Get a Website, Get a Monologue
Here's the news from Acting School Stop, your one stop on the road to an acting career!
In this issue... There's stuff for actors of all ages!
Actors... Find out why you need a website and how to create opportunities for yourself on the web.
Parents of little stars… Discover our new children monologues pages and monologue e-book with 33 original pieces for young actors.
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What's the Next "Must-Have" for Actors?
1) Article of the Month - Using the Internet to Build Your Image and Career
By Daniel Marmion, actor and web designer
The Way Things Have Been
Actors have basic needs. Those needs haven't changed much in the last 60 or 70 years: headshots, resume, some audition pieces, and a working telephone. A few years ago we went from black & white headshots to color, and we all got cell phones instead of landlines, but other than that things have stayed more or less the same.
The Way Things Are Now
Until now. The rule book is being re-written. You might have noticed all the submissions that happen online these days, and via email. You might also have noticed how nice it is to have your reel or clips on Youtube so directors and agents can see your work right from their office computer. It's also great to have Facebook and Twitter accounts so you can keep tabs on all the jobs your friends are booking (Grrr....).
None of this replaces the bread and butter that is your headshot and resume, but the opportunities for you to get that face of yours out in front of people are becoming easier and easier to come by.
The Way Things Are Going
So, what's the next "Must Have" for actors? The smart money says: your very own actor website.
Think about it - how many pieces of information about YOU are out there on the internet? Taking into account pictures, reviews, announcements, videos, production company websites, your agent's website, it could be a lot. (And some of it may be stuff you'd prefer your potential employers didn't see.) A website allows you to display ALL that information in one place, and pick and choose what you'd like people to see.
The Google Test
Do me a favor: Google yourself right now. Bearing in mind that 9 out of 10 people looking for you online don't search past the first page of results, what will they see? I've had a website for 4 or 5 years now (www.danieljmarmion.com) and it's the FIRST thing that comes up when someone Googles me. It allows me to have total control over my online presence.
Now, you may not immediately JUMP to the top of Google the same week you start your website; Google (and other search engines) use complicated algorithms to calculate what results to display first. But with a little bit of time (usually not more than a month or two) anyone trying to find you online will immediately see your website listed right there at the top of Google.
Top Five Most Important Things to Have On Your Actor Website (Plus 1 More!)
From my experience, and from looking at MANY other actor websites, I’d say the most important things to have on your actor website are:
- Your contact information
- A download-able version of your resume
- A frequently-updated “News & Events” section where you can list your upcoming performances, auditions, and times when you’ll be available or out of town.
- A clear, logical navigation structure (how annoying is it when the navigation links change on every page, or are completely missing?)
These are the makings of a fairly standard actor website. But if you want to go one step further, I would recommend a blog. I don’t personally use a blog on my own site, but I’ve been thinking about getting one and here’s the reason: it keeps people coming back to your site. Provided that you’re writing things that people want to read, they’ll want to keep coming back and reading your posts. And to sweeten the deal, it can even help you with Google results because Google favors sites with lots of quality content (meaning it’s not full of cut-and-paste text from other places around the web or hundreds of links to discount shopping sites).
So, Where Do I Start?
I'm a part-time web designer as well as being an actor, and in my web design work I hear this from a lot of clients: "Why is making a website so difficult?" It's a fair question. The web has been around for a while now, but we still have to deal with scary-sounding things like "HTML", "PHP", "FTP", "CSS", "SSL" and any number of confusions that can result from looking for "hosting companies" and "domain name registrars". I've always believed it should be EASY for someone to have a website. One button. Click. Website.
I recently started an online service - actorbutton.com - that gives actors the easiest possible path to an actor website. You fill in our sign-up form with some basic information like your name, email address, and what you want your site to be called, then you click the button, and - PRESTO - you can instantly start editing your own actor website.
Click the button, get a website. The future is here.
The best part is it's about as complicated as writing an email or a Word document. There’s nothing to download and no complicated languages to learn. And the great part about editing it yourself is that when you have an important announcement to make to the world, you can update your site yourself from any computer in the world without having to wait for a web designer to get around to it.
There’s no commitment to sign up - you get a 7 day free trial - so check it out and see if it’s for you!
To the future!
Daniel Marmion is an actor and part-time web designer. He’s performed at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Artist’s Repertory Theatre (Portland, OR), various theatres in New York, and has toured around the country several times with the Aquila Theatre Company. He has designed websites for: Nicole Burley Coaching, Psittacus Productions, Alter-Ego Cakes & Catering, Pastorello Dining, and Carrie Houchins-Witt CPA. He is the founder and owner of actorbutton.com
Need kid monologues?
2) What's new on Acting-School-Stop.com
Pick and choose from 18 unique kids monologues on the website or get our e-book with 33 original monologues for kids ages 4-13 downloadable instantly. There's also a new page with suggestions of children monologues from movies and published plays. We'll keep adding to it as we come across new monologues, so check back often or subscribe to our blog for updates.
How do I know if I have a Professional Agent?
3) Best from the Blog
Read this post for tips on how to choose a legitimate agent.
And here's another post about agents you may be interested in:
Can I get an Agent if I Have No Experience
Writing my movie on paper
Ready to take your career into your own hands and write a movie? Start with the script...
And talking about making your own movies, here's an acting school in New York that's helping their students do just that...
Stonestreet Screen Acting Studios
San Francisco Acting Schools
If you live in the windy city, check out our new listings of acting schools in San Francisco.
"When people don't believe in you, you have to believe in yourself." - Pierce Brosnan, actor
4) A word of inspiration
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Acting School Stop.com