Don’t Be This Actor! – #1 Professional Relationship Killer

Casting directors, directors, talent representatives and producers often encounter the-world-belongs-to-me thespians who pretend friendship in hopes of leveraging career opportunities. Repulsed they avoid actors who…

Justin—never one to be mistaken for for Mr. Congeniality—turned to his buddy and quipped, “If I go to a bar I’m bound to get laid before the ugly lights burn.”

Sean peered at him. “Just because you’re single and breathing doesn’t mean everyone will drop a condom for you.”

Justin’s blind sense of entitlement excels in some opportunistic actors who masquerade as friends to colleagues but under their congenial masks they’re social piranhas: feeding their career’s insatiable ambition appetite from a trough of other’s good will.

Casting directors, directors, talent representatives,  producers, and universally aware actors often encounter the-world-belongs-to-me thespians who pretend friendship in hopes of leveraging career opportunities. Repulsed by repetitious actor retailing, talent champions, entertainment employers, and artists favoring integrity over an ambitious agenda, avoid the egocentric actor who leverages career momentum by offering a false friendship.

Recently a friend, who has furthered the career goals of many industry and household known actors, wearily commented that the actors he’d helped for decades and purported to term him ‘friend’ no longer contact him or return his ‘how are you’ inquiries since his pursuing a new career beyond entertainment. He’s no longer of use to their business aspirations. On occasion an actor will randomly e-mail him inquiring halfheartedly, “How’s life?” Then follows quickly the true outreach’s purpose; the social piranha desires career advancement assistance.

Another entertainment industry peer voiced similar of her being wanted by actors only for what she had to offer to representing their careers. As an agent of three-plus decades, who was formerly an actress, she provides her knowledge of audition technique and scene study at various studios. When she’s approached by actors seeking her for classes too many of the actors don’t first ask, “How can you guide me with this challenge in my skills I’m having?” Instead the actors ask, “If I study with you, will you also represent me?” Her response is, “One of my loves is sharing my experience and industry knowledge in order to benefit an actor’s skill set. I don’t teach for pay-to-play. I teach because I love actors.” She’ s lost many prospective students with her answer.

I received an e-mail, similar to many sent from actors never met:

“Thanks for all the info you post and opportunities to learn – I ordered your book from Amazon earlier today.”

I smile, until…

“Do you have a role for me? I want your feedback on my reel at **********.”

The actress doesn’t hear the shower beckoning her.

Ability and appropriateness are the first major factors to winning career goals. Honest intent, without exploitation, of your relations is equally as important a factor. No one is entitled to anything beyond living freely in pursuit of joy.

When reflecting upon your industry relations, or you’re tempted to link via a social network with industry ask yourself,  “Do I want to leverage (i.e. use) this person for my goals? Or do I want to build a relationship with this person I get so we both get to know the other for ourselves, and not for what we each do?”

Honest friendships foster mutual success, and opportunity…

Casting Directors, Talent Agents, Directors & Actors

Love the Best-Selling Book for Actors
ACTING: Make It Your Business!

AMIYB_Amazon“Humorous and witty…
Actors everywhere who are trying to succeed in the business, young or old, on stage or on camera, anywhere in the world, take note:

This is your roadmap!”
BERNARD TELSEY, casting director – CSA
(NBC’s Peter Pan – LIVE!, Into The Woods – The Movie, Wicked, Sex & The City)
“All the right questions asked and answered…
and with a generous portion of good humor.”
SUZANNE RYAN, casting director, CSA
(Law & OrderUnforgettable)
“I love this book!
Paul’s book tells you what you don’t want to hear but really need to know
EVERY actor should read this book!”
DIANE RILEY, Senior Legit Talent Agent
Harden-Curtis & Associates
“Paul’s book made me proud to be a part of this community we call ‘show!'”
KAREN ZIEMBA, TONY & Drama Desk Award Winning Actress
“Paul Russell’s words are not only blunt & accurate they zero in on all the questions every actor wants to know but is afraid to ask!”
KEN MELAMED, Talent Agency Partner
Bret Adams, Ltd.
“I had my Business of Acting, BFA Seniors, class do book reports on a variety of “business of acting” books and ACTING: Make It Your Business came out a clear winner—considered to be essential for their bookshelves!
Dr. NINA LeNOIR,
Dept. Chair – Dept. of Thtr.
Chapman University

Get smarter on the business of acting from legendary Hollywood & Broadway actors and talent agents in a casting director Paul Russell’s Best-Selling Book ACTING:AMIYB_Amazon Make It Your Business!

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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 Elon, Yale, Temple and the University of the Arts. He 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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ACTING: Make It Your Business

How to Contact Casting Directors & Talent Agents

Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, email, land mail, carrier pigeon, or stalker?

So many platforms of which to connect personally and professionally: which outlet is the best for unsolicited actor-to-gate keeper communication? Which is the worst? Find out in this week’s must-read Answers for Actors.

Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, email, land mail, carrier pigeon, or stalker?

