Some great tips for new actors in town

as outlined by César


WEBSITE

It's so easy to make a website for yourself in today's age and also very affordable. It's also a write off for your taxes as an actor. Actors forget how important it is to be easily 'findable' by casting people. And by findable I mean on the first Google page when searching your name. First step is to buy a domain - preferably 'yourname.com'.  This is easy to do and cheap. GoDaddy is an easy to use source for that. If you don't have a site up and ready yet, it's a good idea to point that domain to your imdb page or your actor's access resume link. Even a Facebook page. Something. Anything with your picture and some kind of info on there. The sooner the better too. Doing it now will give the Google search engine time to find it and index it, so when you're ready to be found by casting people you're already on page 1 in a Google search of your name.

For the site itself, go to GoDaddy, WixSquarespace, or even use programs that come with your computer like the old iweb from mac (now discontinued). All of these are affordable. It's simply the cost of business.

 

CASTING SITES

Everyone in Hollywood knows that there's really just 2-3 sites you need to be on: Actor's Access, LA Casting and possibly Casting Frontier.  Actors Access is primarily used for theatrical projects and LA Casting for commercials. Both allow you to make a free profile. Fill in your info, upload your headshots and reels (of course there's a fee) and start self submitting. If you're going to self submit, it's a good idea to just pay the yearly fee for both. The great thing is that you spend all this time adding info and pics - once you sign with an agent/manager you'd have to do this anyway! Now it's done and you're ahead of the game. 

 

FEED YOUR MIND

We all love listening to music while stuck in the car for hours in LA, but there's other things you can listen to that you can learn valuable information from. Podcasts are free and plentiful! I've especially enjoyed listening to working actors and directors. Here's a few which I've found quite valuable to the actor:

  • Inside Acting Podcast
  • Making It with Riki Lindholme
  • The Work by Bonnie Gillespie
  • KCRW's The Business
  • KCRW's The Spin-off
  • Off Camera with Sam Jones
  • The Nerdist
  • Anna Faris Is Unqualified
  • Kahnversations Podcast
  • Hollywood Close-Up
  • the Frame
  • The Moment with Brian Koppelman
  • WTF with Marc Maron

 

HEADSHOTS

There's so much debate over what your headshot should look like, how many you should have, etc. Everyone has a different answer, so use your gut when starting out. Have at LEAST one picture that looks exactly like you on the casting sites and your website. It must be Hollywood standard professional looking. That means NOT a selfie. A picture a professional headshot photographer took. New York headshots tend to look a little different than LA ones. In the past NY headshots were black & white, while LA was the first to go color. Now it's color only. Once you get them you should have some printed out. These days it's all digital but they can still ask you for one at your audition. And it's not like you're going to tell them, "Oh, I don't have any printed." Again, the cost of business.

Photographers we've used: 

Donna Otten donnaOtten@me.com

(more coming soon)

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Brad Pitt doesn't need to be on twitter because he's already established. But if you're not at that level yet, perhaps you do. They say casting is leaning more towards giving the role to the actor with the bigger following because their followers will watch. (built in audience) Whether you have talent or not, social media is here for now. Get on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and whatever else gets invented. 

 

Websites to keep: