Marketing to Casting Directors & Agents For Actors
As an actor, one of the biggest goals in terms of furthering your career is auditioning for a major role in a film, TV series, or theatre show. The people who make the decisions on who is cast are called casting directors and the people who represent you are agents. There are various ways to obtain agents, but today we will go over the do’s and don’ts of bringing in the attention of an agent or casting director, along with some alternative ways to market to two of the most important people in the entertainment industry through online SEO and marketing efforts on Twitter and YouTube.
marketing is crucial for actors to succeed with casting directors & talent agents
In 2016, there are various types of marketing for actors that are looking to get roles in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and other areas around the country that have become havens for TV/film, and yes, we will discuss digital marketing in-depth later. Right now, we are going to talk about the different styles of marketing for actors and models and debunk a few myths of whether they actually work or not.
Actor postcards are very risky forms of marketing to a talent agent or casting director when looking at getting attention for your work. Many talent agents get so much mail from potential clients on a regular basis that most postcards showing off your work and upcoming gigs will end up in the trash can and all of the work to get information sent out is thrown out. Every once in a while, the postcards may get seen—however, are they seen by the key decision maker? Unfortunately, most times the answer is no.
mailing out headshots & resumes
This has been the one area where the entertainment industry has truly fallen behind in many ways and has taken money from many performers. Headshots and resumes are extremely important to show off your skills and give a good idea of what potential employers are going to be working with whether you are acting or modeling. Unfortunately, many times the right people aren’t getting the information. Talent agents tend to keep their mailing address for a while (a great way to find out current information for agents and casting directors is IMDBPro) but casting directors are harder to nail down, and if you are not doing the correct follow up work, the headshots/resumes could end up getting mailed right back to you. That means that you are out the postage money and your opportunities are no greater.
Auditioning at casting & agent “workshops”
The rule of thumb in the acting world is that you never pay to go audition for a potential role. That might have been popular years ago, but in today’s acting age, the best way to actually get some kind of facetime with the casting directors & agents is to actually go & pay to audition for these people & show them exactly what you can do. It may sound as though we are in favor of this style of marketing (we aren’t completely), but the benefits do tend to be strong. The three major ones in New York & Los Angeles are Actors Connection (NY), Actors Key (LA) & Actor’s Green Room (NY).
The way they work is that you register for the class/workshop (a.k.a audition) online through the company websites. On their calendars, they have certain times that particular casting directors & agents will come in & hear scenes from the actors who have memorized lines before they have come in. The lines are from scenes on shows they have typically cast or represented other actors on at some point.
Most times, if the casting directors or agents like the actor, the actor will get graded high & will give you an invitation to come & audition for them on an upcoming project. If not, actors will get some kind of constructive criticism & they will be on their way, having the opportunity to work on the scene & come back at a later date, as 99% of the time, the casting director or agent will eventually come back & actors will have the opportunity to win them over yet again.
social marketing makes an actor a full brand
Casting directors & agents are always looking for the next big thing in entertainment. Many of today’s performers – whether its film, TV or theatre actors, musicians, etc., are found in very unconventional ways. Most of the ways they are found have something to do with social media & being popular on social media.
For many actors, this would involve a heavy dose of YouTube & Twitter marketing. Having a great YouTube campaign will allow for your brand to become viral & gain the attention of the casting directors & agents looking for the next “big thing” & can give you the opportunity to get yourself out into the public & promote your website, IMDB, headshots, resumes & more. On Twitter, you will become a strong brand. With the right marketing, when you tweet, you will become more well-known because of your ability to become a brand. Actor marketing is not just about being a great performer, its about developing a full brand that features a diverse portfolio of your talents & skills on a worldwide display.
Have a channel of your films, webseries on youtube, twitter
A great way for an actor to promote themselves to casting directors & talent agents is to have an optimized YouTube channel that is full of their work. When you have a strong channel of your best work, it will show up in YouTube & Google search & instead of having to go to an industry showcase, save that money & promote from within & make your channel your own showcase of your demo reels, complete films, webseries, hosting, or comedy shows.
When you are going to have a new project being uploaded to your channel, make it feel like a major event through marketing on Twitter. Use your Twitter as the main marketing vehicle & build it up so that when you tweet, you are gaining new fans & followers & increase your overall social media influence.
Twitter & YouTube can be your biggest marketing tools to make sure casting directors & agents are seeing your overall skills, no matter where you live in the country. Will there need to be a move to either New York or Los Angeles at some point, absolutely, but at least be able to go while getting ready to sign the big contract.
For more information, please check out our acting posts where we give advice for performers to market based on city & how to make money on YouTube while they are building their careers up.