There are many important things actors need in order to help them succeed, one of those things is community. Community might not be the first thing you think of as being important, you may think your resume is, or getting that perfect headshot or practicing to nail your audition. But those things are brief and fleeting moments in the day and life of an actor, whereas community is reliable and steady. It helps grow and expand relationships as well as improve an actor’s abilities. Community is an actors support system, a place to be around like minded people, but why is it important? Here are some reasons:
Sometimes it’s not about what you know, it’s who you know. Networking is a vital part of getting work in the industry. You never know who might come across your path that could potentially help you or at least help you get in touch with someone.
Networking can also help with staying on top of different trends and help you be in the know of what’s happening. Building connection will provide invaluable opportunities for your career. Once you build on your your skill set and become familiar with people you could help someone else out too, it’s a win win.
Community theatre is a great way to network, meet directors, casting directors, producers, writers, and other actors. It’s a perfect environment to receive tips and suggestions from directors, and get experience expressing and performing, it’s an awesome outlet for actors.
And just know it takes time to build connections, and it’s best to start off small and then grow, it’s better to be a big fish in a small pond rather than a small fish in a big pond. You don’t have to fly all the way to L.A to start your career, you can start networking where you are, and once opportunities start opening up you can start thinking about the bigger picture.
Collaborating & sharing experience
When people believe in your vision and are just as passionate as you, it can almost feel like you’re unstoppable. Acting is not meant for people doing it on their own, acting is a vulnerable job and we need dependence on each other to help build us into better actors. That’s why having community around us is so important, having dependence on each other is a helpful way to create new ideas, invest in projects, and give guidance along the way. If you have friends that are great photographers ask them to take your headshots, if you know filmmakers shoot a project together, or ask them to help you out with a self-tape. It’ll become a lot easier for you.
The world would be a very lonely place without relationships. As actors it’s good to surround yourself with good people that will support you, challenge you, and encourage you. Relationships are like gold, hold them close and make friends!
It’s discouraging to see just how cutthroat the industry is, I’ve been to plenty of auditions where the atmosphere has been so cold and intense I felt I couldn’t even start a conversation. I understand people are nervous and focused but as actors we should be encouraging one another and creating relationships. We all share a common goal: acting, so why not expand our connections, it’s a perfect opportunity.
What if you’re new to acting and don’t know where to find that connection? Start auditioning, be willing to be in student projects, get connected on a Facebook group, join a local theatre company and start introducing your name. Meeting new people may seem intimidating but it just takes courage to put yourself out there. Be community for someone else too, we all need each other, especially when this industry is highly competitive and can be a hard place to find consistent work. It also can feel like a lonely journey when you’re doing it on your own, but there are plenty of people that feel just like that, so be bold, make friends, encourage others and remember that community plays a vital part in an actor’s life.