The Power of Your Castable Types

Why do so many wonderful actors never get the chance to use their talent? Why do well-trained actors fail to convince casting directors to book them for jobs and agents to take them on as clients? Why do so many actors find they're chasing after any career opportunity as opposed to creating a career they love?  The simple answer is most actors have no understanding of their Castable Types® and without that crucial knowledge and insight, a majority of actors will fail at their creative career goals.  


Understanding your Castable Types is more than saying I'm this or that type. It's having a thorough, in-your-bones knowledge of what is unique about your talent, how that can set you apart from the competition, giving you a recognizable identity as an actor. It builds demand for your talent. It becomes your area of acting expertise in the market. Strengthening and then using the unique and essential qualities that make up your Castable Types allows actors to take their work to Performance Level by bringing specificity, energy, relatability and nuance to every role. That is what casting directors look for in actors. That is what gets you to the final callback. That is what persuades a director to take a risk on a fresh face or an actor who differs from the breakdown and give him or her a chance. That is what tells an agent your talent is worth the investment.

Right now, you may be thinking, what are Castable Types?

If you think of your career as a small business - which is what it really is, your Castable Types are your unique selling proposition. Don’t let the word selling freak you out. You are selling your talent, your artistry and showing the industry what roles you can successfully bring to life at every audition and callback. The job of talent agents and managers is to pitch and sell your talent. You can’t pitch or sell actors/talent that is undefined, amorphous and general. Your Castable Types set you apart from the competition, giving you a recognizable identity as an actor. They build demand for your talent. They are your area of expertise, your place in the talent market.

Lets define it: Your Castable Types are the roles or characters you not only play well but embody, then relate fully and authentically to the audience or camera. They are the roles which, from the point of view of casting directors, agents and theatrical directors, fit you as an actor because you live the role and energize the material. Your Castable Types are the role’s you portray more effectively than other actors in the commercial and theatrical arena, both emotionally and physically.

By understanding your Castable Types, using the right techniques to achieve Performance Level work and having a clearer, current grasp of the industry, actors can finally make a successful and sustaining acting career a reality. You can learn how to define and use your Castable Types with my book, Your Castable Types.

A Great Convo: Kevin, Ashley and the ISTA Interview

Hosts Ashley Bagley and Kevin Stone

Hosts Ashley Bagley and Kevin Stone

ISTA stands for Inside The Area, which is a term familiar to Atlantans. I had the pleasure of guesting on the Inside The Area Entertainment Spotlight show hosted by Kevin and Ashley. These two smart, insightful and fresh Atlanta-based talents give great interview! We talked in depth about what it really takes to have a career as a performing professional and why so many talented people get sidetracked. It's such a treat for me to engage in a probing and witty conversation about my favorite topic and passion in life, Acting, Directing and Creating! Kevin and Ashley were the perfect people to do it with and I think you'll enjoy listening for yourself: 

My Interview on the Top Rated Singapore Radio Show CarryOnHarry

Harry Johal, host of one of Singapore's top rated radio shows, CarryOnHarry, interviewed me about my unique approach to Acting training and my book, Your Castable Types, which lays out the entire program. Harry's listening audience extends all the way to the United Kingdom on BalleBalle Radio. Acting is an incredibly popular topic with his listeners and we spent the entire show talking at great length about acting technique, the joys and challenges of performance and how to take your Acting career to a professional level. I think you'll enjoy listening to this in depth conversation: 

