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Seven Simple Secrets to a Great Agent Meeting

Landing a meeting with a prospective agent requires a lot of footwork.  Most actors know the basic steps to getting a meeting, but few set themselves up for success in the meeting itself.  Here are some simple tips that will help you master your agent meetings from start to finish. Before You Arrive What’s In It For Them?  The hard part is over.  You have the meeting.  Be confident knowing that this agent actually wants to meet you, wants to like you, and wants to work with you.  They wouldn’t take the meeting if they didn’t feel that way.  Your job isn’t to convince them to like you.  Rather, it is to confidently share who you are, what you’re up to, and what excites you about your career. Think about your strengths.  What qualities do you possess that separate you from the pack?   What’s your booking ratio?  How proactive are you?  How will they benefit from working with you?  What industry relationships do you have that this agent can utilize to open even more doors. Know Your Stuff.  Knowledge is power, so arm yourself with plenty of it.  As soon as you’ve set the appointment, it’s time to do your research.  Hit up IMDB PRO to find our more about the person you’re about to meet.  Know a little about their background.  Find out who they often work with and what actors they represent.  Ask your trusted friends and colleagues for insight and advice.  You just might be surprised by what you’ll learn when you simply Google the agent’s name along with the word “complaint”. Remember, as important as research is, not every agent will be a fit for every actor out there.  So, take complaints and rave reviews with a grain of salt. Set Your Intention.  Before you meet with anyone, it’s essential to identify your precise intention.  What do you really want to gain from this meeting?  If you’re meeting with an agent, is your goal to sign a contract?  Or, do you just want to find out if this agent might be a good match for you?…[ click here to read the full post ]

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An 18-Minute Plan for Managing Your Day

As you may know, my mantra is “Do Less More Often.”  I often encourage my clients to work for just twenty minutes each day on their acting business.  Though they don’t believe at first, they soon discover how efficient and effective their careers can be when they focus for just a short time each day. Well here’s an outstanding blog post by Peter Bergman on DailyGood.org.  He outlines how to make the most out of just eighteen minutes.  So, I guess he’s got me beat.  Check it out below and thanks to Peter for the fantastic advice. Yesterday started with the best of intentions. I walked into my office in the morning with a vague sense of what I wanted to accomplish. Then I sat down, turned on my computer, and checked my email. Two hours later, after fighting several fires, solving other people’s problems, and dealing with whatever happened to be thrown at me through my computer and phone, I could hardly remember what I had set out to accomplish when I first turned on my computer. I’d been ambushed. And I know better. When I teach time management, I always start with the same question: How many of you have too much time and not enough to do in it? In ten years, no one has ever raised a hand. That means we start every day knowing we’re not going to get it all done. So how we spend our time is a key strategic decision. That’s why it’s a good idea to create a to do list and an ignore list. The hardest attention to focus is our own. But even with those lists, the challenge, as always, is execution. How can you stick to a plan when so many things threaten to derail it? How can you focus on a few important things when so many things require your attention? We need a trick. Jack LaLanne, the fitness guru, knows all about tricks; he’s famous for handcuffing himself and then swimming a mile or more while towing large boats filled with people. But he’s more than…[ click here to read the full post ]

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Seven Financial Mantras from Ali Brown

I’m excited to share these fantastic mantras from one of my mentors, Ali Brown.  She’s great and these seven financial mantras will surely help you bring more cash into your life.  So, here’s Ali…. In my Millionaire Protégé Club, many of my members are surprised that I spend just as much time teaching business strategies as I do teaching the correct money mindset. If you are rich, how you think and feel about money is even more important than how you earn it. But if you don’t think and feel wealthy, then you’ll never get to that point. You need to think rich, feel rich, and take action to achieve the lifestyle you want and to able to support the causes (and people) you care about. Here are seven mantras that can help you start on the road to riches. 1.    “I am responsible for my financial success, and no one else.” Your financial situation is a direct result of your own actions. If you find yourself blaming other people or circumstances, you are not accepting responsibility. Even worse, you are buying into the notion that you are powerless to change your circumstances. Wealthy people create their own lives – it doesn’t just happen for them. You need to believe that, too. 2.    “I learn about making money from wealthy people.” If you take advice from someone who is struggling to make ends meet, then chances are, you may find yourself in that situation, too. If, on the other hand, you look to successful mentors who have proven they know how to make and manage their money, then you could rise to their level. 3.    “I take good care of my money.” If you can’t manage the money you have, it’s unlikely that the universe will bring you more. Your money management system doesn’t have to be complicated – a notebook, pen, and calculator are all you need to get started. Ignoring your bills won’t help you achieve wealth, but creating a plan for paying off debts will get you on the right track. 4.    “I see opportunities in everything.”…[ click here to read the full post ]

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Headshot Prep Simplified!

