JENNIFER AQUINO

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www.jenniferaquino.com

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Being an actor requires wearing two hats: a creative hat and a business hat.
I created this page to educate actors about the business of acting. I discuss various topics, and provide entertainment industry links as resources to keep actors informed.
I will continually add things to this page. So bookmark it!

Training: As a professional actor, you must be a practiced one. Always train to keep up your craft. Professional athletes and musicians practice several hours each day, why should actors be any different? Find a class, do theater, work on scenes, monologues, etc. You can find out about acting coaches through word of mouth. If you admire someone's work, ask who they study with.

Marketing Yourself--Photos: Since photos cost a lot of money, it's worth it to do some research. Find out about photographers through word of mouth. If you have seen photos that you like, ask who the photographer is. Meet with at least three to five photographers, and compare their work and price list. Look at their books. You should also have a certain chemistry with the photographer. After all, you will be spending several hours with him/her. Most importantly, you must look like your photos. There is nothing more annoying to casting directors when you do not look like your photos.

Marketing Yourself--Resume: Your resume is an important marketing tool that gives professional information about yourself to casting directors, directors, and producers. It should have a clean easy-to-read format. You need to have the right photo and resume to get your foot in the door to that audition. 

Finding an Agent: When you think you are ready expose yourself to the casting industry, then it's time to find an agent. Be careful; if you are not ready to go out there, it may hurt your reputation as an actor, because casting people will remember you. The first step is to buy "The Agencies" book at Samuel French Bookshops . This lists SAG-franchised agencies, addresses, phone numbers, types and career levels of clients they represent, and reputation and effectivess evaluations by casting consultants and others the agents work with. Since there are hundreds of agencies, do not submit your picture and resume to all of them. Be selective! At the same time, be realistic! Maybe choose 10 agencies. Mail your picture and resume along with a cover letter stating that you are seeking representation. Wait a couple weeks to receive phone calls, or you can follow up by calling them. If no luck, choose the next 10 agencies, etc. When you have an interview with a prospective agent, be yourself. And don't forget to ask questions. After all, you are hiring them. Ask yourself, "Does this agency have a good reputation?" Another important question is "Is this agent/agency excited about me?" The answers should be yes before signing a contract. You can also check out the Screen Actors Guild Agent List , which lists the current address & phone number of SAG-franchised talent agencies.

Be Pro-Active: Don't just rely on your agent to do all the work. After all, your agent gets only 10% commission, so he/she does 10% of the work, and you should do 90% of the work. Keep your craft up, continually train in a class, do theatre, work on scenes and monologues, do student films, etc. Market yourself, network, join organizations, etc. Read publications like "Backstage" or "Backstage West/Drama-Logue" , which are in the newstands every Thursday. They list casting notices for union and non-union films, TV, commercials, stage, and student projects.  Also read "The Hollywood Reporter " or "Daily Variety " which updates you on the happenings of the entertainment industry.
 

Stay Informed: I have found the following web pages to be invaluable. Click the following industry related links:

Marketing Yourself on the Internet
Many people have asked me about which websites have I personally joined.  Well, there's so many to choose from.  Here are some of the websites that I am on: