I would not want to say that I am a pro at designing website and I do not make my own website anyways. I stick to the acting! Still, I have an idea of what I need. A while ago, I attended a workshop on self-tape and there was a portion of it on “branding and image”. This is something about which I had never really given a thought before. But it is important and one of the reasons why I thought of improving my website. This article is about what every young actor needs. Yes, you, my friend… And, yes, you too.
Here we go.
Photos of YOU! (yes, you will need another site to showcase your romantic pics!)
Casting directors don’t care if you are pretty or ugly (or rather, if they do, run away!), but to get invited for a casting, you need to fit the character’s profile. So, be in the spotlight, take photos! Cut outs from group photos? Maybe not. Selfies? Some people will say no, but busy directors or casting agents have no time to waste, so, yes, they will look at your selfies and truth be told, with our super smartphones, we all know how to take cool pics. So, don’t discard this just yet.
Should you invest in a professional photo shoot? If you have the means, a big fat yes! In my country, it costs anywhere from 800 to 2500 dollars to have a session and the rights on the photos. As a young actor, you will be able to use the photos for max one year. So, decide for yourself what makes sense. My take on this is that it is better to have quality selfies and photos taken by a helpful brother or sister, rather than wait until you have saved up the cash to go to a pro session. I have a sed-card on my site that visitors can download.
Your downloadable up-to-date resume
I change rapidly, and you probably do too. So, a resume with old photos is not working for us. I need to update it every 6 months or so. Also, it is cute that I was in a community play where I was the King of the munchkins, with a black and white stripy onesie and an orange wig, but I have now taken it out of my resume, because I don’t want directors to see me as a cute kiddo.
Here is what you should really have on your resume, and try to make it fit on one page:
– One photo: see above, but this one should look professional, and show you with some expression. This is the “face of your career”.
– Generalities: the year you were born (not your age!), your height, weight, hair and eyes color, languages you speak, hobbies, just so that they know the kind of kid you are. Also, don’t forget your website, email address and phone number.
– Training: be specific, directors will not know the local acting school or even the well-known theater house of your city, so be precise. Include awards you received (for acting of course!)
– Experience in professional settings: plays, movies, advertisement. Don’t forget to write the name of the director and even the production company if possible.
A showreel or a video of your acting
Again, here comes the question of whether you should wing it, or hire professional help. The important factor here is money (surprise!). It will cost you time to produce it yourself (and a lot of cussin’ !), but it will cost you a pretty penny to have a pro cut it for you. I am repeating myself, but if you have the means, why not. Keep in mind that, within the next 12 months, you will be needing an updated showreel. This might help you make up your mind.
A way to contact you
It sounds silly to mention this, but with Instagram feeds and Facebook likes readily available on the website, it is easy to forget a link to an email address, or a simple contact form. On my website, I also have a bot, asking visitors if they would like to leave their email and be informed of new blog posts. This is not because I want to keep in touch with everyone, but still, it is a nice option to offer.
I hope this helps you figuring out your presence on the Internet. Comment if you have questions or notes. I will answer to you!