These days it isn't necessarily what you know, it's who you know. With that being said, networking is one of the most important things in the entertainment industry. It can actually make or break your career! Having trouble finding ways to network? Think about volunteering! Lisa Dempsey from AuditionArt.com writes about how volunteering can actually get you cast.
A great way to make those connections and become a familiar face is volunteering. Every show, every theatre, every company could use another body helping out. Whether that be in the box office, ushering, painting, or building sets, if you’re there meeting people and networking, then you are helping yourself get cast in their next production.
By bringing up in conversation that you are an actor, maybe mentioning names of people or theatres you’ve worked with, and by being a joy to be around, you’re marketing yourself and getting your foot in the door. If they like you, can rely on you and know that you are a credited actor looking to work, they will most likely think of you if they have last minute auditions or need a replacement.
Volunteering can also just make you a “familiar face”. Being recognizable is incredibly important in the audition room as it can spark the question: “Where have I seen you before?” This conversation starter can allow you the opportunity to let your sparkling personality shine! Win them over; tell them you’re volunteering for them, maybe even mention how you’ve become good friends with the producer or house manager. They’ll be flattered and impressed that you are so active and involved, and will also have a person to connect you to and remember you by.
Taking one night out of the week to volunteer at a theatre, local festival or even on a low budget movie set can really improve your chances in this industry and build your long term network. Its not free work if you enjoy doing it and make new relationships out of it, right? Volunteering can be fun, it's all what you make out of it!
Have you ever volunteered or done a project without pay and then watched those connections turn into paying work later? Tell me your story. We all need inspiration!