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If we stop depending on social media and connect more with our communities, we can change how people make decisions about our creations.

A long time ago, what seems like another century (oh, wait, it was!), actors and actresses had to mail or drop off their black and white glossy headshots and attached resumes to casting director’s offices in hopes that they would get an audition invitation on their answering machine or a beep on their pager.

About 15-20 years ago, actors dutifully brought their headshots and attached resumes to the audition their agent secured so the casting director could match them up with the best audition partner and make notes on their calling cards.

Around 10 years ago, everything went digital—finally—and because they had everything they needed on their super efficient actor-friendly websites, actors walked in free of last-minute runs to the print shop, empty-handed and ready to go.

And then came the day when actors everywhere walked into their audition, signed in, and had to scan a Q.R. code on the wall. Dun, dun, dun, dun! A friendly little questionnaire opened on their phone where they were prompted to fill in all their social media information with the necessary numbers of followers.

I remember that moment vividly. My stomach dropped. Not only was the competition severe, with countless thousands of others vying for roles, but now my “acting” would be judged on how easily I could market my role so others would watch and the company could bank on a profit.

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I don’t know about you, but promoting myself has always felt unnatural. Perhaps it’s because I value relationships and people’s honest opinions, as well as one-on-one time with others, that it seems strange to shout my name from the rooftops and tell everyone, “Hey, you should look at me!”

So much has evolved in the way we communicate, and I recognize that social media is an incredible tool. I also realize how harmful it has been and can be to your business or acting career.

Social media is a personal choice, and while I don’t think it’s going away any time soon, I do think some balance is in order. Do you really have to post something every day? Do you have to shove your face in other people’s faces so they don’t forget you? Maybe this kind of communication, has benefited you immensely. Just know you don’t have to become a slave to that mindset.

Acting in an audition or on set has to be about connecting to your character and impacting the others in the room. Make sure you spend the best of your energy and time developing your craft and bringing something worth spreading around to life.

If we stop depending on social media and connect more with our communities, we can change how people make decisions about our creations. Word of mouth has always been a guaranteed way of promoting something worth buying.

Spread the word, but let the integrity of your work speak for itself.

Carissa Dalton

Author Carissa Dalton

Carissa Dalton is a professional actor, writer, director, teacher and coach. As an actor, she has over twenty years of commercial, television, film and stage experience. She has appeared in projects for Volkswagen, Teleflora, Amtrak, Mitsubishi, Sony TV, National Geographic and more. As a writer, actor, and director, she co-wrote, starred-in and directed the feature film, All The Dragons. She has also directed thirty short films. As a teacher and coach, Carissa has worked with actors and directors, helping them elevate their skills through the CFTN Film Lab—a collaborative class of actors, writers, and directors working to create film organically—of which she is the co-founder and co-director. Carissa is also a well-trained vocalist and dancer, as well as an experienced improv theater performer.

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