Networking Power

May 7, 2012

Link up with Casting Professionals with your Casting Frontier profile!

Actors are always seeking ways to get into that proverbial inner circle of agents, casting directors, producers, and directors. It can seem as impossible as hiking Mount Everest—that is, until you realize the power of networking.

The definition of a network is a group of people who exchange information, contacts, and experience for professional or social purposes. The degree to which you broaden your networking horizons correlates to increased opportunities. That is, having 50 people in your network is significantly better than having 5; but, 500 connections can make all the difference in acting gigs coming your way. Maybe your acting class friend will alert you to an open role in a play she’s in; maybe your camera operator friend will make sure you get brought in for a commercial audition. Whatever if is, you will have increased chances to build your career.

Part of networking is building upon the people you know (family, friends, those you meet on the job, in classes or at various social or work events, casting directors that have called you in for auditions–the list is endless). The key is to consistently be building relationships—the higher the quality the relationship, the better. While not everyone in your network will achieve the ranks of a near and dear friend, all those on your network should be aiming for mutually beneficial relationships. And make sure these people have generally positive experiences with you. If you show up late on a regular basis to the gigs they invite you to, or if you consistently end up with a lampshade over your head at industry parties, they will be less likely to want to be connected to you, or refer you to others.

That’s good news for you though. Your career benefits from your genuine, professional vigor! Bring a positive attitude wherever you go and people will want to work with you–and this opens doors for more networking and ultimately more auditions. Keep in mind, you may not get the results you want if you only try targeting those at the top of the Hollywood food chain. Rather, build relationships on many levels simultaneously. If you’re zeroing in on that agent at the catering table, be sure to likewise get to know that new aspiring actor you’re sitting by. Remember the wisdom of Hanson when they sing, “Plant a seed, plant a flower, plant a rose…Keep planting to find out which one grows, It’s a secret no one knows.”

When you focus on your social connections, offers can come seemingly from left field. The power of networking has been present since the cave men; but now with the Internet, this power has multiplied exponentially. So take advantage! Get your website cooking. And know that Casting Frontier is a serious networking tool. Every time you’re called in for an audition, the casting director, the commercial executives, the directors, and producers all have access to your headshots, resume, voice over samples, reels, and a link to your personal website. Talk about getting your foot in the door of that inner circle!