Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Friday, December 18, 2009

WHY Should Actors Use Social Networking?

I see people roll their eyes at me when they hear me talk about someone I'm following to on Twitter. I hear it all the time... "I'm just too busy to waste time on Facebook and Twitter." "What's the point of sitting in front of your computer typing to each other?" "How do you find the time do do all that?"

Well, I make the time. It's part of the job... and it pays off. How? Let me tell you a little story...

As you probably remember from this post back in October, I'm playing a role in a new short by writer/ director Erick Mertz (and producer Stewart Boyles) called First Day In The City. The shoot date has been "bumped" a couple of times because of scheduling and location issues... but at long last, we're shooting my scene in the film today at a local hotel.

Stewart called me in a moderate panic yesterday. "Hey, do you know someone who can play our "Nice Young Man? The guy we had slated to play that role isn't available tomorrow for long enough to get the scene shot!"

So, I wracked my brain... I was driving, and couldn't really access the extensive database of contacts I keep in PerformerTrack, so I had to go a bit off-the-cuff. As I combed my mind to think of the right person amongst all my contacts for the role, who should stand out... but someone I follow on Twitter? Someone whose photo I see every day in my Twitter Stream? Someone who'd JUST "tweeted" about another film project he's working on that morning.

"Hey, do you know _____?" I asked Stewart?

"No, I don't... can you put him in touch with me?"

Fast-forward to later last night, and my twitter follower had booked the gig. Stewart was happy, he was happy, and I was (as always) happy to help get someone work.

Social Networking is just like any other networking. The point is to make yourself memorable in the minds of your contacts - to remind them that you're around, that you're capable, and that you might be the perfect fit for that project they're thinking of. I've been the beneficiary (many many times) of calls from directors or producers who thought of me because I keep myself out there in all those online forums... and it felt great to return the favor!

So, actors, how much of YOUR day is spent networking? Remember, it's part of the job...

Ok, that's it for now. Have to head to the set. Hope you're all doing well!