Networking For Actors: Mastering your Mindset, The Best Actors To Connect With and Where to Find Them.
Networking, like a lot of other terms in the business lexicon feels a bit like a dirty word to most actors, but as we've proven time and time again, with a positive and mindful approach, you can take these dirty words and re-frame them as powerful tools for improving and accelerating the professional growth of your acting career. The two key areas we'll focus on in bettering your skills as a networker in this article are mastering your mindset and choosing the right setting. If you can think the right thoughts and get started in the right environment, even If you're like most of us and usually a bit timid about reaching out to people in the industry, the tips below will help you launch into constructing a first class "A-team" and one that you may find yourself working with for many years to come.
Now picture this:
You step into a room filled with industry people. You sweat, you don't know where to turn, you don't know what to say, nobody is talking to you and you feel alone in sea full of stand-offish self important people, only looking out for number one. Sounds like a nightmare doesn't it? It doesn't have to be this way. All you need to do is take stock, breath and actively choose to change your thinking. Close your eyes, imagine the room, but this time, see the smiling faces, listen to the happy chatter, you're stepping into a room filled with people who love what you do just as much as you do. They're excited about the prospect of meeting inspiring and expressive artists with a big vision, just like you.
A lot of the conversations being had in this room have been rattling around in your head for weeks. You've got a lot great ideas and insightful opinions on many of the things being talked about and if someone asks you a question, you'll be able to give them a great answer, but for the moment you're just happy to ask questions. You want to know what all these amazing, creative people have to say. You want their insights and you're keen to discover everything there is to learn from them. Then finally at the end of deep, fun and fruitful conversation, when you've made a great connection with this like minded spirit, you have a key secret that you know will win them over, you know the truth. The truth is, you don't have to sell them anything. You don't have anything to prove, you're just two brothers or two sisters or a sister and a brother where one of you is in a position to help the other by offering them their skills and expertise. "Well look what you're doing sounds awesome, I've got a lot of experience in theatre and I'd love to get involved somehow, if you need anything you should let me know." And that's awesome! And you get each other. And it's an easy exchange. Because you're made of the same stuff! They're excited to work with you, just like you're excited to work with them and give them the gift of your talent. Because your talent is a gift.
This might all sound completely ridiculous and that's okay, let it pass, accept it, let it wash over you and sink deeper into that feeling that success is inevitable, developing a great, creative, partnership with this charming artist you've just met is inevitable. That things will come and go, but your general direction is one of abundance, joy and success is inevitable. If you feel yourself slipping out of it? That's okay! Accept that you're feeling like that, then gently, just push yourself back into that imaginary movie playing inside your head. See the positive, affirmative eye contact being given to you, hear the words being said "I'm actually working on something at the moment... I think you'd be great for it... would you mind if we talked about it next week?" Why not? After all, you can feel it your bones, success is inevitable.
These kind of positive imaginings are so powerful you should allow them permeate your thoughts in every facet of the industry. Start to imagine positive experiences with your agent, your next audition, getting a part, meeting a director, anybody who could have a positive impact on your career and start to see the two way successes that could come out that kind of a relationship. The more energy and thought you can give to imagining positive outcomes, the more positive outcomes will eventuate. This law of attraction works for many reasons, but for no better reason than subconsciously motivating you to be someone who behaves as if success is inevitable, someone who is light and walks the earth with ease, instead of holding the weight of the world on their shoulders. Just shake it off.
Finally, I want to let you in on a little secret about how you can kick start the creation of your A-Team in an easy, conducive, stress free environment... Workshops. Through my experience, both in running Script Gym and attending workshops, particularly those held by the amazing Anthony Brandon Wong, I've encountered some of the most motivated, talented and gracious actors in all of Sydney. So often workshops, particularly those that attract working actors, are magnets for talented people with a welcoming, positive energy, whose hunger for learning and self improvement, often eliminate any negative ego. They understand and support an actors process, as well as the search for a deeper emotional connection to the work. You'll never embarrass yourself by being too in love with what you do in this environment. Nobody goes to a workshop to be aloof and look cool. They're there to serve the work and meet like minded people who love the craft as much as they do. These environments are custom made for connecting people, by building a safe space, full of trust and a deep appreciation for the work. So what are you waiting for? Start connecting and building relationships today.
Thanks for reading! What did you think? Let us know in the comments below and please like and share this article. Feel free to tweet questions, comments or article ideas to @MDrysdaleAU and like The Entrepreneurial Actor on Facebook.
Film and Theatre Actor Based in Sydney. Creator of Script Gym. Lover of Stories.