Carmen Electra & The Pussycat Dolls
Resumes are useless. I don’t even know why they ask for resumes at auditions any more – they’re just going to Google you when you leave the room anyway. And if you haven’t proven yourself in the room you’re not going to book the gig, regardless of how many times you’ve been a unicorn on Battlestar Galactica or ‘Cop 1′ on SmallVille.
It used to be that singing, dancing and acting were the trifecta of the entertainment world. If you could do all three of those you were considered a well rounded entertainer. Michael Jackson. Sammy Davis Jr. Tony Bennett. Bette Midler. The list goes on.
I’m not saying that there isn’t value in these skills. The problem with the theory of ‘triple threat’ is two-fold. First off, too many performers focus on trying to become all of these, when in reality, very few people can do three things well. With the exception of the list of entertainers above and maybe a few more, a true triple threat comes along once or twice in a generation. The rest are just mediocre. Pick one thing that OTHER people (not family) recognize that you’re world class at and focus on it. Focused time equals focused results.
Second thing is, the business of entertainment is no longer just on stage. If you aren’t engaging or cultivating your audience through social media or if you don’t have some sort of web strategy, you’re not taking yourself seriously and you won’t be taken seriously. Slapping up a MySpace page or a cheap website and then spending crazy money on extravagant head shots or equipment is backwards. No brand, no stand. It’s called show business for a reason and those who know the business will benefit most.
Of course there’s always the exaggerated story of someone being discovered at a mall or being asked to model for Prada because of the way they licked their ice cream at a bar mitzvah. There’s an exception to every rule and most of us are the rule. The danger in this scenario is that you may get discovered but if you don’t know your business you’ll end up with a gig and not a career.
The decades I have spent on stage honing my craft have been truly blessed with many amazing successes and opportunities, but I have made more money as a result of these gigs than I have from these gigs.
Yesterday I sat in a rehearsal with Carmen Electra, Robin Antin and the Pussycat Dolls. They heard about me through an agent who saw my show at the Vancouver Fringe Festival and after meeting with me realized that my business mind was something that had added value. Since then this agent has sent me on the road with several major acts, asking me to re-tool their businesses both on stage and off. I am touring with the Pussycat Dolls across Canada as they premiere their new Burlesque show and tweaking their business along the way.
So why does an actor with an award winning Off Broadway show, a national commercial and a television development deal continue to generate work as a tour manager and brand strategist? Because the internet and social media have empowered performers to come off the stage and still perform.
The new triple threat is:
1. Talent (what you do best, keep it up)
2. Business (creating opportunities for yourself)
3. Branding (knowing how to leverage 1 & 2 to make money)
How do you get there? Visit my website and click on News for some recommended reading.
Now get off stage and go make some money.
-Kahlil (at) gigsmacked (dot) com