The Actor’s Customer

Who are actors’ buyers/customers?

In the business of acting, the buyers are producers, directors, casting directors, and writers. Once you’ve branded and packaged yourself, you’re going to need to start building key relationships with these people because they are the ones who are going to pay you to act. You don’t need to know everyone. Just a few.

In this chapter, what you’ll start building a list of buyers you want to target so you will be prepared to move forward into the next chapter on selling.

What are ACTORS’S TOLD ?

As an actor, you have probably been taught that the path to success is like being on a ladder. The Holy Grail of work is positioned at the top and you, as an actor, are on the bottom. The only thing lower than you is dirt.

To climb the ladder, you believe you first need to join the union and get an agent. Then your agent will introduce you to a manager. The manager will lead you over the invisible line that runs between buyers and sellers to the casting director who will introduce you to the director, writer, and producer. And then, magically, you will get hired.

Believe me, this is one approach but not the best one.

Focusing on joining the union and getting an agent before you book anything doesn’t make any sense. Who you need to pay attention to initially are the buyers/customers who are going to hire you. Know that buyers and ultimately the public are the people whose attention you want to get.

“It’s more important to me now to meet casting directors than agents. My agents and managers are my team, but I always aim toward the buyers. Before working with Valorie, I understood that I was a product and managers and agents were sellers, but I didn’t know how all of it worked. She made it clear to me that I had to focus on the buyers, not the sellers.” – Ana Maria Perez, actor/Actor’s Fast Track client

What is the best way for actors to reach buyers?

It goes without saying casting directors are the first people to lend a hand when it comes to you getting paid work. They are the people who open the door for you to get in front of those who will pay you because this is how that side of the business works. In other words, if I’m making a movie, I hire a casting director to cast it for me. The casting director prequalifies the actors who he thinks could play the part. Actors are selected at auditions. But this doesn’t mean the only way you can get in is by using the front door.

Note that a lot people use the incorrect terminology here. You may hear people refer to “casting agents.” There is no such thing. The term is “casting director.” This confusion of terms prompts actors into thinking an agent is going to get auditions for them. This isn’t true. Casting directors manage auditions.

What an agent does is submit your picture to casting directors along with a thousand other pictures for every role that comes out. Then the casting director chooses who they want to see. In other words, all an agent does is push a button to submit you. Everything is done electronically now.

 “As I started working with Valorie and really developing my niche and marketability rather than bouncing against the wall to see what would stick, she helped me hone in on who I was and what I was going for. She helped me realize the sky is the limit if you take action and put yourself out there in a more direct way.” –  Sara Banerjee, actor/Actor’s Fast Track client

How to Get Known by Buyers

Once you have identified your brand and know the types of TV, film, play, or commercial roles you are right for, because you’ve determined who you are and what you do better than anyone else, then you need to find out who the people are that are involved in these shows; the casting directors, directors, producers, and writers.

We will have several buyers/customers for actors to strut their stuff to in our 5th annual Summer Games!!!