Radio Gaga: dealing with publicity

I'm in the middle of a publicity blitz in support of my book, Your Castable Types. Many performers shy away from the publicity process even though they're aware of how crucial it is to the success of any project and generating opportunities to do more work in the future. I believe the reason for this is twofold: actors don't like to do the work of creating a media kit for their projects or formulate insightful and engaging questions and answers about themselves and what they're promoting. Much like putting together an acting resume, it requires facing your work head on, looking it straight in the eye and determining what about it is worth the public's time and attention. Is it "good enough" for reporters, reviewers and show hosts to cover? Is it really the best work you have to offer at this point in time? Do you have the confidence to stand by your credits and creations? That's heady stuff to be sure, and for many performers, the answer is no. That makes blowing off the publicity process much easier, doesn't it? If no one sees your work than it will never be judged. Your family and small circle of trusted friends will support your effort without considering the actual merits of the work itself.  Putting yourself out there in front of an audience isn't all that risky if you know you'll get pats on the back every time. It's the acting equivalent of playing t-ball. Everyone gets a prize and pizza slices for showing up. There's not much creative development, career growth or artistic contribution in that nonsense, although it goes on all the time. When I hear performers say that doing publicity feels too businesslike or manipulative, I want to call b.s. on them. We don't perform for ourselves alone. We create for the betterment, enrichment and entertainment of our audiences. We create to provoke, enlighten, inform and challenge. If audiences don't know we're out there, if they can't find our work or determine that the cost of a ticket to see our performances are worth it, then we aren't Professional Artists. We're mere dilettantes. We might be in a big city but we're really doing the equivalent of community theater for our own entertainment and to show off to our friends.

Doing publicity in support of your work forces you to look at it with a clear and discerning eye, find it's essential elements and clearly articulate them to audiences and the press. It's through this process that the public can find your work and perhaps, producers, distributors, sponsors and decision makers as well. It's also one of the best ways that you, the performer and artist, can determine if your work is ready for an audience. If you can honestly and enthusiastically promote what you've created and know that, whatever your creation is, it will be of interest to an audience, contribute to the cultural discourse or just entertain the hell out of people, then it's ready to take flight.

After the arduous process of writing a book that laid out my unique approach to acting, training and career development, then going through the mind numbing tedium of editing, and design, the very last thing I felt like doing was creating a media kit for it and getting out there to promote it. But I challenged myself to complete that last task before the book hit the shelves. At the end of the process, I was so exhausted from all the work that when the publisher sent me a box filled with glossy copies of my books, I didn't jump up to open it. The box sat in the corner, untouched for longer than I care to admit. That exhaustion came from putting my heart, soul and head into it's creation. It was an honest, hard won exhaustion. The meaningful content was there. My publisher knew it and promoted it to retailers. I began to get calls, texts and emails from colleagues and complete strangers who were buying, reading and loving the book. Your Castable Types was influencing actors for the better, the feedback was uniformly positive and I was ready to build on my hard work and the positive reaction of the public. If I had caved to my fatigue and put off that last, crucial element of my project - the media kit - I would never have been ready to jump into the saddle of promotion and publicity. That would have been a shame because after every interview and promotional event, good things happen. Actors are benefiting from the content of my book and I'm getting to work with a whole new group of talented people from all over the country and the world. Plus, it's fun! Talking to show hosts, answering listener questions and being immersed in what I love, Acting and Creating, is complete joy for me. I accomplished a goal I always dreamed of doing and saw it through to completion, even though I was tearing my hair out by the end of the process. Now, I get to enjoy what I created and the positive reactions to it. If I hadn't done that last step and created a media kit, if I had allowed exhaustion, moments of self doubt and burn out to win, I would have a box of books that I might never have opened and the chance to share my talent and develop professional, creative opportunities pass by unclaimed. 


As always, I'd love to read your comments and feedback and know more about how you approach the challenge of publicity for your creative work.

Ta Da!

Website redesign approved by Emma the Westie. Phew!

Website redesign approved by Emma the Westie. Phew!

Presenting the freshly redesigned IndependentActor website! It's been a long process to create a user-friendly site, uncluttered by advertising, to serve the needs of all the IndependentActors out there but I believe the job is complete and Emma-approved. In the next few weeks I'll be introducing you to a wonderful series of webinars to help you launch, grow and sustain your acting career. If you're already on my email list you'll receive invitations to listen in for free and get career essential bonuses. If you aren't yet on the mailing list, do sign up today to get those freebies. 

You'll also see this blog take off with posts on acting, film, theatre, reviews and interviews. I hope you'll enjoy all that's coming to the new IndependentActor site and join in the conversation in the comment section. The dog and I would love to hear from you.