The number of clumsy ways some actors and VO talent go about using social media never ceases to amaze me.
And I feel sorry for them – they either figure they’ll give it a go, and see what happens, or they’ve gotten bad advice from someone on how to use social media for business purposes.
I got a brief, off-hand request on LinkedIn the other day from an actor. Let’s call him Michael.
His subject line (no body, just a subject) asked me to introduce him, on LinkedIn, to a casting director I’m connected with there. Let’s call her Jamie.
My note back to him had the subject line “No, I can’t introduce you to Jamie.”
And I also included a direct and to the point note:
Time for some tough love, Michael. I’m usually really sweet about this, but you look like you’re a tough guy. You can take it.
Here it is:
Asking me, or any other actor, to introduce you to a casting director on any social network is pure suicide for everyone involved.
There’s even a name for it: social stalking. Casting directors, associates and assistants hate it. They turn on actors who try to do it.
That’s not how it’s done. Ever. And as a SAG-AFTRA actor with the experience you have in the business, frankly, you should know better than to ask.
Here’s hoping this was a one-time case of lack of knowledge and bad judgment, and not a regular occurrence.
Tough love session over.
If there’s anything I can help you with, please ask. This isn’t one of them.
(To the dozens of casting dudes and dudettes I’m connected with on all the social networks, you’re very welcome.)
The ways to network with casting directors are many and varied (including workshops, networking events, seminars, casting service mixers, appearances at SAG-AFTRA, volunteering, interning, auditioning and generals, just to name a few), but they do not include unsolicited connections made on social networks.
And don’t ask. Don’t ever put your fellow actor in the uncomfortable position of having to decline your request, or worse, do what you want.
No social stalking, OK?
Hope this helps! Give me your thoughts on this in the comments below.