In today's world, having your own personal actor website is becoming a must have. As a producer, the first thing we do after being contacted be an actor is look for their website. Surprisingly, most do not have one. The impact of casting those who have already created a personal brand with influence is getting more and more important. Yes, of course you need talent, but being completely candid here, we also look at your overall brand. This includes social media following, video content… and your website. Your website is a living-digital resume for your work as well as a place to highlight all the reasons we should cast you. Creating a database of ‘all things you’ is extremely helpful for any producer, casting agents, managers, etc. We’ll talk more on the things you should include on your site in just a bit, but first, let’s discuss the setup.
Part 1: Setting Up & Building Your Website - How to get started
I’d be willing to bet that most of you have said “I really should set up a website". Just to realize you have no clue what you are doing or how to even get started on the thing? First you need to find your platform. Many platforms make building your website a LOT easier than you would think. These platforms are known as “drag-and-drop” builders. Instead of coding it with numerous symbols and numbers, if you want an image somewhere specific on your site, drag the image block in place and upload your desired picture from your computer.
Sidebar: There are tons of sophisticated platforms out there such as WordPress, but they require more skill and attention.I would recommend getting something user friendly (like Wix or Squarespace - *not sponsored) so you will actually update the thing as often as you need to.
Building Your Actor Website
Step 1: Choose your site builder and signup
Step 2: Add your personalized domain name
Sidebar: Let’s pause a second to talk about how important your domain name is. Having a professional domain name is crucial for completing a professional looking website. What name should you use? If you’re creating a personal brand site, I suggest keeping it simple and straightforward by using your first and last name, avoid any unnecessary words at the end IE ___(your name)___actor.com
Part 2: What Content Should I Have?
When it comes to your content, I prefer to view a clean and simple site. This is your first impression to anyone who visits. Things should be simple but visually pleasing while offering enough information to give an idea of who you are, what you do, and all that you are capable of doing.
Let’s break this into 5 main pages. Each of these should be a tab on your sites navigation menu. In most cases, each tab will link to a separate page on your site.
Page 1: Homepage
Pop quiz: What should be on your home page?
Answer: Try and make one of the following sections discussed into the home page. The ‘About Me’ section is a great way to introduce yourself. You could even do a variety of things such as a bio, some pictures,a recent blog posts, or a video. Having a little of everything on the home page is like an overture of your entire website.
Your bio section should be a more informal way to get to know you when compared to the resume page. You want to aim for personable, including topics such as, where you grew up, how you started performing, and a few specific examples of projects you’ve worked on. You can also link things (like your youtube account) and still on;y have to use one page.
Page 2. Resume
We all know your resume page is the most important page on your site. You should try to include things like downloadable headshots and a resume in PDF format. You need to include a digital resume on the site itself, so it’s easier for producers/casting agents to skim and see if you’re a good fit. Then, they are able use the download link to keep it on file should they so desire.
Page 3. Video/Photos
Video: This one is pretty self-explanatory, but that does not make it less important. Video is how the majority of the world consumes content, and video is a much better way to convey if you’re right for ‘the’ part. Video has the ability to assist you in showing your diversity and gets the casting team in the virtual audition room with you.
Even if you don’t have a professional ‘Reel’ yet, you should try to put at least one video on there as soon as you can. Give us something to get to know you as an actor and person.
Photos: The same as with videos, photos can help show you in action. They give perspective of the looks you can achieve and the characters you could potentially play. Casting can be a game of chemistry and having the perfect ‘Fit’ for a show. Pictures really can give you a leg up against the competition.
Sidebar: Think about adding some lifestyle photos, headshots and photos of you in a production or on the job. Try putting photos and videos under one category in your navigation menu by labeling it ‘Media’ and dropping those as categories underneath.
Page 4. Contact Section
Obviously, your contact info should be on your resume, having a dedicated section that is just a click away, is recommended. Include things like:
Agent Phone/Email (If Applicable)
Where you are located: This doesn’t have to be the specific address, city and state would suffice.
Page 5. News/Blog
Though this page is not entirely necessary, it is a great section for a chance to brag about the projects you’ve done, what you are currently doingand let people get to know you better. Just be sure to credit any photographers, directors, videographers, ext.
There You have It
Remember, your website should be consistent of two parts. One part is for professional inquiries, and the other part is for building a personal brand or fanbase. Blogs can be an easy way to market without feeling too… late night infomercial-ish. But, also know that there is nothing wrong with self-promotion.
It’s also a great way to document your journey as an actor and collect memories of shows and events gone by.