Every actor understands the importance of a great headshot.  A simple 8×10 picture can open a lot of doors for you if utilized correctly.   Your headshot must represent the real you while showcasing your unique castability.  That’s a lot of responsibility for one tiny photograph. Knowing the importance of a headshot, it’s easy to over think things.  You can spend a lot of time exploring your essence, how others perceive you, your best angles, colors and outfits.  Shooting new headshots is a pretty big deal but, it doesn’t have to be an arduous, painful process. I’ve identified six simple steps to help you finally capture your dream headshots.  By following this easy plan, you’ll discover that getting the right shot is actually a piece of cake. Step 1. Draw character parallels. Make a list of 5-12 specific performances you have seen that resonate with you.  These don’t have to be actors who look like you.  They don’t have to be of your gender.  They don’t even  need to be contemporary.  Just make a list of five.  After you’ve made that list, describe each performance with one or two adjectives. Step 2.  Select your power adjectives.  Looking at your list of adjectives, select the top two to four that best represent the list as a whole. I call this process “nutshelling” Perhaps you might select the following adjectives: vulnerable, endearing, and quietly powerful.  Keep these words in mind and visualize an image of a person who possesses all of these qualities. Step 3.  Create Your Characters.  Use these adjectives to help create three specific character descriptions for yourself: dramatic, comedic, and a character driven role.  After you’ve completed your character breakdowns, you’ll have three very specific essences that you can now capture in your headshot photo shoot. Here are three examples: Drama: (Suzanne)  A social worker who fiercely protects the kids that she works with.  Her job is her life, so she has no time for romance.  She’s often overlooked or underestimated by her peers because she has such a soft exterior. But underneath lies a force to be reckoned with….[ click here to read the full post ]

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How to Make More Time for To Do What You Love

Last month, a student asked me for tips on working through the day to day errands that often distract you from your true purpose. She wrote, “Since I started to practice the principles you teach, I’ve truly discovered what I am most passionate about. Now, I find that tending to necessary errands has become particularly difficult because it is so contrary to my Tao. Can you suggest any tips for making these tasks less tedious and painful, and more fun or rewarding?” Once you discover your true passion, you certainly want to devote as much time as possible doing what’s most fulfilling. So, how do you manage the day to day busy work that must be done, but isn’t always fun to focus on? Here are three tips to effectively manage your errands and leave more time to pursue your passions: Automate Save time by automating as much as possible. List all of your administrative tasks such as paying bills, cleaning your house, going to the post office, buying groceries, and running general errands. Which tasks on your list can be automated? Most banks now offer automatic bill pay, saving your time and energy. You can also automate your mailings with services like AmazingMail.com. Create a schedule for most of your monthly marketing while you’re at it. Doing so will free your mind up to focus on your craft and your career. The more you automate, the more time you’ll have and the less stress you’ll experience. Delegate Don’t forget that it is just another form of energy. If you are willing to spend a little money delegating some errands, you’ll have more time to focus on what you really want to do. Years ago, I had a roommate who just couldn’t keep track of her bills. She was frequently late with her payments and struggled to establish a schedule she could stick to. So, we traded tasks. I kept track of her bills and paid them each month while she took care of all the laundry. Pretty good trade-off, if you ask me! Think about what tasks you can…[ click here to read the full post ]

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Rest & Relaxation. Get Some.

I am returning today from a much needed, long overdue vacation with my hubby.  Taking time off is an easy thing to put off in an industry that’s ever changing and always busy.  I must admit that I probably work a little too much.  In large part because I absolutely love what I do, but also because I don’t value down time enough. Well not anymore!  My new commitment to my career and to my life is to vacation… a lot.  Well, at least twice a year.  And that doesn’t count family visits, either (no offense, Mom). T. Harv Eckert says, ”The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”  This means that if I’m ignoring rest and relaxation, that affects my work life as well. So, rather than postpone fun until I have all my ducks in a row, I’m off to bring balance to my life right now.  Have you had a vacation today?

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Eight Tips for Powerful Professional Relationships

We’ve all heard the old line in this business, “It’s all about who you know.”  I believe that it’s less about who you know and more about how well you know them.  One key to success is powerful relationships.  So, here are eight simple tips to help you strengthen your professional relationships. 1.  Add value. Be willing to help others.  Listen well.  Go see your friends’ shows. Show up on time and stay through the end.  Send thank you cards.  Remember birthdays. Offer help and support.  Tell others about a great book you’re reading or a fantastic restaurant you enjoyed. Participate because you want to, not because you have to.  Share your ideas, resources and time.  The Tao of Show Business involves a natural flow, so if you are unwilling to give things away, you actually block the natural flow of things.  How can you expect people to help you when you don’t first help others? Don’t be the person who only contacts others when you need a favor.   Stay in consistent communication so asking for help is no big deal, and receiving it is easy. Add value and increase the value of your day-to-day life. 2.  Be authentic. Stop worrying about what casting directors or agents are looking for.  They’re looking for you, so just be yourself.  Be authentically you, so that you will easily find your people.  Be you and make everyone’s job a little easier.  My client, Justine, got fired from her fourth agent in about four years.  Not because she couldn’t act or even because her résumé was weak.  Justine left the wrong impression with her agents every time she met with a new one.  You see, Justine is really quirky and kinda clumsy.  She’s adorably neurotic and very marketable.  Yet Justine figured the best way to take an agent meeting was to arrive all buttoned up and proper.  That’s what she did and agents got the message, so these same people continued to send her out on auditions for uptight professional types; the opposite of who Justine really is.  It’s no wonder she couldn’t keep…[ click here to read the full post ]

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