Originally published via Backstage July, 12, 2016
The summer months are always an in-between period of transition. So before things get hectic come autumn, here are five surefire ways to get the most out of your downtime and get on those casting office radars.
Time for a Rep Reboot?
During this time, many actors are dropped by their agencies, while some actors decide maybe the agency isn’t quite the right fit. If that’s the case for you, look at your audition log from the last year and take stock of how many auditions, callbacks, and bookings you secured under your rep’s reign. This will help you make up your mind whether to stay or go.
In the event you are fairly close with your rep, ask for a meeting. Let them briefly know how you are feeling and see if you can brainstorm on how to move forward to achieve success there as a client.
I was repped by an agency that obliged this request for me. To their credit, they provided me with a log of auditions and outcomes while I was a client there, but the meeting revealed that they had a completely different view of me in the industry than I did. This resulted in a disconnect that we never rebounded from. This was a very timely and expensive lesson, but one well learned
Time to Switch It Up?
In this industry, I have become infamous for changing up my look and hair. Why? I simply get bored with me, but recognize that I have to look like the headshots brought into the room and online. So I take pictures of me in every conceivable look I think I may want to rock for the next year. This way casting doesn’t give me the side eye when I cross the threshold.
Having said that, if your booking and audition ratio had a sharp decline, switching up your look is one way to infuse some freshness into your overall appearance. However, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The final decision is for you and your reps to make.
Update Your Online Footprint
Use your downtime wisely. Update your social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc…). Schedule a new headshot session and re-design your website or take some shots from an old session that haven’t been yet utilized.
Check your IMDB, IBDB, and Backstage.com profiles to make sure they all have the correct contact info, reels, etc… Pull some new audition outfits together and make sure your dance shoes are braced, rubberized, and ready to go.
Grab those postcards and get them ready to let folks know where you are and what you are up to. This doesn’t mean mail something off saying, “Just checking in.” Please avoid that at all costs. Have something to say of interest.
Time for a Refresher Course?
Maybe you need to brush up your Shakespeare (so to speak), so go full throttle into class while you have a little more free time. Take some extra cold reading, script analysis, self-tape, vocal performance, and dance classes to keep your skills honed, sharp, and on point.
New Blood…Fresh Blood
There will be a slew of new shows with fresh casting and creative talents attached. Find out who they are and drop them a line. If you have some friends on Broadway, find out if they are looking for replacements, swings, etc…
The inside track is always the best way to gather info for future employment. If you have some great casting relationships, this would be the time to get back on their radar before things really start to heat up.