You put focus and effort into building relationships with the industry people who you want on your team. So when an agent or manager invites you to take a meeting, it seems like the obvious choice would be to show up looking polished and perfect.
The thing is, industry folks are used to actors showing up looking polished and perfect. If you’ve been taking meetings and not seeing the results you want, maybe it’s time to try something new: maybe it’s time to embrace your diamond in the rough.
When you act, you’re encouraged to be vulnerable and fully expressive. People relate to that vulnerability. It makes for powerful storytelling and compelling characters.
So why should it be any different in real life?
Let me share something from my own experience. I make videos all the time for my Thriving Artist Circle members and my blog. Usually I want to be as professional as possible and put my best face forward.
However, not too long ago, I made a video about living courageously, and I shared some ways in which I feel I’m not living courageously. It was a vulnerable expression for me.
Out of all the video training I’ve produced, that’s the one that inspired the most feedback. Actors wrote back to me saying things like, “Wow, I’ve only ever seen polished Dallas and I like seeing vulnerable Dallas.”
My invitation to you is to pursue representation from a place of brave vulnerability rather than doing all the right things. Sound scary? You bet!
Show Them The Real You
We all like to look our best, try our best, and do our best, especially when it feels like an advantageous relationship is on the line. However, agents and managers are people, too! They can’t relate with a perfect-looking person. They want to relate with a flawed, quirky, playful human being.
So how can you practice being a little more vulnerable in your communication with industry professionals?
Let’s say that you feel most joyful when you hang out with your Ultimate Frisbee team at the dive bar after a game. You’d be wearing your hair up in a ponytail if you’re a woman, or maybe you wouldn’t have shaved that day if you’re a man. You’d probably have on a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.
I say, let that relaxed, fun-loving, friendly person run your marketing. Everyone wants to be friends with someone who enjoys life and is comfortable enough to just be their self.
In marketing, this is what I call a pattern interrupt. It’s exactly what it sounds like.
Agents are used to actors being formal and reaching out in the traditionally accepted ways, so when you show up like you’re ready to hang out with them at a BBQ, it’s going to make them sit up and listen.
Now, whether they choose to work with you or not is going to be determined by factors outside of your control. But at least you’ve given them a chance to see the real you and determine if it’s a good fit.
What can you do to be more authentically yourself in communicating with representation? Share your favorite idea in the comments below.