How to Market Your Talent

Table of Contents:

1) Look
2) Training
3) Presentation
4) Resume
5) Pictures
6) Video

Use this page as a resource guide as you progress and evolve to learn the most effective way to succeed. We will cover defining youself? Obviously the short answer might be, Actor, Model, Athlete, Musician, etc. It's the long answer we are looking for. We will also provide examples and explainations as to how to present it in the most effective way.

Regardless of the type of talent you may be the first thing you need to define is your look. What background do you want to present? Are you edgy, tough, or covered with tattoos? Are you square, perfect, clean cut, or the type to get perfect grades?
Are you more blue collar or white collar? Even more specific, secretary, clerical, technician, IT, engineer, doctor, lawyer, farmer, environmentalist, student, parent, photographer, filmmaker, developer, sales worker, home worker, traveler, or even unemployed type?
You can even get more specific like are you a harvard graduate by the book lawyer, a ambulance chasing lawyer, or a casual cool hip lawyer at a new startup. The point that I am trying to make is that defining the look for most people is the hardest part and yet the most important. All day casting directors see a spitting image of what Talent "Thinks the casting director wants to see". They say a picture says a thousand words, so just makes sure you picture says as much as possible.
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Training and experience is everything. If you are an athlete you train almost every single day to master your skill. Most actors on the other hand, take a couple classes and just wait. For every minute your not in an audition you could be practicing to get better. Clients have said to us, "After I book something, I can then spend the money on classes". There are many free ways to train and practice your skill, including practing with friends or free workshops. Another way is to take on free or low paying projects, which allow you to network, gain experience and possibly add something to a video reel. Aziz Ansari is a perfect example of someone who succeeded because he trained an practiced hard. He said something along the lines of, "Everyone I met was focusing so hard on getting a manager, an agent, and getting booked, while I was focusing on just getting really good at comedy." By the time the world saw him, he was ready. Some casting directors may form their opinion after only one audition.
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In the next sections of this page, I will focus on the most difficult, yet important aspect of succeeding as a talent. In order to get auditions and book projects, one must present themseleves in a way that creates a "Need/Want" feeling for the casting director. As a talent, the most important element to success is presentation. To effectively achieve this, there are three major tools you must consider: resume, pictures and videos.
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Just like in any other fields, you need to have a resume to succinctly show who you are professionally. A resume is a summary of your professional experience, educational background, skillset, training, etc. It can also entail personal aspects if you think they will draw the readers' attention or are pertinent to a particular position. A resume is especially useful when seeking new employment. For that reason, a resume for an actor can be often more important because every new project is like new hiring. Therefore, you should always keep your resume up to date and in its best form possible. Think about what you have done, what training you got, what skills or talents you have that are relevant to your acting career and write them down in your resume. But be sure that you only put down your best things. In other words, make it concise with your best things.
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As an actor, your visual appearance and acting-ability are inevitably exposed to and constantly evaluated by the public, which also includes casting directors. Pictures are one of the powerful tools that can instantly maximize you marketability with a lasting impression (if it is taken correctly). There are many different kinds of pictures that serve different purposes: headshots, lifestyle photos, skill shots, emotional shots, etc. It is important as an actor to know the difference and take full advantage of each shot. First of all, you need to have a headshot as a basic. Headshots are like the first step for casting directors to meet with you. Therefore, it is important to seize casting directors' attention with them. Usually, your headshot should show that you are a good actor with your eyes and facial expressions. Due to its importance and the fundamental aspect of it, a headshot is usually taken by professional photographers with a high quality camera and proper light settings. In contrast, lifestyle photos can be done more easily. Lifestyle shots are a great way to show who you are in real life along with your personality. Of course, it would be better if it is done professionally, but high quality non-professional shots may do the job as well. For example, when a casting director is in search of a specific role and you happen to have a lifestyle photo that fits the criteria, you may have a better chance to get an audition. In this particular case, having that non-professional lifestyle photo is, no doubt, much more helpful than having nothing. Skill shots are to demonstrate your special talents other than acting, such as martial arts, aerial dance, etc. It can be of lifestyle form or a studio picture as long as it shows your skills well. And last but not least, emotional shots show the range of your acting-ability. As an actor, it is to your great benefit to prepare as many pictures as possible. Try to figure out what your strengths are as an actor and take a variety of pictures to showcase them.
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As an actor, your job is to act in front of cameras. Therefore, the best way to showcase your total package (looks, acting-ability and other skills, along with your personality) is, in the end, to present a demo reel to a casting director. If you already have reels, put them together in 15-30 seconds. But if you don't have one yet, before making it, think about what exactly you want to show. Is it your look? Your skills? Or your acting ability? Depending on what you want to show, try to focus on showcasing that very aspect of you. There are many different types of videos that can specifically present different skills, for examples, hosting reel, testimonial, showcase of skills, and example of things you have been in, etc. Make a reel that shows each skill separately. But again, make it concise with your best things.
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