Penguin chats with … Casting Director Shakyra Dowling

Casting Director and Penguin in the Room client Shakyra Dowling visited the penguin pool this week to answer some casting and online marketing related questions.

penguin in the room, casting director

Follow Shakyra on twitter @ShakyraDowling

Whats the biggest misconception about casting directors?

Probably that we are scary people! We want actors to do well, we only bring you in because we think you are PERFECT for the job.

What are you up to at the moment?

Casting 2 feature films – one British Independent and the other a Danish/US co-production

Top casting tips for actors?

- Always learn the sides sent to you.

- Find out who is going to be at the meeting and check them out on IMDB.

- If you can watch some of their previous work on VOD then do so.

You are on twitter and Facebook, do you post castings?

Twitter – especially for those hard to find role!

Do you think it’s important for actors to be aware of their online presence?

Yes, producers always want to know how much publicity they can get out via their cast. So if you have a large following, they are impressed.

Do you chat to actors on twitter?

Sometimes, usually ones I know personally or have cast in the past.

Do you think actors should be on youtube?

If they have a body of work online (trailers for films, online ads, shorts) then its good to have it all in one place on a youtube channel. Showreels should be on spotlight or vimeo as they are more industry tools.

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email: info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com

Social Media for Producers

So you are a producer and you are interested in social media, you might even have a Facebook profile but what social media channels should you be using?

Penguin in the Room, LinkedIn, Social Mediapenguin in the roompenguin in the room

 

 

 

 

 

You should be present on: LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook

1. LinkedIn - widely known as the biggest lead generating social media network, which means that people get the most work out of this one. Great for keeping tabs on your connections and promoting your CV online. Take a look at What is LinkedIn? A Straightforward Guide for more info.

2. Twitter - over 500 million members and the one every one is obsessed with. Great for people on the go – you can tweet anywhere if you have a smart phone. Perfect for starting conversations and finding opportunities as well as promoting your productions.

3. Facebook - over a billion members! The Facebook membership is getting older so you will find more and more industry folk on there. Lots of theatre companies and film companies have pages so a great place to make connections. Great for finding opportunities and promoting your projects.

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email: info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website: www.penguinintheroom.com

How can I get paid work from twitter?

Happy summer penguins, I hope you are getting some sun block on those white bits! I recently met some lovely film and tv freelancers at the BECTU Freelancers Fair and a question that seemed to come up a lot was how to get paid work from twitter. So, here we go….

Direct job ads

Follow the right people on twitter (ie. people in your industry) and every so often you should see jobs pop up on your timeline. ie. “I am looking for a DOP for a shoot on Monday, London based. DM me” these are pretty clear-cut so you can directly reply with a link to your website or ask for an email to send over a CV.

You can also help this process along by using the twitter search function and putting in some nice keywords. eg. writer, DOP, camera person, film, tv, producer and try phrases like “need producer” or “producer london” to find the right jobs for you.

It’s all about who you know..

However, the method that will get you the most job results is NETWORKING. (Read some tips about face to face networking here.) We know that the creative industries are all about who you know and we all want to work with people we like/can get on with. So, you need to get into the pool of people your industry contacts know and like before that great job comes up – this means that when that perfect job does come up the contact comes straight to you, as they already know what you and have seen/heard about your previous work (via twitter). Alternatively if they don’t come to you but you apply for the job, you will be one step ahead of all the other people applying  as the contact will have already heard of you and spoken to you via twitter.

How do I network on twitter?

Use twitter primarily to interact! Follow the people you admire and want to work with and start conversations with them. Remember every time you reply or retweet them your twitter name and icon comes up on their profile so make sure it features your face/logo and your full name or business name!

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email: info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website: www.penguinintheroom.com

Social Media for Writers

So you are a writer and you are interested in social media, you might even have a Facebook profile but what social media channels should you be using?

You should be present on: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a have a blog.

1. Twitter – over 500 million members and the one every one is obsessed with. Great for people on the go – you can tweet anywhere if you have a smart phone. Perfect for inspiration, promoting your writing and finding opportunities.

2. Facebook – over a billion members! The Facebook membership is getting older so you will find more and more industry folk on there. Lots of theatre companies and film companies have pages so a great place to make connections. Great for finding opportunities and promoting your writing.

3. LinkedIn – widely known as the biggest lead generating social media network, which means that people get the most work out of this one. Great for keeping tabs on your connections and promoting your cv online. Take a look at What is LinkedIn? A Straightforward Guide for more info.

4. Blog - lots of blog providers out there but WordPress is my favourite. A great way to keep yourself writing regularly and to have an online portfolio of your work to show others. Write about whatever subject you want and you can even get a following going. Blogs can lead to paid work for magazines, papers etc. and even getting a published books so pick your topic wisely!

