As the whole world gets put on pause in efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, we understand that you may be feeling the strain of staying inside your living space for hours on end. Here are some practical steps that actors can take to continue advancing their careers, all without leaving the house! In a time when it’s important to just take it day by day, we’re including below three things you can start working on right now.
1. Clean Up Your Résumé
Remember those old headshots you have? You know, the ones where you were 20 pounds heavier and rocking a completely different hair color? Having outdated photos on your profile can be confusing for casting when they’re trying to figure out your current look. Plus, it can send the message that you’re not on top of your game. Now is the time to take off old headshots and upload any recent ones you shot that you hadn’t gotten around to adding yet. Visit the “My Photos” section on our FAQs page for any help you may need with adding or deleting photos. But cleaning up your résumé isn’t just limited to your pictures. Make sure your credits are consistent across the board — they should match the résumé you attach to the back of your printed headshot. Any changes to your credits should be made on your rep’s profile as well, so that everyone stays up to date and on the same page.
2. Take a Good Hard Look at Your Skills
We understand that you played basketball your freshman year of high school. But if that was more than 10 years ago and you haven’t set foot on a court since, you probably shouldn’t list the sport as one of your skills. Should you happen to get called in for a commercial audition that requires basketball skills, the casting director isn’t going to be happy with your proficiency for air balls. And then you’ll most likely be in trouble with your agent, as well. So take the time to go through and update the skills section of your profile, which includes adding abilities you’ve recently acquired. Take a close look while you’re doing it, because Casting Networks teams up with casting directors to curate its list of skills. If one is there, it means that casting often has a need for actors with that ability. Consider utilizing any extra time you have at the moment to learn a new talent that will make you even more marketable. YouTube offers a vast source of tutorials, or you can even orchestrate a “skill swap” with a roommate so you both can learn something new.
3. Upload and Attach Clips to Your Résumé
We just talked about learning a new skill, and as soon as you do, get it on tape. Since you’ll be targeting abilities that you can cultivate from home, you can perform them in your home self tape studio. If you haven’t set up a studio yet, that should be your top priority, since auditions will be done remotely for a while. You can find a helpful how-to guide here to get started. Then get your skills on tape; this applies to the ones you’ve already mastered, as well. If a picture’s worth a thousand words, consider how much a video clip is worth when it comes to demonstrating your proficiency with an ability that casting is seeking. So record yourself singing, juggling, talking in a dialect, or performing any other abilities that can be done from home. From there, upload and attach the video to the corresponding spot on your résumé. Also think about attaching clips to your credits so that casting can have a visual representation of them with just the click of a button when they’re perusing your résumé. You can find the step-by-step process of how to attach media to your résumé under the “My Video & Audio” section of our FAQs page.
During a time of global crisis, it’s safe to say that we’re all in this together. Continue pushing forward in your career, and if you’re an actor, use the practical steps listed above to actively work on it. There’s a lot of uncertainty as things continue to change, but you do have control over what you accomplish today. So add some of these actionable tasks to your to-do list, and let us know in the comments below how many you’ve accomplished. Or share other steps you’re taking during this time to advance your acting career. Either way, keep moving forward — you got this.