Everything listed under: Tips + Tricks

  • Why Every Job Is Not a ‘Survival Job’

    One dilemma many actors have is how to earn a living while actively pursuing an acting career. It can seem overwhelming to find the perfect “survival job” that gives you flexibility for auditions and bookings, as well as a wage that enables you to live in an expensive city like New York or Los Angeles.

    I worked many different types of jobs in the early part of my career, and I’m here to tell you that not every job is a survival job. In general, jobs don't exist to be flexible—they exist to help the company prosper. So how do you know if a job is truly survival job material? Here are four things to consider...  Read More...

  • Marketing On a Budget

    You hear it all the time: Actors need to market themselves online. But just how do you do it when money is tight?

    Never fear! Here are some cheap (and free!) ways you can market yourself to become the actor that everyone is talking about.  Read More...

  • Can’t Remember Why You Love to Act? 6 Ways to Reconnect With Your Passion

    If you’re an actor, you might occasionally find yourself frustrated with the business and everything that needs to happen to keep your career running. I mean, you’ve got a lot on your plate: survival job, classes, auditions, mailings, bookings, and life. You can get so busy that you may forget why you’re doing all of this in the first place. 

    Sometimes, you may feel like you’re stuck in a rut or even that you’ve fallen out of love with acting, this thing you’re supposed to love no matter what, that you’ve committed your entire life to. Listen, I’ve been there and I get it. If you do find yourself wondering why you’re doing all of this, here are the steps I take to remind myself why I love being an actor and to help me get unstuck.   Read More...

  • 8 Elements All Actors’ Websites Need

    By now, you already know an actor should have a website. But do you know exactly what needs to go on it?

    I sat down with Backstage to break down the eight basic elements every successful actor website has. Make sure your site has these elements so you’re on the right track to booking more work!  Read More...

  • Do This Before Trying to Get an Agent

    Q: How long should I wait before getting an agent? —Iesha W., Arizona 

    The truth is, there are no hard and fast rules on how long you should wait before seeking representation. If you’re brand-new, with no professional experience, but have a very specific look or type, you just might luck out, get awesome reps immediately, and book a lead in a blockbuster right out of the gate.

    While that could happen, it probably won’t. I’m not going to sugarcoat this for you: Why would an agent agree to rep an actor who has zero professional experience? They have plenty of proven actors on their roster who are known in the industry and already book work. 

    Click here to read my advice on Backstage.com!  Read More...

  • 5 Ways to Be Your Own Agent

    If you’re an actor without an agent, you may think you’re supposed to put all of your time and energy into finding the perfect rep who will make your career dreams come true. 

    The truth is, without professional experience and a list of connections, it can be nearly impossible to get an agent right out of the gate. There are exceptions, of course: If you’re a very specific or unusual type, or you’re a child actor, you might get signed without a proven track record. But if you’re not, chances are high that an agent won’t be interested until you have some solid credits.   Read More...

  • How to Prep for an Audition

    My #AskAnExpert series continues with producer, writer, and casting director, Melanie Forchetti! Melanie is currently the head casting director at Mike Lemon Casting, and is producing two feature films and a TV show. Today I got the inside scoop on how to prep for auditions.

    Watch the video to get her tips!  Read More...

  • Let Color Help Tell Your Actor Story Online

    If you want your actor website to stand out, it must tell your unique story by painting a picture of who you are and how you can be cast for the decision-makers in the industry. 

    One way to accomplish this is through color. But if you’re like a lot of actors I work with, choosing a color palette for your website can make you break into a sweat. There are so many colors to choose from—how can you possibly narrow them down? 

    Luckily, I have a simple process I use with my clients. It makes choosing your colors fun and easy, and I’m happy to share it with you!  Read More...

  • 5 Tips for a Great Audition

    I'm super excited to continue my #AskAnExpert series with the awesome producer, writer, and casting director, Melanie Forchetti! Melanie is currently the head casting director at Mike Lemon Casting, and is producing two feature films and a TV show. I sat down with her to get some tips for a great audition.

    Watch the video to get her 5 top tips!  Read More...

  • Awesome Apps for Actors

    Do you ever need help learning your lines, figuring out a self tape, or running your career like a business? Well, there's an app for that! Here are my 5 favorite apps for actors.  Read More...

  • Why Editorial Photos (Not Just Headshots) Are Important For Your Career

    Does your website tell your unique story? Does it reflect who you are in the industry right now, as well as where you want your career to go? Does it make visitors feel like they know you or that they’d like to get to know more? If you’re like a lot of actors, this describes your dream website. The problem, though, is that most actors don’t know how to achieve it. 

