Imagine you were a Casting Director getting to know the talent out there in the great big world. You have hundreds of thousands of actor headshots and resumes to pour through, and limited time to decipher the crème of the crop. It’s an enormous pond you’re swimming in while looking for just the right mix of appearance and talent. Headshots are crucial as they show the clients what you look like; the downside is they only show the clients what you look like. And even this can be inaccurate, as headshots don’t always capture your unique visage.
An actor’s reel, on the other hand, showcases the actor’s presence, their acting abilities, their style of delivery, as well as their voice. They also show how an actor will appear on film. Through your reel, Casting Directors can learn so much about your focus, timing, and overall acting ability–and consequently, they can call you in for auditions that are truly right for you. It’s also imperative casting executives see more of what you have to offer besides merely headshots.
So why are there so many actors that don’t have reels? While it’s true they cost hard-earned dollars, and it can be difficult to find the right person to edit your work, those are really just excuses in the immediate digital world. There are more resources than ever to score a professionally edited reel at a reasonable charge. With the advent of modern editing software, you can cut your own reel if you’re so inclined. The point is to showcase your acting ability to the people who make the decisions, and a solid reel is one of the best ways you can do just that.
Now, you may consider yourself an artist, and this concern with reels may seem too much like a business. Well, you need to flip the script on that way of thinking! Show business is a business. And advertising is key in any business you know of. Advertise yourself with the enthusiasm and energy of a national commercial!
Consider a reel an opportunity to connect with Casting Directors and Agents, showing them everything you have to offer. The latest technology has made the reel-making process easier than ever before, so take advantage of it–and increase your chances for those TV auditions.