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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Value of Relationships

A brief personal story:

Word of mouth and previous work relationships have had some pretty nice results recently recently in getting me auditions and jobs. I just finished shooting a sketch video for the website New Year’s Nation (which will air sometime next week), for which I was recommended by a filmmaker I worked with 2 years ago. Last weekend I auditioned for a revival of a musical that ran Off Broadway in the early 80s, for which I was recommended by a friend of the director (who happens to be from the same hometown as me.) I also got invited to audition for a wacky interpretation of a classic play, which is being produced by a friend and colleague. I tell you, building and maintaining relationships is THE name of the game in this industry. Not only do you need to audition for new people, but then you need to keep in touch, develop the relationship, and stay on their radar. And doing good work can lead to future good work. It’s a wonderful part of this crazy business.

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If there is anything more valuable than relationships I cannot think of it. That is the plain and simple truth of the matter. I once, in a sarcastic mood suggested that the best cover letter would start "Dear Daddy" but seriously, the best thing any actor can do is to cultivate good, honest, working relationships with everyone along the way. How many times have you opened a "Playbill" and said to yourself "Why do they always cast the same people?" Well, people like to work with people they know and trust. I cultivate relationships with people any way, anywhere I can. It took me a long time to learn that this was not cynical or "using" people. I've made some wonderful friends along the way. Some people have given me jobs, some have cast me in non-paying gigs, some have just turned out to be Facebook Friends. But Erin is so right, as usual. Keep meeting more people and keep expanding your circle of friends. You never know.

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