Read Orson Welles’ IMDb page and it quickly becomes apparent that he was a man of many hats. He was an actor, writer, director, and producer and he excelled at all disciplines. In fact, for the film Citizen Kane, Welles was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor. The point is, Orson Welles didn’t wait for anyone else to cast him and instead, he made his own work.
The process of self-production is an intimidating prospect for most actors. After all, actors study the art of performance, not the technical side of filmmaking. But despite the complications, self-production is an incredibly valuable skill and one that can advance an acting career. For the individual, self-producing offers creative freedom, the opportunity to work, and exposure that impresses casting directors.
Play Your Dream Role
Every actor has a role that makes them salivate but how often does the opportunity to audition for that role actually come around? Even when the chance to audition comes around, there is no guarantee that the audition will be successful. The unfortunate truth is that actors are dependent on the decisions of others. That is unless they are also producers. Actors who self-produce take control of their own casting and get to choose the role that is perfect for them.
Additionally, a dream role doesn’t have to be something that was written by Shakespeare. More and more self-producers are writing their own projects with roles that are tailored to their personalities. As an actor-producer, artists have the chance to exercise their writing skills which provides a creative outlet when acting jobs are scarce.
Expand Your Skills
If an actor is a player and a director is a coach than a producer is a general manager. Producers have their hands in every part of the production process in both theatre and film. As a self-producer, responsibility increases but so do experiences. Accordingly, actors who self-produce become well-rounded artists with an increased perspective on all aspects of production.
By watching different artists work, actor-producers learn new skills that can be supplemental sources of income. Struggling to find acting work? Well, an adept crew person almost never goes unemployed. Plus, working on sets is the best way to network and make new industry connections. Pretty soon, self-producing actors find themselves working more than auditioning.
Get Cast By Brass
The internet is now the number one resource for casting directors which means the internet is also the number one tool for actors who want to get cast. Billions of people use the internet every day, the exposure available is unrivaled by any other media outlet in history. Websites and mobile apps like Youtube, Instagram, and Vine are now wells of new talent for casting directors.
Self-production is the best way for an actor to showcase their skills on the internet. Any sort of short video, sketch, or talk show can show a casting director that you have experience and charisma on camera. Besides that, if you are able to gain a loyal following, casting directors will take your audience into account.
Take the Wheel
The only person that should be in charge of your acting career is you so take control of your destiny by self-producing your own work. Videos and plays of any size are an excellent experience for larger projects down the road. You don’t have to be Orson Welles to benefit immensely from self-production, although an Oscar nod (or four) would be nice.