Not too long ago, actor Michael Kostroff was generous enough to do a Q+A call with a group of actors from the My Big Year program, and it was so incredibly insightful that I just have to share some of what we covered on the blog this week.
You might recognize Michael from The Good Wife, The Blacklist, Damages or any number of other television shows. You also might have heard of his Audition Psych 101 class that helps actors build their auditioning skills.
So Let’s Talk Social
Remember when social media juuuust started really emerging and there was a big push for actors to “make a name for themselves?”
Maybe you don’t, but I do! There was a lot of buzz around the industry about how important it is to have a social media presence, how it’s a tool you can use to get noticed easily by casting, and you could actually use a social presence to leverage yourself into acting gigs.
Well, things have gotten a little cray-cray since then. Seems like we’re constantly inundated by social accounts trying to “make a name” for themselves. Sometimes Twitter feels more like a free-for-all than a real relationship builder.
On our group call with Michael, one of the actresses remarked, “I get frustrated, annoyed and overwhelmed by all the ‘look at me!’ crap that’s out there [on social media]. We all do it, but it’s exhausting. So, is social media really that important?”
Want to Build Presence? Share Things
Sure, we’ve already read articles that spell out how important it is for actors to be present on social media. We do live in a day and age when online interaction is pretty central to many people’s daily lives.
So you must be “findable” online, no question about that.
But you don’t have to do anything that makes you feel like a sell-out, a heartless marketer, or a totally vain selfie monster.
Instead, think of your social accounts as a way that someone could get to know a bit about your personality from a distance. Share things you like. Memes you enjoy, interesting photos, video clips of your upcoming work.
Michael told us, “I have a friend who’s very good at social media, and a lot of what she does is celebrate other actors. And people get a sense of your tastes from that.”
He explained that this friend would give a shout out to a buddy who was opening a show or walking the red carpet that week. How generous is that? It helps the friend get a little extra buzz, and it sure makes her look like a cool person!
I’d want to hang out with her, wouldn’t you?
Finding Your Social Sweet Spot
Social media doesn’t have to be a drain, and it doesn’t have to feel totally fake. Finding a balance that makes you feel really good about what you’re sharing with the world is important!
"Social media doesn't have to be a drain" CLICK TO TWEET
Michael reminded us to reflect on our marketing efforts. “As actors,” he commented, “we tend to throw things up on the wall hoping something will stick, but we forget to think about what will actually work. What will make the casting director look twice, and help them realize there is an interesting person of substance below the social profile?”
Want more ideas on how to build your social presence? Check out this great article on Backstage: The DOs and 1 Major DON’T of Social Media for Actors.
How do you shape your social presence? I wanna know! Leave a comment below or Tweet me to connect!
And don't forget these upcoming workshops for actors in Chicago!
- My Anxiety-Free Actor Workshop at Vagabond School of the Arts - September 19
- Michael Kostroff's Audition Psych 101 - November 5 and 6
Courtney Rioux, The Whole Artist coaches actors and other creative talent who feel stuck in their career and want more out of life. She's here to help you shift your mindset from stuck and unhappy to empowered and joyful — all while making it feel fun and easy. It’s like therapy without the therapy.