Periscope 101 for Actors

periscope 4 actors

Periscope is the most exciting new platform in years! There are so many possibilities for actors to build their presence and show their work! I’ve been getting A LOT of emails begging for a Periscope 101- so here it is!

The wonderful thing about Periscope is that it is brand NEW so we can all become experts! You don’t even have to broadcast right away. I watched others on Periscope for a few months before I ever went LIVE!

STEP 1…..

Download the Periscope App! It’s FREE!IMG_0600STEP 2…

Set up your bio, your url and your photo. These are all taken from Twitter so if you have set up your Twitter bio for your acting career then you are good to go!

STEP 3….

Follow people you follow you on Twitter!

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STEP 4…

Watch some broadcasts before you make your own! Watch some influential people in your field, take notes and then go for it!

STEP 5…

Promote your live stream on your social networks in advance! Get your followers excited! If it is something you can plan in advance and not just a spontaneous livestream tell them what time you’ll be on and why they should watch! Don’t forget to mention your time zone.

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STEP 6…

Choose a good time to broadcast! Find out what time most of your twitter followers are on and broadcast at that time! Watch my video about when to tweet to see when your audience is on the most! You want to maximize your viewership!

STEP 7…

Choose a catchy title!

IMG_0972Your Title needs to be:

  1. Compelling & Interesting!
  2. Direct! The title should say exactly what it is!
  3. Searchable- Add hashtags to have more people discover your scope.
  4. Use CAPS and emoticons to keep it interesting!
  5. Your title can be a call to action: “Learn”, “Discover” or “Watch this!”
  6. Under 72 characters.

STEP 8…

Make it public!!

If you want new followers then make your stream public or if it’s exclusive to just your followers then make it private.

STEP 9…

Tell your followers you are starting!

Enable a tweet to go out when you start your broadcast (tap the twitter bird before broadcasting) – the title will show up with a link (this is why you want to have an awesome title). It will look something like this…
LIVE on #Periscope: [Broadcast Title] [Link to broadcast]
After you  are finished broadcasting you can copy and paste the link from this tweet and share it on twitter, facebook, via email, etc for 24 hours.

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STEP 10….

CLICK the Broadcast Button! You are LIVE! Now your viewers can comment  and share the broadcast! They can also send you hearts (by taping their screen) to show you support and give you some love.  Hearts are the currency of periscope (not likes or retweets).

share the love on periscope!

STEP 11….

Tips to keep your audience engaged….

  1. Welcome your viewers by name and thank them as they join!
  2. Ask where they are viewing from.
  3. Ask your viewers to swipe right to share your broadcast with their followers.
  4. Your viewers can comment and question- answer these!! Comments can be up to 72 characters long.
  5. Ask your viewers questions and encourage interaction.
  6. Encourage the viewers to tap the screen to give you hearts and share the love!
  7. Keep your scopes short (esp while you are learning how periscope works). It is better to post shorter scopes more often.
  8. Be yourself! Have fun! Be spontaneous!
  9. Block the trolls! You can ignore anyone who is offensive and block their comments if need be.  Don’t draw attention to them- you will only be giving them what they want- ATTENTION!

STEP 12…

Save your Broadcasts!

Upload your saved broadcast to youtube and share that link over and over again on social media! FYI your broadcast will get replayed for 24 hours but after that it will disappear. BUT if you go to your Periscope settings and choose the ‘autosave broadcast option’ your finished broadcasts will be saved to your camera roll.  Then you can edit your broadcasts and upload them to youtube.

how to grow a following

1. Choose a consistent schedule for your broadcast. Maybe the same time every day or the same day every week.
2. Stay focused on your topic.
3. Broadcast more often!
4. Be you!
5. Collaborate or interview other broadcasters!
6. Include your Periscope name on other platforms and on your website.
7. Show your fans/followers/blog subscribers how to follow you on periscope!
8. Make sure your broadcasts are appealing to your audience! How will you know? ….

Check Periscope Analytics To See Whats Working (and what’s not!)…
You can see the number of live viewers, hearts received, as well as what works and what doesn’t work.  Watch your replays and see when you gets hearts and when they stop. Then make adjustments for your next broadcast. 

