Selling Yourself

"The Downside of Drama"



You probably have thought of this!  But are you doing it??


If you are an actor then you are the ‘product’ in the business you run.  Your aim and that of your agent (if you have one) is to sell YOU to a production.


In your day-to-day world how do you decide what product you buy? 


For example, if it’s food then the issues you mostly examine are –

  • Do you like it?
  • Is it fresh and tasty?
  • Can you use it?


Or if it’s clothing then the issues you examine are –

  • Do you like it?
  • Does it suit you?
  • Is it versatile (can you use it a lot)?


Do you like it is a very important factor in your purchase.


So, what are the issues you think about when you are presenting yourself to a casting director?  The evidence is that you think about the DRAMA that the scene you are using explores.  Most actors seem to specialize in making sure they have a clear path to the difficulties that exist in the character’s world and a truthful understanding of the pain the character is feeling.


Actors rarely seem to think about selling ‘themselves’.  If they did and they thought about casting directors and producers as potential buyers, they might stop to consider some other ingredients!!! 


For example, its worth considering whether the character you are playing is likeable.  You only buy things you like.  Might it be possible that the Casting Director is the same?  If your character is burdened by dramatic problems and sees little hope of any positive outcome do you think that character will turn out to be warmly likeable?  If your character sees the world as a constant foe, believing that they are constantly under threat and will most likely be defeated, do you think we going to find them likeable?  All those choices will be very good for the DRAMA.  Yet they might be very little help in enticing your customer (the director, producer and casting director) to buy your product.


Will they like your character is a very important selling tool!!!


And while you are determinedly finding the DRAMA are you stopping to consider –

  • Is it fresh and tasty?
  • Does it suit you?
  • Is the performance versatile (can you do it many different ways)?
  • How might they want to use this character?


If you are expert at finding the difficulty and pain in a scene then you could well be doing really badly at selling yourself. Too much drama, on its own, is mostly NOT a good selling technique.


This is not to say you should be ignoring the difficulties the character is experiencing.  Every story is driven by difficulty.  Take that away and we have no reason to watch.


But how about focusing on how you can create an open, positive, optimistic character that believes they can overcome problems?  Why aren’t you creating a character that can see the ironies in the adversity they are facing? A character that is bemused by the problems of life is surely more likeable than one that succumbs to them.


If you create a positive and likeable character aren’t your customers more likely to buy your product.  That’s the way I shop.


May 2011

Copyright © The Rehearsal Room 2011. All rights Reserved.



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