“Plan your progress carefully; hour-by hour, day-by-day, month-by-month. Organized activity and maintained enthusiasm are the wellsprings of your power.” Paul J. Meyer
Organization is one of the top priorities in my career. It keeps my head in the game, and keeps me focused on what exactly it is I want. I have several resources for organization that I geek out on regularly.
I am currently using an app called iPerform ($5.99 in the App Store) to track my auditions, callbacks, bookings, rehearsal schedules, industry contacts, (basic) finances, and wardrobe for each audition. One thing I love about the wardrobe function is I can take pictures of my outfit I wear to an audition, and, with a description of what I’ve got on in the picture, link it to the audition. This is especially awesome for callbacks; I can simply go back to the audition page and look at what I wore to keep consistency. I find this can help jar the memory of the casting director when I have the same cute scarf or shirt I had on the first time they saw me for the role. With iPerform, I can also keep my industry contacts organized by title (Casting Director, Producer, Writer, etc.), and by name or company. In addition, there is a function to keep a schedule of related events for any job I book (including rehearsals, fittings, screening, and airdate), which once saved are directly added to my iCal. Ridiculously rad, eh? Also, it has finance, mileage, and To-Do modules. And within each module are more little details I urge you to check out! I pretty much fell in love with iPerform the instant I got it :)
There are definitely other apps and sites that you can utilize with similar functions, for example PerformerTrack (anyone use this?), but I have yet to use them. One thing I would like the iPerform app to do more thoroughly is track finances in a very specific way, instead of simply entering them like notes. And it would be fan-flippin-tastic to have the finance module geared more toward tax season :) Does anyone know of, or have experience with, an app or website that does that well for actors?
Another organizational tool I am using right now is Excel, for a very specialized reason. I think we all know what Excel is, and I used to think it was primarily for numbers. But I’ve decided to use it mainly as a simple form to compare and list agents and managers who I am focused on pursuing. (I also have a separate one for Casting Directors, with it’s own details. And you can really use it for whatever you want to compare or list: headshot photographers, people you’ve worked with or met, apartments or cars, anything I guess!) This spreadsheet I am totally nerding out on is SO helpful already because I am moving to LA in three months, and I want to do as much preparation and research as possible before I move. In this spreadsheet, I have columns labeling each agency, the agent(s) within the agency I want to work with, their contact information, their website, what types of people they represent, notes about why I am pursuing them, and any articles or interviews I’ve found about them. Even though this much manual data entry can be considered tedious, I love inputting each piece of information so that while typing, I see and feel everything I learn. It makes me feel closer to the information, and more importantly, the people beyond the screen. I am able to research these industry professionals pretty darn accurately on IMDB-pro, which I have found to be an extraordinary, mandatory tool for my career.
If you don’t have IMDB-pro, and especially if you’re focused on the TV/film industry (as opposed to primarily theatre), definitely sign up for the free two week trial here, and give it a spin. Even if you can’t afford the monthly or yearly cost this very moment, tasting the soup will get you inspired to go back for more. It’s so worth it, I don’t even need to mention how worth it it is! :) The prices after the free trial are here. You can find (nearly always) updated, accurate contact info for industry professionals, as well as be able to see who represents each actor. This is how I have been able to see which agencies and management companies represent different actors whose careers inspire me, or who are on a course similar to the path I want to, and am, creating for myself. In addition to looking at everyone else’s profiles and more in depth information about them, you get to put up your own headshot, resume, extra pictures (up to 100), and reel. You can see mine here.
These are only a few of the tools I use for my career. I want to dedicate single, more focused posts to headshots, resumes, postcards, business cards, career supporting websites, and other items in the ole toolbelt :)
I am constantly looking for more efficient ways to organize my business. I would love to hear about what you use to organize and focus your career. Please share your experiences! I’d love to geek out with you :)