Am i doing something wrong??

  • John Solomon

    Actor

    I Have been acting and training seriously since 2009 and have been trying to learn as much as i can along the way. Due to circumstances i have been unable to attend full time drama school but trained where i could, when i could.

    Trying to go down other avenues, i started to do student films for footage and got involved in a production company. The courses i attended were really good and helpful. I then went about securing an agent and getting professional work.

    I have had some success but not able to let go of my old career and take the plunge.

    I am nudging my agent and applying for work myself, all the time but do not get much interest!

    In my applications, i only say a short bit about myself, my availability and what I've been up to recently.

    Am i doing something wrong?

    Am i applyng for the wrong kind of work?

    Or is it my lack of experience?

    Please help!

    • 8th Dec 2014
    • 3427
    • 24
  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    Nope, just keep at it, it's the same for all of us.

    I'd only say 2 things:

    1) Think about creating your own work

    2) Don't nudge your agent, they generally hate it.

    M.

    • 20th Nov 2014
    • 1
  • Luke McGibney

    Actor

    It's depends on many levels but here are a few thoughts.

    Is you agent in the top 90? Casting directors as a max will send out to 100 agents but on average 40. With your agent what clients does he or she have? Are they doing good broadcast credits? Would you hire any of them? Are any accredited school trained?

    What quality theatre do you have regional, London etc. Hull Truck, Soho Theatre etc.

    Are you a member of spotlight?

    In the UK versus the US it's very judgmental some of this is due to time pressures and budgets for the casting guys. On average Hubbard in one hour can receive 200 to 400 applicants for a one line part. The producer wants submissions like yesterday so what do you do? Take a risk on an Agent with actors that have hardly any broadcast credits or work with your approved list?

    So, spotlight offer feedback service so does surviving actors. You may need some tough love from these guys to create a new strategy.

    As for acting school there are now one year courses with all the big boys personally get some professional accredited school training as this could save years of knocking at the door. Target Oxford School Of Drama, Rada, Guildhall, Drama Centre, Lamda first all the top agents attend their shows.

    Good luck

    • 21st Nov 2014
    • 2
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Success in this industry means a lot of different things, and will come in different ways for different people.

    There arent many actors who can afford to quit their day jobs, so don't be blue about that.

    Ive had a look at your CCPro profile, and I think I have a few suggestions which could work for you:

    Whats GOOD about your profile:

    You have a showreel - thats great and there is some good footage in there, but I'd like to see some footage where there is a greater contrast in characters. Great start though! SO many actors rely on just music video footage.

    Your'e obviously creating a lot of your own work with Silentwood - that's fantastic, but I'd aim to get some variation in the top 5 credits, just so employers can see that other companies have enjoyed your contribution as well.

    Education tab is SOLID. That looks fantastic. A big fat TICK there.

    Accents look great, but just be sure you can actually do them. Far too many casting directors have their time wasted by people who say they can do a Cockney accent and end up sounding like an aggressive Australian with a bad case of sinusitis. EXCELLENT if you really can do those accents.

    What could do with some work:

    Headshots are key, and sadly, I dont think the ones you have are the key to grabbing the attention of casting directors.

    Remember, you're a white, male, with brown hair. That's probably more than half of the UK, male actors population!

    You need variety. Out of the 5 headshots you display, the only two that stand out are the two coloured photos at the end of the reel. The rest (including your main headshot) are too washed out and bright. Id switch your main profile picture the one coloured one by Malcolm Bull. That one is fab and would get me interested in seeing more of you.

    DEFINITELY invest in some new, varied shots - I have a cost effective tip for that coming up for you in a moment.

    Your 'About me' and 'Additional Info' tabs.

    These need some serious life injected into them. I found myself thinking that youre trying too hard to be a 'serious' actor. Yes, dedication is key, but the directors and companies looking at you know this already and know that every other actor they are looking at has the same views. They want to know more about what makes you UNIQUE.

    The only part I'd be interested in in that paragraph is the following - " I am a very positive, outgoing and friendly person. I integrate well with others and love new challenges".

    Thats great, because Id want to know this about a person I am hiring, but then tell me something surprising and relevant to the profession. Tell me something that I will remember!

    Your skills are interesting, because not everyone can skii, but make more of them. IE; Stage combat (armed/unarmed/weapons). You say 'Athletic - specify how. It could be changed to something like 'Proficient runner with own sports gear'. (ONLY if it is true though).

    You have a drivers license - if its a full, clean drivers license list that additional info.

    Would you be happy to travel abroad for work ? List it if so with the fact you have a valid, UK passport. Be creative!

    Here are some other tips which I have found work well for me:

    Get your friendly cyber-stalker on!

    Search for people and production companies on IMDB whose work inspires you. Add them on Twitter and Facebook and don't be afraid to engage with hem. Give out some likes, re-tweet, engage in relevant conversations which you think you could bring some knowledge or an opinion to.

    Keep your photos and headshots current and varied. Go for colour. Get some full body shots.

