"Casting Directors want to see that you're taking this seriously a you're treating this as a job and not just a hobby."
One question that comes up quite often for talent or models in the entertainment industry is, “How do I break into the business without any experience?” This is actually a really common question in most industries, right? Think about early on in your working career where you applied for a job only to be turned away due to lack of experience. So, how do you get booked or land a job to gain experience if no one will give you a chance?
In our recent podcast interview with Taylor Trumbo of Evolve Artists Agency, we learn how she advises her artists and talent to gain more experience for their resumes, and some valuable pointers you can use too.
“Start getting the experience. There’s no point in jumping ahead to get an agent if they don’t have the marketing materials to get you in the room.” - Taylor Trumbo
1.) Take Great Headshots
You may have the right poses, the right clothes, and the best smile; but if you don’t have the right photographer none of that will matter. We all have a friend with a camera that can take “nice” pictures, but that doesn’t mean that they know how to capture you in the right way for a professional headshot.
“I have my list of recommended photographers that have really good rates and always nail the shots. They are getting my actors into the room…these specific shots are,” says Taylor.
If you don’t know a photographer that has a resume of shooting headshots or has credited experience working with actors and models, ask around or search online. Chances are that word-of-mouth from your peers or agents will help guide you in the right direction for a clean and excellent set of headshots.
2.) Enroll in Classes
Don’t worry, it’s not those kind of classes. We won’t tell you to sign up for a math class or an AP History course. No need to go through that again…unless you’re keen to do so.
“I have a list of classes that I encourage actors to take and look into. Just in terms of improv training, commercial foundation classes…and they are just suggestions,” states Taylor Trumbo. “But having a recognizable class on their resume is key for commercials.”
3.) Create a Mood Board
Some of you have been creating these since High School, others of you may be wondering “What the heck is a Mood Board?” A mood board is a type of collage consisting of images, text, and samples of objects in a composition. It can be based upon a set topic or can be any material chosen at random. A mood board can be used to convey a general idea or feel about a particular topic, or to convey your brand. Creating a mood board is a great way to find inspiration for your wardrobe. Whether that is for a casting call, or to audition for a new upcoming role. Having your wardrobe styled to fit a particular audition is a key element to landing the gig.
“I’ll go over exact wardrobe,” says Taylor. “I even have a Pintrest board with all of my roles, or looks that actors can reference. If you search Evolve Artists Agency all my mood boards will show up. I have one for the hipster millennial girl, the fitness guy, the quirky secretary. It just kind of helps actors get on the same page and make sure they are really marketing themselves in the best way.”
4.) Stay Active on Social Media
Taylor mentions that “if you are active on social media; that is an extension of your portfolio.” “Keep it clean, professional, current, up to date,” she continues. Taylor also states in another segment of this podcast that it’s important to keep producing content, and to keep that content as natural to you as possible. A lot of time, people will try to over-pose in a way that they think will make the shot or the video look better, but it comes off as disingenuous. “Let it be organic. Don’t force it if it’s not there.”
Social media is “a good way for casting to get a glimpse in to who the person is behind the headshot.”
To hear more on this subject, tune in to Taylor’s episode of the Booked On Syngency podcast HERE.