If you missed it, here is my first broadcast all about SOCIAL MEDIA EDITING TOOLS!

Let me know what’s working for YOU on Periscope in the comments below!

SIGN Up to receive my Quick & Easy Tips via email>> CLICK HERE!  You can also subscribe to my Youtube Channel HERE to find out about every new #ScopeWithHeidi

Until soon,

Decide Who and What to ‘See 1st’ on Facebook!

Looking for a less intrusive way (than notifications) to make sure you see updates from your favorite industry colleagues and targeted casting directors? Facebook has a new feature called ‘See 1st’ that allows you to decide what you see at the top of your news feed. Watch my short video to find out more…

Want more Quick & Easy Marketing4Actor Tips via email?? CLICK HERE!

Be sure to LIKE us on Facebook at Marketing4Actors.

Until soon,

9 Awesome Photo and Video Editing Apps For Instagram

Need to add text to your images (or make beautiful quotes posts for social media)? Try….

Wordswag

wordswag “It turns your words into designer text! Wordswag is my favorite tool! I love it! I love it! I LOVE IT! (Did I mention I love it?) It is an awesome resource to help you design cool quotes for social media and catchy images for your blog posts! It’s $3.99 but worth EVERY penny!

Font (Text Overlay for Photos)

Font overlay for photos

This app will help you add text overlays to your photos! You can add funny quotes or motivational and inspirational sayings for your friends & followers! There are over 120 fonts to choose from and a variety of filters for your images. This app is a wonderful way to tell a story through your images on social media. If you add the hashtag “#font” to your image you could be featured on their website- might be a great way to get some new followers! ($1.99)


Want to add some COOL EFFECTS to your photos on social media? Try….

Superimpose

superimpose

Superimpose lets you easily change the background of an image, swap faces and blend images—your imagination is the limit.  You can even use this tool to do some serious photo editing tasks like overlaying borders and blending textures (it has 18 blending modes!) ($0.99)

Bokehful is a classic photo effect defined as “the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light” and Bokehful imitates the effect with your smartphone. You can choose the colors and the shapes for the photos! Whenever I use this app I ALWAYS get comments on my photos! ($0.99)


Want an app to do some Photo Correction? Try….

Facetune

facetune

You can use the Facetune toolbox to correct portraits like a pro photographer and make sure to show everyone in their best light!  It’s one of the most popular photo editing apps around! ($3.99)

Photo Editor by Aviary

aviary

Aviary has a complete range of effects and color correctors. Its smart “one-tap auto enhance” will help you render a gorgeous photo.  It doesn’t hurt that the New York Times AND TIME Magazine have featured this app as one of their favs! (FREE)


Want to make an AWESOME collage? Try…

PicFrame

PicframePicFrame lets you select up to 9 photos and organize them into a patchwork that posts as a single collage image on Instagram, facebook, twitter and more!  The app has 73 different frames that supports up to 9 photos or videos! ($0.99)


Need an app to create eye-catching videos? Try….

Flipagram

flipagram

Flipagram helps you create videos using  pictures! You can even add music! It’s free! Try it out- make a movie of your snapshots!

Hyperlapse

hyperlapse

Hyperlapse creates amazing time-lapse videos for your social media accounts! This app helps you bend the rules of Instagram by showing your followers more than 15 seconds of video in 15 seconds! Check out my instagram account HERE to see the app in action!


Try these apps out and watch your Instagram photos and videos come alive! Let me know in the comments below which ones are your favorite!

SIGN Up to receive my Quick & Easy Tips via email>> CLICK HERE!

Until soon,

5 Reasons Actors Should Choose A Facebook Profile Over A Page

Today we discus the big question:   Do I need a Page or Profile on facebook as an actor?

Let’s first compare the two:

A facebook Page is for brands, public figures, bands, causes, products, etc.  People must ‘Like’ your Page to see any posts. Having a page lets you utilize facebook’s wonderful marketing tools and capture email addresses. There are no limits on ‘likes’ on a facebook Page.

