The modern entertainment world thrives on digital communications and online marketing, so if you’re a Broadway actor asking yourself whether or not you need a website, the answer is: Absolutely!
A biographical or portfolio website is an invaluable tool for self-marketing, and should be considered a necessary calling card in today’s climate. Through this website, you can manage your own information (or have your agency assist you with managing it), control what prospective employers see, and have a link to provide in your playbill bios.
Why is Having a Website Important?
Pretend for a moment that you’ve just performed in a play or musical, and someone in the crowd has decided that you would be a perfect fit for a role they have in mind.
Like most people do when they first discover someone or something they’re excited about, that person Googles you. When you have a website available, that person can find all the information they need in order to make the decision to reach out. Your website should also have contact information, allowing prospective employers and directors to get in touch with you for interviews and offers.
If you didn’t have a website, that person who would’ve hired you is left with no easy way to get in contact with you and has very limited information about you. Not to mention, they may even think that you’re less professional than your peers who do have a portfolio website. Regardless of your experience, not having your own site as a Broadway actor can really put you behind in terms of opportunity.
What Should Go On a Portfolio Website?
A portfolio website is like an interactive resume for a Broadway actor, allowing those interested to see who you are, the kind of work you’ve done, and how your skills might benefit their own production. As such, you want your site to have all of the same information you would personally hand out at an audition.
Headshot and Bio – These are fairly self-explanatory. Any time you present yourself to potential employers (or even just to the general public), you want to have your best headshot front and center, and that’s exactly where it should be on the homepage of your website.
Your biographical information can go on the homepage or on an “About” page, but make sure to keep your audience in mind when writing it. Keep the tone personal and conversational, using first person perspective and an engaging tone.
Video Samples – If you have them, include a few video clips or reels of your work! Nothing goes farther when advertising your abilities than an actual demonstration–it’s like being able to audition every time someone watches the video. However, if you don’t have any clips available just yet, don’t wait to set up your website. It’s much better to have all of your other information readily available and add videos and updates later on than to have nothing at all.
Printables – Give your visitors the ability to print your headshots and work experience by adding printable PDFs for them to download.
Contact Information – Naturally, you don’t want to give a prospective employer every reason under the sun to want to hire you without giving them a way to reach out to you. Include any contact information you have, including phone number and email address. If you currently work through an agency, include their information here, too.
Blog – It’s wise to keep a sort of blog running on your website to keep track of your career moves. Post regular updates showing what kinds of classes you might be taking, which jobs you’ve landed and/or completed, post-audition selfies, and anything else that might give future employers a better idea of how dedicated you are to your craft.
Things to Keep in Mind
When you’re creating your website, there are a few key things to keep in mind to ensure it’s a successful marketing tool for you and is functional for your viewers.
Ease of Navigation – One of the most important things to do when creating a website is making sure it’s easy to follow. Nothing is more frustrating than going to someone’s page and having difficulty finding the information you need. In order to ensure easy navigation, you can either try a pre-built theme through a content management system like WordPress or just be certain to have visually logical menus and widgets.
Mobile-Friendly Version – Make sure that your website works well on multiple platforms, from desktops or laptops to phones and tablets. Agents and directors are often on-the-go and do a lot of their work from a mobile device, so test out your website to ensure it will appear properly. Testing is easy, thankfully. All you have to do is Google “mobile friendly test” and simply input your URL in the available slot!
Recommended Themes for Broadway Actors / Artists
There are plenty of good portfolio wordpress themes artists or actors can use, including some of the below:
Circle – Circle is an excellent theme for portfolios, particularly for actors and agencies. Its professional appearance and variety of homepage templates will help you impress prospective employers and agents while still maintaining a unique and personal design. A favorite feature in this theme is the “One-Click Demo Installation,” which allows you to instantly install whatever template you’ve chosen, hassle-free.
Formota – For a modern aesthetic, try Formota. It also offers numerous homepage options and one-click demo installation, but has a completely different aesthetic from Circle. The designs manage to remain simplistic while being both modern and edge, and you can easily add videos and slideshows to your pages with Formota’s intuitive editor.
Burbank – If you want a young, fresh, and minimalistic look for your portfolio website, try Burbank! This theme uses the Elementor Page Builder for easy drag-and-drop editing to save you time and headache, and the final result is gorgeous.
Every Broadway actor needs a website if they want to be taken seriously and have the same number of opportunities as their peers. Going without will only hurt your success, so if you haven’t already created a website for yourself, put together the information above and plan out what you want your site to look like. Once you’ve got your portfolio website up and running, attach that link to any playbills, business cards, and email signatures you have and watch your popularity rise!