When you are involved in the acting world you quickly find out that networking is a big part of this business. It’s not just about who you know but also about what you know and how you can best represent yourself to the people that need what you bring to the camera.
There are lots of opportunities throughout New York City to network and one of those happened on December 10th. Lisa Gold has a company called Act Outside the Box. She lives on both the East and West Coasts (more on the West Coast these days) and four times a year she holds a networking gathering.
Her most recent gathering took place at Gossip Restaurant in New York City and the room was filled with industry and actors. Some were new to the scene, others veterans. Some were there to say hello to friends while others were hoping to make new friends, especially with those who are involved with casting or producing films.
Lisa’s warm personality was transferred to many of those who were present and many of them used their words to interpret the value of this evening for them.
Lisa got up during the event to thank everyone for coming and applauded those who came regardless of the snow that had fallen throughout the day. She credited those that made it to the diehard actors. The ones who will or are already succeeding in the NYC acting scene.
At the end of the evening Lisa pulled raffle tickets from a jar followed by winners screaming with delight when they became one of the lucky winners.
Ben Esner was one of the people who was a prize giver. He is a headshot photographer based in NYC and one lucky winner won the opportunity to have him take their headshots.
When we chatted, Ben explained that he started out as an assistant to other headshot photographers for ten years. It was in 2012 that he decided to branch out on his own. Since he’s also an actor, he understands the role from both perspectives.
In acting you’ll generally see Ben as one of the regular guys. He’s an office worker, or a dad, or anything else that fits that normal guy role.
When asked what it was about Lisa’s quarterly party that makes it a must go to event, Ben commented, “These parties are an amazing opportunity. The business is so different now even then when I moved here. There are many more opportunities for actors to take charge of their career. So this is one great example of that. Especially with the internet. If you don’t take advantage of these opportunities you risk being left behind.”
You can find out more about Ben at www.benesner.com
Samuel Adedeji is a recruiter for Star Catchers. When Sam was invited to Lisa’s gathering he decided to take advantage of the opportunity to meet actors and actresses looking for SAG jobs. “Being an actor is a lot of fun, freedom and fulfillment,” commented Sam while keeping his eye out for potential clients.
“We are looking for people who are smart, have integrity and able to help others,” he explained, adding, “This is great opportunity to network and learn about their experiences as well and their acting realm.”
The best way to contact Sam is through his email which is email@example.com.
NYC resident Jazzy Washington has been acting for just about a year. “I really want to do films,” commented Jazzy. “When I was young I always felt like that was for me. I love the idea of Act Outside the Box because networking is important and I had the luck of meeting someone at the last party who I am now freelancing with,” she commented.
You can find out more about Jazzy at www.jazzywashington.tv.
Greg Paul lives in Queens and he’s been acting for about five years in NYC. Greg was a repeat guest of these quarterly events. He obviously sees the value and noted, “I believe the opportunity to network is a plus. We’ve got a great community of people and I always want to meet new ones.”
For more about Greg visit www.gregpaulacts.com .
Yanina Hope, another NYC resident, was also busily networking. Yanina has been an actress for five years. “I play young mothers, mistresses, girlfriends and spies,” she commented.
“This party is a great opportunity to network. You have to work your way through it but it’s nice. I’ve met a lot of people. Here you meet people you don’t normally have access to,” she concluded.
Debra Schneider, lives near Gossip, and she was one of the few people that is not an actress but she was there enjoying herself, including watching the actors doing their acting. “You can’t go any place in NY where there is in event and not have it be fascinating. So this is just one more,” she commented.
Debra’s focus in life is her travel agency www.journeysandadventures.com. She knows Lisa through an organization called Mama Genas School of Womanly Arts (www.mamagenas.com ). Debra glowed when she talked about this organizing saying, “I’ve never been in a room with so much love and support.”
Bernard Ennis is a NJ resident. He’s been an actor for about three years. He mostly plays the doctor, lawyer, politician roles. “It’s fun,” commented Bernard about the party.
“It’s a great chance to meet some interesting people. One of them is considering me for one of his movies. I met another woman who gave me a referral. So, now I’m signed up with some agencies and I’m being sent out for pharmaceutical commercials.”
Stephen William Tenner is a Seaford, LI, NY tenant living on his boat. He loves being rocked to sleep and waking up with a view of the surrounding water. “I started doing background eight years ago to experience the sets. I was a vocalist and wanted to check out the film scene,” explained Stephen.
Stephen’s band was in the movie “Down to the Bone” which is when he got his first taste of what it’s like being on a set. Stephen is presently writing a comedy from some of his own ideas. It’s still in the editing stage but he’s very excited about this new SAG-AFTRA media project. To learn more go to whenitgoeswrong.com.
“I’ve met some amazing people. I am glad I came here,” he added. “Networking is 70 to 80 percent of being an actor.”