    When I work with a custom client, I let them in on a little secret sauce that adds personality and that special something to their online presence. It’s been so helpful, I’m gonna share it with you. I call it “photo mojo.”  Read More...

  • How to Prioritize as a New Actor

    How do you prioritize what to do as a new actor? —Lauren S., Washington

    Anyone new to acting is undoubtedly excited to launch their career. But to avoid frustration and spending a lot without tangible results, you need to prioritize how to spend your time and money. There are four steps to make the best use of your resources for the long haul.  Read More...

  • Be Confident and Calm at Auditions - Part 3

    Today is the day of your audition! How do you want to feel? My guess is you want to feel prepared and confident so you can truly take advantage of this great opportunity. But sometimes, that can be easier said than done. 

    Since I started using my 3 Part Audition Checklist, I walk into every audition feeling calm and confident. If I can do it, you can, too! I'm delighted to share my personal audition checklist to help you feel empowered.

    The last two weeks I covered what to do when you get the audition, and what to do the night before. Be sure to check them out if you missed them. 

    If you’re all caught up, let’s move on to Part 3!   Read More...

  • Be Confident and Calm at Auditions - Part 2

    How often have you walked into an audition feeling confident and prepared? It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? An audition is an exciting opportunity. So once that audition is secured, having a Checklist in place can enable you to make the most of every opportunity. 

    Wouldn’t it be great to walk into the room feeling confident and prepared every single time? My 3-Part Audition Checklist has helped me achieve this, and I’m happy to share it with you! 

    I covered what to do when you get the audition in Part 1 last week. Be sure to check it out if you missed it. 

    So if you’re all caught up, let’s move on to Part 2:   Read More...

  • Be Confident and Calm at Auditions - Part 1

    As an actor, auditioning is a huge part of your job. But, if you’re like a lot of my clients, once you get the audition you may feel overwhelmed by how you’ll prepare for it in a way that leaves you feeling professional, confident, and relaxed when you're in the room.

    Not to worry! I came up with a nerve-busting 3-Part Audition Checklist that I’m happy to share with you.   Read More...

  • Why (Re)Size Is Everything

    Have you ever visited a website and it just takes forEVER for the site to download? If you have, my guess is you felt frustrated and annoyed and you probably gave up before the site completely opened. 

    I’m pretty sure this is not how you want your own website visitors to react. Am I right? 

    That’s why it is super important to learn how to resize photos before adding them to your website. If you work with a web designer, they will do this for you. But if you’re going the DIY route, it’s a good idea to become familiar with the world of photo resizing.   Read More...

  • Why Every Actor Needs a Website + What It Should Have

    As a professional actor and founder of Actor-Webs, I’m often asked if an actor really needs a website. Since we live in such an online, on-the-go world, my answer is a resounding yes!

    I mean, think about it. What do you do when you hear about a new restaurant? My guess is you google it. If you can’t find its website, chances are high that you get frustrated, move on, and forget that you were ever interested in that restaurant.

    The same goes for actors. Potential employers and colleagues WILL google you, so it makes good business sense to have a professional website that shows up when they search and represents you with the content you want them to see, along with an easy way to get in contact.  Read More...

  • My Number 1 Tip for your Actor Website

    Actors often ask me for that one website design tip that will make their site stand out. I used to say there really isn’t one answer. There is so much that goes into making a great website, how could I pick just one tip?

    But after really thinking about it, it dawned on me there actually IS one tip that will lead to an awesome, kick-ass site. So here goes ... my number one actor website design tip:  Read More...

  • Beyond the Headshot - 4 Crucial Marketing Tools

    As a professional actor, you already know a headshot and resume are necessary to promote your career.

    But there are so many other ways to market yourself. Here are four crucial marketing tools that go beyond the headshot. Take a look and see what you might be missing!  Read More...

  • Want A Worry-Free Actor Website?

    An actor website is crucial in today’s market. But getting one set up and online may be confusing at first - even to some of the most tech-savvy.

    There used to be two ways to get your actor website online. I've listed some pros and cons of each:   Read More...

  • Actors - Harness Your Power in 2017

    Happy New Year! Now that 2016 is in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to buckle down and harness all the excitement the new year brings.

    I usually do this sometime in December, but somehow last month got away from me. Maybe you’re in the same boat? It’s okay - we’re still in January - plenty of time to catch up!

    So, if you haven’t already, sit down and focus on what you want to achieve this year using the following steps:  Read More...

  • 5 Tips To Make Your Website Stand Out

    If you're an actor, a great website is essential in today's market. The truth is if you don't have one, you could be missing out on opportunities.

