The Power of Networking as an Actor

By Michael Karpienski-Fernanda Karpienski |
Last Updated: November 25, 2023
It’s easy to get caught in the never-ending-loop of acting classes, self-tape submissions and scouring the deepest reaches of Backstage in the morning with cup of coffee in hand sitting hunched over the couch looking for the next role to submit to.
All of this matters. And you must never slow down your day-to-day submission routine. Still, you will not get too far without some balance of combining these daily habits with more fieldtrips outside your comfort zone to meet and support other actors in their own exciting journey.
This might mean going to a play to show your support for a friend. It might be helping your classmate prepare for an audition by reading lines and delivering an inspiring speech before they go and compete — like our favorite mafioso-football-coach, Al Pacino.
Heck, sometimes you can be the most talented actor in a room. But if you cannot get outside of the room, and down the hall, and out into the casting director’s office at the other end, you might not be discovered at all.
All it takes is one contact —making one phone call, sending one email, sharing your website to the right casting professional — that can make all the difference in the world.
You never know who you will meet and how it will happen. But in order to be ready when it does, we have prepared a few helpful tips for you:

1. Craft your perfect elevator pitch

Be prepared and capitalize on the conversation, leaving a lasting impression people will remember you by. Perfect your elevator pitch and define who you are and what sets you apart. Be authentic. Don’t be afraid to own who you are! No one can compete with that.

2. Attend events with industry professionals. Go to movie screenings, film festivals, charity events

Having an actor support group is important in sailing through and staying afloat with the ups and downs that come with the life of being an actor. Still, never lose sight of showing your support for others. Go to plays. Support friends and peers. Attend talks and speak with experts in the field afterwards. You might be surprised how much they will remember when you bump into them again . . .

3. Engage with industry professionals online

In our digital world, it is essential to have an online presence. Having an actor website is a useful tool as a serious professional. Engaging with industry leaders on social media is another way to assure you are keeping in touch with your connections. No matter what you do online, keep engaging. Because the opposite of engaging is hiding. And in this industry, the only actors that can afford to hide are either those that are retiring or tired of working (as seen in this recent sighting of Jack Nicholson at a gas station). “Come back to work, Jack! Please! Just one more film! We love you, Jacky-boy!”

4. Be a valuable connection and just show up

Networking is a two way street. Find ways to be a reliable person in every project you participate in. Go above and beyond. Bring an extra wardrobe if it applies. Bring copies of scripts in case someone might forget theirs. If you are often running late, leave an hour early, even if it means having extra time to chit chat with other actors on set. Remember: your next acting job will often come from your previous one. It is not uncommon to book one gig and suddenly have more offers snowball from people simply liking to work with professional people. Be that guy who shows up. One role begets another role.

5. Follow up

Check in with your network. Reach out to congratulate those in your circle and praise their accomplishments as if they were your own! Thank them for their time after you speak with them by sending a courteous message. The last feeling you leave someone with is the one that you are often remembered by! Make yours a good one.
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