So let us take a brief look at these two definitions: 1. a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name. “a new brand of detergent” 2. an identifying mark burned on livestock or criminals or slaves with a branding iron. Now obviously actors ARE indeed their own CEO, and this is indeed a business, and yes, you are in your own way…a company. Now I’m unwilling to call us livestock although Alfred Hitchcock and many others over the years would certainly be more than happy to callactors…livestock. Regardless of that tongue n’ cheek comment, the reality is, sure you can call your “type” or define your physical attributes as a “Brand” if it really makes you feel warm n’ fuzzy, or hip, or in the know, or thinking outside the Hollywood box feel free. I’m truly not saying that it is necessarily wrong or bad, but it does strike me that it becomes one of those “trendy” things to talk about…cuz it makes NO sense for a non-star actor.
Again, we’re all a brand, because that is just another way to say “type” but why did type suddenly become yesterday’s news or inapplicable? Well, it hasn’t, so what gives? The whole “my brand” thing running around Hollywood for the last few years is once again…all about SOCIAL MEDIA. It is, in my opinion, an extension of us (generically speaking) believing that we’re all filmmakers and self-star creators…and we’re not. If you are a product, and you are, and if you are a type, and you are, then understand that calling yourself a “Brand” (ultimately) needs to be when you’re a truly a product “of interest.”
I’m not dismissing your ego, your value, or your self-esteem…I’m just discussing what the true usage of BRANDING really means. You see for decades and decades what actors always had to do was “WAIT” to be hired, have a project, a break out role or something that would “bring us into the light” of the Hollywood community and the viewers out in Movie and TV land. Now, because of digital technology and social media, we can sit around and come up with an “idea”, easily shoot it, and then POST it for viewing. Therefore what has begun to occur (mostly I believe for some people to make money off of actors by teaching branding) there is this trend for every actor to concern themselves with their brand. Uh, back in the day, we would just call that stereotyping…which has always been a part of life, this business…and oh by the way…will continue to be…cuz it makes sense.
Listen, none of this means you shouldn’t “know your type” you should and none of it means you shouldn’t care about your image or the perception of you as an artist, you should absolutely. But it doesn’t mean that when you have NO credits or very few, or when you’re just starting or even have a decent resume that you’re ultimately in need of “branding” yourself. This is a very visual business + talent (sometimes). So your face is your brand, and your physical body, fills out the rest of your brand. Your overall brand/product is just how we perceive your “work” based on credits.
When it is all said and done it is the difference of what you ARE creating for yourself, versus how others perceive you, and if you’re going to do ALL of your own creating…then sure you’re creating a “brand of sorts” but if you’re not…then just audition, book and work. I would concern yourself a GREAT deal more with intelligent marketing of your basic Type/Look then I would be worried about “branding” for the love of snot. Additionally please review all my Blogs and Webinars related to the concept of people “creating/producing” their own work…because most of it I see…is pretty bad or just not good. Tell ya what: improve your talent, master your look, market yourself…and that whole “branding” thing will take care of itself. Always on your side.