A Starbucks with no coffee

I know, sounds a bit ridiculous doesn’t it?  But that’s what happens when you don’t give yourself the tools to properly market yourself in your chosen profession.  Not too long ago, I had the opportunity to intern at a local casting office.  This is a very busy casting office with sometimes several different sessions going on all at once.  Working in the room was great but I also really liked working at the front desk.  I like greeting everyone, telling them which waiting room to head to and then shushing them when they got too chatty and loud.  Right up my “I’m the boss/big sister/know-it-all” alley.  When a talent would come in to audition, they present their headshot with a resume of previous work attached to the front desk so we could attach an info sheet for that particular casting.  I was continually amazed at how many experienced working actors would come in without a headshot, or the picture was in black and white still (meaning it was at least 5-6 years old) or they were bald and the photo clearly has hair.

Voice Talent does the same thing.  They sit on a demo that was produced back in the mid 90’s with a style that clearly is no longer current.  They don’t have a website.  They don’t promote or market themselves to those that can hire.

To me, this is tantamount to going into a Starbucks and being told they don’t have any coffee.  Really?  This is what you do for a living people.  Get the beans.  Grind the grounds.  Foam the foam.  Overcharge me.  Ok that last one wasn’t really relevant but I couldn’t resist.  Just so Starbucks doesn’t feel as if I’m picking on them, it’s as if McDonald’s didn’t have any burgers or the pretty Apple store with no overpriced Macs.  There I go again.

Having the proper tools, up to date and relevant to today’s work and world is a basic responsibility of a talent.  It’s hard enough to get hired, why make it harder on yourself by using old materials.  Do yourself a favor, lose the 10 pounds, think about the image you want to portray and get thee to a photographer.  Or not.  But no griping when there are no calls or coffee for you.

Circular Reasoning

The other day I had to go to the Apple store to get a tweak done to the old gal.  I’ve had this laptop for coming up on 4 years and I love it.  I’ll be very sad when it dies and I’m hoping that won’t be for quite a while.  So anywho, while I’m there I said hi to my favorite Apple guy, Andrew, who sold me my first laptop almost 4 years ago.  Andrew and I always get in the best of conversations when I get to see him.  Which isn’t as often as they used to be as I’m not working downtown anymore.  The random topics we cover, once I get finished bugging him about when Apple was going to hook up with Verizon for the iPhone.   That’s just not happening fast enough for me.  But I digress.  On this particular day we were discussing word and number games, crosswords, suduko and the jumble.  Andrew does the jumble which I occasionally tackle but don’t relish it like he does.  He gave me a hint.  He said his grandmother taught him to look at letters in a circle, to write them that way so you can try letters on with each other until you find the ones that go together to make the word.  I thought this was a brilliant strategy.  Take out the linear in the letters and you’ll find the answer.  I’ve employed it many times over the past few days to much success.  I’m now enjoying the jumble a bit more.

This can be applied to so many aspects of life.  I, especially, have a tendency to find a way of doing something and thinking that’s the only way that task can be accomplished, that audition performed, that path followed.  Sometimes things do have a definite way of doing things, such as constructing a house or baking a cake.  But the key here is to shake up the thinking on things that I tend to put on auto pilot.  Not just the letters in a jumble but all aspects of my life and career.  I’m going to put many things in a circle as I look at it so I don’t get stuck in a linear rut.