Promote Yourself! Tools and Strategies
ACTRAonline.ca showcases thousands of ACTRA performers – Canada’s premier talent pool. Each performer’s detailed, searchable profile may feature up to three (3) photos, contact and agent information, a full résumé, credits, and audio and video clips. Performer details available on ACTRAonline.ca are provided and updated by individual performers.
background.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of professional background talent. If you work background, create a profile and upload your photos, resume and other information.
diversity.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of Diverse Professional Talent. 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.
stunts.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of Professional Stunt Performers. ACTRA Toronto Stunt Performers and resident and visiting Stunt Coordinators can create a profile and upload resumes , photos and other information.
voice.actraonline.ca is ACTRA’s online searchable database of Professional Voicde Performers. ACTRA Toronto Voice Performers can create a profile and upload resumes, demos and other information.
2. Student Films
ACTRA Toronto has agreements with a selection of film schools that allow members to participate in student productions under certain circumstances. Check the list of programs that apply.
Panelist at the Youth Caucus session of a Members’ Conference discusses casting for Ryerson student productions (2010)
3. 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.
4. Industry Casting services
Your agent will normally suggest that your profile be up on one of the standard casting sites such as Casting Workbook. You need to pay to be on those sites.
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.)
Apprentice Caucus info and career development session at the Members’ Conference, moderated by ACTRA Toronto Councillor and Apprentice Advocate Shereen J. Airth and featuring Toronto agent Yannick Landry (2010).
In-person and online networking can help you to succeed 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.
- Stay involved! Take advantage of opportunities to meet other industry professionals through ACTRA at Members’ Conferences, meetings, the Awards and rallies. 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.
- Tell 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 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!
Steadily “putting yourself out there” online can help you build your personal brand. Regardless of your age or experience level, keep your online brand 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: “Like” ACTRA Toronto‘s page and say hi — the group has nearly 5,000 “Likes.”
- Twitter: follow ACTRA Toronto and introduce yourself — we’ll give you a shout-out to help get you started.
- YouTube: post your own demo reel (register it here first), “friend” other YouTubers with similar interests and provide ratings and comments to help build your network.
- Casting Workbook: make sure your profile is up-to-date.
- MySpace, Vimeo etc: these online video hosting sites can be a good “home base” for performers and give 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. There is a fee, but you may decide it’s worthwhile given the profile of the site.