Networking is essential to progress in any career. However for actors it is a key part to landing shows, finding opportunities, and creating relationships in the industry. Knowing the right people or even knowing the right people who know the right people can be the difference between knowing about an audition and landing the part or being left in the dark.
Don’t Dismiss Anyone
It is important to make many meaningful relationships in the industry and not always think of networking with people as ‘what can they do for me?’ You never know who someone is connected to or what valuable skills they can teach you that can help you later. Just because someone isn’t a star or has little acting experience doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to form a relationship with them.
Less is More
It is important to make relationships that are meaningful. Rather than passing out your resume or business card to everyone, make real connections with a few people who can help you reach your goals or teach you valuable skills. This way your connections will remember you rather than you just being another business card in their pile.
While hanging out with the same people in your industry is great, it is important that you branch out into other circles as well. Get out of your comfort zone and take an acting class you wouldn’t usually sign up for, or go to a place that people in your industry congregate at to form new connections. Having a foundation or great friend to lean on in this industry is essential but widening your circle of relationships is also key. Don’t limit yourself to just other actors and actresses as well. Make sure you talk to people who are in all different careers. For example you never know when a businessman or someone in marketing will need someone with a theatre background to help them. Don’t dismiss someone just because they can’t help with your immediate goals.
After you make a connection at an event or dinner make sure to follow-up with things you talked about in your conversation. Even if it’s just dropping a couple lines or sending over a link to an article you were talking about when you met, making the first move can be the start to a great relationship.
The great thing about networking is that you never know when a connection can help lead you down the right path to help your career or teach you an invaluable skill. At the very least, you’ll form another relationship with someone that can help you learn.