God bless the Internet. It’s such a time-suck of amazingness. But, as much time as we waste hooked up to the grid (like, for instance, searching YouTube for cat videos that I can link to in an article…), we can still harness this evil temptress of mind numbing distraction and make her work for us. If you have a specific routine and intent every day as you click that pretty little browser button, you can accomplish a lot for yourself and your career before eventually finding your way to this… or this (giggle).
So, here is my very basic compilation of website suggestions for you to touch base with at least once a day.
Self Submission Sites
Here is where you can take a tiny bit of control over your career. My personal faves are Actors Access, LAcasting, and Now Casting. Which ever site you prefer, visit it at least once a day. Or, sign up for all three! Just make sure that you aren’t submitting yourself for the same project over and over. (Good way to annoy a CD)
Keeping in the Loop
Skim these sites to keep updated on the goings ons of the industry. Read gossip, see what’s trending, and just generally keep a finger on the pulse of what happening in our crazy lil’ business. General Favorites are Variety, Hollywood Reporter, and Backstage (which is also a submission/casting website!)
Oh, and don’t scoff at the idea of keeping up with “gossip”. You never know when it could be helpful. My friend recently found her self in conversation with a pretty well known actor and casually asked him when he was going to marry that pretty girl of his. He paused, looked at her oddly, and informed her that the engagement was called off a year ago. … Awkward.
Find Positive and Supportive Influences
There is no reason for you to feel alone on this journey. There are others out there that are in the same boat as you, AND they want you to succeed and feel accomplished. Crazy, I know. Personally, I subscribe to Bonnie Gillespie’s blog. It’s not daily but, her weekly email blasts are real, affirming, and encouraging.
And Obviously, Ms. In The Biz (Duh!). There are a crap-ton of amazing, inspiring, and down-to-earth contributors on here. If you find one or two that you really seem to connect with, reach out! Say “hi”, find ‘em on the facebooks, it never hurts to make connections with supportive and positive people.
Ok, I understand that this is pretty subjective. But, the point is to visit a couple of sites that get your juices going, whatever that might mean to you. Maybe it’s Funny Or Die, Upworthy, Humans of New York, or pictures of sad puppies. I don’t care what it is. As long as it makes you say “yes, and..”
The Suggestion With an Asterisk…
Bear with me on this one. ::rawr:: I’m about to suggest the biggest culprit of time-suckitude in all of the internetland. …Facebook. Ok, before you start throwing those tomatoes at me, hear me out. (Also, don’t waste perfectly good tomatoes. Waster.) Utilized correctly, facebook can be a pretty good tool. Among many things, it is a great way to keep in casual contact with others in the industry, post news about yourself and your career (as well as keep up with others), and even stimulate your fan base.
A good friend has booked several jobs off the ol’ FB. She follows directors and CD’s and knows when they post that they are casting. Also, she frequently posts little tid-bits of her work (pics from a modeling gig, clips of her singing, or promos of things she’s in). BUT, she’s not overbearing with it. It’s a good balance.
So, don’t be afraid of the book of faces, just give yourself an objective and most importantly, give yourself a time limit! Or down the rabbit hole you will go.
Your turn!! What’s your favorite website??