Actors: Savvy Business Person? Or Desperate Butt Kisser? The Proper Art of Networking

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Let’s be real. Or “reel” if you’re a film buff. Acting is just as much a business as it is an art. I also happen to believe that the art is just as important as the business. However without the understanding of the business of this thing we call show, success may not be imminent. Many actors are blinded by the idea that success as an actor means being famous and lots of money. While I don’t know anyone who’d say those things are detestable, they should never be your “goals”.

How you get to be a healthy, successful, and career-forward actor is by understanding how to market yourself towards the career you want. The worst thing you can be is an actor who cries daily, brags consistently, and wants every industry member they meet to want to be their bae (a.k.a you are “The Actor” and no one else compares). So I’ve compiled a list to see which type of actor you really are. Are you business savvy? Or are you a desperate butt kisser? Check out the lists below to find out!

You’re Business Savvy if you…

* Have an industry standard headshot and professionally formatted resume that optimally present who you are as a type and a real person.

*Have a website and a significant social media presence that is specifically targeted to the audience that your business (YOU) are aiming towards.

*You engage with industry members upon first meeting them by talking about almost anything BUT your self-promotion as an actor, until it’s time to mention you are one. (You are just as interested to hear about what this person has going on than to brag for ten minutes about yourself)

*When it’s time to showcase your stuff (not your boobs or your butt, but your scene work), you know how to pick a scene that is you, one that you know up and down, and at the end of it, are willing and able to throw it all away and take an adjustment.

*You follow up with industry appropriately (ie. Contact them only when you have something important to say and in the manner in which they have requested).

*You know how to take rejection and still push forward.

*You set manageable and specific goals for yourself.

*You understand that each experience (audition/class/performance) is an opportunity to grow your business.

You’re a Desperate Butt Kisser if you….

*Have a headshot in which your mouth is open and your eyes are sunken as if to say “Hire me and we’ll have fun..wink wink!”

*Your resume is filled with extra work that you have decided to list as “Co-Star” work and you place notes underneath each one to list the industry conversations you’ve engaged in. (IE….you debated the meaning of life with Shia Labeouf at the craft service tables for a whole ten seconds)

*The main page of your website features the words: HIRE ME. And your Facebook and Twitter pages are filled with your reel in almost every post and a different casting director or agent tagged in each post. You also go on Facebook and try to engage with said industry professionals as if they’re your third cousins from Iowa that you have SO MUCH to catch up on.

*You beg industry members for work via social media.

*You buy Twitter followers and most of them are forty-seven-year-old Bronies and not your targeted audience/fan base.

*You claim you love acting so much and nothing else in your life matters.

*You talk about acting all day every day to the point that the people around you wonder if you’re a robot with a robot boner for Meryl Streep.

*You walk into a room to perform or audition for a casting director or agent and you keep stopping and starting over because it isn’t what you “PREPARED” instead of trusting yourself and letting what happens happen.

*You beg, and possibly offer to buy them cookies after the session.

*You are never interested in what someone else is working on. The conversation is all about you and your latest day on set or producers session.

*You email casting directors/directors/writers and ask if they’re hiring you.

*Your email address/twitter handle is “JaneDoeActress”.

*You take each rejection as if life has no meaning or you think you’re the best actor to ever walk this earth and Robert Deniro can eat your socks.

So which one were you? If you’re business savvy, congrats! There is no doubt that in time, you will succeed with a positive attitude and hard work. And if you’re a desperate butt kisser, then I’d consider either changing your ways to be business savvy or try and give Shia a call and see if your old pal wants to go to lunch. It’ll be a brown bag kind of lunch, so enjoy.

Amanda Goodman

About Amanda Goodman

Actress/Writer/Comedian - Amanda first fell in love with the art of making people laugh in the 2nd grade when she and another classmate entered into their class vaudeville night by doing a stand-up act that ended with them getting pied in the face (literally). Since then, she's studied acting all over New York including private teachers, master classes at The Stella Adler Studio, and The Upright Citizens Brigade. She is the star and creator of her own original web sketch comedy show "Goody's Goodies", and host of the Podcast "Green Pod". She also writes short horror fiction, and completed her first full-length horror novel "The Ansford Chiller", which she hopes will one day be able to scare the pants off of pants-wearers for years to come. She loves cupcakes of all shapes and sizes, Chris Farley movies, and the French word pampelmoose. Follow her mis-adventures on Twitter @ABGoody and www.amandabgoodman.com.