It’s started already. That feeling of being torn between embracing the best of the holidays and wishing they were over already so you can get on with maintaining (or creating) the momentum in your career it’s taken you all year to develop.
Rest assured there’s plenty you can be doing to keep the ball in play and further your career during the holidays.
1. PROMOTE YOURSELF!
It’s one of the best-kept secrets in the industry, but this is one of the best times of the year to score new representation. Talent agencies typically aren’t quite as busy between Thanksgiving and New Years as they are the rest of the year. Which is why, traditionally, agents reassess their current talent roster by rotating out talent that may not have added to the agency’s reputation over the past year or so. They’re more receptive to developing relationships they feel may allow them to keep up with industry advances in the coming new year. Agents tend to take stock of changes and trends impacting the types and talent sought-after most by the producers, projects and casting sources they service most. Agents often take this time of year to consider new blood for the coming year and update their talent roster. (It’ll be too chaotic to do so when they’re up to their necks in work in the coming months.)
Sometimes your greatest asset is your availability, regardless what time of year it may be. Nevertheless, this may be your chance to act on opportunities others will miss out on. It happens every year about this time when the many hordes of talent who are typically available have ‘booked out’ to head to Gramma’s house for cookies, eggnog and a long-overdue catching up. The decrease in the number of those auditioning only increases your odds of landing jobs—provided of course you act quickly and responsibly on those opportunities. Many enduring industry relationships have been built on last minute ‘saves’ during the holidays. How better to demonstrate you’re reliable, talented and a problem solver? There will always be last minute opportunities popping up when you least expect it, provided you act on them.
Of course, if you already know you won’t be available, make sure you book out with your talent agents, or they will assume you’re available and will be sorely disappointed in you if you neglect to email them the dates you won’t be available ahead of time. Otherwise, they’ll feel you ghosted on them, and that can (and most certainly will) undermine their trust in you when they need you most.
3. Prepare to Deliver
They say it takes two weeks to create a habit. And let’s face it, it’s probably been a while since you took a class, gotten any private coaching, or dedicated your time and attention to building and maintaining your skills.
Now’s your chance to commit to no less than 5-7 hours a week to creating habits that will strengthen your confidence and forward your career in the coming year. Thankfully it’s never been more affordable to do so considering the wide variety of online coaching options to keep your head in the game even if you find yourself traveling.
A) Start incorporating our exclusive, complimentary Actors’ SOUND ADVICE Vocal Warm-Up into your daily routine for a half hour to an hour a day, 3-5 times a week over the next few weeks.
B) Start that Tai Chi workout. Wake up and stretch every morning. Get your body moving!
C) Take a few good Webinars. Backstage Experts have a lot to offer in this department, for example: Amy Jo Berman, Heidi Dean, Phil Hernandez and even we (Actors’ SOUND ADVICE) have loads of affordable, informative, career changing webinars and ONLINE coaching options that will more than suffice to develop and advance your skills!
D) Watch no less than 6-8 consecutive episodes of a popular series that everyone’s seen… except YOU. Discovering what sort of work you’re most likely to book is generally connected to what we’re most interested in watching, and most certainly what’s popular and you’re familiar with! You don’t have to commit to watching every single episode or even that you have to start at the very beginning. (You would have watched it by now if that were the case.) This is your homework! You have to study the medium and pop culture references you’re most likely to be given when you’re offered direction.
Instead, start with the last 3 or 4 episodes at the end of the second season through the first 3 or 4 episodes of the third season. The series likely hit its stride that made it notable at that point. (You can always double back and watch the show from the onset after that if you find it hooks you and you want more.) Suffice it to say, take note of who’s who in the series, the tempo of the show, the meter of speech, notable characters, chemistry, as well as the storytelling style.
Again, the direction we’re offered most with auditions and during sessions are typically packed with Pop Culture references based on popular movies and TV shows you should be familiar with, which is why this is some of your most important foundational groundwork. You can’t play what you don’t know. And it’s infinitely harder to play something you’re completely unfamiliar with, so study up! As the saying goes, the grass is greenest where we water it!
4. Start or Start Over… NOW!
Waiting until next year to create, update, or otherwise clean up your various promotional materials for the coming year is often too little too late. Instead, commit a few hours a week during the holidays toward establishing or improving voice acting skills, your voice-over demos, your self-taping and/or home-recording abilities—whatever needs the most attention. Prepping your promotional materials to elevate your branding is essentially how, and frankly whether, you’ll successfully define and market yourself in the coming year.
5. RECHARGE and REACCESS!
Be sure to carve out some quality time for your self this holiday season. Be good to yourself. Connect with family and friends, and take stock in the past year.
We’re always expected to be prepared to deliver our best 24/7 as professionals, however no one of worth expects you to be available 24/7. Choose your battles wisely. Sometimes that means choosing to make yourself scarce from your standard frantic pace to truly relax and recharge. Stop and appreciate what you’ve accomplished thus far. Determine what needs attention in your life and career, where you could do better, what would you change, what would you strengthen, and focus on who and what you intend to be, do and have in your life.
You can do this while enjoying the holidays!
Make it memorable! (In a good way!)
Copyright © 2021 by Kate McClanaghan. All Rights Reserved.