Actually…Don’t “Create Your Own Work”
We really don’t like the word “hustle” over here at Artist’s Strategy. To us, it implies there’s a desperate, disorganized approach to our work, which there doesn’t need to be. Part of the idea of the “hustle” of it all is to “create your own work”. Well, don’t. More specifically, don’t just create your own work. Create your own work with strategic purpose.
In fact, we are not only huge fans of self produced work but actually require it as a prerequisite for anyone who is interested in working with us. However, given the scarcity of resources (time, money, space, equipment, etc.) and given how much self produced work is already out there, you must take a targeted, strategic approach to what you’re creating on your own.
To start, the work you’re creating needs to be based on your specific career goals. This might seem like a no brainer but the simple fact is that many, MANY actors simply produce concerts and web series and readings and the like without giving much thought to how it will support their overall efforts. From a business perspective, it is not enough to just “be creative”. There is a way to allow your creativity to also inform your larger goals by combining business strategy with your innate gift to create.
For example, most actors seem to be aiming for some sort of eventual Film/TV career. If that’s the case, and you don’t have enough screen content, that needs to take priority. Use those parameters to dictate what you’re creating.
We also can assume that “creating your own work” is about getting your work out there. That’s absolutely correct because we want to find ways to get eyes on you and what you have to offer but then that also needs to speak to what you’re creating. Who your targeted audience is needs to play a role. Say you’re looking for new representation. You decide to produce a play of some kind to have something to invite folks to. Great but a) make sure it’s something that truly shows you off well b) make sure it’s palatable to whomever you’re trying to reach. And those reps are more than likely looking for clients who are going to bring them money. Money = commercial work. That should inform the titles you choose to tackle. A mask movement piece set to the music of Philip Glass may not be the best option right now…
Finally, the beauty of self producing is that it has the ability to meet so many objectives as part of your overall business model.
It can hit marketing, community cultivation, professional growth, product improvement and infrastructure. That means that depending on where your business needs the most love, you can self produce based on objectives you’re still trying to meet (i.e. expanding your network, having something to market, improving project management skills, gaining experience on film).
All in all, DO create your own work but don’t JUST create your own work. Create your own work by taking into consideration all of the moving parts. The benefits will reveal themselves in spades.