Recently I was talking with an aspiring actor and he asked about my training and work. He had no credits and a masters degree from a major school. So why can’t he get work?
We worked on very similar scenes for the presentation and he smoked it. I didn’t see what I looked like on camera, but the audience reaction was “eh”, so I am feel comfortable telling you he did a better job. What happened next is the telling part.
The casting director is working on a film. I really don’t fit any of the parts and neither does the other guy. I still wrote down the CD’s information and agreed to keep in touch hoping someday he’ll have something for me. When I sent a postcard last month updating my status, he called me directly to thank me for the update. He said that so far, I am the only one who followed up from the group of 18 people he saw that day. He made a comment during our conversation that he was “looking forward to working with [me].”
As much as I would like to say all of the businesses I built grew because we were the best at what we did. The truth is, we were pretty average. What I learned was follow up. When you take the initiative to contact them, you make their life easier. Nobody wants to do anymore work than they have too. So why not do that little extra and make it easier to hire you even if you cost more, aren’t quite as good, or don’t have as much experience as the other guy. I didn’t build any of my companies and try to learn every single thing I could. Instead I tried to find out what the customers really wanted, and what made it difficult for them to get it. Once I knew that, I would find a way to make it easy and bingo, we had profits.
Being a great actor doesn’t make you a working actor, and being a working actor doesn’t mean you are a great actor.
Whatever you do, if you just make it easy for the customer to get what he wants, you will have more work than you know what to do with.