Want them to remember you at audition time? Start now...
So, you're a high school performer and auditions for college theater programs are still months away, maybe even a year or more. But wouldn't it be nice for college directors to know you and be familiar with your work when you come in the door?
In the "olden days" before social media, whenever I was in a show, I would have post cards printed with my headshot or a character shot on one side, and on the reverse side, info about the show, the venue or tour, the role I was playing, etc. and I would send it to every casting director, talent agent, director, musical director I knew. Basically, anyone I might be auditioning for. That way, even though they might not make it to the show, they would know some of the roles I had played, shows I had done, who I had worked with and where, and that I was working! In radio, they say you have to hear something seven times before it sticks in your head. After a half dozen or more post cards with my cute little mug came across someone's desk, I figured perhaps they're thinking, "gee, this guy is working a lot. Perhaps I better go see him." Or, even better, "you know, he'd be the right type for X in this upcoming show..." Of course, you still have to audition and get hired, but how much better to be a (somewhat) known commodity coming in the door than having that first audition be like a cold call?
In today's world with social media not only do you save a lot on printing costs and postage, it's much easier to get that exposure on your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter page. We advise our College Audition Prep Weekend students after they've had an opportunity to meet and work with college directors to first thank them in an email for what they've learned and express an interest in the director's program. Then follow up any time they are in a show at their school, community theater or even better, professional gig with a quick, concise post through their social media or an email including all the information mentioned above. If you happen to have photos of your performance or promo video that features you- post it on your Youtube channel (yes, you should start building one that features vignettes of your work). You can share that link in social media posts as well. One word of caution: don't be a pest. You'll be self-defeating if you are too persistent. Remember the old show biz adage: "Leave 'em wanting more."
As with any business, it is as much about savvy networking as it is talent. You're not just auditioning, you're building relationships, and you never know when a relationship will be helpful. Even if a college director (or casting director) can't use you, they may remember you and suggest you to a colleague who has a need for your type. Remember, directors are looking for talent. They need talented people in their programs. With just a little effort, they will remember you come audition time.