Been thinking about this blog and telling my story. I feel the best way to maintain a positive purpose for this thing is to omit some large portions of it. I don't need to give some people any more attention than they are worth and I definitely don't want to stir up sympathy for them and make myself look like a jerk. That said, what I want to write about today are some online resources for actors.
First off, I touched on these before, but you want to get your resume and headshot listed on some websites ASAP. Two of the most widely used are Actors Access and Now Casting. Both are used by actual casting directors in booking roles and bringing folks in for auditions. It's best to have as much info on these sites as you can. Both offer a broad opportunity for you to insert searchable special skills, training and history of work. Basically, an online resume. You can also upload headshots (free to a point) and a reel (charges by the minute...see the value of a one minute reel again!).
You can also PAY to get info on breakdowns and such. I've found that many of the breakdowns are for non-paying or low-paying gigs. You can find a lot of those elsewhere and not have to pay cash for them. Most of the other breakdowns are going to come out where your agent will see them and submit you anyway. Keep a good relationship with your agent and if they are worth their 10%, they are already looking out for you on the stuff in your area. Usually, when I contact mine, the production isn't looking for my type, even though they are heading to my area, OR she already submitted me.
You can also forward links from these sites to other folks as an online resume. Of course, most solid agents have a pretty good online resume for you already. If you look at my agent's page for me HERE, she has several photos, my resume, some bio info and a reel listed FOR FREE. Remember, if your agent is charging for this stuff, you should be asking questions. This helps them book you, which helps them get paid.
Also there is imdbpro and imdb resume. I'm kind of up in the air on these. I've yet to book anything from using pro. The online forums for casting are a joke. Nothing real is there and people use so many bots on there that the top post may be for a film that was casting TWO years ago. Their online resume is good, but nothing compared to FREE on actorsaccess or nowcasting. I may look at changing my imdb around soon. The main reason I pay for it is to have pictures on there which I think is VITALLY important. IMDB is an industry standard for seeing what you've done and where you've been. Best to have it looking it's best. Having a resume on there certainly doesn't hurt and having access to contact info for directors and agencies could be valuable. Here is my IMDB.
That's about it for putting your resume out there. There are a lot of other sites, but the key thing should be YOU not paying for ANYTHING. IMDB is my one exception...and I may be wrong on at least some of that. Another great resource is the ability to use the internet for searching out gigs. How do I find work on the internet? Here are the best places.
FIRST, go to your state's film commission website. Here are a list of some of the popular film states and where you can find their sites. Don't be adverse to looking up info on states that you live near or would travel to once in awhile. I've actually booked roles and got auditions off doing this process. Specifically, my role in the zombie western "Fool's Gold" and my top billed role in "Coyote County Loser" were both great projects that I nailed based on going to the nmfilm website. Here are the sites:
I'm sure I missed some. Some state pages are better at listing casting than others. You'll generally find out about open calls and casting opportunities for independent film this way. Some will be SAG (both "Fool's Gold" and "Coyote County Loser" were). Some will be non-paying.
Since I primarily hang my hat in Texas, you can go here for some good Texas info on casting.
Of course one can't say enough about FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, YOUTUBE, TWITTER, and even starting your own blog.
Finally, a good email address is imperative. Gmail offers you the most options as far as document sharing and I like their sortation methods. You can also get a link directly into your own webpage. Your email should be YOUR NAME! Nothing else. Mine is Fredericdoss@gmail.com. Your email you use for your professional purposes shouldn't be cute.
Speaking of webpages, here is a good example of a simple one that will tell you everything about ME.
The last thing I'll leave you with is the ability to use all of this to crossreference. Say you start with getting all your stuff onto the appropriate websites (resume/headshot/reel). You then use the state sites or imdb to find out what's coming to your neck of the woods (even big budget). You can use imdbpro to find contact info, or you can just go to the regular site and start pulling the casting folks/director up on searches in facebook or social networking sites. The bigger they are, the slimmer the chance that you'll contact them this way, but there are a LOT of talented indy folks on facebook. When you find them, strategically send them links to all of your stuff you did earlier and you've just advanced yourself with the net.
I love technology!