Sugar plums dancing in your head? Parties for hosting, marshmallows for roasting, and caroling out in the snow taking up all your time? Post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/Festivus is a time when friends come calling, family visits are on the horizon, and tree-lighting ceremonies dot our Google calendars. Our brains and hearts go to that magical, dream-like, looking-forward-to-vacation place. It certainly feels good to take a break from the grind and give yourself a nice holiday gift of taking it easy.
And it helps to wrap this seductive gift in the knowledge that every actor has the same outlook: There's a whole community of us taking time off so I'm not being outrun by anyone. I'm not missing out on any audition notices. No one is auditioning. Who else wants egg nog?
Here's my gift to you this holiday season (I think you could sense this coming): Right now is the perfect time to light the Yule log, stoke the fire, and light the sky with your own Festival of Lights!
Albert Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Start with yourself. If you want more abundance in your career and life, first you'll need to change or revise your usual actions. I know thinking about changing your world can feel scary, vulnerable, and bewildering. Here's the gift: other actors will be taking a break, while you're busy metamorphosing.
The three things every actor needs to do to be a star this holiday season and throughout the new year.
1. Submit like a madman. Less actors are submitting and less actors are available due to holiday travel. (So there's a better chance of being called in and booking!)
2. Mail monthly postcards or piece of marketing to your fans and target list, once a month. Order fantastic postcards with one photo, big name, big face, and contact info. Create a database of everyone you've worked with in the past (casting, producers, writers, directors) and organize it so you can easily send monthly mailings.
3. Email monthly newsletters/invitations/announcements to your fans and target list. Start using Constant Contact or Mailchimp to design your first monthly newsletter.
To illustrate the power in the above marketing plan, here are some gifts that my clients found under their holiday trees.
Wouldn't you like to be the actor whose agent received a call from casting to say, "We love his look and we will be calling him in"?
Or the actor who walked into a casting office only to see your postcard tacked to the wall and be told, "We just couldn't wait to meet you."
How about the actor who receives a phone call from a director who casts you – without an audition – in a film shooting on location in Miami?
How powerful does it feel to walk into a workshop and have the casting director know you by name?
Wouldn't you like to listen to your voicemail and receive a call from an agent asking for a meeting that had previously turned you down? This list goes on and on.
It seems like holiday magic, but actually you're holding Santa's list. Use this faux slow time to put into place the tools you need to be able to do the above marketing plan. Make it easy and, dare I say, fun! Get inspired with colorful office supplies, holiday music, and messages that speak to you! Here's the truth: If it's a laborious task to do the monthly mailing and daily submissions, you won't be inspired to stay consistent through the years.
After you've followed this plan, throw a log on the fire, put cookies out for Santa, and get ready for multiple presents under the tree. You've been a good boy/girl.
Brian Patacca is an actor, television host, spokesperson, and career and life coach. He is the founder of Actor Salon, which is located in Los Angeles and New York. Brian's diverse background has given him the foundation to intuitively help each actor reach his potential. Brian earned a degree in theater from Northwestern University. He launched a successful career in marketing and business at Serino Coyne Advertising Agency and has offered career consulting services around the globe with TVI Actors Studio. He has starred Off-Broadway in "The Donkey Show," toured internationally with the boy band The Honeyboys, and has made television appearances on "Desperate Housewives," "Guiding Light," "Ringer," and more than 70 commercials.