Being an actor is hard. Not only do we need that charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent (werk!), but we wear more hats than the actors in Gutenberg! The Musical! We’re never only actors — we’re camera operators, makeup artists, video editors, self-costumers, social media managers, accountants….you name it, we’ve gotta do it.
And in 2022, actors have to add ‘website designer’ to that ever-growing list.
While your Insta and TikTok may (or may not) have an impressive follower count, it’s your website that legitimizes you and centralizes your credits, your reel, and your contact information. Wix, Squarespace, WordPress…whatever you choose, that website is a shout into the void: I’m here, I know what I’m doing, and I’m ready to get cast!
But no matter how pretty your website is, there are six fundamentals you need if you want to be taken seriously and make that content POP! Keep reading as we count down the top six website basics you should include to keep your phone buzzing off the hook with agents, auditions, producers, and your mom texting you to tell you, “It looks great, honey!”
- A gallery of headshots, portraits, and performance photos
You didn’t shell out all that cash for the best photographer in the city to have your headshots hide in your downloads folder, did you? No! Display them prominently on your website so it’s crystal clear whose site it is.
Is deciding on which shot to bring to an audition harder than scaling Mount Everest? Well now’s your chance to make a whole gallery to show off every side of your personality! Feel free to include other portraits and any performance photos you have access to. Don’t forget to credit photographers and ask permission if you’re unsure — we learned in kindergarten not to take things that aren’t ours.
- Your social media links
For better or for worse, actors today can really benefit from a strong social media presence. Your socials are a valuable tool to get your face and personal brand in front of industry professionals before ever stepping into an audition room.
Connect those gold mines of content to your website in an attempt to give the people what they want: more, more, MORE! Just don’t forget they’re linked to your professional website the next time you’re in Vegas for that one friend’s bachelor/ette weekend.
- A video reel of your best work
You remember that list of hats actors wear? The video editor bit? Well here’s your chance to shine, Spielberg! Or perhaps it’s your chance to hire that talented techie friend of yours. Either way, it’s reel-y time to get down to business.
Whether you sing, dance, act (or all of the above, you Triple Threat, you), video content is your best friend, especially now that technology has moved past Super 8 film. Include a video reel or two on your website to give the people a taste of your talent and leave them wanting more.
- A bio all about who you are
What is the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd? The fact that you’re you, of course! And your website is the ultimate source for all things [insert your name here].
Writing a brief bio that gives a glimpse into who you are beyond the basic facts of where you went to school and a litany of credits can give you an edge over the other cookie-cutter websites out there. Can you juggle? Are you a championship javelin thrower? Do you have a collection of Golden Girls memorabilia (RIP Betty White)? Include it! Making yourself more than just another headshot is what makes you castable.
- Your resume(s) or portfolio
Headshot and resume, baby. Like peanut butter and jelly, cookies and cream, you and the shining lights of a marquee…some things just belong together. Slap that resume in an easy-to-access place on your website, and make it downloadable. Plus, there aren’t time or page limits on a website, so if you have multiple resumes for each of your niches (jack-of-all-trades, aren’t ya?), show them off!
Your site is the place for people to learn everything they could want to learn about you. It’s like your own personal Wikipedia page, but you are the only editor and contributor. If you have an additional portfolio (actor/photographers, I’m looking at you), link it. You are your own marketing manager and hype-(wo)man here — so let the people know how great you are!
1. Your name and contact information
The obvious MUST be stated: please include your name in a nice big, bold, easy-to-read font. In fact, your website address itself should be your professional name as well, if you can grab that URL. If not, www.Norma-Desmond-Actress.com works as well. Your grade school teachers would be so proud of you for marking your all work with your name at the top.
And don’t forget a way for Broadway to reach you when they call! You can add an email address, a business phone number, and/or a handy message box widget linked to the inbox of your choosing. Any method will work, so long as you check it regularly and answer when opportunity undoubtedly comes a-knockin’!
One more hat to wear
With these guidelines and touch of tech-savvy, we hope you can confidently add a “Web Design: Basic Edition” hat to your already toppling stack. When your website books you an award-winning gig, there’s no need to thank us in your Tony acceptance speech, though.
While you’re waiting for that avalanche of offers, you may want a flexible, well-paying, part-time job that keeps those monthly website fees paid. Check out Worthwhile Event Services today for an opportunity to add another hat to your ever-growing collection and add some cash to your wallet.