Being proactive during COVID-19 - Models & Actors
Updated: May 7
Much like the airline, cruise line and other major industries that have been affected by COVID-19, the entertainment industry has also taken a major hit.
Where models would be flying to do a shoot and production crews would be arriving early mornings to set up lights and equipment, thousands of jobs within our field have canceled left and right amidst the need to slow the rate of the spread of the virus.
While this is a harrowing time with many of us taking a financial blow and finger nail biting is at an all time high, there are some opportunities - light at the end of the tunnel - that can come as a result of this worldwide "shutdown" with the right preparation.
I recently heard the CEO of a technology based social media corporation say that those who come back the strongest AFTER a recession are those who build DURING the downturn.
This means that while you are potentially at home either working remotely from a temporary job you secured, or just passing time with household projects, this unexpected flexibility could be your opportunity to later expand within an industry that you desire to ultimately get back to.
While COVID-19 continues to kick our butt in some ways, let's discuss how to work on your craft at home in the meantime to return back to business stronger than ever.
1) Practice your craft
For those in the entertainment industry, there will always be movies to make, TV commercials to film and print ads to shoot after a bear market returns to a bull.
Brands will eventually need to rev up marketing dollars to regain once lost customers and this is where we, the models and actors, will be needed in greater demand.
To be in that future selection process, this is the time to :
Practice your poses so that your portfolio pictures will be 10x better. This ultimately makes you stand out from the competition once clients are back to booking models.
Practice a monologue/script for when you are able to go back to scripted auditioning.
Take an online acting class so that while you are away from work your skills are still being developed.
Watch modeling and acting related YouTube videos to keep you up to date on best practices within the entertainment industry.
Update your agency with any new photos from shoots you had in the past few months that you forget to share with them. Shout out to all the agencies working behind the scenes with clients to help us rebuild once businesses re-open.
Update your casting submission websites such as Casting Networks, Actors Access etc.
Learn how to brand your social media. Many clients visit the Instagram pages of models & actors prior to hiring them. Ensure that your social pages are niched down to focus on your craft versus being all over the place. There are many brands who pay content creators to post to their social media page. This could be your opportunity for stay at home income.
This industry requires a certain look. Work on your skin & fitness goals. There are plenty of FREE IG lives happening with workout classes.
Even is this is a time when you will pick up a side job from home, stick to working on your industry goals even if on the backend.
2) Review the current state of your finances
While this may seem frightening to realize the reality of the financial impact this is having on your life, knowing the details of your finances often gives you more of a sense of control/peace than ignoring the facts actually will.
Account for how much money you are expecting to get in your last round(s) of checks - if any outstanding ones are on the way from your modeling or talent agency.
Calculate the total amount for your monthly bills and how this correlates to what savings you have. Determine how many months your savings/potential outstanding checks will last relative to your bills.
Apply for unemployment or food stamps to help you through the difficulty if needed. There is no shame in asking for help. Considering the MILLIONS of people already out of work, trust that a good percentage of the people in the grocery store next to you have had to seek some kind of assistance as well.
Contact your bank, loan companies, mortgage company etc. and see what deferments without penalty are being offered on your monthly payments.
Cancel any extra services that are not a necessity such as extended cable channels, radio streaming apps, monthly subscriptions boxes etc.
3) SELF-CARE - simply breath
There are so many heightened emotions happening right now as a result of the fear and uncertainty of this time.
While social distancing is a must, there is "nothing" stopping you from stepping out on your balcony or into your back yard to get some fresh air. Take several deeps breaths and while breathing, try to picture the life you DO want.
This is the time like never before to work on your positive affirmations, prayers and self-love practices -- including a workout or a walk (away from others of course).
It may seem comforting to just lay in bed with the shortage of work right now. And while resting AND SOCIAL DISTANCING is good to keep our immunity in tact, take some of this downtime to remain vigilant on your goals as a model and or actor.
Remember that we are in this together. Call your industry friends and if nothing else just encourage each other during this unpredictable time.
Find one thing today that makes you SMILE! Start with being happy to have loved ones who are still healthy despite the virus.
Try to smile!
Peace & love,