In my 30-year career as a director, casting director and former actor, I have never once come across an actor (including my past self) who had a reduced, easy-to-pocket, up-to-date resume on them at all times.
As I wrote earlier on this column, there have been many occasions when I encountered actors who had no form of picture and resume (i.e., their business card) with them. I'm not talking about just at auditions (though actors without a P&R while in the job search mode is unfortunately not uncommon). I'm offering a solution to those who foolishly go without their P&R for whatever reason, including "it's too big to handle." To be an actor without some form of a picture and resume with you at all times is poor business practice, asinine, and lazy.
So how to create and carry a miniature P&R to pocket in your pocket, purse or over-sized wallet? Two ways:
Know those postcards that give us a vision of your visage? The ones other actors send out to say, "Hi, my cat's in heat and so is my career!" Well, keep your face on the front and drop the backside update about your kitty.
1. Order a set of postcards with your picture, name, phone, and email on the front. On the back leave the postcard blank. Order either standard size (4 x 6 inches) or oversized (5.5 x 8.5 inches) postcards.
2. Then you'll need labels. What kind of labels? I've already done your homework for you:
-- For standard size postcards you'll need Avery 8464 (3-1/3 x 4 inches) or another brand that is similar in size. If you can find a larger size that will fit without need of trimming; great.
-- For oversized postcards you'll need Avery 8165 (5.5 x 8.5 inches) or another brand of the same size.
3. Simply reduce your resume to the label size that you have chosen. If you can't fit your full resume on the label, edit waste/fillers and keep the best of the resume on the label.
Important: Include a notation that your full resume can be viewed via your website. Don't have a website?! Bad actor – five demerits.
4. Then in a small quantity put the printed labels on the back of your postcards. When you need to update your resume, reprint your labels and put those onto another set of blank headshot postcards.
An alternative to having backside-blank-headshot-postcards would be to use a service like Vista Print, PostCards.com, ImageMedia or whomever you find on- or offline that offers the best value and quality that your pocket can purchase. With one of these services you can then have both your headshot and resume formatted and pre-printed on the respective front/back of your post card.
The downside to this is that you have to order a large volume and, being that the resume information is pre-printed, you can't update information until your next print run.
The pro to having your reduced, postcard-size picture and resume pre-printed is that it'll look cleaner if properly formatted by you when ordering.
So there ya have it. Prior to writing this advice nugget originally for my blog, I had yet to receive from an actor something similar for reduced P&R postcard marketing. Ever. (Since then many months ago I've only gotten two!)
Give this twist on postcard marketing a try. You'll be able to carry your headshot and resume everywhere you go. Everywhere. (well maybe not to a clothing optional campground or beach.)
Far too many actors have I run into at airports, on the street, at openings, or elsewhere and they didn't have information to offer me that was useful -- i.e. their picture and resume in a reduced form for both of us to easily carry. You'll be viewed as innovative. The smarter actors tend to lead with options new (they also get more of the work available).
Believe me; not many people venture first when given a new idea. Don't assume that everyone reading this rumination will actor-up and be bold in marketing themselves.
What will you do?
Paul Russell's career as a casting director, director, acting teacher and former actor has spanned nearly thirty years. He has worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. He is the author of "ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor." For more information, please visit www.PaulRussell.net.