HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED
Why are there so many dang casting profiles?! When I first became a professional actor, I primarily had access to 800 Casting and Backstage. Then I received my first SAG-AFTRA voucher for being a featured extra that was cast by Arvold (big thanks to their casting team!).
After being cast by Arvold, I was introduced to Agency Pro. I created my third casting profile at that point. Within the next year, I heard that 800 Casting was out of the running for the casting directors in my region, so I deleted it.
Once I signed with my agency, they required that I have an Actor's Access profile so that they could submit me via Breakdown Services. Check. The next year, Ryan Gosling videos started going viral with him talking about Casting Networks.
Then that whole Casting Networks debacle happened (you know what I'm talking about). If you don't for some reason, every professional actor (seemingly in the world) was told to immediately sign up for a Casting Networks profiles and they better have it done overnight.
Cool. Got it. Never used it, but I got it. Whew! Oh yeah, that reminded me that I needed to go update my resumes on my actual website, too. Do I have a casting profile somewhere else in the world that I forgot about?! I can't remember now. Frick! Yes! IMDb Pro!
The number one thing I hear agents suggest to their talent is always in reference to keeping their casting profiles updated. It seems simple--we book a new job, we update our resumes, we request footage, we upload said footage.
However, it's easy to forget, especially with all of the casting profile changes and updates I just listed. Also, if you're like me, after a long day of shooting, I just want to veg out on the couch for a day. So what's an actor to do?
In this post I want to give you three action points for effortlessly keeping your casting profiles updated. If you use them, they work. If you don't, you'll be like me right now realizing that I implemented this two years ago, didn't update it in my calendar at the new year, and totally forgot to use this system for an entire year.
PICK A DAY
If you want your acting to be more than a hobby, then you need to start treating it like a business (see Actor Boss Workflow). Businesses do not run on random schedules or flippantly get things done. They schedule the important actions that move the company forward. The same will be true for your acting career.
Look over your calendar. Which day of the week is typically the easiest for you to dedicate to updating your casting profiles? If it's Friday, then pick one Friday for the month and dedicate it to updating your profiles every month.
If you already have a standing date for girls' night the first Friday of every month, then maybe the last Friday of the month works better. Do you know what you always have with you, Actor Boss? Your phone! Start making a habit of scheduling everything into your phone.
I'm a big fan of color coding my calendar by topic. Make sure you assign Acting it's own label and color. Once you've done that, go schedule a monthly repeating event called Update Casting Profiles.
I'm telling you to name it that for a reason. When our to do list items start with a verb, we're more likely to take action because we've already dictated the action to ourselves. If you just saw Casting Profiles in your calendar, that could mean a lot of things. Get specific by including the word Update to propel your brain into action.
Give yourself at least an hour to comb through all of your sites. It might not take that long, but it always takes me longer than I think it will, and we don't need to feel rushed since this is our calling card! We need to be diligent in this practice.
SET A REMINDER
Our phones have a million different alarms, but it's easy to become desensitized to the common alarm sounds and dings. You know how someone's phone makes the classic ding noise and everyone in the room looks at their phones? It's too common of a noise to alert you that you need to do something out of your ordinary daily grind.
Now that you know which day of the month you're going to update your casting profiles, I want you to set a reminder in your phone that makes a different noise. than the rest of your alarms.
This is really important. I actually think you should assign a specific noise to all of your acting events so that it triggers your brain to think about how much you're actually working on your business. Now when you hear that specific noise come from your phone, you'll associate it with an important acting-related tasks.
When you look over your calendar for the week, you'll know Update Casting Profiles is on the agenda, and you'll anticipate that new noise. This will help you mentally prepare for working on your acting business. It will also help you guard that time in your schedule.
Real fast, are you looking at your calendar to review your week each Sunday? You should be. This one simple practice will keep you more productive and less stressed because you won't be surprised by a forgotten appointment. It will also help you navigate when you can go to in-person auditions.
MAKE A LIST
Without fail, I always forget about a casting profile I've created somewhere on the interwebs. I've made my list since writing this, and each time I look at it, I always say, "Oh, yeah! I forgot about that one."
Brainstorm every single place you've ever uploaded casting info, even if you didn't pay for it. You'll be shocked at how many out-of-date profiles you may have swimming out there on the internet. People can see those! So let's make life easier, and create a master checklist of sites to update.
Here's my current list:
What other profiles do you have? Comment and share.
During this process, you'll also realize that you've uploaded footage to one site, but forgot to upload it to the rest of your casting profiles. If you're required to pay for uploads, then get real about which ones you're actually using and whether or not it's worth it. Email your agent and ask which ones are worth it from their point-of-view.
This practice also reminds me to request footage. That struggle is so real, ain't it? Most people just need a reminder, and a nice email once a month will keep you from feeling too pushy. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they forgot or that your message went to their spam folder.
I once emailed a guy every couple of months, then gave up. Six months later, he emailed me apologizing and said that he had the footage ready, but totally forgot because he got busy on other projects. He saw my emails, but never had time to respond, even though he did collect the footage for me. Never get angry, even though I know it's frustrating that your agent doesn't have all of your footage and you need it for submissions.
I know that you think you'll remember to do this each time you book a job (plus remember to write thank you cards and recall all of your casting profile accounts and update your hardcopy resumes), but you really need to stop trying to store need-to-know info in the back of your brain because it's stressing you the crap out!
I can tell you from experience that you won't remember to do this if you don't schedule it and make that list of active profiles. Also, accountability creates success. Gather a few actor friends to do this once per month!
You can have some serious fun with a monthly acting business meetup so that you and your actor friends can push each other towards success. (Actually, I tried this with a couple of actor friends specifically to mail marketing materials, but that crap did not work like we thought it would. More on that story here.) However, you could still meet to review headshots, resumes, comp cards, social media, submit to student and indie films, etc. If you have more ideas, comment and share.
Remember when you became an actor and suddenly realized there's a lot more to it than just acting? That's why you should become an Actor Boss Insider.
I'll send you an email every Monday with a question, tip, story, or training that helps you move your acting career forward in some way. At least twice a month, those emails will include info that I don't post anywhere else.
Some of those topics you've missed have included:
*Check your inbox for a quick welcome email full of Actor Bossness.*
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,
I'll teach you how to become a screen actor even if you have no experience or if you want to transition from another performance genre. First, what is Actor Boss? Learn more here.