    But just having a website isn't enough. You risk creating a bad impression if your website looks dated or amateurish. You want a site that looks professional and that highlights your cast-ability and personality.

    Don't worry! Whether you work with a designer or go the DIY route, I've got you covered. Here are my top 5 tips to make sure your website makes a great impression:  Read More...

  • Do I NEED to blog?

    This week's Ask Amy post comes from Michael who wondered, "Do I really NEED to blog on my actor website?"

    Thanks for your question, Michael. I hear you. I know as actors we have a lot on our plates, and adding "write a blog post" to our to-do list can seem daunting.

    But there are great reasons to add a blog section to your website, and I don't want you to miss out on opportunities.  Read More...

  • How Can I Build My Mailing List?

    A couple of weeks ago I asked if you guys had any burning questions, and was blown away by all the responses! So I'm thrilled to begin my first Ask Amy post!

    Today's question comes from Debbie. She asked, "How do I create a useful and cheap landing page with pop-ups to help build my mailing list?"

    Hey, Debbie - thanks for your question!  Read More...

  • 3 Free Font Resources

    One of the first steps I take with my custom website clients is help them choose a font for their name. Think of your "name font" as your personal logo. The font should reflect your personality, and also make you happy when you look at it.

    But if you’re building your website on your own, finding your name font can be intimidating - especially if you don’t know where to look.

    Never fear - here are my top 3 free font resources to help you on your search!  Read More...

  • The Big Booking Secret

    My friend and colleague Cadden Jones has more than 10 years of experience thriving as a commercial actress in NYC, having booked over 100 commercials and industrials - so she knows what she's talking about. Today she's sharing the secret that makes her a booking machine!  Read More...

  • What Does Your Actor Website Say About You?

    When a casting director Googles you, what will they find?

    Let’s face it - just having a website isn’t enough. Your website is often your introduction to people in the industry. Why not grab the opportunity to create a winning first impression!

    Here are my top 3 tips to create a website that stands out:  Read More...

  • My Actors Access Mistake

    A few nights ago I got an urgent email from my manager. I thought I'd share the ensuing faux pas so you know what NOT to do on your Actors Access account.

    Listen to my blunder below:  Read More...

  • No News To Post? 4 Ideas To Get You Started

    Regularly updating the Latest News section on your website is one of the best ways of making you look like the busy and professional actor you are.

    But maybe you haven’t booked anything in a while, and you’re wondering what to write about. Don’t panic! Here are 4 ideas to get you started:  Read More...

  • 5 Actor Website Mistakes To Avoid

    One of the services I provide is to give consultations to actors who already have websites. This means that when it comes to websites, I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    Over time, I’ve realized there are common mistakes actors make. Read on to learn some things to avoid when creating your actor site.  Read More...

  • Life Threw a Curveball? 3 Ways To Get Back On Track

    Have you ever found yourself ready to start a big career project and suddenly Life has Other Plans? Frustrating, isn’t it? I used to feel bad or guilty or anxious when I wasn’t honoring the commitment I’d made to myself, even though a Big Life Thing was front and center and needed to be dealt with.

    Over time, I’ve come up with three ways to cope when things out of my control derail my career plans.  Read More...

  • 4 Free Tools Every Actor Should Use

    Who doesn't love free stuff? I know I do - especially when the free stuff is super-useful and makes my life easier!

    I’ve put together this list of free online tools every actor should know about. Check them out and let me know what you think!  Read More...

  • 4 Ways To Calm Your Audition Nerves

    You can’t be a successful actor unless you’ve auditioned. And if you’re lucky, you’ll get to audition a lot! And if you’re really lucky, you’ll discover how to conquer your audition fears so that each audition is a joy, and not something to get all worked up about.

    Here are 4 strategies I've used to calm my own audition nerves:  Read More...

  • Why Less Really Is More

    Have you ever been to a NYC diner? The kind with the menu as long as a phone book? I’m talking pages and pages of yummy food to choose from... Kinda overwhelming, isn’t it?

    Well, the same can be said of too many photos or too much information on your actor website. In my experience, there's a lot that goes into crafting a site, but one of the most important steps is the fine art of editing. Knowing what materials to utilize, and what to leave at home can be game-changing.  Read More...

  • Is Your Headshot Getting Seen By Agents?

    So... you researched your photographer, did your homework and prepared for your shoot, used natural light, and ended up with a kick-ass headshot. But, is your awesome new headshot getting seen by agents?

