This is the era of empowered actors!
You get to take charge of your career in endless ways. One often overlooked way is to join the already existing, already powerful search engines online. You will become more “searchable” when you are a part of any of these massive engines.
Here’s an empowering tip: create a personal Vimeo or YouTube channel of your acting work.
On a public channel you can load individual professional clips from films/TV shows that you’ve done, a reel, and/or demo acting clips from classes.
On a private channel, you can add your favorite self-tapes from recent auditions. An unlisted, private, or password-protected channel comprises only videos of YOU. You control the content entirely.
Why do I need a channel, you wonder? Well, you don’t NEED a channel. But…
…I’m just thinking of every single easy way for someone to access the scope of your brilliant work, whether or not you have a professional reel or website. If you’re counting on your website to turn up at the top of Google searches, why not extend to YouTube or Vimeo too? It all helps.
I’m always trying to recommend actors to my director and casting pals, and every bit of footage that they can view and be enticed by really, really, really does help.
And, did you know that a private channel of your recent self-tapes is often requested by agents or managers when they are considering working with you? They use it to show others to get you auditions and jobs! They want your work compilation at their fingertips.
Instead of sharing one clip, share the clip as part of your entire collection! Let’s get you set up to do that.
Here are reasons I think a personal channel would be helpful for your career and easy to manage:
- A public acting channel will be one easy link that you can provide to CDs and directors. With a single click, it shows an array of your talents. I also love the side bar scrolls which show all of your other videos, thus presenting the scope of what you can do. We get to know you really fast and easily.
- Add the channel link to your email signature footer, e.g., “Click here to see acting samples.”
- Uploading updated sample videos is simple once you get the hang of it.
- You don’t even have to have a website to get your work online and organized! Just start a channel.
- It’s a great way to “disguise” if you don’t have professional work yet. If you only load 2-3 class clips on a channel labeled “Acting Samples” or “Acting Demos” then viewers perceive that you are “working” or “auditioning.” It basically seems like your self-tape auditions and feels like they are able to be intimate with your acting process. It’s raw. It’s real.
- The biggest bonus is that, as I said above, it increases the chances of you being found in Google searches of your name when you are on a major server like YouTube or Vimeo. Your name will be in their search engines, which are very powerful. Videos located there can beat videos found on your Wix, Squarespace, or Weebly. (YouTube is owned by Google.)
- Reps often need to pitch you for roles, and a sample of your “raw” work might do the trick. (YES! This has helped alumni recently!) A password-protected channel is a nice way to meet a “protective” agent/manager halfway. Trust me, they will love it later when they are begging for you to be seen and can send over a sample scene from your private password-protected (aka “secretive”) channel! (And the CD might also go ahead and click on the other videos too!)
- This is helpful if you have a rep requesting to see your recent self-tapes (to see what you deliver when they get you auditions!) but they still need to be protected because the project has not yet been released.
- It is useful for the rep who doesn’t want you to have class acting samples online because they want you to appear more “polished” – pop them onto a private channel and they can privately share that around town.
- Top agencies, and most reps based out of Los Angeles, use a service called ActivePitch. It is exactly the same design and purpose as these youtube and vimeo channels. But it’s free! I am just cleverly imitating it. Wink wink.
How to organize it? Here is my main tip!
- Label each video on your channel by TYPES. Not the name of the film that the scene is pulled from. For example, label them by character types like “Comedy – Nerdy Best Friend” or “Drama – Heartbroken Father”. You are always guiding them to see what you want them to see.
- Arrange your clip order by category – group the comedy together, etc. And, arrange the strongest clip at the top of the list – this will inspire them to keep watching!
- If you prefer, you can put a private password on your channel or selected clips to give out to select recipients.
- Include links to your social media, online profile, website in your channel description.
- Advanced tip: upload your headshot or awesome portrait indie pic to the top of your channel.
And please, keep updating and building your websites and any online actor profiles.
Directors of indie films and theater, in particular, LOVE websites and ANY samples of seeing your work that they can get access too. They really love being able to get to know you.
The addition of a Vimeo/YouTube channel will be a great way to provide new ways for people to find you and share your talents online. Try it out!
GUIDES AND VIDEOS
GUIDE: Create a YouTube Channel
GUIDE: Manage Playlists in YouTube Studio
VIDEO: How to Add Sections to Your YouTube Channel – How to Add and Create Sections on YouTube Studio
GUIDE: Change playlist privacy setting
VIDEO: How to Make a Playlist on YouTube
GUIDE: Vimeo Showcases (with password protection)
Post your channels below so we can check out some samples!
Tova Hopemark says
Thank you Heidi for the inspiration to create! My self tape channel
Is below: https://youtube.com/@tovahopemark
Rosie McDonald says
Loved this whole blog post! Thank you, Heidi!!
Here is my Vimeo Page with Acting Samples.
Tristan Rose Gillia says
This is so helpful, thank you Heidi! Here’s the link to mine: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLreVv_YBD26gCG10X6Fl_qLQdrp3xlE-3
Natalie Kastner says
Heidi!! Love this and can’t wait to see allll the comments on my page. This was a blast to make. Really enjoyed watching Tristan’s, Tova’s, and Rosie’s! Let me know if I should be aware of any tweakments! My Nani loved watching the finished product, and I hope our small/mighty community enjoys as well 😉
Heidi Marshall says
Yes! Quick note. I think it would be helpful if you title the dance and singing clips with that key word at the start.
Goal is to help someone, at a glance, know where to look for the samples that they seek – ie, I am casting a singer, let me just skip right to watching all the songs.
And yay to your #1 fan, Nani!
Natalie Kastner says
Thank you!! Altering right now. Nani agrees!
Aaron Jin says
Here’s my audition playlist! It’s one of my favorite ways to share my work (it’s even linked in my email signature): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqUY2sd6Ew5H2gZ6C16hZlbsIVFsQhSxy
Jamey Powell says
Loved getting my self-tape playlist off the ground and can’t wait to keep adding to it! https://activepitch.com/jameypowell