being the 'good But a bloody good actressside' of 40 (a little over weight)

  • Lee Piarroux

    Actor

    Feeling a bit down, been on this site for 3 months, only had 1 audition invite, is it my headshot or the fact that i am not yet on spotlight?

    Comments please???

    • 7th Sep 2011
    • 3342
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  • Bethan Hanks

    Actor

    Hi Lee,

    Please don't feel down!

    Sometimes I don't hear anything from this site for months on end....and then for absolutely no rhyme or reason I'll get loads of responses, then nothing again for nearly a year.

    Sometimes there's absolutely no reason for it, just keep applying and make sure you do everything you can to improve your chances while things are quiet. Great Cover letter when applying for parts, training or attending workshops (if you feel it necessary to retain confidence etc because i do and it helps when it's quiet) update all marketing material; showreel, business cards, website etc. I looked at your headshot and think it's a great headshot so don't think you need to change this at all.

    I think sometimes just keeping busy yourself on self made tasks and projects helps you to ignore the fact its quiet and helps keep the moral up which is a tough task in this business!

    Plus becoming more proactive helps you feel more in control!

    Hope this helps!

    :)) x

    • 22nd Aug 2011
    • 1
  • Bethan Hanks

    Actor

    Also forgot, you need to be on Spotlight....that's a must! :)

    • 22nd Aug 2011
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    Sometimes you do hit a quite spell, whether you are on Spotlight or not, but I absolutely agree that you should take the time to work on all your marketing; website/showreel etc.

    Is it something about this time of year? Or is that a little naive of me... I think so.

    I do hope things pick up for you. Sometimes you can hit a little slump and the fact that no one seems to be getting back to you can get you down, but you just have to remain focussed, realise that this is the industry we have chosen and try and work out what you need to do to get the auditions (and jobs) you are hoping for.

    • 22nd Aug 2011
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    And by 'quite spell' I mean QUIET spell... I'm glad I always double and triple check my cover letters before I send them otherwise embarrassment ensues.

    • 22nd Aug 2011
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    This time of year is definitely the worst because of summer holidays and Edinburgh festival.

    I agree you must be on Spotlight. You won't get representation without it. You need to be on there to get paid agency work. It's that simple. Agents will ask you if you are.

    Try and concentrate on cover letter for CCP. You need to have something on there that is going to separate you from everyone else.

    Take a look at things like showreel, voice reel. I notice you don't have either on here. It is important to invest in these things and to work on trying to make sure they are the highest standard. The quality is important and it needs to represent your abilities as much as possible. Go to agents web pages and listen to actors commercial reels either showreel or voice and compare your voice/casting. look for inspiration, what do they have, what are they doing that distinguishes you. Invest time in researching these things and see what you need to catch up on whether it is an agent. You're in a much better age range because you have much less competition than if you were 20.

    Carefully consider what your strongest casting attributes are and use them to build your career in a positive and focused way. Talk to actors and agents as much as possible. Also don't just consider agents, look at Actors Cooperatives. There is a lot they can teach you about the industry and about how to look for work.

    I would recommend not talking to people who aren't in the industry because they will never quite understand and they will not be able to offer you the advice you need. When asking for advice be prepared for varied opinions and to hear things you won't like. Take what works and drop what doesn't.

    This really is just the beginning but don't lose heart. Bethan Hanks makes a valid point that you must focus your attentions on getting work when it's quite and be determined. Set yourself goals that you will be able to accomplish, like "By the end of the year I want a showreel" or "in 3 months time I'm going to record my voice reel". Doing this will give you a sense of achievement and boost your confidence. Small manageable projects are useful.

    Good luck!! And also bear in mind that the economy has really effected our work! Since the Arts Council cuts there is less work going around and it has become ridiculously competitive. Well known actors are going for smaller jobs now and this is an indicator of how difficult this is becoming.