A facebook Profile is for individuals. Everyone on facebook has a Profile (you need one to start a Page).  You collect ‘friends’ not ‘fans’ or ‘likes’ and are limited to 5,000 ‘friends’.  Now you can also get ‘followers’ (previously ‘subscribers’) on facebook. Based on facebook’s regulations you aren’t supposed to sell anything on a facebook profile page.

For most actors using your Profile until you have a large following is the best option. It’s simpler and easy to get your posts in front of people and it also takes a lot less time to run than a Page.

Here are my 5 reasons actors should choose a facebook Profile over a Page…

1. A Profile is more personal!

What profession is more personal than acting! I have had both a Profile and a Page for different business ventures and have found that even if I linked my Page to my website, people would still try to friend me on my Profile. Even if they loved my business, they wanted to connect with ME, not my company. As an actor I see this happen a lot too.

2. More people see your posts on a Profile!

As if you need another reason than this! Posts on a Profile are seen more than posts on a Page (especially a Page with a low amount of fans). There is so much competition for views in the news feed from the over 55 million facebook Pages out there you just won’t get seen as much. You also can’t comment on people’s Profiles with your Page (you must use your Profile). This next one is a biggie! You have to join groups under your Profile name. Groups can be important networking and casting tools for actors (see why HERE). If you have to use your Profile then what good is the Page? The best way to build an audience on your Page (unless it builds itself because you are a major character on a network TV show) is to run ads.  Paying for facebook ads as an actor is probably not the best way to allocate your funds for growing your career.

3. Gain Followers!

You can only have 5,000 friends on facebook. If you’ve hit this limit then maybe for you it’s time for a Page. You can convert your Profile to a Page at any time (Facebook shows you how HERE).  OR you can utilize facebook’s cool feature that now allows people to ‘follow’ you (see button in picture below).

I just recently started using my Profile for personal and business use. How do I do this?  Most of my posts I make ‘Public’ so both my friends and followers can enjoy them (see below). However, most pictures of my baby and family I set to ‘Friends’ where only my ‘friends’ can see them.

4. It’s easier to have a Profile!

If you have a Page you also have a Profile and have to run both. Some people post the same content on both, however you will have some of the same ‘friends’ who are ‘fans’ of your Page so why bombard them with the same posts. You probably have a twitter, instagram and maybe a snapchat, periscope and pinterest. Why have 2 facebook accounts? For many actors, they find it is great to have a Profile with headers/photos optimized for their acting career (see how HERE) and add a Page when either their high profile career calls for one or if they have created a YouTube channel, written a play, produced a show that might merit a Page and call for a little advertising.

5. Share Facebook Posts on your Actor Blog or Website!

WordPress has a facebook plugin that allows you to embed posts and content from you personal Profile now! You can now publicize a facebook post (as long as its set to ‘public’) on your blog or website. If someone writes a great review or testimonial of your work you can add this to your website. This used to be a feature only allowed with a facebook Pages.

Do you have a Page, a Profile or both? Let me know how you use them for your acting career in the comments below!

SIGN Up to receive my Quick & Easy Tips via email>> CLICK HERE!

Until soon,

What The #Hashtag?

The-Who-What-Where-Why

WHO should use hashtags?

YOU! Yes you- and anyone who cares about their posts being read.

WHAT is a #Hashtag?

Let’s go to the Oxford English Dictionary for this one. Yes, ‘hashtag’ is now in the dictionary.

hashtag. noun. (On social media web sites and applications) a word or phrase preceded by a hash and used to identify messages relating to a specific topic; (also the hash symbol itself, when used in this way).

A hashtag is an amazing thing! When you add it to any word you actually create a searchable link.

WHERE to put a hashtag?

1. Anywhere in your message. You can put them in the sentence……

……or at the end.

2. Don’t hashtag the same word more than once.

3. Don’t separate your keywords. If you are writing about a great #actingcoach then keep the words together. If you write #acting #coach it is 2 different and possibly irrelevant keywords. Hashtags are not case sensitive so add capitalization of the different words to make them easier to read. (Ex #ActingCoach)

 WHY should I use hashtags?

