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Does an actor have a brand?

I’ve heard it often said that actors don’t have brands! Brands are for products and for some it seems a demeaning description on ones traits.

Call it what you will.

In essence it is – How do you see yourself?

What is your unique selling point? What is your unique essence? Do you own it? 

If you have not yet discovered this and embraced it, then you will not book work. 

Firstly if you are still unsure of where you fit in to the casting net, look at how people perceive you and why. Ask not only friends who know you well, but ask strangers who you have only met briefly. Ask them honestly. You are not asking them if they like you. You are asking them if they think you are an executive type, a blue collar worker, a bag lady, a school teacher, an accountant type. Write them all down and find the common ones.

Do you have a role that you played where you really felt it was a perfect match for you? Did those who saw you in this role also feel it was a perfect match for you? 

Describe the character or characters from various roles. What adjectives would you use? Do all the qualities in all the roles align? Write them down as if you were creating an actual breakdown for the character. 

Now with various actors whose work you admire find characters they have portrayed that have the same characteristics you have found in yourself.  Again write down the common characteristics.

Now find a script that allows those qualities to shine and  work on a self tape that best points out what each of the characters have in common.

Now with your new found knowledge, and despite your age range,  are there certain personality traits that the characters in your wheelhouse often share? Find out and you’ll have the seeds of your brand.

Once you know your essence, your unique point of difference, then you can start to play and layer your characters to bring in depth and texture. This is when the fun starts. 

A couple of quick tips:

  1. Decide exactly “who” you are selling to – casting directors/ agents etc. Then have every visual element of your promotional material support this one, clear concept. Like an ad campaign.
  2. Deliver on your promise. 

People make an assumption on who you are within the first 5 minutes of meeting you (whether you like it or not; whether they are right or not!) Sell that. Extend yourself later when you have found fame 

  1. Create a strong video presence. This is what we teach you in our Creating Compelling Characters Course.
  2. Make your vision become your reality with hard work and practice in front of the camera. Make the camera your gym equipment and practice practice practice.

You may call it “brand,” you may call it “type,” call it whatever you’d like, but prepare for it, because if you do not, the odds are that you will fail. 

Every successful actor has worked tirelessly at their craft and put the ground work in first. 

Happy playing!