It’s time for some Actor’s Honesty. The coronavirus has forced the industry to restructure and rethink how we create content. As industry professionals adjust, we are seeing an influx of remote TV writing rooms, a rise in self-tapes, online masterclasses, industry panels and webinars. Instead of focusing on time frames, that is, when the industry will come back, actors need to adjust to this new way of remote working. Now is the time to update your contacts and begin some serious 2020 networking. Yes, 2020 is still happening, with access to industry professionals like never before. Make the most of your networking time by getting savvy.
Know who offers both free and paid Live Streams, Q&A’s and Webinars. Give yourself ample time to build and diversify your calendar by week or month, research and prep questions. A great place to start for free resources is Backstage’s The Slate. It’s their latest digital and on-camera series with insights and direct feedback from agents, actors, casting directors, and personal trainers remotely. Backstage’s April 2020 calendar is here!
1.) Be ready to listen for at least one personal thing about the panelist.
2.) Check out their social media to understand what’s great about them.
3.) Know about their company including their greatest, latest news.
Once you have a plan, create a spreadsheet to keep track of the panels you attended and notes about the panelist. A sample breakdown may look something like this.
Agent Research: LEGIT Agent, Owner & CEO of a mid-level boutique in NYC. Knows the major players, has 80 clients and is active on Instagram. His IG is 99% musical theatre clients.
Action Step: Research his latest client and/or a show I’ve seen that has one of his clients…so I can talk specifically about the work.
Navigating The Panel
Once the panel starts, be sure to spend enough time listening to the panelist story before you jump into your questions. Treat the online webinar like face-to-face, the first date or meet and greet.
Follow Up For Notes: This LEGIT Agent doesn’t practice inbox zero, his wife runs his Instagram, he calls her the intern and they’ve just had a newborn. He showed his son on camera. He’s not taking new clients until closer to pilot season.
Action Step: I have time to personalize my marketing materials, create a mock playbill once pilot season rolls around when he’s taking new clients.
Updating Your Contact List
Once the Industry Q&A is finished, update your contact list with the info and plan time to prep and send your marketing materials.
Action Step: Update calendar when on when to follow up. Get specific, see follow up notes. Ask if he and the intern are planning a party for his son. Check IG for a cool client you love. Mention the panel.
These tips should not only help you in this unique time in our industry, but they are also good practice moving forward. Enjoy and stay positive. You are in control of how this works out for you.
RG is a New York-based actor and writer. Outspoken, gutsy, and living her own brutal truth. Before giving into her creative urges, she was a casting assistant and PA in LA and New York. RG’s performed with TMI Hollywood, a live weekly sketch comedy show and was a recurring character in the cult classic The Hunted: NYCSS. She’s been a leading actor in two short films and a universal swing in the Off-Broadway revival of Columbinus. RG is currently putting in her #10000hours at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.