Yes I am playing on lyrics in my blogs now…well excuse the cheeky word play but lets not dance around the topic anymore (oh the puns!). Why did I name this week’s blog save the last stats for me? Because this post is all about statistics!
A long long while ago I mentioned the topic of creating a marketing plan and another time about the mindset for setting goals. And recently while trawling through the amazing plethora of acting blogs and resources available on the internet, I saw a fantastic blog update from The Networker, the LA branch of Casting Networks (now taking the UK by storm I might add). I was absolutely intrigued by this post; most especially because it was written from a Casting Directors’ perspective, and yet still encompasses everything I am always banging on about as an actor. The statistical side of the business.
Have you got your Acting Log set up? That is, do you have a place where you record all of your auditions and bookings? Do you have a list of contacts that you can look through at the drop of a hat? No…well where have you been all my life. I love preaching about this stuff.
There is no need to re-write what the lovely Laurie Records has so perfectly written – you can read the amazing details that you should consider keeping by simply clicking on the link above (in pink) – instead I want to touch on the actor’s mindset.
As actors it is our job to know our casting type, i.e. when you are called into auditions, what are the three top roles you get called in for, for example: young mum, corporate girl, hot babe, girl next door (be careful as this only applies when you are young) doctor, femme fatal, working class northerner etc. If you don’t know then how can you be targeting the right auditions.
I must say that in all my years of acting I personally feel like the American agents and managers are really on it with this type of thing. When I was over there in meetings it was one of the first things they always asked. And they never asked my real age, but they always asked what I thought my ‘playing age’ was. I liked that. They don’t care about your real age as they can see what you look like (and anyway if they sign you they’ll know your real D.O.B.). What they care about is that YOU know what YOU can play and how old YOU think you look.
Get it? YOU are in charge. YOU own this. YOU own your career after all.
I struggled with the whole concept of typecasts when I first studied acting. I waved my hands in the air like a crazy girl, flicking my hair back while simultaneously saying “but I can play any role, I don’t want to be stereotyped”. Yes, you can guess how that worked out for me. It didn’t! I now understand that it is a strength to know how people initially perceive me, it’s a strength to know which characters I am naturally good at playing, and it’s a strength to know that I get called in for x number of auditions per year as this type of character and x number of auditions as that type. It’s all in the statistics.
And where are they? Oh right, back to those dancing puns. The stats will live on a page that you have created for yourself to keep a track of your auditions, callbacks, and bookings. If you don’t know your numbers then how else can anybody else possibly help you either? Get in the habit of doing the mundane chores that are part of your ‘acting’ business. Get in the habit of keeping logs and reviewing your success rate regularly. Get in the mindset of knowing YOUR business. No one else will. Every agent, unless you are Bradley Cooper, are pretty busy looking after their other 30 clients along with you.
So dance your little fingers over to that excel spreadsheet. And if you want any help, just ask.
As always, love to know what you do to keep your acting world organised. Feel free to share below.