Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Marketing Yourself - advice for young actors & their parents

Before reading this blog, make sure you've read my previous blogs "So you Want to Work in Film & TV" Part 1 and Part 2.

Now you should have everything in place to start marketing yourself and approaching producers, directors and filmmakers.
I'm often asked by parents how they should market their kids and there are a few things to keep in mind. With a new year comes a new opportunity to market yourself, so here's a few of my tips. A lot of my advice relies on the internet and social media, so if you are underage, make sure your parent does all this for you.

As discussed previously, you should now have a good headshot, a resume, a showreel and possibly an agent. You should also be on any online casting sites your agent recommends. Now remember, your agent can only do so much. They will submit you for any castings that you are suited to, and this can be very specific. If you are blonde, blue eyed and 12 years old, you wont be submitted for the 15 year old role specifying brown hair and eyes. If you have no experience or showreel, you may not get submitted for a lot of roles. You may be submitted by your agent but not get called up to audition. Don't lose heart. There's still lots you can do :)

Take advantage of free publicity. Make yourself a Facebook page and a Youtube account. You could also make a website. It's pretty easy to create free websites online now. If you want to register your name like I have,, it's relatively cheap, as little as $25 per year.
My advice is not to use a facebook personal profile as these have very limited privacy settings. Instead set up a page. People can then "LIKE" your page and it protects yours and their privacy. Only load professional photos on there such as your headshots, or still shots from any films/TV work you have done. I'm sure I don't need to tell you about stranger danger and the weird people out there on the internet. Keeping this in mind, don't ever reveal personal information or give out your phone number etc. If people are interested in casting you, they can message you on your facebook page or call your agent directly.
Load any showreels or commercials you have done onto your Youtube channel and put links to them on your website or facebook page in the 'ABOUT' section along with your agent's details. Use tags on Youtube so you pop up in searches eg: actor, childactor, talent.

Facebook pages are different to personal profiles because you don't have 'friends' you have 'likers' or 'fans'. You can switch between using facebook as your personal profile and your page by clicking on the cog on the top right hand side as shown in this photo.

These are two of my pages. One which is specifically for children
and the other which promotes me as a performer.

Once you are using facebook as your page you can then 'LIKE' other pages, such as actors, casting agents, producers, filmmakers etc. When you comment on their page, it will be from your professional page and they can then click on it and find you. This makes networking much easier and more professional.

Now start networking on your facebook page. Use your online casting sites to apply for any student films or short films you hear about. Join acting community pages online as these are a great source of work. Email the film departments at your local Universities and any production houses or filmmakers you know of. Check with your agent before you send any material to casting agents as they will have specific requirements and don't like being bombarded with emails.
The basic rules are:
1. Keep it brief.
2. Outline any recent work or training you have done.
3. Include a link to your online site or showreel (this should have photo, resume and showreel on it).
4. If you include a headshot make sure it's small (no one wants a giant photo clogging their email ).
5. Include your contact details and your agent's.
DONT: send massive emails, huge photos, numerous emails, beg for work, send unprofessional photos or showreels, use bad grammar and spelling mistakes. If your Mum or Dad are sending the emails, DON'T act like an overbearing, pushy, stage parent. Pick your words carefully.

I hope this helps.  Feel free to ask me any questions or leave any comments below.
Good luck. :)

My facebook pages : Cool Stuff For Kids To Perform
                                 Anna Waters-Massey Actor/vocalist
My website:

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