    I found it VERY useful to get in touch with photographers who are offering TFP (Time for print) work. The best site for this (as much as I love CCPro) would be *Starnow.co.uk*

    TFP photographers want to expand their portfolios and flex their muscles as photographers, and you want a bunch of shots which show you off to casting directors in all different ways. Be adventurous. Do you have a killer set of abs? Whip them out in a tasteful shot. Some of the shots might not be suitable for CCPro, but you can always attach them to external applications and a variety of shots will get you noticed. One of the best points of reference for this is my Actor friend (and awesome person) Jon Campling. Check him out on CCPro. He has a killer set of shots, many of which he actually took himself and edited. Its not being self centered or self-indulgent. Its necessary to show casting directors what they want to find in a character because they only have a shot amount of time to cast people and they dont have time to use their imaginations too much. Extra shots with a TFP photographer would be a Win-Win situation for you both!

    Finally

    Be NICE to whoever you meet in the industry. You will be amazed how small this acting world is. And if you help other people on their way up, they might well be there to help you when you are down :)

    Goodluck!

    • 21st Nov 2014
    • 3
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hard to say. There are many reasons why actors get seen for a role (look, experience....) but there are even more reasons why actors do not get seen. It is hardly ever down to talent and more often down to look, training or C.V. casting directors get 1000's of applications and very little time to look over them and the odds are always against us. That said we have to keep trying. I would say in my experience as a casting director and agent, little notice is taken of short/part time courses as they often do not have auditions to join and can not compete with full time courses. While many actors do well without formal training and while there is certainly not anything saying trained actors are 'better' I would say full time training does help any C.V. as does the right head shot. Hope this helps a little and if you or anyone has any questions I am more than happy to offer advice, not saying I am right but I have worked as script writer, casting director, performer and agent and have good contacts with CD's, directors and producers and always happy to try and help from my opinion in what I have seen

    • 21st Nov 2014
    • 4
  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    Emma - that is a brilliant post!

    • 22nd Nov 2014
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thank you Dan. :) Lets all help each other to grow x

    • 22nd Nov 2014
    • 6
  • John Solomon

    Actor

    Thanks guys.

    Some great help there, and its crazy how you can be missing such key things and not know until its pointed out to you.

    :)

    • 24th Nov 2014
    • 7
  • Claire Sharpe

    Actor

    In regards to nudging your agent PLEASE email them and ask if they mind it/like it.

    I know Mark Joseph above said that generally they hate it but my current and previous agents both have said they find it really useful!

    Claire x

    • 24th Nov 2014
    • 8
  • John Solomon

    Actor

    Thanks Claire, I have and they say the same. They have control of my spotlight so it's the only way.

    • 24th Nov 2014
    • 9
  • Jessica Alonso

    Actor

    woow THANKS Emma!!! I just arrive to London and join this website,really useful !!!!

    • 25th Nov 2014
    • 10
  • Sean Ruttledge

    Actor

    Emma, you're awesome x

    • 25th Nov 2014
    • 11
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Wow. Thank you Jessica and Sean.

    These are the tips that I have found work well for me.

    =)

    Emma x

    • 25th Nov 2014
    • 12
  • Bern Collaço

    Actor

    Spot on Emma! I'm back - Today is CCP's 10 Year Birthday x

    • 27th Nov 2014
    • 13
  • Nicken Kotak

    Actor

    Definitely get some new head shots mate. My photogrpaher is good, he'll bring the best out of you. Nick James Photography - check him out and break a hundred legs!

    • 28th Nov 2014
    • 14
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Emma, you could make a lot of money giving 'motivational talks' for jobbing actors! Nice work!

    With regards to getting in touch with your agent... if they are 'annoyed' at you contacting them then what are you with them for?! Remember YOU make them money, not the other way around. I have a good relationships with my agent and touch base once a week to see what I've been put forward for. I also pop into the office as often as I can... you'd be surprised how much more the phone rings after visiting in person... it's not that they've forgotten you, but many agents have a lot of clients and multiple pressures from reading contracts with a fine tooth comb to invoicing and chasing up non-payment. Only a small proportion of what they do is time dedicated to scanning for work, networking and putting clients forward.

    I am with a commercial agency and I know this is different for agents who are focused more on theatre. But keeping the dialogue open between you and your agent is a MUST, just not three phone calls a day!!

    Keep at it John, you're not the only one who goes through periods feeling like this... I'm currently in one myself!

    N x

    • 28th Nov 2014
    • 15
  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    Just a note, my comment about nudging is not about annoying your agent in general. It is about being aware that most take it as "you're not doing your job properly". Not all, obviously, but most I've spoken to.

    I live with an agent at a very prominent company, and she told me if a client nudges once, fine, more than that they'll be spoken to. If you don't trust your agent to be putting you up for all the things you're suitable for, THAT'S a reason not to be with them.

    • 28th Nov 2014
    • 16
  • Andrew Jefferson-Tierney

    Actor

    Probably one of the best and most interesting posts I have read since joining CCP. Emma its not often you see someone in this industry taking the time to help and coach those new to the industry and struggling to get seen. Nathan is right you could charge and believe me some would for that sort of advice you have given. All of you guys have not only helped John but many more of us and for that I thank you all x

    • 28th Nov 2014
    • 17
  • John Solomon

    Actor

    Thanks Nicken I will check him out.

    I can feel an early christmas present coming on :D

    • 28th Nov 2014
    • 18
  • Jasynda Bennett

    Actor

    This post I think has been a great help to all actors/actress!! Thanks for sharing guys :)

    I always believe persistence is the main key.

    • 29th Nov 2014
    • 19