As actors, we are used to working within tight deadlines and changing circumstances; last minute auditions, script edits at the final hour or a fast paced improvisation session. Then throw in international travel and ‘with hours to go’ confirmations, we can be stretched.
However if you can train yourself to ‘be ready’ for anything (apologies for the outrageous plug!) you will reap the rewards.
You will be the one is more likely to get the job. You will be the one who makes the production team’s schedule easier and stress free and ultimately the one who is remembered as someone who was amazing to work with.
Over the years in this industry as an actor and an agent, I have noticed the time frames have become tighter due to the speediness of technology. It can be a case of fastest finger first.
Of course, talent comes into play, but most are talented so what is going to make you stand out from the crowd?
Here are five strategies that will help you be in the best possible position for the next opportunity.
1. Be in contact
Communication with your agent is absolutely key and by maintaining an open dialogue of your whereabouts will build trust and allow your agent to push on certain jobs and make last minute decisions on your behalf.
Firstly always update them with your availability so they are informed- expect to get a call about an audition. Don’t be tempted to slip away for the weekend and turn your phone to voice mail- don’t get caught out. Secondly always keep your phone charged. I purchased and external phone charger that doesn’t need to be plugged in- try this one… this has saved me many a time when I am out and about.
2) Have online copies of your documents
Open a dropbox account or google drive account to store scanned copies of useful paperwork- your passport, measurements, insurance, driving licence. So if the production company needs your details quickly you can simply ‘share’ via email rather than waiting to get home, find, scan, email and send...by this point you may have missed the boat.
3) Expect to travel and have a ‘travel bag’
This is not a whole suitcase :) but a collection of stuff I always need that I can easily access. I have a travel cosmetics bag with travel sized products ready to go plus a drawer of plane essentials- eye mask, foregin currency, travel pillow, adaptors etc that I can quickly grab.
4) Keep things smooth
So many parts of an actor’s life can complicated so try and keep your finances and general life stress free so you can go accept a job at a moment’s notice.
5) Be remote
it is essential an actor can work on the move. This could be downloading scripts (I always have my computer with me) or equipment to be able to record.