The New Art of Promotion
(Excerpt from a piece we did for the book “True Acting Tips” by Larry Silverberg)
If people don’t know about you, you won’t be found. If people can’t find you, you won’t be contacted. Simple truths. Let’s put you in that empty chair!
As most consumers know, a sea change has occurred in how we communicate and how we must promote what we do if we expect to succeed. While the phone and letters are still valid forms of communication, they require an extra effort that many busy recipients don’t have time for and relegate to the circular file. What they make time for is the web. Whether it’s email, search, or social media, that’s where contact now occurs. With this change, even traditional outlets of promotion using print ads struggled to adapt to digital consumption of what they have to say. They know they must evolve. Demographics for that consumption clearly show that if you want to be seen and heard by a very large part of potential audiences the place to start is online. Whether you are a company creating widgets or an actor performing drama, welcome to the new boat. We are all in it together.
As an artist you want your efforts to be seen. In the past others often controlled how you were seen. That, too, has changed. As a creative individual, you can now promote your own work in ways that are powerful and reach a worldwide audience. You can shape and control the presentation of your efforts. You can reach out and develop an audience. Chances are, if you create it, there is an audience out there for it. What does it take to do this? Time, effort, and access to basic computer technology are all that is necessary to begin.
Ah, time! If only we had more of it. Our good friend, the artist Steve Muhs has this to say about promoting his work: “I know I need to do it, but I don’t want to stop working to do it. If I don’t, though, then who am I making the art for? Who will see it?” His concern and his questions are valid. Like a lot of creative people, for him time is an issue. His work is demanding and requires a great deal of attention, and yet it still must be seen in order to be experienced and appreciated. He also adds that it “feels odd” to promote himself and his work. Our response is this: If you owned a company that produced a good product, would you be hesitant to promote it? Of course you wouldn’t. If you don’t do it who will? As an artist/actor you are essentially running your own business. It, like other businesses, must be marketed. And like other businesses, it has competition. However as an actor the products you produce are unique because they are creative expressions from within you. Martha Graham, the dancer, had this to say about creative expression: “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” Finding an outlet for others to see and hear your unique talent is essential, so the time and effort are worthwhile. Whether you do it yourself or find an individual or organization to help, the online resources are out there.
At Artotems Co. we think artistic endeavor is a vital part of our lives. We make it a point to promote the creative efforts of many. To learn more about what we do go here.
Works by Steve Muhs
True Acting Tips by Larry Silverberg
True Acting Tips leads stage and screen actors on a journey of passion, intimacy, and personal investment. This isn't to say that there will not be heavy demands and a high cost, but ultimately, this book is designed to offer the clarity and encouragement to become an actor who makes a difference in the lives of the audience members. "True Acting" is not a reproduction of anything that has come before and True Acting Tips is not a book concerned primarily with the technical demands of acting. Instead, it is an in-depth examination and invitation to see and experience acting as a momentous burst of creation new, surprising, and deeply human. It includes inspirational quotes, more than 200 acting tips, and images that reveal a powerful philosophy to assist in the most difficult moments.
Available on Amazon here.
Thoughts on the implications of creative efforts and the customers we work with.