I have to admit that I love facebook, not only is it a place to pass the time and connect with friends, but it’s also a great tool to market yourself as an actor. Facebook is a fun online community, but it’s important to remember that the things you say (and the pictures you post), are visible to people who are in a position to hire you. Here are some tips on managing your online profile, and using it to your advantage.
Facebook events are an effective way to promote your work. Whether you’re in a reading, workshop, or full production, let people know about it. Even if they don’t show up (which is likely), it’s good to let people know that you’re busy. Be wary of sending out multiple event reminders, that can become annoying, but one event invitation a week before your show can lead to greater exposure.
Destiny is excited about rehearsal tonight.
Destiny is working on her new screenplay.
Positive status updates about your work are a good way to gently remind people that you are working and active. Many of my facebook friends are actors, and seeing their status updates about rehearsals, auditions, and readings reminds me that they are working actors. On the other hand, a negative status update can be to your detriment. There is an actor who friended me on facebook whose recent status update made me uncomfortable and unsure of his professionalism (basically the update said he had tried to deceive an AD on set to get an upgrade). I will not be calling that actor again anytime soon.
Also, if I have hired you for a shoot in the morning and your status update is:
Just got wasted, now staggering home before heading to set. (posted at 3:00 AM)
I’m going to think twice about casting you again. Facebook is an open forum and your status updates say a lot about you. It might seem unfair to have to censor yourself on facebook, but if you hate the new play you’re working on or your director is an idiot, call friends and tell them about it, don’t post it for everyone to see.
An actor shouldn’t shy away from the camera, and facebook is a great place to share photos with friends, but you should be careful that you are displaying the image you want other professionals to see. I can think of at least five times that a producer or director has asked me for additional photos of an actor, and I have looked that actor up on facebook and pulled some candid shots and additional headshots. If all of your facebook photos are drunken embraces, high school yearbook shots, and pictures of your kids it will be difficult for me to find any photos suitable to forward.
Photos make an impression. If you have photographic evidence of yourself doing something immoral, illegal, or highly inappropriate, that impression lasts. On the other hand, if you have a mixture of photos: headshots, production stills, friends, family, and activities you look like an experienced and well-rounded person and that plays in your favor.
Your profile is a statement of who you are. Be sure to fill out your interests, favorite books, films, and music. Also provide a link to your website (you have a website, right?) Feel free to express yourself, but maybe it’s best not to detail sexual exploits or proclaim your tendency to abuse drugs and alcohol. You want to be remembered for your talent and your personality, not for your appearance in Girls Gone Wild.
Facebook groups can be a great way to network and get free ticket offers, casting calls and more. Take the time to investigate facebook groups and join the ones you think will work to your advantage. You never know who you’ll meet.
Facebook is a great way to re-connect with college friends, new contacts, and actors and directors you’ve worked with in the past. Don’t be afraid to contact people you haven’t seen in years, they will be happy to hear from you. So if you don’t have a facebook account, join now and start connecting and re-connecting with friends new and old.