Starting Your Acting and/or Modeling Business

Many thanks to Aaron Marcus, premier acting and commercial modeling career coach for providing today’s blog entry! He is the author of How To Become a Successful Commercial Model and creator of the Becoming a Successful Actor & Commercial Model Workshop.

As in any business, actors and models also have some start-up costs. Here are a few of the things that we have to invest in:

– Head shots

–  Comp cards

–  Business cards

–  Industry books

–  Newsletters

–  Workshops

–  Classes

–  Postcards

–  Agent’s websites

–  Creating DVDs and CDs for our on-camera and voice-over work

 Although this can get expensive, you don’t have to get all of these done at one time. If you think about it, these expenses are actually pretty small, compared to other businesses’ start-up costs. You can check with an accountant to see which expenses are tax deductible.

Tax Advice for Actors from Actors

Here are a few expenses you might not yet have thought about, but at some point you may decide to purchase:

 A Wireless Ear Prompter. This is a small ear piece that allows you to hear a script you record onto a micro-cassette. Ear prompters are generally used by on-camera narrators who have long sections of words to read, or for those giving a live presentation at an event. I just used one for a training film I did in Portland, Oregon.

 Contact Lenses. If you wear glasses, you should consider getting contacts. I recently did another on-camera narration for the IRS. They preferred me not wearing glasses, which would have made it difficult for me to read the teleprompter. Fortunately, I always bring my contacts, and things worked out very well.

 To help you prioritize your business expenses, I suggest you first invest in information, so you know how to run your business:

Read books and newsletters, then create a head shot.

 Create a comp card after the head shot is completed, if you want to get work as a commercial model.

Find an agent; being represented and on the agent’s web site will help get you work

 Take workshops and classes; they will also give you your best chance at finding work

Produce the other materials once you are out there auditioning and hopefully booking jobs.

Secret Tips for Getting Modeling Jobs

Many thanks to Aaron Marcus, premier acting and commercial modeling career coach for providing today’s blog entry! He is the author of How To Become a Successful Commercial Model and creator of the Becoming a Successful Actor & Commercial Model Workshop.

I just had a print job for a pharmaceutical company last week. Generally, for these jobs, I am either a doctor or a patient; this time I was the doctor. During a break in the session, I had a chance to talk with the art director. I am always curious how the art/creative director from the advertising agency decides which model gets cast for the project. The art director had something interesting to say that I want to share with you.

She said that there were many people who looked like a doctor, but there were a few factors that brought them to hire me. One helpful thing was the fact that I already had a shot on my comp card portraying a doctor. This shot allowed them to easily see I was right for the part, and very believable as a doctor. They also said some of the models who E-mailed JPGs (we all had to do this to make sure we still look like our comp card) had spent too much time in the sun this summer, and their skin was too tanned. One other swaying factor was that I did not look like a model, and showed a nice, warm, and friendly feel in a number of my photos.

In Summary:

1.Try to show the characters you will be cast for on your comp card.
2.Don’t think that you have to look like a beautiful model in order to work as one.
3.Be careful when spending time out in the sun; the beach look is not always the right look!

Why You Didn’t Get the Part

Many thanks to Aaron Marcus, premier acting and commercial modeling career coach for providing today’s blog entry! He is the author of How To Become a Successful Commercial Model and creator of the Becoming a Successful Actor & Commercial Model Workshop.

Some actors/models blame their agent when work is slow. I want to share an experience I just had with an agent (about a potential job) that will be helpful to you.

I received a phone call from an agent wanting to know if I could work as an extra on a TV spot. Because it was a Union job, and shooting all night, I could earn about $300. I wanted the job. I called the agent the next day to see if I got the booking, and she told me the client decided to cast someone else.

There are so many factors that go into getting cast, and tons of reasons why you might not get chosen. For instance: you might be too beautiful, and would not look like you would be married to the husband who has already been cast. Maybe you look like the director’s ex-wife, and he doesn’t want to be reminded of a bad experience. Perhaps you do not look like you belong in the family with the mom and dad who have already been cast – you could be too tall or short, and not match up well with other family members. It is possible your look is so strong that you would stand out too much, and people would not focus on the product.

The point is, you can only ask your agent to submit you for projects. Sometimes, there are many other people who have to decide who is going to get cast. The fact of the matter is, your agent has nothing to do with the final decision.