Selling Yourself as an Actor or Model in a Recession

by Christian Lange

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Here is a three point plan to push your acting and modeling career forward.

During the 1991 recession someone once asked the late Sam Walton (WALMART) for his opinion. His response: "I've thought about it and decided not to participate."

Many actors and models are feeling concern over the recession and wondering what strategies to follow in order to protect their career and their bookings. We hear about numerous advertisers who are slashing advertising budgets and therefore reducing the number of booking opportunities for print and TV gigs.

Yet for both models as well as advertisers there also exists a wonderful opportunity. Some companies see this time as chance to decisively gain market share by increasing marketing efforts while competitors are pulling back (read about Procter and Gamble's example in the 1930's).

This situation can also analogize to individual talent. Nervous models who feel bookings are drying up will neglect to update composites, neglect their agents, or altogether neglect their career. Individuals who take the opposite approach suddenly find themselves in a less crowded field and enjoying a wealth of new opportunities.

When I was 12 years old, a family friend and mentor, Maurice Guzman (the founder of the Trojan Company) gave me some advice I never forgot. In his heavy Russian accent he admonished me: "Christian, always do the opposite of what everyone else is doing... if everyone is running north, you run south." If Maurice were alive today, I believe I'd find him in Miami buying foreclosed houses and shares of cheap stock!

Here is a three point plan to push your acting and modeling career forward in these recessionary times:

1) Be creative. This is not the time to keep doing what you've always done. Reinvent yourself... broaden your capabilities, learn new techniques, get more coaching lessons, be even more awesome!

2) Throw out the headshots of the "old you" and invest in new ones. And this time make sure they are amazing. If you are a model create a model composite which is a jaw dropper. Start planning the wardrobe NOW. Don't leave details to chance. When it comes to your materials there is no such thing as "a detail." Get excited and share your excitement with your photographer. Believe me... it's contagious.

3) Be involved. Read fashion magazines or acting trade publications, keep in touch with your agent, know people in the trade, make friends at gigs, remember names, know what's going on, drink coffee, ask for suggestions, do favors, travel, make calls! And always ask yourself: What else could I do?
Christian Lange is a fashion Photographer in Knoxville, TN. He also directs and shoots music videos. You can view his work at

Copyright © Christian Lange. Used with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Not to be reproduced or distributed.
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Reader Comments

I'm Eustin i whant 2 be a actor i love acting and i hop you can maak me a actor i whanne befamos i wanne be out the im 17 live in Sout Afrika atlantis Cap Town

Posted by Errol (2013-12-08) 6594

Hello, I'm from South Africa in Cape town and I would like to be a actor or a model in USA. Please help me by replying to me message. (16 years old)

Posted by tshepo sethole (2011-09-17) 4776

I've been looking for an agent since 2007 and I'm still looking for it. would you please give me a chance to show you what i can do, Acting is my career and I'm interested to do audition with you. please help me.

Posted by Nomvo (2011-07-30) 4098

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