Unlike casting directors, producers are not inundated with calls, headshots, postcards, and requests from actors. Yet, they’re the people who are ultimately in charge of hiring you. A producer’s job is to take meetings and make phone calls. So, I find they are so much more receptive to an actor’s marketing than a casting director.
I’ve met many casting directors who feel frustrated by the fact that at the end of a long casting process, the actor who gets the job is someone who has a relationship with the producer.
Now, this may sound very unfair but I think it’s really great news because all you have to do is build producer relationships and get on their short list. You can do that by applying a lot of the same strategies we just talked about with casting directors. Let me walk you through it.
For television producers, identify the producers who work on the television shows that your target casting directors cast. Look for those producers who have multiple credits, such as Alan Ball. Not only is he the creator of True Blood, but he is also listed as a writer and director. When you select producers who wear multiple hats, it’s a safe bet that this person is quite involved in the day-to-day production of the series.
For film, simply identify the producers who work frequently with your dream directors or actors. A little bit of research will easily lead you to a solid target list of producers.
Pick up the telephone and request a meeting. I’m considered to be a leading expert in marketing for actors and if I could only recommend one marketing touch, it would be a phone call. Phone calls are very scary. But they are also the least expensive and most effective way to get results quickly. Embrace the power of your telephone.
I have a student who has really embraced this strategy. She makes two or three calls a week. These calls generate about two or three meetings each month. So, this is a strategy that works. When it comes to the phone, you must be clear about what you want and brave enough to dial.
Stay in touch with a monthly marketing campaign. This can be the same message you send to casting directors.
Set up a Google alert for everybody on your target list. If you go to www.google.com/alerts, you can basically fill in specific search terms and Google will notify you whenever your search terms show up in the media.
Now, it’s tough to really know when a producer is about to begin production on a project, so you must let go of any need for immediate results. Remember, the key here is to get on their shortlist. Take your need for a job off the table. Your focus with producers is not about being cast in one particular role; your focus is about building a relationship that will last a lifetime.