Why Actors Should Have LinkedIn Account

There is no doubt the importance of a well put together social media profile for professionals in today’s world. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ are some of the more popular social media platforms anyone with an internet connection can create. They are also the most thought about in terms of presence. But what about LinkedIn? I remember when LinkedIn first came out. I didn’t think anything of it but set up a profile anyways. Today, LinkedIn has over 477 million profiles ranging from individuals, businesses, and groups. It is the number one professional networking platform existing today. If the number of users isn’t impressive enough, the number of profile views for the first quarter of 2016 was 45 billion!

WHY SHOULD AN ACTOR CONSIDER USING LINKEDIN?

Why not? Seriously, in all actuality, what harm is there to spend the time to set up your professional profile? Outside my rhetorical question, let’s look at the practicality of what LinkedIn really is. Your LinkedIn profile serves as a digital resume. The features of LinkedIn help you organize your professional career and helps keep track of all the projects, experiences, volunteer work and education you get involved with. LinkedIn helps others who may be interested in working with you to get a quick snapshot of who you are – your focus, your character, and your expertise.

Being an actor, you are in one of the most competitive industry. Anyone who has been in the entertainment industry for any length of time knows it is about networking. It is about who you know and the projects you’ve been a part of. Sure, posting videos on YouTube helps, having a Facebook Fan Page helps, and possibly even your own web page. Social Media profiles like Twitter, Snap Chat, Instagram, and others help to engage with your audience and fans along with increasing your marketability. But what about your professional image? Fan’s are great, however, you are in “show business”. The most important part of that term is “BUSINESS”. If you are not developing your professional and business side, it doesn’t really matter what fans you have because fans won’t have anything to admire if you are not getting work!

HOW CAN YOU UTILIZE LINKEDIN?

The best aspects of LinkedIn is the ability to showcase projects, write articles, get endorsed by peers, and receive recommendations from those you have worked with. Casting Directors, Producers, and filmmakers are always in ready supply of talent. Same with Agents and Managers. Like it or not, you must show them, why you are worth their time. You may be able to act or sing, hit your marks or deliver on a dime. But, you are not the only one. More importantly, if you can’t show up to work on time, cause problems or have an attitude, it doesn’t matter how much talent you possess, your personality will overshadow all of that. We all want to work with professionals. They want to know who YOU are. This is where LinkedIn can serve you the most.

EXPERIENCE SECTION – The best part about this section is the ability to highlight the experience you have. Are you with an Agent or a Management Company? What work have you done in the past that relates to the Industry or otherwise? What did you do? How did you do it? What did you learn? What skills did you acquire? This information is great to know for someone looking to work with you.

PROJECT SECTION – Like a resume attached to the back of a Headshot, projects can be showcased on LinkedIn under the experience it coordinates with. For example, you work with ABC Talent Agency. While there, you were cast for project 1,2,3. You worked with XYZ actor/director/casting director. You have the ability to describe the character you played and other details more fully than what you could do on the back of your resume.

ENDORSEMENTS – We all have skills. Some skills fit directly with our field of work, others outside our field of work. Different experiences and projects cause us to utilize different sets of skills we possess. The Endorsement section showcases your most prominent set of skills. Further, this section allows for friends, peers, and network to endorse those skills. There is nothing more powerful than others who say… yes, he/she has these skills and they are developed to the point I am willing to endorse and recommend them for it.

RECOMMENDATIONS – Imagine working with an Actor such as Leonardo DeCaprio or a Director like Stephen Spielberg and they give you a recommendation because of your work ethic or your performance on set! That kind of endorsement would do wonders for your marketability. People like working with likable people. The best way to show you are such a person is through recommendations. This section highlights who you are beyond your performance. It shines a light on your character, your behavior, and work ethic. My advice is to build up your recommendation as much as possible. It only benefits you in the long run.

VOLUNTEER SECTION – Do you like charities? Are you involved with Non-profits? Why are you involved and what do you do with them? LinkedIn gives you the ability to talk about the charities you work with. Can you imagine what this does to your likeability factor? Can you imagine how this will help you stand out above the rest and the opportunities that can come from this one section alone!

CONCLUSION

Different social media platforms serve different purposes. Most focus on gaining followers, sharing your thoughts or moments in time. Others are about showcasing your professional experience. LinkedIn has become the platform for showcasing your professional side. The best part about LinkedIn is it continues to grow. You have the ability to link your profile to other website and social media platforms (IMDB, Website, Fan page, etc), you have the ability to take the time to develop a quality digital resume that will be accessible to those interested in working with you while building a track record of endorsements, recommendations, articles, and experiences. Don’t do what I did and wait to develop your profile. Get started today!