So many platforms of which to connect personally and professionally: which outlet is the best for unsolicited actor-to-gate keeper communication? Which is the worst?

All. And All.

Huh?

Yep. There is no clear-cut, saw-the trees-down-to-be-seen answer.

So then, what to do?

Utilize all platforms. Retailers do the same to you, yet does MACY*S or Walmart wither with worry as does an actor who insecurely thinks, “If I contact a casting director via Facebook, or send an email to an agent, or send out land mail to both, they’ll hate me.”

First of all; our memories are short like a voter’s.

Secondly; retailers don’t cower that you’ll never shop or consider their services because they contacted you. Nor do their hired advertiser and/or marketer fear the client’s obscurity because of sales outreach on behalf of the client. As a marketer-in-exile I know people return to a product that was once ignored if never tried. And even if tried, and disliked, people are willing to give a person, product, or place a second chance.

“But casting director, Mr. I’m-Better-Than-You tells me never to contact him or any other casting directors via [insert platform],” you say. Good! Now you know Mr. I’m-Better-Than-You’s communication preference. But for him to speak for all casting is ludicrous. Unless he’s an omnipresent psychic, the casting director doesn’t know for certain how colleagues react to each unsolicited communication by actors. Same goes for talent agents, managers, producers, directors, or anyone in position of hiring talent.

So what’s an actor’s marketing strategy?

An actor’s unsolicited outreach options:

1. Research each hirer or representative of talent of your interest as to how they prefer to be contacted. Some will list their preference(s) on their website, or in guides like The Call Sheet.

The employers and gate-keepers who don’t publicly announce how they wish to be contacted are fair game. If you contact a casting director via Twitter, and that casting director hasn’t made public unsolicited communication preferences, then they have no right to bitch and moan when tweeted to.

Or…

2. Reach out to targeted employers and gate keepers via as many platforms as you desire. But not all at once. And don’t do so blindly. If you have no interest in print work, why contact modeling agencies? I know of too many actors who contact Legit agents for Commercial representation. Most Legit agents don’t cover commercials. Research who best matches your goals (that’s why God and Al Gore created the Internet).

In my classes, and when I teach at universities, I tire of hearing actors say, “I’ve been told by Ms. Talent-Agent-To-The-Muses never to contact talent agents via social networks.” That’s only that talent agent’s personal preference blindly blanketing the industry, and hobbling your marketing efforts. If I told you never to eat pickles because I loath the slimy sour phallus, would you? Or would you decide on your preference (or dislike) for pickles via your judgment?

I get unsolicited land-mail and email, to which a reply is almost always returned (sometimes weeks later). I make the choice of how I respond.

Unless your target publicly states how they wish, or don’t desire to be contacted, you firmly choose how to distribute your outreach. It’s your career, not theirs. Take control.

My best,
Paul

Casting Directors, Talent Agents, Directors & Actors

Love the Best-Selling Book for Actors
ACTING: Make It Your Business!

AMIYB_Amazon“Humorous and witty…
Actors everywhere who are trying to succeed in the business, young or old, on stage or on camera, anywhere in the world, take note:

This is your roadmap!”
BERNARD TELSEY, casting director – CSA
(NBC’s Peter Pan – LIVE!, Into The Woods – The Movie, Wicked, Sex & The City)
“All the right questions asked and answered…
and with a generous portion of good humor.”
SUZANNE RYAN, casting director, CSA
(Law & OrderUnforgettable)
“I love this book!
Paul’s book tells you what you don’t want to hear but really need to know
EVERY actor should read this book!”
DIANE RILEY, Senior Legit Talent Agent
Harden-Curtis & Associates
“Paul’s book made me proud to be a part of this community we call ‘show!'”
KAREN ZIEMBA, TONY & Drama Desk Award Winning Actress
“Paul Russell’s words are not only blunt & accurate they zero in on all the questions every actor wants to know but is afraid to ask!”
KEN MELAMED, Talent Agency Partner
Bret Adams, Ltd.
“I had my Business of Acting, BFA Seniors, class do book reports on a variety of “business of acting” books and ACTING: Make It Your Business came out a clear winner—considered to be essential for their bookshelves!
Dr. NINA LeNOIR,
Dept. Chair – Dept. of Thtr.
Chapman University

Get smarter on the business of acting from legendary Hollywood & Broadway actors and talent agents in a casting director Paul Russell’s Best-Selling Book ACTING:AMIYB_Amazon Make It Your Business!

Share Answers for Actors:

Facebook Twitter More...

StumbleUpon.com
E-mail Post to Friends…

Follow Paul Russell Casting:

follow Paul on Facebookfollow Paul on Twitter

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 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.

Get One-On-One:

Get Work:

Get The Feed:

Classes with Paul Russell Paul's book ACTING: Make It Your Business!

Answers For Actors Feed

Visit Paul @ PaulRussell.net and/or:

Paul Russell on Facebook Paul on Twitter Paul on MySpace
ACTING: Make It Your Business