Info and Resources
- ACTRA Awards
- Background Work
- Child Performers
- Commercial Callback Cheques
- Council and Governance
- Gordon Pinsent Studio
- In Memoriam
- Performers Magazine
- Promote Yourself
- Protect Yourself
- Problems on Set
- Safety on Set
Promote Yourself! Tools and Strategies
1. Face to Face
Face to Face Online is a most secure and comprehensive listing of ACTRA members. Industry professionals can access comprehensive information about ACTRA performers, including your photos, agent contact information, resumes and performance clips. Your information is secure and not available to the general public.
To have your information posted on Face to Face Online, email your photo and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your member number and write "Face to Face" in the subject line of your email. Or, drop off or mail your current photo and resume to ACTRA Toronto. Don't forget to write your membership number clearly on the back of your photo as well as including your resume. You can log in to updated your profile.
Contact a Membership Department Representative to access your password-protected Face to Face profile, if you don't already have a password. For other questions, contact the Face to Face Administrator, Desiree, by email or by phone at 416.489.1311.
Diversity is one of Toronto's greatest strengths as a production centre: our population of 5.5 million is comprised of over 200 different ethnicities and almost 50% of Toronto residents identify as a visible minority. Now ACTRA Toronto, together with the generous support of sponsors, offers CastingDiversity.ca: an online searchable database of diverse professional Toronto talent. With free profiles for members, Castingdiversity.ca helps producers, casting directors and agents cast the world in Toronto.
ACTRA Toronto members who are people of colour, Aboriginal persons, and performers with disabilities are invited to post their photo, ethno-cultural background, agent contact information, special skills, credits, and links to online self–promotion. So create a profile!
3. Student Films
ACTRA Toronto has agreements with film schools that allow members to participate in student productions under certain circumstances. Check the list of programs that apply and see the following video for ideas on how, and why, to get cast in student productions.
4. Digital Self-Promotion Registry
When you create material to promote yourself, register the material in ACTRA Toronto's Digital Self Promotion Registry to help protect your rights.
Here are one agent's ideas about self-submission through Casting Workbook. (You may want to check with your own agent about his or her preferences regarding self-submission.)
Face-to-face, and now online networking can be the path to success in any profession, and performing is no exception. Successful performers say that being friendly and forming real friendships with people who share your creative interests is the key, rather than fake "schmoozing."
- Stay involved! Take advantage of opportunities to meet other industry professionals, including Members' Conferences, meetings, the Awards and rallies. Get to know the people you meet. Your fellow performers are great contacts for information and ideas, and many Canadian performers are involved in writing, directing and producing as well as performing.
- Don't be shy about telling people you know from other areas of your life that you're a performer: you may be surprised at the network you already have in place.
- Get to know people you meet through training: improv classes, acting classes and theatre, and let them get to know your interests. Staying in touch builds your professional network.
- Pay it forward: if you see opportunities that aren't right for you but might be great for someone you know, help them out!
There's no set recipe, but steadily "putting yourself out there" online can help you build your personal brand. Regardless of your age or experience level, keep your online brand is as current as possible by making sure your photos and information are up to date. Google yourself to see whether your online footprint reflects what you have to offer.
Here are just a few of the resources you may want to explore for networking and building your brand:
- Facebook: become a "Fan" of ACTRA Toronto and say hi -- the group has over 1,500 members and is a great place to chat and get started.
- Twitter: follow ACTRA Toronto and introduce yourself -- we'll give you a shout-out to help get you started.
- YouTube: post your own material, friend other YouTubers with similar interests and provide ratings and comments to help build your network (get started by friending ACTRA Toronto.)
- Casting Workbook: check your listing to make sure it's up-to-date.
- MySpace: this service is a great "home base" for performers who want to connect to the music community and gives you plenty of resources to express your personal style and make new contacts.
- If you have film or television credits associated with your name, speak to your agent about adding photos to your Internet Movie Database IMDB listing. Unlike the other sites described here, there is a fee, but you may decide it's worthwhile given the profile of the site.