As a performer, you are your greatest advocate. It’s up to you to paint a clear concise picture of what you do. You’re in the business of selling you. If you can’t sell yourself in a way people can understand in a matter of 15–30 seconds, you’re not adequately marketing yourself.
Not convinced? Think about it this way. A radio or TV commercial spot is about 15–30 seconds long and these ads can entice you to buy the latest product, download the latest app, or purchase a ticket to the newest blockbuster movie. In our business, where time is of the essence and casting is sorting through thousands of headshots, cover letters, emails, and phone pitches, don’t you want to make sure they know exactly what you’re selling in the short time they have so they can choose you for an audition appointment?
If you’re wondering how in the world you can do this, don’t worry. You can create a powerful pitch that will make a great impression right now. It only requires two things.
First, you’re going to make a branding statement. A branding statement uses descriptive adjectives in an easy-to-read catchphrase that states the unique personality traits you bring to the room and to the characters you play every time you audition. There are thousands of adjectives you can use to do this and there is no right or wrong way to create a branding statement, but taking the time to adequately give it some thought and specificity will help you immensely.
To create a successful branding statement that works for you, ask those you know for adjectives that describe you. Also, come up with a list of adjectives that describe characters you can play and a list of adjectives that describe actors you know who operate in a similar wheelhouse of roles. From these lists, pick the five that show up the most and use them to build your catchphrase.
Now that you have this branding statement, it’s time to use it as a pitch. How? Well, it’s an easy opening statement in a cover letter to introduce yourself and help your personality pop off the page. Use it in a seminar or class when someone asks you what you do to give a clear and concise well-rounded picture of yourself. Give it to your agent to use to pitch, place it on your website, and make sure to add it as a note in your online submissions via Backstage and other casting sites. This in and of itself will separate you from the pack of actors who look like you as people get a sense of your unique personality right away.
By crafting your branding statement and using it to pitch, you’ll create more momentum for your career and open the door to more opportunities.
*This post was originally published on April 2, 2019. It has since been updated.
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