There are many reasons to use hashtags. Here are a few…

1. To connect with like-minded people. Using #actorslife #setlife or #voiceactor could connect you with many actors just like you.

2. Use them to make a recommendation. #MustWatch Movie #GreatMusic

3. Use them to express emotions or opinions #frustrated #surprised #happiness #freakingout

4. Use them to identify places, businesses, events, etc #Disney #NYC #CentralPark #NYU which can also link you to like-minded people.

HOW to use hashtags?

1. Be specific: if you are talking about a new acting class and want to add a hashtag at the end of your tweet using #actingclass or #actingcoach is better than the broader tag #acting

2. #Don’t #go #hashtag #crazy!

Avoid hash tagging every word in your tweet. 1-3 hashtags are best on Twitter if you are using them on Instagram or vine you can do more. Too many hashtags on Twitter are hard to read and look like spam.

3. Create your own. First search your #Hashtag idea on twitter… If I wanted to create a tip of the day I could #HeidisTipoftheDay (its a little long but we’ll go with it). Twitter has no results for this hashtag so this is a good one to go with.

Next visit a site like twubs.com  and brand your #hashtag. No one owns #hashtags but it is good to see if anyone is using your #hashtag before you try to brand it as your own. On twubs.com you can also set up & host twitterchats around your #hashtag. If you wrote your own play, show or are producing your own youtube videos under a certain name- then registering a #hashtag may be a good idea. Its free and takes a few minutes. You can always send people to your #hashtag and it will show all of your ‘#HeidisTipoftheday’ or ‘#videoposts’ in one long stream. If you create a #hashtag for a piece you have written or produced be sure to include it in your twitter bio so people can search for it.

4. Choose #hashtags that are popular but not too popular. How do you know how popular a #hashtag is? A tool like Rite Tag can help you discover what #hashtags are going to get your post seen.  You can use the search function at RiteTag for free…

As you can see, You can look up #acting and find average retweets, tweets, views, etc per hour.  #Acting is blue which means it is a good tag to use since it is not #overused (RED) or #unused (GREY). You want to use #hashtags that are blue or green to get the most people seeing your posts.

Now you know the Who, What, Where, Why & How of #Hashtags! Check out Rite Tag- find some #hashtags that will work for YOU! As always, let me know what you discover from your new use of the small but mighty #HASHTAG!

SIGN Up to receive my Quick & Easy Tips via email>> CLICK HERE!

Until soon,

10 Apps To Help You With Your Acting Career

If you are reading this blog then there is a good chance you are near a smart phone or tablet right now. Instead of playing Candy Crush or checking your facebook for the 100th time today use your technology to find jobs, learn lines and stay organized. Here are 10 apps to help you with your acting career.

apps for emoriing lines

Rehearsal 2

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Rehearsal is the most often used, easiest, most popular app in the world for learning your lines, memorizing your scenes, and exploring your characters. World famous TV actors, film actors, commercial actors use Rehearsal every day. So do stage actors, acting students, community theater actors, VO artists, coaches, teachers, public speakers and other professional performers. They all rely on Rehearsal for auditions, on-set filming, stage work, classwork and public speaking.”

Price: $19.99 (for iOS)

Scene Partner

acting-app-scene-partner

“Start learning your lines today with Scene Partner. Use your own script or choose an e-Script from Music Theatre International, Samuel French, or Dramatist Play Service. Featured in Variety, Backstage, Stage Directions, Stage Magazine, SETC News and Dramatics Magazine.”

Price: FREE to download, offers in-app purchases (from $1.99-$9.99) (For iOS)

My Lines

my lines logo

“The MyLines app allows actors to have their scripts with them on a mobile device any time, any place. They can rehearse and memorize their lines independently, by either looking at or listening to their lines. They can also see or hear cue lines when they think they know their part. This powerful app has all the tools needed to get off book – fast!”

