For years there was an almond company whose tag line was: “A can a week, that’s all we ask.” I LOVE that, as a branding plan, because it keeps it doable and simple. I also LOVE the “most interesting man” in the world campaign for Dos Equis beer…because of this phrase: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” It is brilliant. Because in BOTH cases they’re understanding the long haul, not the extreme short term.Because actors are always at the bottom of the acting business totem pole unless we’re stars, we tend to hide…then jump out and scream briefly…hide…then come out swinging for a weekend or two. Stop, right now, and count…I mean really count how many of the KEY people in your marketplace KNOW you by name? Just how many legit agents, managers, producers, writers, casting directors, theater artistic directors know your name?
We always talk about in acting “it’s who you know” but I’ve argued for decades, no, it’s who knows YOU. Because there are so many people who can know of you or you, without you ever having met them…but you can MEET people without you really knowing THEM. So 12 a year, that’s all I ask, just like a can of almonds. Think about it, get to know, get to meet, get to talk with briefly…just 12 legit professionals in your marketplace a year. When you take a simple and basic format of a 4-year University you then have great math.
Having a degree, in most fields especially in America, literally guarantees you nothing. But as an actor, over the course of a 4-year period…if you just get 12 per year, you finish your Senior (metaphor) year…with 48 professionals in your marketplace…who KNOW you. That is what I call the proper foundation to earning a living and having a career. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re in Sydney, London, Atlanta, San Francisco or Hollywood. With all of the areas in which a performer can make money there are easily 48 “key” professionals in virtually any “decent size” city in the world.
I absolutely “get” that this profession naturally makes us sort of shy, a bit unsure, and also we tend to emotionally go through a lot of ups n’ downs as well as moments of depression then great moments of energy and effort. Still, the old argument of the tortoise and the hare, still stands up here. Regardless of what you do, for all of us, two years from now…you’ll still be two years older. Why not be able to say that you’ve got another 24 people WHO KNOW YOU.
It is a crazy subjective partial information business, so give yourself a simple simple goal especially in the early years of your career, by making sure that you MEET at least one legit professional in your marketplace every single month. You’ll look up a few years later and have a tremendous master contact list and therefore super foundation for your career. Be the talented Tortoise who realizes and appreciates the value of “who knows you.”
Always on your side. @theKevinE