DIY Acting: How To Find Your Actor Brand
So you’ve been told you need to create an actor brand…but how do know what your acting brand is? Don’t worry, most actors don’t start off knowing what their branding is, and it can take time before you have a clear understanding of what it should be. Use the tips below if you’re in need of a little inspiration.
Make A list, Check it twice ;)
It’s time to face yourself.
Think of the 50 most unique things about yourself and create a list. Include adjectives that describe you, goals you want to achieve, character types that fit you look and talent, and things you’re passionate about.
Now here’s the “check it twice part.” Talk to your friends, family members, acting acquaintances, and even some strangers if you want, and ask them how they perceive you; What kind of roles do they think you’d perfect for? What words would they chose to describe you?
Compile their answers onto a list, and now it’s time to check it twice. Explore the similarities and differences of how you percieve yourself and how they perceive you, and choose everything that stands out to you the most. Use those keywords as inspiration for the foundation of your brand.
Check Your Auditions and Acting Reels
If you’re already a working actor, an easy way to begin understanding your brand is by reviewing all of your prior auditions and video reels. What kinds of characters were you asked to read for the most? Which ones were your cast for? Do you see any trends? Personally, I discovered I am being asked to read for a lot of bad boy roles and a lot of gay roles. It doesn't matter if either of those describe me in real life. What matters is that is how the Casting Directors see me. Thus, I’ll want to incorporate those kinds of roles into my brand. So now I have a “Bad Boy” reel and “'Gay Best Friend” reel to help market what has been working for me thus far.
Give It Time
If you’re new to the acting industry or don’t have an agent, you might not have a log of auditions that you can review to determine your brand. However, it will come with time. You will also notice that your brand changes with time, and that’s the natural progression of acting careers; you can’t play high-school cheerleader roles you’re entire life. So if you’re new to the acting industry think back to high school, college, acting class, or any independent projects you’ve been cast in. Are there any recurring character types that come to mind? Use those to help build your brand image.
Don’t Take It Personal
Although your persona and energy is the foundation of your actor brand, you may find your branding to be different than who you are in real life. Sometimes even the sweetest people play the best villains. And that’s okay. Be your brand and let your brand be you. What matters is that you’re working hard, auditioning, and getting cast.
Work On It
As actors, we have more power than we know. We think that what happens behind the closed doors of the casting world is movie magic because the casting process seems so mysterious. While we may not be able to control being cast, we do have control of our image, so feel free to shape it how you see fit to best service your interests and acting career. You should dedicate time every few months to crafting your brand. Doing so will help you create a consistent brand image. And remember, your branding shouldn’t limit you, it should highlight the best about you.