This is a ‘who you know’ kind of business. This should not be shocking news to anyone. For those on the outside, it seems unfair and near impossible to break in. For those on the other side, they love it because of course they are thought of for multiple projects and are basically living the dream. How does the struggling actor get there though?? The answer is simple and really has nothing to do with acting at all. NETWORKING.
Some of you reading this are rolling your eyes. yeah yeah, you’ve heard it all before and it hasn’t gotten you anywhere. Well, perhaps that is because you are looking at networking as a chore or you are simply going into it with the most common of attitudes, the ‘what’s in it for me?’ vibe. People can see this a mile away and much like the smell of a skunk, it’s a turn off before you’ve even opened your mouth.
What you want is REAL AUTHENTIC GENUINE relationships. This is the crux of social networking. You can spend all your spare time on Facebook, but unless you have the person and relationship to back it up, there is no relationship. It’s just clicks and false sense of friendship. As any good relationship counselor will tell you, for a successful relationship you must give more and expect less. This translates to you, the actor, directly.
Do something nice for someone. When you go out of your way for someone, nine times out of ten the person is grateful and will tell you. In this day an age it seems like basic niceties are becoming more and more rare. When it down happen, you certainly don’t forget it very quickly. And in this all about ME industry, it stands out. Have you ever been in a drive through for coffee and had the guy ahead of you pay for your drink just because? I have and the random act of kindness turned my whole day around! I went out of my way to help three people that day. What if you did that kind of thing once each day? Imagine the return on all the good you put out there!
Being kind, RESPECTFUL (which will be a whole other blog) and genuine will get you further then you imagine. Networking isn’t about going to events and handing out your business card to as many people as you can. That is a waste of time and money. Talking, and genuinely trying to help someone out…THAT is authentic social networking. It’s as old as the human race. I help you and you help me. In the end we all win. So when someone asks for a class referral, give them one and make introductions. When someone is lost on what steps to take, give them some valuable resources (like this blog) 😉 You never know who knows who or where one’s path is going. Consider it an investment on your future and then wait and see your returns.