Last week, many of our classes at the Studio had a "Materials Review" week, where we went through everyone's headshots, resumes, IMDB pages, Actors Access profiles, reels, and more. With the strike still ongoing, it's the perfect opportunity to update your materials.
So, after reviewing 150+ actors' materials, here are the "Top 3" lessons we learned - and where we suggest you should start when updating your own materials:
1) IMDB, Actors Access, & Contact Info
Casting Directors will almost always start their research into "you" as an actor via Actors Access and IMDB. So - it is essential you keep these two profiles completely up to date and control the content on these sites. Here are some ways you can do this:
Make sure you have direct contact info (your email address or contact info for your representation) on your Actors Access & IMDB pages.
Supplement your headshot with some "lifestyle shots" - candid photos that round out the overall image of you. And choose your "Feature Photos" so that the best shots come up first.
Get rid of any junk: un-tag yourself from photos or clips that are outdated, unprofessional, or no longer reflect you as an actor.
2) Cut the Fluff
Quality should always come before quantity when it comes to the examples of your work on Actors Access, IMDB, your website, your reels, and your resume. Do not try to prove yourself by "fluffing" up your materials. You'd much rather have fewer examples that are GREAT, than a whole list of examples that aren’t. Here’s some tips:
Cut clips out of your reels that do not reflect your best work.
Start with the highest caliber clip (a small scene w/ the Stars of show is better than your biggest role in something unknown). If you have NO professional footage at all, having one or two self-tapes is the way to go, but make sure it is your best work and great production value.
Trim your resume. You don't need every credit you've done (especially theatre), when it comes to TV & Film acting resumes.
Clean up your website and Actor's Access profiles so that everything you show to the world is in alignment with your sensibility and your current skill level and that you are proud of what image the material projects.
3) Have ONE Good Headshot
It’s a stronger choice to display one great headshot over a bunch of shots with different looks and personalities. One great shot will project confidence that you can create range even without wildly different shots or looks.
So, try to narrow down and pick that shot. And if you're feeling like you need a new headshot - check out the "Career & Charisma" resource series here - which includes our "How to Get a Great Headshot" video workshop.
Your headshot might be the single most important tool you have as a working actor to get yourself auditions. It's worth doing the proper prep-work to get a great current shot for you to update all your materials with.