What can you do to book more jobs? Every talent asks this question and although a lot is dictated by outside variable and other decision makers, some of the easiest things a talent can do are frequently overlooked or dismissed as unimportant. You are already working on your skill set, building your resume or reel, and developing a bigger network of contacts. What else matters?
Here is a list of simple things that successful talent do on a daily basis that set them apart from their peers:
1.) Pick up the phone. The talent on The Avenue's roster who book the most work consistently answer the phone when the agency calls. It may sound trite, but being able to access a talent quickly means being able to respond to the client more quickly -- and in many cases, the early bird books the job. Case in point, last week I called a talent and left a message early in the morning. I didn't hear back from the talent until very late that night. The job had already been booked and the late caller not only lost the opportunity, but lost a little of my confidence. As an agent, we want to know to that we can count on the talent to do their part of our partnership, so the talent who readily respond are always going to be our go-to pick when we are in a pinch!
2.) Follow directions. You always follow directions right? Of course, you do! Well, you mean to anyway. Best intentions aren't good enough when it comes to following directions. As an independent contractor, you have many different clients asking for similiar things with different details. Should you bring 1 headshot or 3. Did you wear black pants when you were supposed to wear khaki? Can the CD count on you to listen and then nail their direction in front of the director? I recently witnessed a well-meaning and very talented actor submit a taped audition for a big role. The audition was phenomenal, but the file was not sent according to the directions that had been given. Casting did not realize the tape was there until after the role had already been cast. A very sad day for the talent who nailed the audition and was never even considered for the part -- and now has created the impression with casting that he/she can't follow directions.
3.) Be able to submit a taped audition from home -- immediately! Our digital age is exciting and has opened up opportunity to a lot of actors outside of the biggest markets. Those who are self-reliant and respond quickly are booking work all over the place! The talent who rely on another person, another person's technology or expertise, or even someone they hire for help are missing the boat. Sure, your agent may be willing to tape you, but do you really WANT them spending time burning down audition tapes? No, they should be working to get you more opportunities! Self taping has become so simple that every home has access to some sort of video recording and computer burning device. It may vary from person to person, but the end result is the same. The talent who don't make excuses and figure out a way to make it work are the talent who are working. They are also the talent who the agent is going to call first and when under pressure or time deadlines. Don't you want to be that first call?
4.) Be willing. This is an industry of unknowns. Models are doing taped submissions for jobs today as often as actors are. The models who are willing to try working with a video camera instead of a still camera are the models who are working. And the added bonus is that a lot of them are booking jobs that pay residual, which means they are making a lot more money than they have in the past. Being flexible and willing to try something that you
Sometimes your bottom line profit is about more than your abilities as a model or actor. In this high drama industry, everyone is looking for the easiest way to keep their set functional and friendly. Are you making their life easier and giving yourself an advantage?