August 12, 2009

My First Networking Event

Last Thursday was my very first networking event, so I am no expert by any means, but I think I know how to work a room. The name of the event was Industry Networking Party 2.0. I, unfortunately, missed the first event so I knew I needed to be at this one. The event was hosted by Prestige Management Group, one of my reps as you know, and an organization called Act Outside the Box which is headed by Lisa Gold. It was at a nice bar/lounge and free to attend, although by invite only. On top of that, drinks were half price for the first two hours and there was a stage where people could sing karaoke. I went with my fiance (a non-actor) and good friend Nosheen, who is a gorgeous model/actress/singer from the UK.

The event was also attended by some great industry people such as agents, casting assistants for some of the big soap operas, and producers. Basically, really great people to know....that you don't have to pay to meet. Upon arrival, we were given name tags to correspond with our "specialization". Actors had blue name tags, industry folks had red, and the organizers had gold. It was great because you knew right off the bat who was who, but it was also hilarious because it was so obvious the way people were sizing up others.

Minutes after arriving and being labeled as actors, my friend and I were approached by two agents and told how beautiful we were and that we had great looks. I told them that Nosheen is also a singer and she told them about her music. We chatted for a few minutes, talked about recent projects, exchanged business cards (I just got mine the day before and they are awesome!), and then we all moved on. Simple, quick, and painless.

Right after, I spotted an agent that was surrounded by about 5 enthusiastic actors. She works in the commercial department for CESD and is the kind of agent that a lot of actors would love to meet. Keep in mind, everyone was wearing name tags that also listed where they work. I wanted to introduce myself but waited until she was alone for a moment. I'm slightly weirded out by the thought of speaking to someone I don't know with a bunch of other people I don't know, watching and judging me. Call me crazy. So, Nosheen and I walked over to say hi. Well, before I said two words, and older actress, probably about 40, came over and interrupted me mid-sentence and started talking to her. I suppose she thought she was being assertive or aggressive or whatever you want to call it, but frankly, it was very rude. I looked at Nosheen and she gave me the eye as if to say, "Get in there!" I didn't want to come off that way, so I waited for her to finish, which took about 2-3 minutes. As the other actress said her goodbyes, I asked the agent a few questions about herself. We chatted for a minute, I gave her my card, and thanked her for her time.

I decided not to let the bad manners of others ruin my night. We all ended up having a great time. Nosheen did some karaoke and I also got to see one of my agents perform a song, it was quite hilarious. I met a bunch of other great actors and made sure to exchange contact info with them. I even met someone who reads my blog, hi Yolanda!! I met with a few other industry folk including an agent's assistant from The Gage Group, a casting assistant for "All My Children", and some producers of a web series. I felt like it was a fun, successful night. There is another event on the 20th and I'd like to attend that one as well.

Here are a couple of photos from the event.

Me with Lisa Gold of Act Outside the Box....not sure why I'm making that face. :P

From left to right: Jillian Hasset (my print agent at Prestige), my gorgeous friend Nosheen, my fiance Nodari (I'm cracking up at his expression), yours truly.

Progress Report

1. Booked the Verizon shoot. Shoots tomorrow night.
2. Wrapped up short film, "Short Story".
3. Had a print casting for Nokia today.
4. Casting for New York & Co. tomorrow morning.
5. No longer able to perform in the play "Sisters".


Here is what my business card looks like:

The Front

The Back

I love it!!