Price: $1.99  (For iOS)

actr apps titiles

Actor Genie

acting-app-actor-genie

“Find your dream role, get inspired, and get your acting career moving forward with the easiest, best and only App created and curated by a Hollywood Casting Director. The App is the inside track on what’s casting in LA and NY in film, television and now in commercials.” Heidi Levitt (Casting Director for The Artist) is the creator of this VERY useful app.  It also has a comprehensive list of casting directors, agents and managers.

Price: $9.99   (For iOS and Android)

IMDb

imdb

Before you go to the audition look up the director or casting director on IMDb.  It’s free so there is no excuse not to have this one.

Price: Free  (For iOS and Android)

organization

iPerform

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“iPerform is the only personal assistant you need to record and track your career from auditions to bookings, contacts to finances and even does some of the work for you! Whether you’re on a plane or in the subway, have Internet access or not; with the iPerform app you will always be able to add to and view your important career information.” You can record contacts, auditions, bookings, mailings, follow-ups, auditions, expenses for tax time, mileage and more in this handy app.

Price:  Free for app (iPerform online is an OPTIONAL services that is NOT REQUIRED to use the iPerform App(iOS and Android)

Evernote

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This app is not just for actors but amazing at organizing your life all in one place. Easily gather everything that matters. You can “clip web articles, capture handwritten notes, and snap photos to keep the physical and digital details of your projects with you at all times. Connect your work with the people who help you get it done. Communicate, collaborate, and share in real-time with anyone in the world without ever leaving Evernote.”

Price: Free for the basic version (all devices)

writes

Scriptly

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“Scriptly is a full-featured screenplay-formatting app that takes full advantage of the iPad’s fluid interface, allowing the creative aspect of screenwriting to take center stage. Its elegant, uncluttered workspace utilizes familiar keystrokes so you’ll be up and running on a feature film, sitcom or one-hour script immediately.” Files in Scriptly can be easily imported between Celtx or Final Draft.

Price: $9.99 (iOS & Android)

Storyist

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“With Storyist you can produce submission-ready manuscripts and screenplays. Storyist provides a rich text editor with support for comments, images, headers, footers, and style sheets so you can create properly formatted manuscripts and screenplays. And Storyist comes with manuscript and screenplay templates so you can focus on the writing, not the formatting.With a screenplay template, the ability to work with both Final Draft FDX and Fountain script formats, and multiple cloud storage options, Storyist for iOS is a powerful mobile screenwriting app.”

Price: $14.99 (iOS); also available for Mac for $59.99)

brush up shakespeare

Shakespeare Pro

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“Shakespeare Pro® includes complete works of Shakespeare (41 plays, 154 sonnets and 6 poems, including doubtful works) and search the concordance to find the exact word or phrase you’re looking for (with “relaxed” searching to find words close to your search term).”  In addition to the complete works, the app has detailed scene breakdowns, character descriptions, and glossaries.

Price: $9.99 (iOS & Android)

Check out these cool apps and if you have a favorite let me know in the comments below!

SIGN Up to receive my Quick & Easy Tips via email>> CLICK HERE!

Until soon,

5 Things NOT To Do When Networking Online As An Actor

Actors! Would you ever go up to someone and say “Hi! Nice to meet you! Can you do me a favor?” Of course not! Then why are you doing it everyday online?

hi nice to meet you!

In addition to my own social media accounts I help run accounts for actors & industry professionals. This has provided amazing insight for me regarding the good and bad habits of the average actor online.

You should be nurturing relationships with people online NOT throwing links to your latest YouTube videos or your headshot at everyone that passes by. You are hurting your opportunities. Dale Carnegie said it best…

dale carnegie

Stop making it all about you and join the conversation! I’m passionate about this because, day after day, I see actors sabotaging their careers online with mistakes that are easy to correct.

So what should you do online as an actor?

DO build & nurture relationships! Follow and friend people. Listen to what they have to say and respond if it resonates with you. Join the conversation: retweet, read other’s blogs, comment & ask questions on their blogs, sign up for their mailing lists- show them you are generally interested in what they are saying before you ever think about asking a favor.

