As an actor, it is imperative that your work can be viewed. I often used the analogy of ‘searching for properties’.
Imagine you are looking online for somewhere to live. Before you make an appointment and invest time in trekking across town to view, you want to know that the property is going to be a possible match for you. You want to see clear photos that are a true representation of what the property looks like, otherwise known as YOUR HEADSHOT.
You then want to know the dimensions. How many rooms there are, how big they are, whether you are able to fit all your furniture in, otherwise known as YOUR CV. It is essential that these vital pieces of information are accurate and comprehensive.
Lastly, the house tour. How great would it be to be able to view an online tour of the potential house, otherwise known as Your Showreel.
Casting spots can be very precious as there are only a certain number of appointments per session. These need to be filled with strong actors who can deliver and be reliable. If you have a showreel, the likelihood you will be invited to castings will increase.
Building a showreel can be difficult; waiting for footage or gaining footage that truly represents you and your abilities can take time. Therefore the ‘perfect showreel’ can seem a long way off.
Please don’t wait for perfection- it will delay your process. Start now and focus on what you can do, not what you can’t.
Begin with a creative mind and consider what you can do now, it is important you start to become familiar with your on screen presence- what do you look like on camera? Do you have any behaviours or habits that you didn’t know you had? Take the time to work hard on your camera technique now- don’t wait until you get in the casting room, when you have an audience.
Here are five strategies for you to help get started.
Look for the easy wins. Could you record a monologue? Do you have a friend who has a good camera that could easier shoot a duologue? Could you research companies who offer showreel services? Don’t wait until you have 5 minutes of footage- focus on what you can build now.
Become familiar with equipment. If you have a recent computer, it is likely it will include an editing suite, learn how to operate it now. Remember, there is so much information online, if you ever get stuck, simply type the question into You Tube.
Become familiar with sharing. Your agent may ask you to go on tape in the near future, so figure out how you would do this now. Don’t wait until the call comes in, this will only encourage panic. Create an action plan now so you are prepared and sharp.
Join forces. No doubt, you will have actor friends that have a similar set of requirements, so collaborate. Contact those you trust and set up a meeting, clearly sharing your expectations and ideas. This can be a fantastic way of sharing costs and to be effective and accountable.
Make it happen. Start today. Don't wait until it feels right or until you have the perfect amount of time or money. Take baby steps and begin the process. Your agent will be thrilled and you will be seen by the people who need to see you.