Welcome everyone, this is “Ask Bob Blume”, a weekly visual column with summary that discuss’ issues pertinent to today’s entertainment industry and appears exclusively here on Times Square Chronicles. I’m your host and president of Step Forward Entertainment, a talent management and production company located in both New York and Los Angeles.
Today’s column is General Career Tips for Actors.
For the purpose of this column, I’m going to divide the categories into actors who are non-union, union, with, and without representation.
For those actors that do not yet have representation, advice for you is pretty basic. You must be a member of all the major casting sites to have opportunities to audition for roles offered directly to actors and add to your resume in order to attract possible representation.
The major sites are Actors Access, Casting Networks, LA Casting and Casting Frontiers. These are the sites that agents and managers demand that their clients belong. There are also sites for actors such as Backstage, Playbill, NY Casting and a number of others in Los Angeles, which reps do not deal with at all.
Your profiles on these sites should be constantly updated and have the best quality materials including current photos, updated resume and personal profile info with film and television at the top.
You need to have the best media reels and clips you can. If you don’t have media, you might as well assume you will not get TV or film auditions. Think…. why would a TV or film casting director call you in without being able to see what you look like or if you can act? They have their choice of approximately 1800 actors per submission on the east coast and 3000-4000 actors out west.
For actors, whether they are non-union or Union, who have no representation, a way to be seen by agents, managers and possibly casting directors, is to attend panels or competitions that allow themselves the ability to exhibit their skills in front of the reps and casting directors at panels or competitions.
Reps do attend these and will sign actors that impress them. Sometimes casting directors attend these events but it is rare for an actor to get an audition or job from a casting director without having representation.
There are panels on both coasts at different times (research this online) and in Los Angeles there are a number of competitions such as The Industry Network, IMTA, etc. IMTA is also in New York. There are also national competitions in various cities that are held by Barbizon USA. These showcase events do put you in front of quality and/or major agents and managers.
Actors should always have their materials up to date with proper pictures and clips.
For those that have reps, you need to be in contact with your representative to ask if they need anything updated or added. Without you having current quality materials, they cannot be effective on your behalf. Over the long haul, this may affect their continuing to represent you.
Actors, especially those who are SAG-AFTRA, should scour the internet to be up on what is going on production wise in their respective areas. If you live in New York, you saw that a number of different shows such as Bull, Manifest, Bluebloods and New Amsterdam, which film locally, are returning after hiatus. Also, a number of strong LA based episodics including the NCIS series, are also returning. Actors should make sure that their pictures and reels are representative of roles they could play on those shows. Make sure you have pictures and reels that your representative will be able to use to pitch you for roles on those shows.
If you don’t have a picture with the look of the types that are booked in the various shows and films happening in your area, get pictures that show you with that look. This should happen sooner than later!
To conclude, whether you are an actor with a rep or one without, you need great materials to compete. Without them, you will not get “in the room” for auditions to compete for jobs. It is a numbers game, and you have to beat out hundreds to thousands of other actors for job opportunities…be well-armed for the batter.
I hope I’ve helped you have better understand the business and what you need to do. Have a wonderful week and thank you for watching and/or reading.
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