HOW TO DEVELOP YOUR BRAND
Start by getting a professional head shot.
- The most immediately visible piece of your brand is your headshot. This is your logo. And it’s the first thing casting directors see before deciding whether to book you. So, when planning your headshots, above all, prepare, prepare, prepare!
Here are some tips you need to consider:
- Casting is done digitally now, so agents are looking at closer shots now more than ever. Think “postage-sized” pictures.
- This is not a place where you want to cut corners or be cheap. So, don’t do it! If you’re serious about your career and playing with the big boys, invest in photos that will communicate your level of commitment and professionalism.
- Present yourself in a polished way in your resume and headshot. Because if you send casting directors an amateurish resume and old, crummy photo, guess what? Whether it’s true or not, you’ve just told them you’re an unprofessional actor and you’ll be better off to go back to community theater and get out of this market.
- This is your session, not the photographer’s. Be specific about what you want in your photo to convey your brand.
- A professional headshot is essential if you truly want a successful acting career.
- Once you know what it is you’re selling, your “brand,” it is much easier to get a dynamic headshot that will attract the roles you want.
- Know first what you’re selling.
- For the sake of preparation, build your character from the shoes up. But remember that you’re only going to be seen from the collar of your shirt and above.
- Get plenty of rest before a shoot.
- Choose four current TV, film, theatre or commercial characters you can play. Decide what they’ll wear and what they’d be saying. Give each character at least four lines of dialogue so you understand their character better. This will give you three or four looks.
- Research different photographers in your area and choose three or four that photo the kind of pictures that match your “brand-self.”
- Don’t try to be everything or you will be nothing!
- For each setup, be intentional in your thinking. Remember, you’re an actor, so your pictures should be engaged and active in the eyes.
- Then go pick a photographer.
Leading with a spectacular headshot can get you the job. I’m thinking about a very good, solid actress I worked with, Taylor Graves. Taylor’s headshot was of a pretty girl with brown hair that looked like every other girl. The pictures she was using were “safe.” Bland.
But she had this one photo that was unique, different. When I saw it, I said, “This is it!” She started using that photo on Facebook and the image was so strong, people started to know her just because of it. Now she uses it for everything. In the year and a half since I’ve worked with her, she’s always in an important play with important people in New York City. She’s becoming a well-known, regarded theatre actress there. That photo is “the root of Taylor.” It’s her brand.
Once you have your headshot, here are more steps you can take to develop your brand.
- Get a Pinterest account. Search for brand and business cards to pin to your account so you can get an idea of fonts and colors you may want to use.
- Create Facebook pages.
- Create a business card, postcard and marketing materials.
- Make reels/clips and a website.
- Work with acting coaches/advisors.
- Write a compelling resume
What should you include on your resume?
- A list of your affiliations. Union affiliations are important.
- Television: List the role type: Series Regular, Recurring, Guest Star, Co-Star or Featured (a nice word for extra or background).
- Film: Again, they want to know the size of the role. Some of the terms you can use here are Lead, Supporting, Principal, Day Player, and Featured. The director is listed in your third column.
- Theatre: List your character in the middle column and then the theatre, or the director, or both in the third column.
- Training: If you don’t have any credits, the next thing they are going to look at is where you were trained.
- Skills: What skills are going to get you work? Accents, sports, singing, weaponry, other languages, etc.
- Contact: How can I get in touch with you? If you’re new to an agency and don’t know how reliable they are, make sure your own number is also on the resume.
Remember: this is YOUR career, not your agent’s career. The resume, reel, postcards or business cards, and your website collectively tells who you are.
WE will be branding actor’s on July 23rd at our 5th ANNUAL SUMMER GAMES and you will get to try out that brand in front of our industry guests!!! Get your tickets we will sell out http://www.theaftgames.com