How Actors Can Network During the Pandemic

Our industry has evolved dramatically and the ways in which actors are cast and navigate the sector have transformed. Many actors have spent years fostering key relationships and perfecting the avenues that help them land roles, and the shift to all-things-virtual during the pandemic has offered new opportunities to build connections in this climate.

Our reliance on meeting in person with industry figures and networking at busy events have come to pass and we are now maximising our time spent indoors and nurturing the meaningful, advantageous connections and opportunities that can be made at our fingertips.

From having to master virtual auditions and self-tapes, actors are no stranger to change. Here we have offered our expert tips and guidance on how you can best network during the pandemic.

Embrace Social Media

Connecting with others on social media is a given, but are you doing this effectively? Right now actors are getting cast from TikTok and employers are crewing up their projects via Instagram - what do your profile and interactions say about you?

Swapping social media usernames upon meeting someone can be even more important than sharing your email address. Maximise your channels and showcase who you are as an actor!

  • Embrace your social media platforms and publish content that portrays you and your talents in the best light.
  • Follow key casting directors and industry professionals to better understand what projects, networks and causes they are a part of. This can help you make your connection and what content to post.
  • Consider reaching out to these individuals, but don’t cross the line. While their account may be public, approach each conversation with respect and a strategic mindset.

Webinars and Q&As and Breakout Rooms, Oh My!

While we may not be able to physically attend live talks and networking events, lockdown has shown these mediums can be just as beneficial when held virtually. The current landscape has not put a halt to schmoozing and rubbing shoulders with the industry’s movers and shakers; we can still maximise these opportunities from home.

It may feel like not a day goes by that you don’t see some form of webinar or virtual talk being promoted to you via email or social media. As we navigate this climate, brands and industry leaders are recognising the importance of being visible and connecting with audiences virtually. These resources may not be as common once we leave lockdown, so make the most of them.

Attend as many relevant virtual webinars and Q&As as you can - you never know what you will learn or who you may meet. Breakout rooms at these events are your friend; you can learn a lot from your peers and other entertainment professionals. You never know, you may be paired with an influential casting director.

Understand Your Networking Goals

What do you hope to achieve by attending virtual events and posting more strategic social media content? You may be missing out on a lot if you plan on passively watching a webinar and not making the most of the opportunities to speak with others. Approach these tactics understanding what you can truly gain from them as an actor.

  • Do you want to connect with more casting directors? Get involved with events and talks you know they will be a part of, as well as being active on channels or hashtags you know they have their eyes on.
  • Are you looking for a greater number of opportunities? Consider joining Facebook groups that post a lot of industry news and jobs, better yet, take advantage of the Jobs Directory on Mandy and our Forum - you can connect with talented professionals from across the world.

It’s About Who You Know (Already?)

Building relationships from scratch can prove effective, but they take time. Actors may often overlook their existing network when seeking new opportunities.

Now that we all have more time on our hands, your friends, college peers and more may appreciate you reaching out to them. Understand the value of these relationships and how while, not fresh and new, they can still take your career to new heights. With this being said, we move onto our final tip:

Be the Person You Want to Network with

When it comes to networking, we often put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make connections and focus on what others can do for us. The truth is, unsurprisingly, forging these relationships is similar to how you approach a friendship. These connections cannot be one-sided; so, what can you offer to others?

You may find yourself speaking to a casting director, with you desperate to secure one of the roles they are explaining. Simply putting yourself forward may not stick in their mind, but what will is sharing you know of a fellow actor who is perfect for another role they are casting for. Casting director: happy and fulfilled. Your actor contact: thrilled about your connection and more likely to now recommend you in future conversations.

There is no blueprint to networking in this climate, but adopting these tips can help you on your way to becoming a more strategic, confident and successful actor. You can sign up to The Mandy Network for free today and browse our Jobs Directory for incredible jobs here.