This week: An untapped marketing tool for actors
In my thirty year career as a director, casting director and former actor I have never once come across an actor (including my past self) who had a reduced, easy-to-pocket, up-to-date resume on them at all times.
As I wrote earlier on this blog, there have been many occasions when I encountered actors who had no form of a picture & resume (i.e. their business card) with them. I’m not talking about just at auditions (though actors without a P&R while in the job search mode in not uncommon). I’m offering a solution to those who foolishly go without their P&R for whatever reason, including “it’s to big to handle”. To be an actor without some form of a picture & resume with you at all times is poor business practice, asinine and laziness.
So how to create and carry a miniature P&R to pocket in your pocket, purse or over-sized wallet? Two ways:
Know those postcards that you have of your puss? The ones other actors send out to say “Hi, my cat’s in heat and so is my career!” Well keep your puss on the front and drop the backside update about your pussy.
1. Order a set of postcards with your picture, name, phone & e-mail on the front. On the back leave the postcard blank. Order either standard size (4 x 6 inches) or oversized (5.5 x 8.5 inches) postcards.
2. Then you’ll need labels. What kind of labels? I’ve already done your homework for you.
For standard size postcards you’ll need Avery 8464 (3-1/3 x 4 inches) or another brand that is similar in size. If you can find a larger size that will fit without needing to be trimmed; great.
For oversized postcards you’ll need Avery 8165 (5.5 x 8.5 inches) or another brand of the same size.
3. Simply reduce your resume to the label size that you have chosen. If you cant’ fit your full resume on the label then edit waste and keep the best of the resume on the label.
INCLUDE a note that your full resume can be viewed at your web site. Don’t have a web site? Bad actor – 5 demerits.
4. Then in a small quantity put the printed labels on the back of your postcards. When you need to update your resume, reprint your labels and put on to another set of blank headshot postcards.
An alternative to having backside-blank-headshot-postcards would be to use a service like Vista Print (I use them for my marketing-whore materials), PostCards.com, ImageMedia or whomever you find on or offline that offers the best value and quality. With one of these services you can then have both your headshot and resume formatted and pre-printed to be on the respective front/back of your post card.
The down side to this is that you have to order a large volume and being that the resume information is pre-printed you can’t update information until your next print run.
The pro to having your reduced, postcard size picture and resume pre-printed is that it’ll look cleaner IF you formatted properly when ordering.
So there ya have it. I have yet to ever receive something like this from an actor. Ever. Receiving regular business cards with just a picture…? I’ve gotten tons that go into the trash. They tell me nothing of the actor’s history. Having postcards tossed onto my desk with invites to showcases or include pet updates….? Far too many and they too go into the trash because they also tell me nothing about the actor.
Give this a try. You’ll be viewed as innovative. Believe me not many people lead when given new ideas. Also you’ll be able to carry your headshot and resume everywhere you go. Everywhere (well maybe not to a clothing optional campground). Far too many actors have I run into at airports, on the street, at openings, or elsewhere and they didn’t have information to offer me that was useful, i.e. their picture and resume in a reduced form for BOTH of us to easily carry.
On a side note: Joel Carlton of DGRW (a bicoastal agency), Judy Boals, President of Boals Talent and Michael Rodriquez of The Roster are the guest agents for the next agent panel for Access to Agents. This is a four-week seminar intensive that prepares and introduces you to the people who help you find work. Plus you get a marketing make-over AND written feedback from the agents (and hopefully and invite to become a client). For registration visit: http://paulrussell.net/Access_to_Agents.html
Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul has taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU and has spoken at universities including Yale, Temple and the University of the Arts. He writes a column for Back Stage and is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor. For more information, please visit www.PaulRussell.net.
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