Through Stephen I met Todd Wharton, CEO and Founder of Local Talent Connect (LTC). “I came because I like to meet a lot of actors,” he explained.
Todd was getting ready for an event he was showcasing the following evening called “IV: The Artist.” He explained it as a red carpet Christmas event to give all artists the opportunity to have their own red carpet to celebrate them for one night. To find out more about LTC go to www.LocalTalentConnect.com.
Eugene Calamari is a photographer whose been holding the camera since he was a kid. Eugene has been an actor since 2001. Eugene considers himself a character actor, who loves coming to Lisa’s events.
“I love that all actors can network with each other and I love that we can network with talent agents, other photographers, producers and writers and we all come together as a community,” he commented. “We become friends and then we help each other with projects. We collaborate.”
Jim Manley in addition to being an actor (SAG) is also a fellow photographer. He’s produced two feature films and a musical that sold out. Jim is the Director of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Institute and produced the only documentary every done on it which continues to be aired.
“Song of Leaves” was the film he produced and it premiered in Caen. He also produced a series on horses called “The American Way of Training Hunters & Jumpers.”
“This party is a great opportunity for any success any of us might have. If you don’t reach out you will be isolated. In this day it is the necessity for every individual to market themself directly and they need to know that,” Jim remarked.
“Ninety percent of the people in the world do not want to sell. This is not selling. This is being present in the presence of people; being authentic and transparent – you rise in another person the desire of them to be in your company. I am honored to be in the company of these people,” he concluded.
RWE.org is where you can find out more about Jim and where the film on Emerson is located.
Roger Anthony is another NJ resident and he’s been acting for over 20 years. Roger started out doing regional theatre and now is doing TV and Film and is a writer, director and filmmaker.
“I love this party. I’ve known Lisa for a long time. Here is a sense of community,” he said adding, “I find that it is very beneficial to network with your peers and not to only grow your business but to also help others. We are here to help each other and to share our successes and meet new friends.”
Roger comes from an accounting world but admitted that the proudest thing he’d ever done “was quitting my accounting job and enrolling in William Esper Studio because that changed my life.”
To find out more about Roger go to www.RogerAnthony.com.
Anthony T. Solano, NYC, just started acting three years ago. Most of what he does is promotional, print, TV, and film. Anthony just likes to act. “I love the art, the theatre, the monologue – the intrinsic road to becoming a better actor.”
About the gathering Anthony commented, “I am so new here in NYC that any opportunity to meet someone new is a productive night. I met a bunch of different actors, some photographers, a producer and I’m still hoping to meet more people.” You can find out more about Anthony by googling his name.
Kenneth Carter in addition to being an actor, published poet and singer, is a Certified Money Coach. “I started in 1992 in a play in NJ called ‘If The Truth Be Heard Let It Be Told.’”
It was that play that catapulted Ken into dramatic poetry reading for a number of years before returning to the stage. In 2004 Kenneth did a one man show consisting of poetry and singing called “Reflections of the Moon.”
“I absolutely love this party. It is so essential for someone like me to meet people in the industry who can help me succeed. I am thrilled with Lisa Gold. She is such a warm person and she is creating opportunities. I am looking forward to working with some of the people I met tonight.”
To find out more about Kenneth go to www.workingyourmoney.net.
Manfred Lion, who lives in Floral Park, has been acting for about five years. He does Native American, psychic and transsexual parts. He was seen in Tyler Perry’s Peeples as an Indian Chief sidekick.
“I think this party is wonderful. I made more contacts here than I have at any other networking session. It is like the diamond in the rough. I kind of want to keep it secret it’s so good,” he remarked.
For more about Manfred go to myspace.com/manfredlion.
James Briggs Murray just retired as the curator at the NY Public Library. He is SAG and has the voice that lets you know he is a VoiceOver artist. He lives in Westchester.
“This is about networking and about giving people a chance,” noted James. “This is about people who would like to get going. It gives people a chance to express themselves. You never know who you are going to meet. People come to these functions – one little thing can be a spark to move them forward in their career. You can’t know the people you influence but you are influencing people. It’s all about the networking.”
So, there you have it. The theme was clearly that networking is important and when you have a gathering such as this you want to be sure to mix and mingle. As an actress myself I have to agree with all that the people I met had to say. And the end result was that I also had a chance to meet and network. And as James so clearly stated, you really never know what will be the spark that ignites the fire within us in our acting journey.
Lisa’s strength is in teaching actors how to market themselves and so she wanted to be sure that those present understood the goal of this evening.
“These parties are business,” commented Lisa as the evening was coming to a close. “It is for you to make friends and to network. You want to accomplish your business purposes when you come here, and not just visit with your friends. Give yourself a target to meet five other people. Get out of the box of your comfort zone – that’s what Act Outside the Box is all about.”
For more information about Act Outside the Box visit the web site at www.actoutsidethebox.com.