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July 1999 Article

Exclusively Found in the Insider Viewpoint of Las Vegas

"So You Want to be a Performer…
Self-Promotion is the Key!"

By:  Dick Feeney

One of the most important areas in all phases of the entertainment business is self-promotion. Whether you are an actor, singer, specialty act, choreographer or producer, it is self promotion that opens the doorway for the opportunity to display your talents. Without self promotion you are what we call in entertainment industry "a garage band." That is a band that rehearses for years in one of the band member’s garage, basement or living room to perfect their music but never gets a paying gig performing.

There is nothing wrong with being a band that plays in a garage, but the pay is missing and chances are no one will ever be asking for an autograph. For those aspiring to become the next great talent, please read on.

Self Promotion is the key, and it is a bit easier with a manager or agent that really believes in your potential. Managers for the most part do the selling of your talents. All but the most egotistical of us find it hard to go around telling everyone how wonderful and talented we are. That is where the agent or manager comes into focus, their job is to exaggerate and oversell since that is how they get a pay check.

The majority of performers however, whether just starting out or with a long resume, find themselves doing most of their own promotion and selling. The unwritten entertainment rule is simple… "take a lot of shots and treat each as if it were your only shot." It is like the old saying every mother tells her daughter, "you have to kiss a lot of frogs before finding your prince."

In show biz everyone has to keep trying, taking your best shots. Performers never know why they did or did not get the job, but believe me; it can be for dozens of reasons. Always make sure to give it your absolute best shot. Do not send out a picture that is not fabulous. If you are not thrilled with your photos do them over and over until that magical picture is in your hand. If you make a video, spend some money. Videos are very unforgiving. If you do not hire a professional with top quality equipment and editing talent, it is nothing more than a waste of your time and money. Performers are better off with great pictures and promo than a cheap video.

Be willing to go the extra mile. Explore and exploit every opportunity. Again, no one ever knows where their next opportunity might be hiding. It may be as close as this magazine. For example, on page 43, females have an opportunity to enter a contest that has no entry fee and contestants have the opportunity to win cash, prizes and local, national and international exposure.

Remember, take a lot of shots and treat each as if it were your only shot." Go to every audition, submit yourself for every job, send out great pictures and videos, and follow up in person or by phone. If you go too far and become a pain do not worry they will tell you, but persistence and a good attitude usually wins out. You never know which shot will pay off, or what someone will remember you from. But if a person does nothing, then probably the career outcome will be nothing also. Get off that couch and pursue your dream… IVLV

 

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