This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of ALL the best resources available to performers…
…instead I’m offering you a curated list of people and services that are both established and fabulous.
Either I know the people/owners personally, or I’ve used the service myself, or I’ve corresponded with the owner after a great many of my clients raved about their experience with them.
(I personally prefer to make recommendations free of any strings, thus I choose not to receive any compensation for putting you in touch with the fine folks below.)
My assistant Rachel Stander is the BEST. I call her Wonder Woman. She works with folks in-person and virtually – and if you want someone who will get it done and do it right the first time, look no further. (Be careful: getting a quality assistant is addictive – you’ll never know how you lived without one! Even having someone devote 5-10 hours a month to your life/career can have a huge impact.)
I literally couldn’t run my business with having a web dude like Loren Kling. Professional, affordable, and affable, he answers my questions and fixes my problems. He’s also worked with me on projects for several of my clients. Loren can do almost anything for your site: setting it up, troubleshooting, altering themes, general maintenance, plus building and design work.
I continue to turn to each of these three wise women to help me through the tough times in my life. They have each contributed to my personal growth in deep and lasting ways and I can’t image what my life would be like without their guidance.
The magic hands of my masseuse Lara Ingraham are not to be missed. She’s a total pro who makes house calls with her heating pad and chicken purse. (Do your shoulders a favor and book a 90 minute session.)
The wonderful James Stewart cleans my house – which means he’s part of my marketing team. When clients come for sessions I want them to walk into a calm, clean environment and James helps me achieve that state. He’s young, conscientious, loves organization, communicates well, and is detail oriented. YAY!
One of my favorite tools is Slydial. It’s a FREE service and this is how it works: YOU can use any phone, but you have to be calling a CELL PHONE. First you call the Slydial number, then you’ll be prompted to enter in the number of the person you want to call, and then Slydial will send you straight to their voicemail – even if their phone is on! It’s perfect for when you want to leave a message without getting into a whole conversation.
Whether you need to learn or loose an accent, Karen Strassman is the expert to turn to. She is a skilled dialect coach and one of my favorite human beings. Your voice will be in good hands.
iActing Studios is a vast online resource for top-level acting training and career guidance. I’ve taught two courses for them – From Dream to Reality: Parts 1 and 2 – which offer strategies and tools to actors who are in transition (just getting into the industry… or considering moving from a small market into a major one… or reviving their career after a pause).
I consider The Secrets of Screen Acting one of the best on-camera training “programs” money can buy. Once upon a time, David Lawrence read Patrick Tucker’s book, loved it, then called up the author (who lives in England), and proposed that they do a podcast to explore each of the concepts in the book in greater depth. So they did. Each 5-minute episode is a little Golden Nugget of camera technique. If you actually practice these techniques – which 90% of your “competition” will NOT be doing – you will, undoubtedly, separate yourself from the pack.
From the clever mind of David Lawrence comes Rehearsal the app used by working actors throughout the industry to learn their lines quickly and easily. Here’s a brief how-to video of the app in action.
Actors start to work steadily once their talent, personality, and appearance all come into alignment. Buckley Sampson is an actress and image consultant who can help you create a wardrobe and headshots that support your brand. After 20+ years in the industry, she knows her stuff – and she’ll even go shopping with you!
Tiwana Floyd removes the headache and hassle of creating the marketing materials every actor needs – postcards, one-sheets, whatevers. She’s affordable, she’s fun, she’s here to help.
The extremely prolific Bonnie Gillespie is the real deal, baby. She’s a casting director by day – as well as an author, marketing consultant, podcaster, and producer of showcases… also, I’m assuming, by day (I’m not sure what she does a night but I hope she gets some sleep occasionally). Let her be one of your guides. I promise she will never steer you wrong.
In L.A., in NYC, and online via her Thriving Artist Circle, Dallas Travers teaches actors how to effectively market themselves. She has a wide variety of programs at different price points and a deep, deep archive of expert guidance that she’s collected over the past decade (or two).
Ajarae Colman’s biz The Workshop Guru enables actors to instantly compare the prices, schedules, and locations of every casting director and agent/manager workshop being held in New York and Los Angeles (saving you oodles of time, energy, and money). You’ll also find great advice on her site to help you get the most bang for your marketing buck AND you’ll get insider info and reviews on the workshop companies and industry players themselves.
No one helps “turn starving artists into money magnets” better than Miata Edoga. Smart, passionate, and engaging, she will give you the game plan, resources, and confidence to change your financial circumstances forever. There’s no gimmicks… she simply provides the information and insights you probably have never learned before and she supports you in integrating them into your life. (She also teaches FREE budgeting and cash flow management classes at The Actors Fund in L.A.)
All of my best advice on how to develop (legal) income streams while you build your creative career is available here. You’ll get the step-by-step details of how I built my little side biz and you’ll hear me guide other folks like yourself through the process of generating concepts, clients, and cash.
Basically, people will pay you if you can solve their problem. (This is true even with acting – you are getting paid because you are solving the problem of a storyteller who needs someone to help her tell her story – or of a company who wants their story to make the most money possible overseas!) Understanding what your skills and strengths are can help you figure out what problems you can solve and thus, how you can get paid. Fortunately, Oprah hired Marcus Buckingham to deliver this terrific, in-depth FREE seminar on how to figure that out. (You can watch the videos or download the audio.)
Something that can help you perform better – on screen and off – is an understanding of what your natural “wiring is” (how your particular brain works and what your particular personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses are). It is also very helpful to understand that many other people (and characters) are wired very differently than you are – thus their perspectives, processing, and personalities will sometimes harmonize and sometimes clash with yours. The more insight you have about this, the easier life will likely become for you. You can take this FREE test to receive a very thorough and enlightening description of your “type” (and read about the other types as well).
Quality headshots at affordable rates taken by awesome photographers who won’t make you feel weird:
The Headshot Truck – in New York and L.A.
Karin Schdeider – in L.A.
Karianne Flaathen – in L.A.
If you are ready to go beyond headshots and have someone help you capture your brand in a full editorial photo shoot (just like the stars get to do), Vincent Vallejo may be your man. His creativity is on full display in these photos that he styled and shot for actor Mark Sipka. Now Mark’s reps have a whole new type of asset to use to communicate his essence to the industry. (Vincent is building up his editorial portfolio which is why he’s currently available to non-commercial clients like Mark. Get him while you still can!)
Thank goodness for Bob Souer and his blog! Take a scroll around and you’ll see that it is THE resource if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the voice over industry. He freely shares his extensive lists of the artists, coaches, bloggers, forums, and other important web stuffs in the world of VO. Go, Bob, go!
And then there’s Karen Souer (Bob’s daughter) who is a virtual assistant specializing in supporting voice over artists with admin, social media, editing, and proofing/directing.
Curious about the VO biz? Watch David Lawrence’s terrific, FREE, 10-lesson course Getting Started in Voice Over (it was filmed in front of a live audience!). He discusses the tools and software you’ll need as well as the performance skills and marketing strategies that will increase your odds of success in this industry.
I’ve posted all of my favorite resources and advice on all things website-related over here on my blog.