I think it’s always good to take a moment, reflect on the past year because it gives me an opportunity to really see how much I’ve grown and changed. Some things worked, some things didn’t. I can put things in a better perspective while continuing to move forward.
In many ways, 2017 was my best year in acting. I’ve been living here in Chicago for almost three years now and I feel like I’ve finally caught on to “the groove” of how this market works. It’s allowed me to book more work, work with bigger clients, and most importantly, it’s consistently allowed me to get out there and branch out. Some of my friends describe me as “shark” and rightfully so. I’m very much a go-getter and it’s really helped me achieve some success.
A lot of my friends always say that I’m working and booking work, but that’s only because I’ve learned the market here and I work hard to make myself stand out. I’ve built some healthy relationships with casting directors and my agents and I feel like they appreciate my hustle. In 2016, I flew to Los Angeles, CA to get some new headshots, but last year, an agent suggested that I get more Chicago-styled headshots and that’s what I did and I’m booking a lot of work because of them. My resume has expanded to the point in which I can choose what projects I want to list. I remember a time when I was listing extra work when I first started out so to get to a point where I have to take certain projects off the list is a very good accomplishment.
As far as projects go, I’ve worked on projects for Intel, Comed, Navistar, Barilla, and Quicken Loans. I’ve had a lot of shoots out of town in Wisconsin too like Furniture Row, Aurora Surgery Center, and my first SAG commercial for Wisconsin Lottery. The clients that I auditioned for last year were bigger and more well known too. I had auditions for Blue Moon, Nissan, Huggies, The Chi, and Chicago PD. The fact that I even scored an audition for those clients is still a win for me!
Last year, I booked a few projects with producers who found me on social media! I remember a shoot last summer with a producer who found me on Instagram and wanted me to shoot some videos for his restaurant and stuff. This came about because I try to market myself as an actor online. If used correctly, social media can be very helpful and this wasn’t the first time I booked a gig like this.
I felt that I was consistently booking work and having auditions too. I had a lot of direct bookings too. I remember booking a job every single week for two months in the fall. Chicago has a lot of work and I’m glad that I’ve finally tapped into the workflow.
I’ve branched out and got an agent in Indiana who, in time, I hope will be able to book me some jobs in that market. I also hope to strengthen my relationship with my Minnesota agents again. Even booking a couple of jobs with them in a year would be just fine with me. I can always keep my acting hat on if I’m constantly working.
With so much going on, it’s interesting to think about what I want for the future, but I can sum it up in one word: MORE. I want more auditions, more bookings, more castings, more of everything and last year definitely proved that I can do it. I pray and work hard and I hope God continues to bless me. I felt like I was a working actor with so much going on.
I would like to look more into hand modeling and things like that. I want to seriously get back into the gym so that I can be fit and be submitted for more summer-themed projects during that season. Voiceover is an area that I really don’t much about, but I’d like to learn more about it and see if I can get into. I enjoy commercial print modeling so getting more jobs like that would be nice. I’d love to take another acting class and maybe I’ll find a good in another state or New York or California. I could just take a weekend off or something.
2017 has been good to me and I’m very humbled with all of the wonderful blessings and opportunities that I’ve been given. I don’t take anything for granted and situations were either a blessing or a lesson. The lessons were hard, but I’ve learned from them and they’ve made me stronger. And I know, without a doubt that I’m strong enough to handle whatever the new year will bring. I’m ready!