Here are my 5 Things NOT To Do When Networking Online As An Actor…

1. Do not send auto direct messages with links to your latest projects. There are casting directors out there (if you are lucky enough for them to follow you) that have publicly said they will UNFOLLOW you if you follow this practice. How many people actually click on your links? Probably not many. Auto direct messages can work for established brands & companies but not for actors.

2. Do not send auto direct messages from free companies that list unfollowers.me or uapply, etc. right after you send the message. How long would it have taken to type “Thanks for following me!” (especially when you only have 100 followers). Once you have a larger following as an actor (anything over 5,000) I understand the possible need for an auto DM since it can become harder to keep up with new followers. However, most actors don’t fit this category.

3. Do not send an @message to casting directors, fellow actors or any industry professionals with your headshot, newest video, reel or website asking for feedback when you have not established a relationship with them. Now there might be some exceptions to this rule, but 99% of the time this will get you no where and may even make them angry when 1/2 their screen has your face on it.

4. Do not write anyone in the industry without doing your research. Here is a basic example (with 2 offenses): Someone sent me a selfie the other day on twitter (not even a headshot) by writing me an @message that took up 1/2 my computer screen asking me “To keep them in mind for auditions”. If they had done the basic research of reading my profile they would see I am not an agent or casting director and I can’t get anyone auditions.

They were quickly UNFOLLOWED.

Don’t write someone who says they are a director without looking them up on IMDB first or viewing their website. Are they a film director? Stage director? You could be wasting both your time and their time with your questions.

5. Do not send a DM or message to people saying “Do you have any tips? I want to be an actor!” They only have 140 characters on twitter to write you. They don’t know you and your question is too broad to answer. What kind of actor? Stage? Screen? Voiceovers? Where do you live? They don’t even have the information to give you a proper answer. They are also probably very busy. Nurture the relationship first, ask questions through a DM later if and when it is appropriate.  You may only get 1 chance to connect with an agent, director or casting director online- at least make your question insightful and thoughtful.

Always ask yourself would I feel comfortable asking this person this question to their face? If the answer is no then stop typing! Never write someone when you are angry or upset and don’t be confrontational on social media in any way. You never know who you are writing.

You’ll find that some industry professionals may be very open with communication and others it may take 40 re-tweets, 125 days, and 2 in-person encounters at auditions before you are even able to ask a question. Treat every person you meet on social media like a human being. We sometimes forget that when we are online.

Stop saying me, me, me and after a few months see how many more people are actually saying you, you, you! It’s amazing how that works!

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Until soon,

The Fall TV Season Is Now!

DISCLAIMER- This blog is for serious

I saw this the other day…

photo

The part at the top… “The early buzz on Fall’s most promising TV shows!” This was a few weeks back and only one of the many magazines with this info- that means the whole country maybe the whole world knows what shows are coming out in the fall! Do you?

I know what you’re thinking….

“Heidi- It’s not even summer yet! I have plenty of time!”

No you don’t! If you want to be cast in these shows or any episodic this year- The fall TV season is now!

If you are serious about being an actor on TV you have to do your homework.  Don’t just leave it up to your agent. You must do your research.

Check out www.castingabout.com for what’s shooting (Yes! CastingAbout costs money but it is worth every penny).  Research everyone attached to the project. Who’s the director? Who’s casting? Who are the writers and the lead actors? Do you know anyone attached to the project? Is it a comedy or drama? Does it shoot in NY or LA? Choose a few new projects that look like they would be a good fit for you.

Another great resource for researching TV shows in development is DEVWATCH at the www.futoncritic.com.  As you can see in the picture below they already have links to the 2015-2016 season pilots.

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You can also check out TVline for all premiere dates and make a calendar for yourself. You’ll want to start watching the 2 or 3 shows you are targeting once the fall rolls around so when and if you get seen for them you won’t have to scramble to get caught up. TVline already has a Fall TV preview out. Check it out!

TVLINE

You can also track shows from last season- maybe Gotham or Orange is the New Black if they are right for you (SHOWATCH at thefutoncritic and Castingabout will have these too). Do the same research on the entire team. Be sure to include one procedural drama on your list: Law and Order SVU, CSI, Person of Interest, NCIS, Blue Bloods or Criminal Minds are good examples of these. Procedural dramas are shows to target when you are starting out because they have a new story line every week and consequently need more actors to fill those new roles.

