Networking & the Power of YOU
Whether you are a new or veteran actor, knowing your type – meaning how others are most likely to see (and cast) you – is of primary importance, for this is where the bulk of your work will be. In fact, until you’ve successfully established yourself, embracing whatever type you most represent (e.g. the jock, the femme fatale, the hipster, the comedic side-kick, etc.) should be the tent-pole of your marketing efforts and the focus of your job submissions.
Ironically, once you know the category of actors you are most aligned with, it then becomes your job to distinguish yourself within the pack. The most perceptive and successful actors are those who know that it’s the small elements of their unique personality that make them stand out in the audition room. It’s the seemingly simple act of bringing a little of yourself into whomever you are playing that makes the big difference.
In a nutshell, it is your “YOU-ness” that will help get you the job.
While harnessing the ‘power of you’ in your performances is what will help move you from the audition room to the set or stage, many actors seem to fear putting that same “you-ness” to work for themselves in non-acting situations. This goes against reason, for it is universally true that the more genuine and less ‘sales-y’ or ‘speed date-like’ our industry interactions are, the more likely a tangible lead or connection can be made.
Social media is an amazing gift that gives today’s performers the opportunity to create an online presence, in alignment with their specific type, while also being able to add his or her own unique personal voice through interactions with their audience. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google+ are the stand out choices for building rapport both among your fans and among the industry contacts you WANT to build relationships with.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could just show up to a networking opportunity as our authentic self with the one simple goal of seeing if a connection can be made? In my opinion that is exactly what networking IS about.
Just as your mindset in the audition room will set you apart, it is the seemingly simple act of bringing a little of yourself into your social media presence that makes the big difference when seeking out networking opportunities. Whether it be in a meeting, online or at an event – in my opinion ‘networking ‘is simply another chance to use our active listening skills and let our unique, authentic voice shine through.
In a nutshell, it’s the subtle and un-manufactured ease with which you share your “YOU-ness” that will not only set you apart in the audition room, but will help you get in the door.
Marissa Mutascio is an actor, producer and co-founder of the NY Actors Tweetup – a casual networking group where actors, filmmakers, casting directors, writers, production crew and others in the performing arts can get together, share resources and have fun.
(This article originally appeared in: theartsentrepreneur.com)