TIPS AND TRICKS

Remember, this is about promoting your professional side. To throw up some information in a half-hearted manner just to have it up is not going to work well in the long run. An old saying in the restaurant business is this… “The presentation is everything”; meaning, you may have the best tasting food, but if the presentation is bad, the food isn’t going to taste as good. This is because we eat with our eyes first. This is no different with your resume or your profile. You want it to stand out and you want it to be as professional as possible. So here are some tips to help you out.

1.PHOTO – If you don’t have a photo, you don’t have a profile. As an Actor, getting a professional photo (headshot) is part of the business. Especially if you are a junior talent, each time you update your Headshot, you need to get in the habit of updating your photo on LinkedIn with the new Headshot.

2. BACKGROUND IMAGE – The new layout for LinkedIn allows for a background image. Use this feature! It adds a unique touch to your profile and allows you to express yourself. Just be sure to keep it professional.

3. ARTICLES – LinkedIn allows you the ability to write articles. This is a great way to express yourself and your experience. Writing updates when you get off a project talking about your experiences can help tremendously. Writing about things that matter to you will also help others to learn more about you and the types of projects that will really help you shine. Plus, every time you post an article, your connections automatically get a notification. This builds up your presence in your industry.

NOTE: Be sure not to post restricted or Non-Disclosure information about any project you are working on… If you have any doubts, contact your agent, manager, or legal professional first. It is better to be safe than sorry.

4. ENDORSE OTHERS – Help your fellow actors out! They are struggling just as much as you are. If you work with someone who you feel does a great job or has a great character, let others know! Believe me, they will think very highly of you and I can guarantee, they will be just as willing to give you an endorsement and recommendation in return.

5. STAY PROFESSIONAL – Whatever you do, keep professionalism in the forefront of your mind for LinkedIn. This is not about harassing casting directors or filmmakers to be in their next film. This is not about posting what you did over the weekend or talking bad about others. Believe me, social media, in general, is a double-edged sword. You should not be doing this on any of your platforms, however, LinkedIn is the last place you want to do this. You will be Blacklisted quicker than you think!

This is only a brief summary of the benefits of a LinkedIn Profile. There is so much more to be learned about LinkedIn and structure so that your profile continues to Rank for page views among your peers and engagement of potential offers from agents, casting directors and other industry professionals.

All About Bottle Service

Bottle service, also referred to as table service, is one of greatest tributes of man to the pleasures of self-satisfaction. This is the good life – drinking overpriced, marked up alcohol delivered by scantily dressed women as you pass out and run up a bill, but don’t you deserve it since you only live once?

However, a case will be made for VIP bottle service even for club-goers who do not like to spend a month’s wages on bottle service. In several cases, bottle service can in fact be comparable to regular clubbing, but with some additional benefits.

What is it about bottle service? You do not need to spend for bottle service to enter a club. However, if you want a good table location, and you are anxious to get in, bottle service is certainly the best way. At present, nearly all clubs have VIP tables set all over the place.

When you order bottle or table service, you pay the club a premium for a table, table location, bottles and mixers. Mixers like lime/lemon, orange juice, cranberry and tonic water are somewhat standard among many clubs. You need to pay extra, though, if you want to order bottled water or energy drinks, but the amount is included in your minimum spend. Aside from bringing out the drinks, bottle service girls also help you mix drinks, refill your mixers, pour shots and take out empty glasses.

Booking a table requires a minimum spend, which is the amount you have to pay for alcohol (and food for day clubs). The minimum amount quoted to you does not include tax or tip, which can be estimated to be around 30% (10% for tax and 18% to 20% for tip. Usually, gratuity (18% to 20%) is automatically included in the final bill. Per see, every time you book a table, multiply the minimum by 1.3 to know the total amount you will likely spend. A table with 1 k min will amount to 1.3 k, while a table with 5 k min will amount to 6.5 k and so on.

The minimum spend on each table depends on different factors such as:

  • Holidays
  • Particular day of the week, which is higher on Friday and Saturday
  • DJ or Performer, wherein bigger names have bigger minimums
  • Table location, which is higher when closer to the activity
  • Number of people in your group – even if you want a 1k table, only 1k min might come
  • With 4 companions – increase your min when you add more people.

How To Make Magnificent Group Events

Looking for something new and fun to do? Group events tend to go the standard routes – dinner, movies, or meeting up at a bar, to name just a few. Get out there and do something different with your group and you’ll not only have an awesome time doing new things, but you’ll also bond with your crew in a whole new way. Check out a few great options for your next day or night out.

