You’ve probably heard of having a pitch statement as an actor. People call it by different names like a branding statement, elevator pitch, or actor logline, but ultimately it serves one important purpose—to immediately tell someone who you are and what you do. Here’s why that is important, especially now.
In the before times (remember, pre-pandemic), actors had a variety of ways to introduce themselves to industry professionals such as workshops, classes, events, in-person auditions, etc. But now when connecting with an agent for the first time, introducing yourself to a casting director, or even reaching out to a filmmaker, every single first impression is online. That means you must be to the point, respectful of the person’s time, respectful of the space (email, direct message, etc.), and be memorable. They see hundreds of these messages a day and it’s too easy to swipe away or delete if you don’t immediately show them you can communicate and impress on a professional level.
The idea of a pitch for actors isn’t new, but the massive online industry is. Here are some of the best tips for creating and using your actor pitch statement I’ve sourced from industry pros I’ve talked to on my podcast.
1. Make it one masterful sentence.
“I’m a buoyant, ballsy broad who will take ya through the funhouse,” says Valorie Hubbard of Actor’s Fast Track. That’s one attention-grabbing sentence that reveals the energy and vibe she brings as an actor and the types of roles, characters, and stories she could match. It’s like a short character breakdown for yourself. It implants an image, energy, and essence in the mind. With this on hand, now you won’t word vomit when someone asks you, “So tell me about yourself.” That pitch statement tells them exactly who you are and what you do best. If they’re still interested, you can flesh it out however you like (check out Kimberly Faye Greenberg’s Backstage article to further develop your pitch), but you’ve opened the door swiftly, professionally, and confidently.
2. Cover who you are, what you do, and how you help.
You know those robocalls? The worst, right? Interrupting your day to drone on about something you’re probably not interested in. Guess what, that’s what your cold email or DM to industry pros is like when you don’t respect their time, get to the point, and solve their problem. If you sent your first email to a talent rep with points like this “introducing myself as X type of actor…who plays these types of characters...perfect for shows like this...as you can see from my reel linked here or these clips...connecting because of your work with these casting directors and actors who work on these types of projects…” in the first three sentences, you would immediately separate yourself from the pack! That’s what an effective pitch can do for you.
3. Know where to use it.
Use it on your website, right at the top, and make sure everything supports that statement. Use it in your professional social media profiles (Heidi Dean can show you how in her Backstage article here) so that when someone arrives on your page they immediately know what you’re about. Perfect for your electronic press kit (EPK), a simple page where you can send anyone and showcase your best materials. Use it in any introduction or pitch communication you send whether email, postcards, or on social media. Now there’s so much industry activity online and in those few seconds you have someone’s attention, you can tell them exactly how to think about you, what you can do, what you don’t do, and how you best fit in their world.
4. Remember everything is changing.
The industry looks much different than it did five years ago and we can expect many more changes to come even in the next couple of years. Mostly this means more self-tapes, remote callbacks, Zoom meetings and performances, and using electronic messaging to connect. But because you’re a savvy actor and have seen these shifts coming (or read about them here on Backstage), you’re prepared and already have everything you need to showcase what you do best and professionally pitch yourself across the industry. That means you can do it more often, at scale, and secure far more opportunities than your fellow actors who don’t.
Creative thinking is one of the most valuable skills these days. and actors have it in spades. Applying it to your acting business means you’ll always be moving forward. This is one of your most powerful tools as you build your business and prepare it for the future.
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and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.