There is a lot of talk out there about the concept of branding for actors. Often when you hear about it in workshops, the focus tends to be on "typing". And at times, “typing” exercise may leave more questions than answers. Now, finding your “type”(s) is valuable. However, it’s only a piece of the overall branding puzzle and does little to inform how that information can be used to grow your overall business.
So, that begs the questions….what IS branding? And how can it help your career as an actor?
David Ogilvy described brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes”. Here’s the big distinction to understand....the thing that will begin to shift your work. Branding is in the eye of the beholder. It is the perception that others have of you and the feeling that is invoked from that perception. Notice that I did not say that your brand is what YOU think it should be (or want it to be). Your branding hinges on the quick and initial perceptions of others and how those perceptions make THEM feel. AND.....that branding (and those perceptions) are most accurate from those who don't know you. This is why doing a typing exercise in acting class can bring more questions than answers. Your community may know you too well to give you an accurate assessment.
We have to remember that we work in a visual medium where an audience needs to glean a ton of information from every single person we see on screen. Quick perceptions and how they make an audience feel are a HUGE part of the visual storytelling process. So, understanding the “intangible sum of your attributes” and the feeling that you invoke in others, goes a long way towards figuring out how to best leverage yourself in your market.
Let's take it a little deeper, one of the definitions I found of “brand” included the following:
"Over time, the image and feeling (of a brand) becomes associated with a level of credibility, quality, and satisfaction in the consumer’s mind. Thus brands help harried consumers in a crowded and complex marketplace, by standing for certain benefits and value”.
I just want to let that land for a bit. Because here is the HOW it can help your career part. Imagine the growth in your business if you deliver your brand consistently in auditions, such that you are able to create feelings of “credibility, quality and satisfaction” for those in your audition room. Delivering your brand in a way that evokes genuine and rooted feelings to those across the table, will result in career growth.
Goodness knows we work in a “crowded and complex marketplace”. And here’s the great thing, you have the power in your hands to stand out for the right reasons. There are proven ways for you to uncover your brand and use it to position yourself to book the room. This is only one of the things you'll learn in The Business of Acting. You'll also create a plan to be able to put that brand into action. Don't delay. Class starts n May 8! Register Today.