Thursday, March 31, 2011

Post-Graduation Productivity: Let's Get It On(Line)

Doesn't my title just make you want to crack out your crash cymbal?

I recently ordered my graduation gear as I will be walking in my school's commencement ceremony in early June and I realized that I strangely have a step up on what to do in that interim between school and real life. So instead of hoarding it, I'm going to do a series of posts on what to do with those months where you're sleeping in your childhood room and eating your momma's cooking before you jet off on your next adventure. Because there's a ton you can do to get yourself on point that you didn't have time for in college.

Let's start with your online presence. On my way back from Atlanta (read about that adventure here), I met a guy on the train who was interested in doing extra work and I gotta say, I gave him some rather wise advice. And that was the more accessible you can be, the better off you are. (I'm going to try to let that be the last innuendo for this post.) Now, I am not a computer guru by ANY means, but I have managed to get it so that the first full page of a google search of my name is, in fact, me. (Not quite the same story with an image search, but there's seven good pictures on there. That's a start.) Everyone, get ready for shameless self-advertising.

I think everyone should have a:
  • Website: From what I gather, this is pretty much essential. You can make them with free templates. I briefly mentioned in my post titled Hurdles that I had done some research about those providers. I myself like Wix. The templates are not as generic, and you can upgrade to premium at anytime. Check out mine.
  • Professional Email Account: Keep everything seperate, yo. I think Gmail is the best choice.
  • LinkedIn: This is a professional networking site where you can create contacts and ask for recommendations, even search for jobs. Basically, it's a way to keep track of the "who you know" part of acting. Here's mine. Feel free to ask me to become a contact, just tell me you read my blog!
  • BuzzStage: Really easy to upload photos, add a resume, and keep it personal. While this site is unlikely to lead you to any professional work, I have gotten many a student filmmaker requesting that I come to auditions through BuzzStage. Check out mine.
Things that I'm still checking out to see how it can be used to service a professional actor:
  • Twitter: I'm new to this craziness, but I know it's got to hold some awesome networking power behind that cute bird and cloud motif. Already tweeting? Follow me @EliseSoeder. I told you. Shameless.
  • YouTube: I'm not sure how often actors are asked to upload their audition tape to YouTube, as the case was with Florida Studio Theatre audition. But what can be better than having your own TV channel when you're coping with the idea of never having homework again? I'm thinking of doing a seriously amateur cooking show. It will be awesome. Stay tuned.
Optional, but very exciting:
  • Start a blog! I know you guys have always wanted to be just like me, so get yourself a Blogger or Wordpress account! And if you need ideas, here's a link to mine... Oh. Wait.
And it's always a good time when you find out you have an IMDb page. Even if there's only one credit. If you've done any student films, make your directors submit them to festivals so you can have your own page with a gray silhouette for a picture!

For a slew of other gadgets, check out this post by Ben Whitehair over at Playbills vs. Paying Bills (a blog that us actor people should all be following.) His suggestions of tools for increasing productivity are especially handy for those of us who have just graduated and have a hard time imagining ever working hard again. I'm investigating Create New Habits and Mint first.

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