With pilot season upon us, it is necessary to make sure that you have everything you need for a successful couple of months. Knowing the tools you will need to have at your disposal and preparing for this time of year is something that will keep you as a contender. The following is a complete list of what you need going into one of the biggest seasons all year…
- Headshots: While this might seem obvious, what might not be obvious is how up to date the shots are. If you haven’t taken headshots in two years OR have a change in your look you must get them done. In addition, think of shows that are already on TV and which you could see yourself co-starring. When taking the new headshots, make sure to include looks of shows where you could get an audition.
- Reel: If you want to sit with the big shots then you need to prove it. An up to date reel that shows range is imperative. In addition, if you have enough material to have a separate comedy reel, commercial reel, an/or dramatic reel…DO IT.
- Website: If you haven’t got one get one. In this day and age, there are so many programs where you can build your own website or have someone do it for you for a very reasonable price. The website should include your head shots, reel, on set pictures, and links to any other websites that showcase you- IMDB, Youtube channel, Vimeo etc.
- Business Cards: I have seen many creative business cards. If you are an actor the best ones have a head shot, website, and contact information. If you are an actor/director, actor/producer etc you can have either do two different cards or if you have a website that highlights both talents, have one card that is simple and to the point. Be cautious: anyone who receives your card and sees more than two to three talents listed will get wary of where your focus is in the industry and your abundance of skills and talents will hinder you.
- Networking: Everything I have listed so far is considered a tool to help you sell yourself. However, one of the best tools is Who you know. Before the full fledged craziness of pilot season starts, reach out with a postcard or an email touching base to some of your contacts. Being fresh in peoples mind is always a good thing.
- Meeting with your team: Your team consists of your agent, manager, and anyone else you have in your corner for your career. Make a plan as far as which shows you are going to really try and get an audition AND whom you should be reaching out to or getting to know.
- Reading Trades: Be that person that knows every deal and every show being filmed. Knowing the key players and what they are working on will help you focus your campaigns and networking.
Pilot season is never easy. Heck, no season is easy when you’re an actor. But, if you can prepare properly and keep a positive outlook your hard work will pay off. Best of luck to all of you and I wish you much success!
Find in yourself those human things which are universal.
~ Sanford Meisner
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(photo courtesy of www.slowtwitchjournal.com)