The business of the acting business. Office hours.

Guess what.  Actors gotta go to the office, too.   Ever wondered what all those people mean when they talk about the business of the acting business?

Actors of all ages follow my blog, but whether you are 16 or 60, putting in your actor hours at “the office” will strengthen and advance your career.

Your office might be the desk in your room, the living room couch or better yet, a poolside cabana.  Doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you spend some time there consistently to run the business side of things.  I learned this from my friend and mentor Dallas Travers and it has helped me as an artist and business owner more than I can say.

(Oh yeah, it’s also pretty fun!)

So what do you do at the office?

Here are five ideas to get you started:

Update the fans on your mailing list once per month.  I don’t care if you are 13 and you just did your first play or 45 with an Emmy, you can keep in touch with your mailing list of fans.  I like Mailchimp.  You can add people regularly during your office hours.  (Get their permission first.)  I plan on dedicating a whole blog post all about this soon.  But you can get it going and share things like auditions, plays, the web series you write and starred in, even your thoughts about goals for the future.  Include family, friends and any industry people you meet along the way.  Keep it super short.  You’d be surprised how far this one practice can take you over the years.  Oh yeah, and most importantly, make sure you offer something of value like a quote, a fun picture, an article, a video…People will look forward to your updates!

2.  Set your goals and make lists of the top things you can do to reach them.  Schedule those action items in a calendar.

3.  Send a postcard to a casting director.  Do you have a goal of booking a part in a play with that really amazing theatre company in town?  Or a role on a tv show?  Send a postcard to update the casting director on your latest and greatest.  Let them know you just played Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream or started a new acting class or got new headshots.  Keep it short and sweet.

4.  Make a list of the kinds of characters you want to play. Then organize some time to get together with friends and write some scenes featuring these characters.  Find a friend with a camera and schedule a time to shoot it.  Maybe you even make a short film!  There are lots of film festivals out there that feature student projects and young filmmakers.

5.  Send a thank you note.  Have you auditioned recently?  Had a great session with your acting coach?  Met with an agent or manager?  Or even had a super fun afternoon with your best friend?  Send them a little thank you with no agenda.  People love being thanked!  And who doesn’t love getting mail?  You may have heard having a so-called “attitude of gratitude” goes a long way, and I believe in this wholeheartedly. Start this practice now so it becomes second nature.

I know that if you start going to the office on a regular basis you will be so pleased with the results you get that you’ll get addicted.

Be playful with it.  Maybe you have a favorite coffee shop for working like I do and you can put on your CEO clothes.  It’s fun the be the executive master of your destiny!

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