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com

Penguin chats with … A Younger Theatre

A Younger Theatre, Penguin in the Room, Marketing, Actors, Social Media

This Penguin in the Room took time out from the glare of the hot London sun to interview Jake Orr the Artistic Director of A Younger Theatre: a popular platform for young people interested in theatre. Read on to see the results!

How did A Younger Theatre start?

After graduating from drama school I decided to head down the safety route of administration work instead of performance. Sitting behind a desk was frustrating after being so creative. I began to write as a creative outlet. At the same time I watched at press nights when the critics would come to review, and I wondered where all the critics my own age were. Thus, A Younger Theatre was born. At first a blog, and later a website.

As a platform for young people do you think social media is important?

Social media has been crucial to the continual growth of A Younger Theatre as a platform for young people. Social media allows us to reach a large audience who are already well adapt at using these digital tools, and just so happen to be our own target demographic. That’s not to say that others outside our remit of ‘young people’ don’t use them, but social media has been adopted by young people as a tool of expression, networking and creativity.

How does social media play a role in your organisation?

As a digital publication we have to ensure that our content is seen by as many people as possible. Social media is a crucial tool for us to expand our reach for this content. Everyday we push out new content through our social networks (mainly Twitter and Facebook), and then rehash old content that is still relevant for our readers. We generally tweet throughout the day, roughly every hour, and with Facebook we publish at least two photos per day which include links back to the AYT website itself. We try to develop conversations through our social media output initially from our content but also through questions we pose on the social platforms.

Do you think online marketing is useful for theatre companies?

Online marketing is crucial for any emerging theatre company, and established companies too. It is a form of marketing that is constant, one that keeps a profile of a company active even when there is no work to actually market to an audience. Never underestimate the value of digital or online marketing alongside more traditional modes of marketing such as flyers or posters.

What are your top tips for theatre companies trying to get reviewers to their shows?

Think of your theatre work as a product. Make sure you know what you’re trying to ’sell’, and market accordingly to the right demographic or receptive audience. To get a review you have to have a strong product, and be offering something different. Send a press release outlining the production to members of the press. Be personal, and don’t nag.

Is there anything that turns you off a theatre company or show on social media?

When companies and organisations put no creativity into their social media, and instead produce a stream of what feels like blatant marketing. It’s tiring and dull. Be creative.

What turns you on to a theatre company or show on social media?

Creativity, and lots of it. A company who are willing to be a think tank of ideas and to ask questions to discuss and debate their work are of interest to me.

Jake is the Founder and Artistic Director of A Younger Theatre, a platform for young people to write about theatre and the arts. Founded in 2009, AYT has been called “radically agiest” by the Guardian and was named About.com’s Best Theatre Blog of 2011. Jake is also a freelance theatre writer, digital producer, think and commentator on the arts. www.ayoungertheatre.com / www.jakeorr.co.uk / @ayoungertheatre / @jakeyoh

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com

Top 5 Facebook No No’s for Actors

twitter no no's for actors

So most of us are on Facebook but a lot of people ask me if they should be on there as an actor? Yes! Facebook is another great way to promote yourselves and network and there will be people on Facebook that aren’t on twitter, LinkedIn etc so don’t miss out on connecting with them. So the next question I get asked is what are the commons mistakes you should avoid? Well, I am glad you ask because here are my top 5 No No’s for Actors on Facebook…

1. Personal profiles – make sure your personal profile (profile through which you add and accept friends) is not visible in google search and update your privacy settings, you don’t want Directors seeing photos of the last hen night you went on do you! Create a page (which people can like) to be the public face of your acting brand. (You can create a personal acting profile but you are only allowed one profile on Facebook so Facebook could shut this profile down at any time)

2. Fan page – Facebook pages are often called fan pages and this makes actors feel insecure about having a page as they assume they have no fans and get caught up in the amount of likes they have. However, it is not about securing fans it’s about making connections and promoting your news – think quality not quantity – if 10 people are engaging with your page regularly that’s much better than 1000 people who never read or like anything you post.

3. Headers – Facebook’s new look timeline has header images (the long thin image across the top) and this is a great opportunity to promote yourselves. Please resist the urge to have a picture of a nice view or a stock theatre image and use this space to display a screen/theatre shot of yourself. Let prospective employers see you in action! You can even put a current production poster there to promote where your followers can see you next.

4. Twitter messages on Facebook – we all like to feel special and if I see that you have clearly posted a tweet on Facebook eg. the post contains hashtags and @tags, I don’t feel special. Your Facebook followers want to feel like you are posting interesting news for them on Facebook and not just posting any old thing because its easier. So, do not link your Facebook account to Twitter and remove twitter language before posting on Facebook. Also, it’s a good idea to post some messages on Facebook that don’t go on twitter and vice versa – make it interesting for people who follow you on both social media channels.

5. News – by all means promote yourself but don’t be a broken record. We do want to hear your news but not just a stream of you related information. Break things up with interesting articles, links etc that are useful for your followers.

