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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Networking and begging.

I am desperate to leave this page. Desperate. But one last thing.

Networking and begging. Often exactly the same in the case of actors.

It may not actually help you. Maybe it will hurt your career but maybe, just maybe, this will work for you in miraculous ways that it's never worked for me.

My networking strategy is to shamelessly email all the directors and producers that I know of and introduce myself. Strangely enough, it's only resulted in one positive response. I've literally sent out hundreds of introduction emails. All of Perth, and some of Victoria and New South Wales film industry members, should have an email from me which includes my CV, a link to my showreel and a note saying, "Consider me for future productions." I make sure I've at least read their CV before I send them mine but that's just in case of the unlikely scenario that they start a dialogue with me and ask what made me contact them. Mostly directors respond to such an email with deathly silence or a "thanks, but no thanks," policy. This is frustrating but doesn't put me off. If they know I exist then I figure I have a better chance of popping into their head when they're trying to cast their latest project. Of course, I may pop into their head in the same way as a mosquito does and that may mean there are directors all over Australia swatting at their heads in annoyance because of me. But that kind of appeals to the sadist in me, anyway. A young director, during a short course that I did, informed us that directors don't do anything with these CVs and that it's better to just get an agent or appeal to a casting director. That may be the case, but not all directors are that disinterested. Most are, but not all. So it may still be worth a try.

I was searching through the Screen West website for anything that might be useful for an actor... it's generally a really good idea to stay up to date with projects in pre-production in Perth. But I stumbled across this little gem.

The Screen West Production Directory! 

This has all the crew you may ever need. A list of producers, directors, casting directors, actor's agents and much more. It is a goldmine of networking potential. Use it carefully and at your own risk. But you should definitely use it!

The other resource that I recommend you use (or happily abuse) is a list of casting directors from the Screen Actors Australia website.

For Victoria and New South Wales only, these lists have limited application for WA actors. I can inform you from my ample personal experience that an appeal for representation from an eastern agency will be responded to with either, "We're full" or "Are you moving here?" or "Sorry, that's just not practical." Casting directors are slightly more open minded, usually not responding at all or sometimes responding with, "Thank you, we'll keep you on our files, good luck."

So. Good luck.

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