    In today's post, Guest Expert Mark Bennington shares his tip for getting an agent's eyes on your new headshot. Watch the video below to get the scoop!  Read More...

  • Do You Look Like Your Headshot?

    It is super important that you look like your headshot when you walk into a casting office. In today's post, Guest Expert Mark Bennington shares which type of lighting is the best for looking like the real you... On a good day, of course! ;)

    Watch the video to find out!  Read More...

  • How To Choose A Headshot Photographer

    My #AskAnExpert Guest Expert Mark Bennington is back this week with some great tips on how to choose a headshot photographer.

    Watch the video below to get the scoop!  Read More...

  • How To Prep For Your Headshot Session

    ActorWeb Blog - How To Prep For Your Headshot Session

    I'm back with the super-talented headshot photographer, Mark Bennington. If you missed it, last week Mark talked about what makes a great headshot. Today, I wanted to ask him a question that used to drive me a little cuckoo, and maybe you can relate: How should I prepare for my headshot session?

    Watch the video below to find out his advice:  Read More...

  • 3 Tips For A Great Headshot

    I'm so excited to kick off my very first #AskAnExpert series with the super-talented photographer, Mark Bennington. Mark has been recognized by Backstage as one of the top ten headshot photographers in the entire country, so I wanted to sit down with him to get the scoop on what makes a great headshot.

    Watch the video to get his 3 tips!  Read More...

  • Be A Hyperlink Hero

    ActorWebs - Be A Hyperlink Hero

    Right now you might be asking, “What the heck is a hyperlink, Amy?” I’m so glad you asked! :)

    It’s a word or phrase on your website that links to another webpage. Click here for an example.

    Adding hyperlinks to your website is a great way to offer your visitors more info, such as a link to buy tickets to your next show.  Read More...

  • "Do I Have Enough Material For A Website?"

    ActorWebs - Do I Have Enough Material For A Website?

    I get asked this question all the time, and not just from newbie actors fresh out of school. You’d be surprised how many professional, talented, working actors begin to sweat when faced with putting their professional credits online. I can see the self-doubt flash across their faces as they look at me, almost embarrassed by their perceived lack of momentum, roles, or experience.

    The great news is, no matter if you’re just starting out or if you’re a seasoned pro, you almost certainly have enough material for an actor website that tells your story. And I’m going to show you how!  Read More...

  • Peek Inside My On-Set Actor Bag

    ActorWebs - Peek Inside My On-Set Actor Bag

    Have you ever made the mad dash to meet the courtesy van, only to arrive on set and realize you'd forgotten something? I know I have - more than once. But I finally got myself organized and made a list of the most useful things I’ve needed or wished I’d had with me on set.

    Here's a peek inside my bag:  Read More...

  • Don't Make This Mistake On Your Website!

    ActorWebs - Don't Make This Mistake On Your Website

    Let me start this post with a question. When you type something (like your bio or a website update) do you end your sentences with one space or two? If you answered one you get a gold star and don’t have to read the rest of this post - go get some chocolate or something! If you answered two, then I strongly suggest you keep reading - it could be a matter of life or death. Okay, not really, but I do think it’s pretty important!  Read More...

  • My Domain Name is Taken! What Do I Do?

    ActorWebs - My Domain Name Is Taken - What Do I Do?

    Does this sound familiar? You’re ready to take control of your online marketing and get yourself a kick-ass actor website. You try to register your domain name, and horror of horrors, SOMEONE ELSE HAS ALREADY NABBED IT!

    Don’t panic - you have several options! Here are the 5 suggestions I give to my own clients when faced with this dilemma:  Read More...

  • 7 Signs Your Website Is Obsolete

     

    Your actor website - it’s your online calling card. You want it to reflect your personality and professionalism, keep folks posted about your gigs, and showcase your body of work. But if your site looks dated or obsolete, visitors might assume the same about you - not the look you’re going for!

    In this week's tip, I'll show you how to determine if your site needs a refresh.  Read More...

  • Hosting & Domains - What's The Difference?

    Actor-Webs Blog:  Hosting and Domains - What's the Difference?

    As a web designer, I often get asked to explain the difference between a domain name and hosting and if you need both to have a website. Often, the client asking me will look a little sheepish, as if they think they should already know the answer. I can assure you that many people don't know the basics, so I'm going to break it down for you. I promise, once you learn it this way, it'll be easy to remember!  Read More...


Amy Russ, Actor-Webs Founder Actor and web designer Amy Russ helps actors showcase their cast-ability, personality, and professionalism with simple, effective, and affordable websites. Find out the crucial 5 First Steps to creating a website that stands out in her free video training here.