As I write this, it’s just shy of five years since I met Nikki, and just shy of just shy since I informally joined the PrimaDonna team. I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things about the industry in that time, but it’s still a surprise, and no little honor, when I’m asked to share my experiences with others. Me being an ex-teacher and all, I have a hard time passing up that kind of opportunity.
And that kind of opportunity came again a couple of weeks ago, with an invitation from that man about two towns, Michael Druck. Home from New York for a time, Michael (through his Actors Network SA) was hosting an Actors Expo, an event designed to bring talent together to network with and learn from industry professionals. (Michael being Michael, the event also served as a fundraiser for the North East School of the Arts, one of the many essential organizations that foster and encourage the growth of young talent here in S.A.)
And that list of professionals turned out to include me.
The event took place in the Pearl Brewery complex, at the shared home of Brad Milne’s San Antonio Film Academy and Tracey Maurer Photography. The day’s panels encompassed the most basic and important aspects of the business of acting. Auditioning. Finding representation. Training. Marketing. Of course, Nikki was there to moderate and make sure everyone had a chance to speak, listen, and learn.
For my panel, the last of the day, Brad represented the acting coaches. Taylor James Johnson (in his capacity as a producer for KTSA) and the Express-News’s Melissa Renteria discussed what the media look for in story pitches. And I talked about what actors can and should do when trying to promote themselves, both to traditional media and through social media. There, and in all the panels, a lot of great insights were shared, and if you missed it, I encourage you to connect with Actors Network to learn about future events and connect with all of us.
One of the first and most important things actors must learn – and this is something we touched on in our panels – is how to respect and present themselves as products. When you’re an actor, you have to be ready to promote yourself, whether it’s to talent buyers, media, anybody; you can’t build a career without that. So I’m grateful for people like Michael and Nikki, and everyone who participated in the expo (those I named here, and those I didn’t), for helping talent learn the skills they need to raise the bar for themselves, and for all of us in this market.
Thanks to everyone who took part, on both sides of the table, for making this event a success. Actors Network SA will return in the spring for another expo; until then, you can connect with them on Facebook and stay in the loop. If you’re an actor in the S.A. market, I strongly encourage it.
Last, and never least, thanks to you, the reader, for continuing to follow along. Until next time, “be seeing you…”