Hollywood Actress Kimber Leigh Reveals Her Networking Secrets
Kimber Leigh has acted in several feature films, television series and over 100 modeling shoots. In this article, she tells MissPerfectWoman.com how she networked her way in the film industry by landing acting and modeling gigs without even auditioning.
Networking is MORE Important Than Getting An Agent
Networking in the film industry is MOST important, more important than having an agent. This is where you get to meet industry people one on one and you get your opportunity to talk about you and see if who you are meeting will be a good fit for both of you. It is like a mini interview where both parties are more relaxed and more likely to be themselves rather than an audition atmosphere where there is more pressure on the part of the actor and time constraints on the part of the Director, Producer or Writer.
I have received all of my work from networking. None of it came from an agent.
My Favorite Networking Story
My favorite success story from networking came at the Phoenix Film Festival in 2009. That is where I found a Director that was willing to work with me on a film. I had asked 4 at that event and finally found my yes. The Director that did say yes, is a numerous award winning Director and the film that we shot, called “TO SOME DEGREE” went onto to become an Official Selection at FILMSTOCK FILM FESTIVAL and also the PHOENIX FILM FESTIVAL. And, currently we are shooting the feature film “SERIAL BLONDES”.
The Best Roles Are Never Advertised
YES, YES and YES. Actors and models do land big jobs without an audition by networking. I have done over 30 films and none of them were ever cast by an audition. And I have done over 135 modeling shoots without an audition.
I believe that some of the best acting jobs are never advertised, because someone will do great in an audition and then be terrible on the set like showing up late, showing up unprepared and showing up bringing all their drama with them. A big project is cast without advertising is because they want the best talent and will cast those that they have already worked with and know that the talent can deliver.
Network At All Film Festivals
You should network at ALL Film Festivals, both before, during intermission and at the after party. You should also network at large events of come out parties of other actors, Film Fund raisers and also Kick Off Parties of film Challenges. That is where you will get most of your gigs. DO MONITOR YOUR ALCOHOL consumption at these events. Always put your best self out there.
Without a doubt the best venues for networking are all the FILM FESTIVALS. Find out where they are in your city and attend, attend and attend. Get noticed, ask questions and introduce yourself. Also, another great place to start is to do a lot of work as an extra on a set. I spent 6 solid months as an extra on a TV Series to learn all that I could. I did lose my day job at the time but I would do it all over again. They paid me to get an education, although it was only 5 dollars an hour, it was an invaluable education. Also, always carry in your car, your headshots, resumes, demo reels, comp cards and business cards. I have even networked at gas stations before. You just never know when that opportunity will arise that you need to market yourself.
Networking on the Internet
Networking on the internet is where I created my fan base. I started on a site called ONE MODEL PLACE. That is where I showcased all of my modeling work. I have over one and half million people that view my work. Then I went onto MY SPACE, then FACEBOOK and TWITTER. Any and all of those is where you create your fan base and where you can also garner some work. I get film request just from my internet sites without ever being seen by the client.
The Biggest Mistakes Made by Aspiring Actors
The biggest mistakes that are made are being overly anxious to make a great impression. The talent should listen more than talk. Drinking too much. Gossiping about other talent. And, not being prepared. You need headshots, resumes, demo reels and websites before moving forward. Do your homework first before looking for your film work. If you are not prepared, the client will then wonder how prepared will you be on the set.
Before you sell yourself, have your tools ready. You would never start your first day of school without a book bag, writing tools, paper, etc so do not think filming is any different. And always remember, everyone knows everyone. Be kind when talking about others!
The one thing that an aspiring actor can do to move forward is find out who is the most successful in their community and ask them how did they achieve and accomplish their goals and see if they will share their recipe for success. And then network, network, all the while asking if people will work with you. If you do not ask, they may not ask either.
About the Author
Kimber Leigh is an actress who has acted in several feature films, over 100 modeling shoots, several TV series and continues to be one of the most sought after actresses in the Indie Film Industry. Her IMDB Profile can be viewed at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1971718/