The #1 way to guarantee acting work is to create your own. If you’ve not had any work for a while or the acting work you’re getting either doesn’t feel fulfilling or aligned to how you see yourself growing as an actor then there’s never been a better time to start producing your own.
I’m a huge advocate of actors being pro-active and taking responsibility for their career and artistic growth, because I’ve experienced first hand how much of a positive impact it has.
Whilst I was training at drama school my friend and I wrote a two woman show based upon our experience with self-image. The experience of writing for the first time was an amazing one because I got to flex my creative muscles in a different way to the norm. Once the show had been rehearsed and was ready for an audience, we hired a room in a pub and performed the show on the fringe circuit.
We thought the audience would be made up of our friends and family but we were wrong. Amongst many unfamiliar faces there was a guy who was connected to a well known theatre. He approached us at the end of the show to share how much he’d enjoyed it and asked if we’d like to perform it at The Stockport Plaza Theatre as part of a festival. And of course we said yes.
The enjoyment we got from performing at such a huge theatre couldn’t be put into words. but what I didn’t expect was the impact this would have on my career and sellability. Agents started to prick up their ears because I’d performed at a well known theatre and my acting career started to pick up some speed too. The same could happen for you.
THE #1 WAY TO GUARANTEE ACTING WORK
I’m not saying creating your own work is easy, of course there are challenges and obstacles that will crop up along the way but the benefits far outweigh the obstacles.
Benefits of creating your own work
#1 Take control of your career – there’s no guarantee of when the next acting opportunity will crop up so it makes sense to create your own opportunities.
#2 Have something to shout about – It’s a great excuse to get back on the radar of casting directors, agents and directors by inviting them to see your work. You then also have content for your marketing efforts. You can fill up your Insta/Twitter/Facebook with rehearsal pics, videos and so much more. You get to create buzz around yourself.
#3 Practise your craft in a safe environment – if you’re working with people you trust and feel comfortable with you’ll not feel guilty for making mistakes (which everyone does). It’s from these mistakes that you’ll grow both confidence and talent-wise.
#4 May be the start of many more productions – the opportunities are endless when creating your own work, this could be the start of more productions and if not it doesn’t matter because you will have learnt lots of valuable lessons.
#5 Stops you feeling creatively stagnant – if you haven’t been in anything for a while it’s easy to feel creatively stagnant and as though you’ve lost your fizz. When you’re creating your own work your passion is re-kindled and your creative juices stimulated.
#6 Could get your acting career off the ground much quicker – if you’re savvy with your marketing you never know who will turn up to your production. It only takes one well connected person who enjoys your work to make a huge difference to your career. Isn’t that exciting?
If you use my check list when creating your own work you’ll feel more prepared, organised and be more likely to have a successful production on your hands.
How to choose who to work with
- Make sure the people in your team are as ambitious as you are and in it for the long game.
- Your team members should have a similar mission and values to you. This will ensure the process is smooth and enjoyable.
- Choose people you trust to work with.
- Chose people who are 100% committed to the project and have excellent availability.
When I created the two women show with my friend we acted, produced, directed and wrote the show. It was very time consuming, but we didn’t mind as we were passionate about the project. You may want to follow my lead or draft in other people, there’s no right or wrong. You’ll need:
- Producer/stage manager
WHERE TO FIND YOUR TEAM
- Your acting classes
- In facebook groups (don’t forget to audition)
- Casting websites
- Use people you already know (and trust)
- Ask for recommendations from your current connections
You’ll need to make sure you have everything from the list below to keep organised
- Funds to produce the show/film (I used my own from my sales job)
- A good quality script
- Rehearsal schedule with deadlines
- Marketing/promo schedule with deadlines
- Marketing strategy
- Venue to rehearse
- Venue to perform in (if theatre)
- Locations to film if you’re producing a film (remember to get permission where needed)
- Company name
- Marketing materials
- Team members
- Props/costumes where needed.
If this has helped, or inspired you to create your own work or you have anything else you’d like to add let me know in the comments at the bottom of the page.
You can also share this with your acting friends by clicking the social media icons. It could be just the thing they need to help them get out of a funk.
Don’t give up, keep learning to start earning!
KILL THE COMPETITION
BONUS: Get exclusive access to my private online method acting group when you download the eBook and start connecting with other actors!
Hope to see you there!