Nowadays, more than ever before, actors have a way of communicating, networking, and more of a sense of community. This is thanks to social media. Like it or Hate it, social media seems to be here to stay, embrace it, if you use it correctly it can do you no harm and can only be of benefit to you and your career.
Social Media is at it’s most basic ‘conversations online’, talking with people about what they are interested in through the internet using various tools and platforms: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, WordPress and many more.
You probably already use some kind of social media to keep in touch with friends, and to keep up to date with news and gossip about who and what interests you. But why stop there? Take it further and think creatively and professionally and you could use social media to attract attention to you, your message, your product.
Social Media and The Actor
Social Media can help you to:
Since I started seriously using Twitter and Facebook as a business tool, opportunities have come my way. I am able to ‘meet’ and ‘link up’ with casting professionals in a way that I hadn’t previously had the tools to do. I get to see behind the ‘casting facade’ and meet the real person and they get a taste of the real me too. Meeting industry professionals on the web has also led to some in-person networking opportunities.
When you have had social media interaction with someone, it can often feel like you have met them already, as you know a little bit about them, this makes networking a whole lot easier.
I’m amazed at how much building a social media following and blogging has influenced my opportunities as a performer. I have met people that I never would have expected to through online connections, including well-known performers whose work I have looked up to over the years.
Its not just about networking though, having a social media presence can be hugely beneficial in promoting a project. You have your own merry bnd of followers and can market a project or product to them. This can be really useful when auditioning for a fringe play or low budget film. Letting a director know that you are committed to helping promote the piece using your social media sites can be really useful for them. It could even swing the role your way if you are down to the last couple, things like this help, and are worth pointing out.
Social Media can help you to find information and inspiration. Looking for an audition speech? Send out a tweet and you will be amazed at the results. Feeling a bit low? Let others know and you will see that you are not the only one, and someone will offer you some inspiration or affirmation to cheer you up.
A well-known Hollywood director who knew me years ago contacted me because he saw me on Facebook. He loved the fact that I was part of a community of actors and that I was still acting. We reconnected and I auditioned for him, and we’re in discussions about my being in his next movie
Using Social Media you can easily link up with actors, directors, and producers internationally. I find this fascinating and one of the most interesting uses of social media as an actor. I can see how the industry works around the world, what’s different, what’s the same, I get a more universal perspective.
Your online life can boost your confidence, and make you appear professional and personable. You can contact directors directly, or send them a link to your profile, blog or website. You only hear back every once in a while, but you won’t be annoying them, they will either click or not, just don’t hassle them. The process can be fun and kind of empowering.
Be ready for the haters. If you post your thoughts on a blog, or a video up on Youtube you are opening yourself up to the world. Let people say what they want. You will always be judged in this profession. Know that at least you are doing something productive and don’t let the haters get you down, don’t even get into a dialogue with them. They are not worth your energy, emotion, or effort.
Social media is for networking. Being friendly with a purpose. I think the biggest thing is to accept only a certain number of friend requests at one time and then categorize them. I delegate who they are to me: friend, fan, industry pro—agent, casting director, or producer
Social Media is still in its infancy, and it is early days to know if social media can make or break a career, but it has certainly led to a new way of doing business for us all. The internet has democratised the Arts, with the lives and endeavors of artists accessible to all.
Hopefully social media can help even the shyest teenager know that there is a big world out there, and with hard work they too can be part of it. The work is there, social media shows you that, and with some hard work, and lots of fun, social media can be the foot in the door or the steppingstone to something better.