How to market yourself to a particular field of acting work (e.g. film, TV, west end theatre, physical theatre)
Versatility, versatility, versatility - the three words often drilled in to drama students who are about the head out in to the hugely over-populated world of acting. You must be able to do everything, you must be available to all productions, all casting directors, all types of performance at all times. But what if that isn't the way to build a successful career? What if you end up being a jack of all trades and master of none? If a casting director looks at your CV in search of a particular skill, will they spot it amongst all the other things you can do?
It can actually be very beneficial to your acting career if you decide that you only want to target one specific area of the industry. It allows you to really streamline your efforts and focus on exactly what you want to achieve in that area.
If you already have a broad CV, it is adviseable to look at thinning it down to just what you are really proud of in the area you want to focus on. If you really want to build a career in physical theatre but your CV is crowded with Panto and commercials, it can be hard for Theatre companies and casting directors to see the relevant work.
You will also need to be firm with the types of auditions you are prepared to go to and the jobs you choose to be submitted for. If you only want to do TV and film then you cannot distract yourself with theatre and corporate castings.
A few years ago, an actor I know decided, somewhat controversially at the time, that he only wanted to do TV and Film auditions from that point on. He was doing well in a number of fields at the time and so it could have been viewed as restricting his opportunities. However, he is now starring in a sitcom opposite some huge names and has excellent industry recognition. He achieved this by focussing his efforts on one small area with great results.
It helps to think of yourself as a commercial product, 'marketing' yourself makes as much sense as marketing a product you have developed and want to sell. Look at companies who run successful social media campaigns - can you learn anything from them? For example, a vegan food company might search for, tweet and follow everyone they can find on twitter who recently tweeted about being vegan. Do the same: search twitter for puppetry or physical theatre or burlesque or whatever your field is and get networking! Tweet people, follow them, interact with them. Write a blog - if you're knowledgeable about your field, which you should be, then demonstrate that in a blog. Post Youtube videos, Instagram yourself doing what you do. When people think of your field, they should think of you. In the same way Hoover have become synonymous with vacuum cleaners to the point that the names are interchangeable, you should become synonymous with your field of acting. If I am a casting director searching for a performer with aerial skills, chances are I'll come across the person who fills their twitter, instagram, facebook, youtube channel and blog with evidence of their talent rather than the person who just has it written on their CV.
Do your research and find all of the theatres, production companies, casting directors, directors etc who specialise in your field. Make them your targets and tell them every time you have something interesting or relevant to say; when you're in something, when you've won an award etc. Gradually make your name known in association with the field you want to conquer.
Don't be afraid of putting yourself in a highly marketable pigeon hole. At least if you're in your hole, the important people know where to find you.