If you are in college, make sure you take business classes, don't just focus only on the artistic classes. I went to the 4th best theater school, which at the time was Florida State University. I could do Meisner exercises with you all day long but I didn't know how to be the CEO of my own business.
As an actor and an artist, until you get the proper team of representation around you—you have to be a smart business person. This is a business. I wish I would have known that and developed those skills earlier.
If I could go back in time, I probably would have told my younger self to invest in the right things. I wouldn't cheap out on head shots because my neighbor had a friend. I'd spend the money to get my materials right the first time. I would go to the best, most reputable teachers because it would not only give me the best training, but would open more doors and connections as well as look better on my resume.
You really have to invest into the right materials because you are, in a sense, a product and the packaging on your product matters. There are some things that you just shouldn't cheap out on. Your business is the thing that you have to invest in!
Shannon O’Dowd is an on-camera host, commercial spokesperson, & media training/on-camera instructor. Shannon has been working on both sides of the camera for well over a decade.
I eat, sleep, and breath on-camera training and coaching. I Literally wrote the book on how to prepare and embellish your on-camera performance. Finding talent managers and eventually agents means focusing on building out your resume, headshots, and sizzle reel. Having on-camera training can get you ready for the audition. I go above and beyond for my clients and teach up and coming professionals and established talent all over the Los Angeles area. Reach out! I want to continue to build a thriving community of entertainers.