Broadway is hard. L.A. is worse. But have you ever thought about how much harder being an actor used to be? One time I did a national commercial with a guy who told me about something called a “voice service.” I guess your agent called it in the event you were waiting tables instead of waiting at home by your “landline.” What did we do before smartphones? I’ve heard that actors had to travel to their agents to pick up sides and sometimes read scripts at the casting director’s office! #HolyArchaicProblems. We are #blessed to live in an era of email and PDFs, because before you and I were born there were things called fax machines.
While I wish we still lived in a world where comp cards existed—because I’d love to rock a gardener–district attorney look on the back of my headshot—there have been many technological advances that we can use to our advantage. One of our greatest advantages is social media. Not only is it a killer place to complain to our friends about the weather, it’s also a fabulous platform for The Powers That Be to learn more about us, both as actors and real, live people. This gives us the opportunity to shine outside the audition room!
Some think the need to constantly be connected in order to be successful is what’s killing our social relationships. To that I say, “How many awkward elevator rides has your phone saved you?” or “Aren’t you glad that you can read humblebrags from your friends online instead of listening to random strangers dropping their résumé while you’re waiting to go into an audition?” You might hate social media with the fiery passion of a Type Out, but it’s instrumental in creating your brand.
That’s right, you’re a brand! You may think that you’re an artist (I actually consider myself a “storyteller”), but that high A you have? That’s a product. Your angsty monologue? That’s a product. How you present your brand on social media can directly affect your reputation. You may only be physically “on” while in the room, but online, your brand is “on” 24 hours a day.
We should be prepared for anything we post online to go viral at any moment. I may only have 12 followers on that fan page I tried to get all of my friends to “like,” but that doesn’t mean a potential employer isn’t Googling the crap out of me after a prescreen. Anything you say online should be something you’re completely comfortable saying and defending in an audition room.
I suggest taking an objective look at your brand on social media. What kind of story are you telling? Do you look like somebody who’s enjoyable to #werk with or an utterly unemployable douche? Assess whether or not you think the online version of you accurately represents the actual you and go take on the day.