Spend a Day at the Park

Spend a day at the park with your pals. Bet you haven’t spent an afternoon playing frisbee, flying kites, or throwing around a football in years! Have some fun with your team and beautiful Mother Nature. Enjoy the boost your pals and the pure sunshine bring with a day at your local park or other outdoor venues.

Volunteer With a Local Non-Profit

There are few things as rewarding as volunteering. For alternative group events, why not get people together to serve a great cause? Whether it’s building homes, cleaning up a park, or planting a garden, there’s a perfect organization out there to support with your friends or co-workers. Not only will it feel good to get out and make a difference in the community, but you’ll also be able to learn about others and their leadership, time management, and natural communication skills.

Cheer on Your Team at a Sporting Event

Take your entire team to the ball game for a fun and memorable group event. Between brews and burgers, get to know your friends or co-workers and their favorite teams. There’s something about a sporting event that takes one back to childhood. Revisiting those days and swapping sports tales will make for a memorable experience.

Be a Tourist For the Day

Sometimes it’s great to explore your town through the eyes of a tourist. If you’re coming up short on team outing ideas, why not try a guided tour throughout your city, or hit up the hottest out-of-towner spots. Who knows, you may enjoy seeing things from the outside in and build a deeper appreciation for your hometown. Plus, it’s always fun to explore the best of your city!

Challenge Friends to a Game Night

Host a game night to encourage a bit of friendly competition. All you’ll need for this party is a few board or card games, some snacks, and plenty of space to seat your guests. Go old school with classic favorites like checkers or Twister, or do something analytical like Scattergories or Scrabble. No matter what you choose, your guests will enjoy feeling like kids again.

Group events don’t have to be stressful or, worst of all, boring. Inject some fun and team building into your next gathering with one of these ideas, and you’ll be ready for an enjoyable time with those closest to you.

Video Effect During Green Screen

The green screen video effect is amazing. You stand in front of a green backdrop and hit record on the video camera. Then, you drop the footage into your video editing software, select a new background, apply the chromakey filter and you are instantly transported to a new location. You can be in a shiny new office, standing in a hightech virtual set, on the beach, or even on the moon. At least, that is how you imagine things will work.

All to often, the first attempt you make at the green screen effect produces disappointing results. When you try to remove the green background in your editing software, you do not get all of the color to disappear. You play around with the settings to get more of the green to go away and suddenly the middle of your shirt disappears. You make more and more adjustments until things look better. You have lost all of the fine details around the edges, but the green is gone. But, when you hit play, the edges of your footage dance around like lighting bolts. You go back and blur the edges until they turn to mush.

After hours of tweaking and fine-tuning, you have created bad green screen video.

Creating Bad Green Screen Video is Easy

The secret that most people selling the tools and software for the green screen video effect do not tell you is that it is really easy to create bad results. YouTube is littered with examples of horrible chromakey video. But, there is another secret. It is not much harder to produce fantastic chromakey video.

You do not have to spend thousands of dollars or hundreds of hours of effort to create videos you are proud to share with the world. One major key to success is how you light your screen.

The Big Screen Lighting Myth

There is a big misconception about shooting green screen video that comes from the companies selling screen and lighting kits. Search online and you will see an endless list of options for purchasing a kit that includes everything you need to shoot green screen video. The list of included items is always the same. You get a green muslin screen, a support stand to hold up the screen, and three lights. You always get three lights, and that is the problem.

To get the best results from the process, you need to light the screen separately from the subject. An ideal green screen lighting kit includes five lights. Two lights are dedicated exclusively to lighting the screen itself. The other three lights are used to light your subject.

The Best Lights for Your Green Screen

Flat even lighting is the goal when lighting a green screen. Any variation in brightness will make it harder for your editing software to remove the background while preserving edge details. In a home office video studio, space is usually at a premium, so you can afford to use big soft boxes or place lights far away from the screen. The easiest way to get good results is to use fluorescent or LED bank lights.

A bank light is nothing more than a large flat (usually rectangular) light fixture. Professional versions just look like fancy fluorescent shop lights turned sideways. In fact, you can make your own from inexpensive parts purchased at your local home center. There are a few things to watch out for when making your own. But once you know what to buy, it is easy to do.

LED bank lights are more expensive to purchase, but they last forever, have no glass tube to break, and can usually be dimmed to dial-in the perfect amount of light.

Placing The Lights

Lighting your screen with bank lights is easy. You place one light on each side of the screen. The lights should be oriented vertically so that the light shines out evenly from top to bottom. Adjust the angle and distance from the screen until the entire surface of your green screen is lit at an even level of brightness.

Once your screen is properly lit, you can use the other three lights that came with your kit to light your subject. Make a few critical tweaks to your camera settings and you will quickly be shooting amazing green screen video to share with the world.