Be realistic with your “DREAMS”. Keep in mind that just because it’s your favorite show on TV doesn’t mean it’s the best show for YOU.

Find out EVERYTHING you can about these projects.

-Set up Google Alerts on all of these people and projects above.  Check your email for the updates! I have a separate gmail account I created just for my google alerts. Then you will always know if you get an email in that account it has something to do with your “DREAM” tv shows.

-Follow them on social media (don’t expect a follow back). Put them in a special PRIVATE list on twitter (“DREAM JOBS Fall 2015” or “DREAM TV SHOWS”). Be sure to make this list private since you don’t want them to see this title. Build & nurture these relationships all summer in preparation for the Fall. Engage in conversations, RT, ask questions. Do not give them your resume, headshot, youtube links or pitch anything at this time. If they have a blog- subscribe, comment, engage. Turn on notifications for these people on twitter and facebook so you can engage when they say something that is important to you.

You can use these same techniques for films by using IMDBpro to find out what is in production (Yes! IMDBpro costs money, but your profile looks much better than the free version and you can access much more information on industry professionals. PLUS- If you are in SAG you get a 30% discount).

Don’t forget to work on your craft!

The whole time you are doing this research- take an acting class or coach privately with a teacher! You want to be ready if you get an audition. If it’s a current TV show you are “DREAMING” about, go to showfax and get sides for a previous episode. Then you can coach with material from the show. Many actors do all this research and then score an audition for their “DREAM” show but are not ready for the opportunity because they have not been working on their craft. DO NOT LEAVE THIS STEP OUT! If you perform poorly you may never get called in to that casting office again.

Let’s do a quick recap about how this works…

1. Choose your “DREAM” TV Show(s):

2.  Use google, castingabout.com, devwatch.com, TVline.com to research the whole team (directors, writers, casting director, stars, etc).

3. Make a list of these people. Set google alerts, follow them on social media, read their blogs, set up twitter lists for them, turn on notifications for them. Engage with them in a professional manner.

4. Let’s go a step further! Find offline networking possibilities! If you set your google alerts you will find out if these people are doing casting director workshops, teaching classes or speaking somewhere.

5. You attend the event they are speaking at or you sign up for the casting director workshop. You kick butt (because you were coaching this whole time). You write them an awesome thank you postcard or thank you email.  In this thank you you mention that you’d love to be seen for ______ new show.

AND REPEAT.

You see why the fall tv season is now! Make your “DREAM” TV shows a reality! Read this again, take notes and get to work! Fall will be here before you know it.

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Until soon,

So You Want To Be An Actor…

How will you reach your goal?

I know you want to be an actor. What is your specific goal as an actor? Is it to be a series regular on a TV show, to work with Steven Spielberg or to star in a Broadway musical? Maybe you dream of all of these… but what will you aim at first?

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Now that we know what you are aiming for let’s talk about the small steps that will get you there. You must set a series of attainable, focused short term goals that will add up to your long term vision for yourself as an actor.

Sounds easy right! Well… It is easy to get started but most of us are good for 2 days, maybe a week or maybe even a month and then we slip back into our old habits. If you truly want to be an actor think about what stepping stones on your path are missing right now. Do you need new headshots? A reel? An awesome acting coach? Some more experience? An agent? Pick one- this is your new short term goal!

Let’s go with headshots…

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Find what’s keeping you from this goal? They are too expensive! Ah ha! That’s easy. Set a series of short term goals that will help correct this. Pick up an extra shift a week at work or stop drinking that $4 Starbucks drink every day. There’s your $$. There are your headshots! Check it off the list!

Move onto short term goal #2 on the path to acting success!

