, which saves you a ton of money on mailing hard copies and postage.
Casting Frontier - Your agent will make you get a subscription so they can submit you for commercial projects on here. I haven't bothered to see what else they have. I really believe if it's important, it'll be posted on AA. 
SAG website - Are you referring to iActor? Where you can upload your reel for free? This is on my to-do list, but amazingly, I always seem to have other more pressing errands, and haven't gotten around to it. It's free. Why not?

And I'm adding - Casting About - I think this is great if you are at the level where you're starting to go out for bigger roles in tv and film.  You can see what else casting has done, what projects they're currently casting, add notes about each audition, or info you find about them. One of the selling points was that if you do postcards, you can see where a lot of their offices are, because this site is updated Every Day. Now, I personally believe postcards Do NOT work, but to each her own.

And don't forget! All the subscriptions for the things above are TAX DEDUCTIBLE. They count as "actor services"; tools you need to propel your business forward. So save your receipts!

1 comment:

  1. This is just useful for anyone. Even those of us who are in a similar boat as you. Or a neighboring boat. Or at least in the same lake. I have to agree with you on NowCasting. In fact I almost feel they are a bit scammy. Only in the sense that it's far too expensive for very little return. I was on them. For a short time and realized I'm beyond what is on it. SO I quit. And since then have received calls saying "hey we want to submit you for such and such." To which I say.."whoever you are, go to town!" The reply has been.."that'll be $$$"...click.

    The others though are all great tools as you've said especially Actor's Access. And of course I'm on the East Coast. But so far these are holding true for both of us.

    (happy new year Lira, I'm behind in my blog reading)


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