Does what you’re doing matter? As an actor who wants to be more visible, are you making any kind of impact on your fan base and within the Industry? If not, you’re screwed. It’s that simple. You have to start doing more of the things that freaking MATTER!
Too many actors are quietly sending inoffensive, meaningless marketing out that makes absolutely no impression on the recipient.
So let’s see what’s possible for you starting today…
Stop Trying Not to Offend Everyone
Some serious shit has been going down in America in 2016. It’s gotten bad, Michael Jackson bad.
Forgive my choice of words if they offend you, but you know me, I’ve got to cut to the chase. Politics and social upheaval are intense right now. Between the Black Lives Matter movement with innocent men getting shot over and over, and our heavy presidential election. For the record, “I’m with Her,” because He is a terrifying prospect.
Did you notice what I just did?
I just shared with you something possibly controversial. But you just got to know a whole lot more about me. And that is vital. We’re talking make-or-break vital. Sharing is caring, after all.
I’ve possibly offended you twice so far, and it may happen again… I choose to be totally cool with that, because I care about you and your career.
You might feel like a lot of actors I meet.
You don’t want to “get involved” or “offend anyone”. Worse, you don’t want to “put anyone off.”
That’s ok. No one says that you need to be political as you build your acting career.
But here’s the truth: you’re a part of today’s upheaval. You’re all mixed up in it, because it impacts and affects you.
If you pay any attention to your social media – and I sure hope you do if you’re marketing yourself effectively – then you know people have powerful opinions. They are attempting to make an impact in return, even on the small scale of Facebook or Twitter.
The simple fact is you will always offend someone. It’s not your job or responsibility to avoid offending people. Here’s the caveat:
We can discuss further what is appropriate and what is not appropriate if you are still unclear. It’s true, some things are just not appropriate, like publicly shit-talking casting and industry professionals. Don’t do it, except maybe privately with a very good friend whose discretion you trust completely. Don’t even mutter a venting complaint, as far as I’m concerned. Build bridges, not walls!
But most likely, at lease one person having a bad day will not like to hear what you’re saying. It usually has nothing to do with you at all, as long as you’re not malicious.
Know the Potential Fallouts So You Can Plan for Them
Let’s talk about Jesse Williams. He’s an amazing case study for using his influence as an actor for some ultimate good.
This year, his BET speech created a lot of upheaval. Offended people started a petition to fire him from his job! How’s that for free speech?
And you know what happened? A whole lot of good. His speech led to a fallout. And there will always be fallout.
He confronted that petition, and dealt with those who could not handle what he needed to say. Jesse was ready. And he went further and kept substantiating his statements. Best, he created more conversation.
Jesse Williams did not lose his job. In fact, his boss supported both him and his activist views.
He’s connecting the dots between the entertainment that people welcome into their home, and the madness they see on the news and maybe even in their own streets.
Whatever your or my views about award show speeches (and you probably have strong opinions on this topic), I have crazy respect for him.
Did you know that his speech even initiated scholarships?
That’s what you and I are talking about today. Jesse made an impact, a huge one at a delicate time in history. Plus, impoverished, talented kids will get further education because of his words, and choice to make them heard.
Your impact does not need to be as grand or dramatic. But you need to start making an impact.
Involve yourself. You need to share how you feel and connect – with the people you want to work more with.
Too many actors tell me this: As they go through their daily routine trying to get work as an actor, they feel like they’re not making an significant impact in the world.
You don’t need to fall into that trap!
You can make an impact, at any moment. Feel free to step up, speak your mind, share more, and connect more deeply. Your marketing sure as hell needs to reflect this, and so does your broader communication.
Make a difference, every day, not just when you have an award in your hand and feel safe (which, by the way, you most likely won’t in that moment.) Let the people who matter to you, know how you feel.
Yes, you will offend someone here and there. That’s ok. That’s how you know that you’re making an impact. Don’t miss the opportunity to find out who is part of your tribe, too.
Make a massive impact today. Do it with passion like Jesse.
Leave a comment below and tell me what you thought about Jesse and his speech, good or bad. Have you had ease or difficulty making an impact or speaking your mind?