So enjoy yourselves on Facebook and I hope you make some wonderful connections out of it! If you are on twitter you can also check out my Top 5 No No’s for Actors on Twitter too.

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website:www.penguinintheroom.com

Penguin Chats with …. Dead Rebel Team

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So what is Dead Rebel Team?

Seydou Coca: Dead Rebel Team is a group of young aspiring artists from various fields and backgrounds such as creative writing, production and film amongst others. Together we share a collective mindset in which we aim to speak directly to our audience to share a message of positivity using current and real life events.

Is your music available online? Where?

Matt Wood: Our music is available online on YouTube and Soundcloud. Our current events can be followed via our Facebook and Twitter profiles. Our first mixtape is also available for free download via the links on your Facebook fan page. Just search for The Dead Rebel Team and enjoy.

How important do you think it is for musicians/bands to market themselves?

Graeme: The music industry is such a large and varied entity nowadays that if musicians didn’t market themselves they stand to become drowned out by the noise of others around them. We see marketing and drawing attention to ourselves as key to becoming successful and give us the ability o reach into the lives of those who share an interest in our personas and our general positive messages as a whole.

How important do you think it is for musicians to have an online presence?

Ben: The internet is a massive part of modern day life, from the rise of social media in popular culture to the smart phones carried in the hands of a vast majority of the general public. To not exploit this medium would leave us likely to fall behind our rivals in the marketplace. An online presence allows our audience to listen to or watch our music freely and follow our day to day events. This allows them to feel part of the team and share in the unique experience that has become our lives. Sharing these experiences with our fans is a massive part of why we do what we do.

Have any amazing opportunities come up from people seeing your work online?

Matthew Tate: We’ve had the opportunity to work with or meet up with some fantastic up and coming artists who are on a similar path to our own such as Nick Wood, Sonny Jim and The Projekt. Our online video’s have given us the ability to display our talent to venue managers who have in turn provided us with stage time to play to crowds all around the country including our hometown of Sunderland. We have also been given the opportunity to write a song that will feature within a movie due out in August with a £1 million budget.

Do you think soundcloud is a useful platform for musicians?

Matty: Soundcloud is a fantastic worldwide platform. It’s a quick and easy way to share our music with those without the ability to download or anyone wanting to play our track on the go. What’s more is it’s a free and stable website that can be linked to and offers a download function to our tracks. It makes the job of sharing our music with the world so much easier and allows us more precious time doing what we love most.

Do you think YouTube is a useful platform for musicians?

Frawd: Everyone loves music videos. The success of MTV in the 80’s and the subsequent success of the channels following in its footsteps such as Kerrang and Channel AKA are testament to this. For those, like ourselves, in the dawning of their careers YouTube offers a free and easy way to get seen as well as heard by the worldwide populous. This is integral to those who aren’t currently in a position to get their video’s onto these stations. YouTube also gives us an opportunity to see how well our video’s are being received by our audience by means of view counts and comments.

Do you think Twitter and Facebook are useful platforms for musicians?

Graeme: With over 1 billion users on social media you can bet your life it’s a useful platform. We use Twitter and Facebook daily to speak to our fans and update them with what we’ve been up to, where the next gig is and link them to our latest tracks.

Are there any other online platforms that you think musicians/bands should know about?

Seydou Coca: Mixcould If your a DJ and Bandcamp are good ones.

What is the best marketing advice you have been given?

Matt Wood: Use the law of attraction. To us it is more than an idea; it’s a powerful force that affects our everyday life. Concentrate, focus and work hard enough on what you want in life and it will come to you. You can’t expect positivity in your life without yourself being positive. This is something we speak about through our music and in our everyday lives. Also don’t put all your songs on YouTube or sound cloud give people a reason to get your mix tapes and come and see you live for new material.

Do you have any marketing tips for musicians or bands out there?

Graeme: Just basically what we have already said. To those who haven’t used these methods we say research and test them for yourselves.

Where can we see you next?

Matthew Tate: If you check our Facebook and Twitter we always keep people updated about Gigs which we have loooootttts of coming up, new material and any news regarding the team. Seydou Coca our DJ has his own live feed where he does a mix, you can tune in there.

Find Dead Rebel online:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Dead-Rebel-Team/274718582576109

SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/dead-rebel-team

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/thedeadrebelteam

Twitter: @deadrebelteam

Penguin in the Room @prartsmarketing is one penguin with an arts marketing dream: penguin stepping my way into the arts industry and helping creatives flourish! Specialising in online marketing, social media, branding, copy writing, media coaching and web design for actors, artists, casting directors, agents, production companies, theatre companies and creative individuals.

Contact me any time for penguin chats via email:info@penguinintheroom.com or Facebook.com/penguinintheroom or waddle over to my website: www.penguinintheroom.com