Talent showcase

Ever been part of a talent showcase and then wondered why you didn’t hear from anybody?

Over the years, I’ve met a lot of performers from the singing, acting and voice over world. What I’ve come to realize is that while there’s a plethora of brilliantly talented people vying for work, there’s a definite shortage of memorable talent with a strong business sense to match. How can you stand out from the crowd?

Discover 5 ways you can make yourself instantly memorable and approachable to casting pros.

1 – Include Your Contact Info on All Marketing Collateral

Want to hear back from interested hiring managers and casting directors? They want to follow up with you directly, not necessarily via your representation. Make it easy to reach you. Include your phone number, email address, website and one of your social media channels. LinkedIn is the preferred option for most professionals looking to network. Very few people will go out of their way to find you otherwise. If you do include information about your manager or agent, include direct contact information for the specific person you wish to be contacted there.

2 – Feature Your Picture

Many people don’t remember names but they do remember faces. Even if you aren’t an on-camera actor, including a photograph in your marketing materials makes it that much easier for people to forge a connection to who you are based upon what they remember of your performance. Photos make you instantly more memorable – that said, make sure it is a professional headshot. Instagram pics from family vacations and weddings don’t cut it. To really capitalize on this, make the photo you use the same one you have on social media.

3 – Follow Up Quickly

Strike while the iron is hot! Everyone knows that after an event, you have a very short window for follow up. Post-showcase, you may be given the opportunity to reach out to thank those in attendance directly. The best practice for following up is to get in touch within 24 to 48 hours — definitely within a few days — or the moment will pass you by. You may have been one of thirty people auditioning that day, so the faster you take action, the better. Momentum and short term memory are on your side.

4 – Staple Marketing Collateral Together

Do you plan on bringing marketing materials to the showcase like headshots, business cards or resumes? Bear in mind that these are not just handy, they are expected. Be sure to staple them together. That way, the won’t get separated or come apart after the fact. Make your efforts count. One tip is to staple your headshot and resume back to back. They should be the same size so that they line up exactly. If you have a business card, make sure that it is stapled too so that it doesn’t get lost.

5 – Be Positive

Smile! Having a positive attitude sets the tone well. Give the people you’re auditioning for something great to remember you by. Do this by choosing pieces that highlight your strengths and leave people feeling happy or hopeful. At least one of your go-to monologues, songs or pieces of copy should make people laugh. Beyond that, treat everyone how you want to be treated. You never know who is in a position to get you a gig, be it the receptionist, another colleague at the showcase or a technician. Follow the Golden Rule to make a great first impression for all the right reasons.

When you apply these tips, you may see an increase in interest, audition invitations and possibly even bookings. You got on their radar by entering the showcase. Now that’s it over, it’s your job to make sure you stay there.

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Voices.com. Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.

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