Speaking from experience, working as a professional performing artist in the US theatre capital (New York City) can be one of the most exhilarating and accomplished feelings in the world. As the Frank Sinatra song goes... “If I can make it here, I'll make it anywhere.”
However, success in becoming a working artist in New York City and/or any part of the United States can be challenging. Rejection is a daily occurrence and can happen for years before you even make your mark.
Here are five tips to help speed your success and ease rejection in any city you choose to relocate to in the States to pursue work as a performer.
1. Build Your Resume And Gain Experience Before You Relocate
You need to have credits and experience before coming to a market, especially New York City, that is flooded with already working actors and/or those who have been pounding the pavement for a while. Build your experience before you relocate by performing in shows where you currently live. This will make the transition much easier when landing in the States. Having proof that you are hireable and that you have worked consistently, will give you a stamp of approval to help get work here.
2. Marketing Materials Are Updated and Available
Make sure your business marketing materials are in order. Have a headshot and resume. Also, have a performer website that is clear and concise and that reflects your personality. On your website make available your resume, headshots, performance photographs, reviews and videos that showcase your talents. There are so many free and low-cost websites online, like Wix, Moonfruit and SquareSpace, that you can use to build one on your own.
3. Use Your Network
A big part of having success in the States isn’t just talent driven, but can also be a result of networking in the right circles. Start asking those you have worked with for referrals and contacts of people they may know who are already working in the industry in the city you are moving to. You might be surprised how many doors could potentially open for you with just an introduction. Then reach out to these industry contacts and ask for their advice or to keep you in mind for projects they or friends might be developing. Make sure to include your website so that they can get an idea of you, your personality and your talents. With asking those you already know for referrals you will consequently start to grow your own personal network which will continue to expand and help in your success for years to come.
4. Enroll in Higher Education
Enroll in a University or an acting program that caters to your niche in the city you want to be working in. Not only will it get you acclimated in the market, but, it will immediately get you working and training with those who already live here. Potentially it could also help you build your performing credits which can lead to future opportunities, and, if the program has klout, it will introduce you and your talents to the industry players who might hire you after you graduate.
5. Create Your Own Work
Create your own work that showcases what talents you have to offer. If it's a theatrical piece, produce a production of it when you relocate and invite industry members to see it. In addition, create content online. This way you will start your own buzz as an artist, have people easily see your work with a click of a button and, who knows, potentially create other opportunities you never even thought about.
Break legs on your new journey!