    • 22nd Aug 2011
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    Hi, dont feel too bad about the lack of work or even castings, its always very difficult to find work and you are not alone. As everyone is saying you do need to be on Spotlight, however that doesn't guarantee any castings. Keep smiling your not alone! Lorraine

    • 22nd Aug 2011
    • 6
  • Daniel Jude Gennis

    Actor

    Such is the business we are in. I have been a member of CCP for more than seven years and have not had an invite for an audition via this site in more than four years. That is no fault of yours or CCP, that is just the way it is. No need to mention Spotlight as others have already mention it.

    Having said all that, I continue to work, not exactly rich for my efforts but if one keeps at it long enough, the world becomes yours eventually. However, don't rely solely on one website or agent for work. The rules of the game have changed. I know of people who have one agent and do well out that one agent. I am not so fortunate. I have three agents and I am still running around getting my own work. All my theatre work with the exception of one production, has been found via my own efforts.

    It is all about taking one step at a time. Get on Spotlight, Get an Agent, Get your Equity Card, Get a showreel done, set up a website etc. Of course the most important thing also is to get the work. It is not easy but it is not impossible either - It just seems that way at times. Just take one step at a time - you will get there eventually.

    • 23rd Aug 2011
    • 7
  • Robin Miller

    Actor

    Dear Lee,

    It's not you - it's a numbers game - always has been, always will be. The job adverts on here get hundreds of replies (if not thousands). Getting called to an audition is like buying a winning raffle ticket. So don't feel down over something you don't have a lot of control over!

    R x

    • 23rd Aug 2011
    • 8
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Its all about luck really! I have been on CCP for a nearly 2 years now and I aint had 1 job that I personally applied for! There is no point I have more chance playing the lotto!

    Also Spotlight is good!

    Its all about who you know..I was calling most of the producers IMDB randomly a few days ago lol got to know one as well and could be having lunch next week!

    you have to chase it as well. Think of every angle that you could tackle to get in!

    Also 100% get some showreel! Use students :)

    Good luck

    Amir x

    • 23rd Aug 2011
    • 9
  • Daniel Jude Gennis

    Actor

    Indeed use students. They have been using us long enough. Best to approach the film schools themselves rather than individual students. Schools such as the London Film School, has a database of actors interested in working on.student film projects. Students have a bad reputation for not delivering, which is why it is wiser to go via the schools because you can always complain to the school directly.

    • 23rd Aug 2011
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  • Vanessa White-Smith

    Actor

    I agree with everyone else. Spotlight: everyone's mentioned it, but, I haven't had ONE job from Spotlight! But, I have had quite a few jobs from CCP, which is why I decided to pay membership. Who knows what people want when they're looking for an actress, it is a numbers game. It was around 6-9 months or possibly longer before CCP started working for me. I think is what you put on your application note that moves them to view your page. I believe that its been a very valuable resource for me. Give it time. Generally being slightly older works well for women in this business, but, with Arts Council cuts, it has caused a huge slump in the market. In the meantime, backing up your audition and sight reading technique is a must, and, even if you can't afford to make the showreel, clips are a great idea. At least it'll be some evidence of what you look like in motion and what you sound like. Hope this is helpful. I also think you've got a great profile pic. I haven't looked at your page yet, but hopefully you've got full body shots uploaded as well.

    • 23rd Aug 2011
    • 11
  • User Deleted

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    1. Get listed on Spotlight

    2. Join Equity and list that on here too

    3. Make sure that your link to your shooting people page actually works (it doesn't at the moment)

    4. Invest in some more current training and put that on here.

    5. Accept that it's a numbers game and apply for anything that you feel suits you. The more you apply the more likelihood there is of you being asked in to audition.

    • 24th Aug 2011
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  • Daniel Jude Gennis

    Actor

    Indeed use students. They have been using us long enough. Best to approach the film schools themselves rather than individual students. Schools such as the London Film School, has a database of actors interested in working on.student film projects. Students have a bad reputation for not delivering, which is why it is wiser to go via the schools because you can always complain to the school directly.

    • 24th Aug 2011
    • 13
  • Peter Halpin

    Actor

    Just wanted to add my tuppence for what it's worth! I disagree with going for more and more jobs to play a numbers game. Only apply for jobs that are absolutely right for you. I made the mistake of going for pretty much any male role over 18 and under 50 when I first joined and got really discouraged by the huge lack of response!! Since knowing exactly what my types/roles are, and only applying for those, I've had a very good response rate and get fairly regular auditions and direct bookings from this site. The numbers are then much more in your favour and it's not a lottery!

    Also 100% agree that a showreel is essential if you're applying for screen work. I've worked with several people that said when going through applications, those without reels were instantly rejected. To get the jobs bigger than those on here, join Spotlight!!

    • 25th Aug 2011
    • 14
  • User Deleted

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    I did say apply for anything that suits you. Of course don't apply for things you don't stand a hope in hell of getting. But if you don't apply you stand zero chance of getting cast. So, if the part suits, apply.

    • 25th Aug 2011
    • 15
  • Vanessa White-Smith

    Actor

    Just looked at your page.

    Join Spotlight!! No-one will contact you if your not listed and agents also won't represent you.

    Put some moving images of some sort until you get a good showreel. I haven't got a showreel, but I've had GREAT responses just because they have some clips to look at.

    Make your page look like you've got more experience.

    All the best!

    • 25th Aug 2011
    • 16
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Showreel's are vital. I talk to casting directors all the time about this, as I have a vested interest as a provider. Same with agents.

    You are a business and you need to invest in your own PR at all levels in order to compete as these days it's very over crowded...with masses of very experienced and even well known, actors going for roles they would never have tried for a few years ago. Therefore any way you are able to increase your chances....you must do it.

    I agree with being listed in Spotlight. It is still and will remain the first casting website directory, the "main" casting directors use.

    Your own website pages....and I mean WWW.YOUR OWN NAME.CO.UK....not just an added on pages with another domain in the url.

    I notice you and others focus their efforts on - or at least - heavily mention not getting work on this site as some sort of guide as to how things are? Hmmmm? I barely even look at this sites work adverts these days. They rarely pay or pay anywhere enough to make applying for them very worthwhile....save the very odd one or two. Therefore to pack out a CV with that type of work....inc student film/short film etc.... "could" start to make a CV look uncompetitive in the long run.

    Casting departments know there is a massive competition between actors....and so they do not need to heavily consider long CV's soaked in fringe and or student or short films.

    So whilst lots of jobs like that may give the impression that you are very experienced.....it could actually create the wrong impression? ....be very selective with the jobs in order to compete would be my advice.

    It is quite right to mention, it is very quiet at the moment too...one should not overlook that fact......however, with a good agent....a good reel etc....you can at least start to separate yourself from the masses of those actors who have neither.

    So Chin up... take a deep breath......and then start a well thought out plan of action: re-branding/re-launching yourself.

    The business side of being an actor, does take massive effort.....but you have to say: What have I done by way of paid work, or good quality acting jobs over the past year or so.....and if that's nothing....surely something ain't right is it? Treat yourself as a product and a business or as a shop window. If a business is not selling its product/s.....they do something about it in order to compete.

    Whoever said this business was easy or fair huh!!

    Good luck with it. PM me if you need any help.

    • 26th Aug 2011
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  • Vanessa White-Smith

    Actor

    Great message Mark!!

    • 27th Aug 2011
    • 18
  • Robin Miller

    Actor

    Just to clarify - when I said it's a numbers game, I didn't mean success depends on your number of applications, I meant it's an overcrowded business. There are more actors than jobs so there's always going to be disappointment. It's always been that way, but it's a lot worse now!

    Lee, I had a look at your profile. You might want to tidy up spelling, capitalisation and general presentation - it all helps!

    As for Spotlight - well, I've been a member for years and I've only got one job out of it. Not that I'm surprised - have you seen the size of those books?! With Spotlight, I get sent the alerts but can't apply (agents do that) so it's not as helpful a service as CCP.

    • 30th Aug 2011
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