See how this works! I made you a nifty diagram to keep you on track below.  $$ is usually the big reason we don’t do something for our acting careers. Carry around a small notepad for a few weeks and write down EVERYTHING you spend money on. I mean everything… if it’s $0.50 or $50.00! Then look over your spending and make a list of the ‘extras’ in your life. These are things you do regularly (Starbucks, going out to lunch, extra shopping, drinks with friends, expensive cable tv, etc) that seem insignificant but by months end can end up equaling $100s or even $1000s of dollars. You’ll find that acting class with that awesome teacher, your reel or those new headshots that were always too expensive are a lot more attainable than you thought!

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The best way for me to reach my goals is to visualize my progress. I put reminder notes around the house or I make to-do lists everyday to make sure I am staying on track.  I also use this great motivational app called Chains (as in ‘don’t break the chain’). You can get it from the itunes app store or find out more info HERE. It helps you set up daily short term goals that will eventually help you achieve your larger long term goal. Chains even has an online community that can help you stick to you goal. Your main motivation is to not ‘break the chain’ of small goals. You can set reminders for each goal and even customize the look of your different chains on the app so it makes it personal and fun! If you’re the kind of person that needs reminders every day to stay on track check this out!

Achieve your first short term goal, your second, your third, etc and eventually you will reach that long-term goal. Just don’t break the chain! We get busy, lazy, and tired- don’t let that keep you from your goal. Let me know what small goals you make for yourself in the comments below and keep me posted on your progress! I can’t wait to see you reach those big goals!

Remember “A Goal without  a plan is just a wish!” Stop dreaming about becoming an actor and start doing things EVERYDAY that will make you a successful actor!

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Until soon,

 

Give Your Social Media Headers A Make-Over With These FREE Tools!

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Actors… Does your twitter header look like this?

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Your pictures on your social media accounts should show casting directors, agents or directors who you are! Are you the sensitive boy next door or the confident business man? Decide and make sure the headshot you choose for your profile picture and the header images you create reflect that type. This blue box above, an ocean scene or a field of flowers does nothing for you! Create an image- it will become your brand and use it for all your social media accounts.

So you’ve thought about your type and you’ve chosen the perfect picture but you’ve realized Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest all have their own idea of the perfect sized photo.

What do you do?

Well… if you are a little more tech savvy you can always use good ole’ Photoshop to create your social media header images. If you don’t have Photoshop check out my personal favorite Pixlr (which is pretty much free photoshop online). At the bottom of this blog I’ve also included the sizes of photos required for all major platforms if you are going the complete DIY route.

For everyone else… here are my 3 favorite tools that will help you create beautiful header & profile photos and will even re-size your images for your posts no matter what platform you are on (with NO photo editing experience needed).

Fotor 

Fotor will help you make beautiful images for FREE for Facebook covers, Twitter headers, or YouTube channel art!

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You can customize your own banner image HERE for many other platforms. The images created are beautiful! Check it out!

PicMonkey

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Even if you have no photo editing experience PicMonkey is super simple to use. The basic version is free and has tons of cool features. If you wanted to upgrade to the premium version it is only like $33/yr which is super cheap! It’s functional and fun all at the same time. You can even turn pictures of yourself into vampires, zombies or comic books! Imagine the possibilities for your header pictures!

Social Image Resizer

This cool tool is made by….

ninjas

 

 

It is a completely free online image editing tool! You can easily convert any image into a favicon, a Facebook or Twitter profile or banner. You can also use it to crop/re-size images for numerous social media platforms.

Although all these tools are great short cuts, sometimes it’s necessary to know what image sizes work best on each platform. The good folks at Constant Contact wrote a great blog on social media image sizes. Click here to read it>> Here is their Updated Cheat Sheet for Social Media Image Sizes from that blog…

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Since we are on the subject of photos, this amazing article from Canva is a fantastic resource showcasing the “74 Best sites to find FREE images.”  CLICK HERE to check it out. You can use these pictures for header designs or when you are creating images for your favorite inspirational quotes. Canva is also a great place to design stunning images for social media as well. It offers less free options than the 3 sites above but the free photos/templates may be all you need.

You MUST have a professional looking actor profile on social media to get noticed and these tools will help! Give your headers/cover photos and social media images a makeover! Send me a link to your new pictures in the comments below. I can’t wait to see what you’ve created!

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Until soon,