What It Takes to Succeed-Part 2


Sharon Moist

If you ever wanted to see someone make a comeback in this industry, then just look at Mickey Rourke, currently nominated for an Oscar® in the category of Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the movie The Wrestler.

Back in 1986 Mickey got a lot of buzz when he appeared in the movie 9½ Weeks, with Kim Basinger. For the next 23 years after that, however, his career was all over the map, taking roles in small, unforgettable films, while turning down lead roles in Highlander, The Untouchables and Rain Man.

Then along came The Wrestler, and once again Mickey Rourke is on top of his game, winning both a Golden Globe and a BAFTA award for his performance. So, what about you: Do You Know What to Do to Succeed in your own career?

In last week's article, I discussed what it takes to succeed as an actor. This week, I want to look at what you have to DO in order to succeed in your career. Simply put, your most important job, as an actor, is to market yourself. In its most basic form, marketing involves:

1) Knowing Your Type

2) Picking Your Target Market

3) Sending Out Your Materials

Are you the best-kept secret in the industry? If you're not doing anything to market yourself, you probably are!

One of the biggest mistakes most actors make is presuming that once they have an agent, their job is done and they no longer need to market themselves. Unfortunately, that couldn't be further from the truth. Getting an agent is just the first step. And while it can certainly help you get your foot in the door, it doesn't mean that you will be submitted to all of the people your agent does business with.

Due to the nature of being a talent agent, more often than not your agent is focused on submitting you for projects they feel you're "right for," not on marketing you to all of the casting directors they work with. Is that how it should be? No. But that's how it is.

When I first started as an agent I sat in on a meeting with my boss as he was interviewing a prospective client, and one of the most important things he said was: "Never leave 100% of your career in the hands of someone who ultimately has a 10% interest."

Every time you book a job, 10% of your salary goes to the agency that represents you (not to your specific agent). Therefore, if 90% of your salary is going to you, then you'll also want to take responsibility for 90% of your career, and that includes doing something to market yourself every day.

The more you can take control of your career, the more empowered you will feel; the more empowered you feel, the more confident you will be in yourself and your talent; and the more confident you feel, the greater your chance for success.

Are you ready to put on your marketing hat and let the rest of the world know you exist? You can do it, I know you can!

Ready. Set. Go!

Copyright © 2008 Sharon Moist. All Rights Reserved.


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