The mayhem of theWorld Acting Summit has left little time for me to write on here recently, but actually I have create your own acting work wanted to more than ever. And this is because as Steve Trister and I have been interviewing awesomely experienced people each day, I have been having all of these ah-ha moments! I had another one again the other day as I was listening to our marketing experts Emily and Paul. All through the summit the thing that keeps coming up from our various panelists is the importance of creating your own work when there isn’t any elsewhere for you.
And it’s the same thing I talk to actors about all the time. Complaints about not getting seen for work, disgruntled cries about not booking enough are just annoying. They’re like spam filled emails about needing money cause your purse was stolen in Spain. When you see what Alice Lowe and Steve Oram created with Sightseers and you think – BAM, that is what it is about.
Creating your own work means two things:
- You have something to talk about; and
- You are making work for yourself that you’ll be perfectly cast for (as long as you are clear about your correct casting type). You can create something that truly reflects and shows off your personal skillset of awesomeness.
Directors, producers, and even sometimes agents (check out what Alex Segal at Cole Kitchenn said about it in our talk with him here), enjoy hearing about projects other than the last thing you’ve starred in. I’ve seen their eyes light up as they listen to an enchanting actor chat about their feature film that they’re in 3rd draft of writing and which is currently being read by Casting Director. I feel the same way as I listen to them talking about it. It makes me immediately want to go home and get cracking on my own 2nd draft of whatever it is I’m writing or planning on making.
The other thing it does is it makes you less needy. Seriously, when you are busy creating opportunities for yourself, you won’t have time to be moping about waiting for stuff to happen. Opportunities will soon become real jobs. You won’t be the needy girl in the corner wasting time liking FB posts, and complaining in some acting chat room about life being crap and work opportunities dwindling.
I have this friend Lizzy in London who started a theatre company with her best friend in 2011. She not only co-produced a bunch of theatre pieces and had some great industry people come and see her, but she has now had so many other wonderful projects come up off the back of the creation of that company. Things she never expected. She is as busy as hell, and her CV is looking positively incredible. It’s the way the universe works. The busier she gets, the more wanted she is. And she is also one of the first people I think of when recommending actors or theatre companies. Why? Because she is busy with this acting work it makes me think of her being out there working in the biz all time time. She is in the know and she is current. She is present.
Another mate of mine, David is the same. He created a film company and now produces his own work, some of which are even getting film festival screenings. It’s incredible. I want to work with him because to me he is someone who gets things done. He creates opportunities that are both helping his career, and also leading to more work in other directions. His IMDB profile is also looking positively full and that’s going to help get him noticed as well. Oh and if you want to see another ridiculously busy, talented and successful Wonder Woman, just check out Cariad Lloyd. Wow!
The reality is we want to hire busy people. Because busy people are busy getting on with it, and they don’t waste time fussing about and doing nothing but complaining. Busy people also don’t waste time or fret the small stuff. They just shuffle things around and make way for solid progress.
And to be honest, if I have to listen to another actor rattle off their CV which I could just as easily read myself if I googled their name and then looked them up, I might actually want to poke my eye out with a very sharp pencil.
What you create for yourself becomes you. It becomes a chance for you to actually do credible work, to be more active in the business, more professional and more sought after. Why do you always see the same great actors getting tonnes of work? Because they are busy and everyone suddenly wants them.