On Casting Frontier’s 16th episode of The Curve, Burgandi and Govind take opposing sides of the social media debate as it pertains to actors. Indeed, Burgandi is a fan of the medium and has several year’s worth of experience in developing and maintaining a social media presence; while a more cautious Govind chooses to have a minimal online presence. He’d rather place his efforts in developing his craft and actually acting—not getting sidetracked by technology. Actors, you can decide which side of this friendly yet frank debate is the best match for your specific goals and consider which argument is stronger in today’s market.

Let’s start with Burgandi’s side of the argument in this important conversation …

Benefits of a Social Media Presence for Actors

  • When it comes to networking, it’s the norm. It’s the year 2019, and social media is the way people connect professionally. Actors can make themselves available to people in the industry whether it be casting professionals or like-minded colleagues wishing to network or create content together. By not getting on board, actors default on casting professionals being able to find them with ease during talent searches. And besides, this social-media trend is here to stay. 
  • It’s a simple way for actors to promote their careers. Burgandi encourages actors to take advantage of today’s technology as it empowers them to document their career progression with just a few taps of a button. Social media is just one more tool performers can use to promote themselves professionally. For example, an actor can post about an exciting upcoming theater role, a new commercial they’re in, a terrific class they’re attending, and clips of the special skills they’re developing. They can also upload a variety of looks to showcase their unique brand—making it easy for casting professionals to assess which kinds of roles are the best fit for them. 
  • Social media reveals who is presently an influencer. Producers often take into account the amount of followers talent have garnered. Burgandi has attracted just under 15 thousand followers on her Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter pages. This works to her advantage. 
  • Actors can control their professional narrative. An actor can design his or her social media pages so that online visitors see exactly what the actor wants them to see. Performers can control their personal and professional narratives—keeping personal information private while maintaining a public professional presence. 

Although he has an Instagram account, Govind feels resistant to having a full-blown social media presence. What’s stopping him? 

Pitfalls of a Social Media Presence for Actors

  • Not everyone wants to create their own content. Govind, like many actors, is less interested in creating his own content. He prefers to focus on his role as an actor vs. taking on the role of a writer, director, or producer. 
  • Focusing on “likes” can be a trap. Govind says, “I hear so many people around me—actors, follow peers—they talk more about the branding, about social media, than about your intention behind it, which is: You want to be working, you want to be honing your craft. And so often it’s, ‘Well, how many followers do you have?’ Everything is a filter.” Enough said.
  • Actors have to be careful about what they post. Govind says,  “[Industry professionals] are looking to see your point of view, your judgment,” when viewing actor posts. So if a performer’s goal is to work, then make sure to keep entries professional and avoid hot topics such as political opinions. Also, when posting, actors need to be very careful not to reveal pertinent photos or information covered by Nondisclosure Agreements. “Especially even just taking photos, not just of scripts but of the context of the location where you’re at, is a no-go. You’re not even supposed to really mention it to people verbally, so you don’t want documentation of that,” he warns.

How do you choose to use social media when it comes to your career? Do you have any tips you’d like to share?

Casting Frontier’s YouTube series The Curve is hosted by Burgandi Phoenix and Govind Kumar. Stay ahead of the curve by learning more valuable tips and stories from an assortment of industry insiders each week.