Fabulosity Fridays: Tweet To The Top

FABULOSITY FRIDAYS - MichelleEveryone has their own opinions of social media. And everyone has their own personalities. We all know some over-sharers in the online world. Then there are the self promoters, the cute video lovers, the selfie-obsessed, the food photo takers, and the political ranters. The list is endless. But here’s what is interesting. We KNOW them. Or we think we do. And for up-and-coming actors, visibility is key. Having a “fan base” (however small or pretentious-sounding it is) is more important than most people think.

In light of this subject, I present to you a personal experience (because, well, that’s what I know best). I auditioned a year or so ago for a SAG ULB indie feature that was a very well-written film cast by a friend of mine. I went in for a role that I was right for, had a good read, got a callback, and had a good read in the callback. I didn’t get the role. No biggie, I was glad to have the callback, but what I heard later made me think twice.

A friend of mine was at the callback as well. A very talented, more-successful-than-I, beautiful young lady. She got the job. I was happy that she did! I always want my friends to get jobs (even if that means I don’t). BUT, talking to the casting director afterward, he/she said that I was, in fact, the choice for the role, but the producers decided that they needed someone with a “name”. So they hired my friend instead.

arrowtemplate 2Now, my friend is not a household name, but she does have six digits of Twitter followers and has been in a lot of stuff. Here’s the thing: when it comes to indie film, producers need eyeballs. Eyeballs on indies mean money on the back end. Actors with fans mean eyeballs. Out of my friend’s 100K Twitter followers, I would guess that at least 10% of them would be interested in downloading a film
with her in it. (For that matter, I’m sure that 10% of my 3,000 followers would want to see the film as well). But that means if they hire her, they have 1,000 eyeballs when they hire her instead of my 30. And the more well-known the actor, the more validity their presence lends to the film.

I don’t write all this to be discouraging. Quite the opposite. You have, to some degree, control over your “fan base” with social media. For instance, you post a pretty picture on a red carpet and someone likes it on Instagram. Then their friends check out your feed, and they follow you because they like to look at red carpet pictures. So, maybe you get three new followers per picture. Tag the maker of your dress in the post or the makeup you’re wearing and I guarantee some makeup or fashion peeps take notice and follow you as well. Is this 100K people? No. But is it worth your while? Of course! It builds up over time! Soon you have 10,000 followers and then you get chosen for the job over the gal without any social media accounts.

Am I saying social media is everything? Absolutely not. I’d like to think that the best person for the job still gets it from time to time. But you never know. And it can’t hurt. Am I saying to be an over-sharer? NO! Be careful what you post. Be positive and professional but personable. Now go get those followers!