The quote “Directing is ninety percent casting” is one of the most popular showbiz maxims. Getting the right casts, and even crew can make the director’s job easier thus making him focus on the details. This quote applies to the smallest projects like commercials and ads, to the more grand productions like in the theater, the big screen, the silver screen, and other growing online platforms. With the internet being accessible to people from the industry and free website builders available to everyone, the right time to build your own actor website and get cast is now!
There are many reasons why you should start your building your website but if you already have one, treat this as a comprehensive checklist to confirm you’ve got a good actor website down pat - so here are common key assets you can find in good actor websites:
A Simple Headshot
Despite getting used to putting themselves out there, even good actors could feel a certain way about their bare face, but a clean portrait with little to no makeup could get them cast instantly.
A huge percentage of casting directors who browse actor websites typically and already know who they’re looking for. Depending on the project, these casting decisions would be based on book descriptions, public figures, or an idea based on a working script - one’s facial features could spark a few agents’ interests and get them on the casting call.
A headshot should be the first thing that appears on actor websites to give casting agents what they need right away. You can start with a simple hairstyle, a neutral wardrobe, plain background and flattering lighting - these typically make for good banner images for good landing pages too. For variety, you can make the personal choice to give them options and different angles in a separate but dedicated space on your actor website.
Your Screen Name
Screen names aren’t uncommon in the industry. A Screen name equals brand name - it should be short and unique enough to be memorable. It should be displayed prominently enough on your homepage and at least visibly on the rest of the pages. It’ll be easier for casting agents to remember your name and your face when they see it more often, but be careful not to add it too much that it can get off-putting and work against a well-designed actor website.
Your screen name must also have star quality. Communicate this with a good font and color on your webpage for a subtle but memorable point of interest. If you already have existing projects, make sure your name is spelled correctly on credits or even on relevant IMDb pages. Making your screen name also as your website domain is an excellent tip to ensuring festival coordinators and talent scouts to find you faster from memory.
This is the most critical asset that should be immediately accessible on actor websites. Some agents may already have your details from other recommendations but otherwise, it’s a good thing to have that can be found immediately for those who are scouting fresh faces.
If you’re concerned about your safety and security, make sure to only provide your professional mobile number and email address. Some people even include their social media accounts for those who already have a following or for promoting whatever you’re working on lately. Keep these up-to-date, and you won’t miss an opportunity.
In practice, your contact information should definitely appear as either a dedicated contact page, or should show up as a footnote on other aspects of your actor websites. Much like a digital calling card, try to simplify how you can be reached for maximum results.
A Full Body Shot
Characters on a completed script often look a certain specific way. In most cases, an actor’s body shape is as important as his or her facial features to fit the charter they’re playing. This goes hand-in-hand with the headshot we mentioned earlier, but a good actor website often places their body shot - and other assets, on a gallery to better organize the layout of a website. But, if you can manage to beautifully arrange it with your headshot, you’re doing casting directors a huge favor. On top of these profile photos, you can add various posed shots of you showcasing your hobbies and abilities. Add your various personas to demonstrate your range - how much of this you do want to advertise is up to you.
Adding behind-the-scenes of you at work would give the impression that you’re getting hired a lot. You can pick a few good photos with short descriptions for each role you had and have a designated album for it in your gallery - you can even opt to monetize this content with a blog on your downtime.
Some good actors even add podcasts and vlogs on their website. You can add a trailer of your online content and redirect the episodes to other platforms to maximize the efficiency of your website. Actor websites with slow response time would give agents and directors a bad user experience and might leave your page without getting to know you more.
The best actor websites should always have their acting portfolios ready. The great part of an online approach is that you can update your work without having to mail your tapes or CDs to several agencies again and again like they have to in the previous decade. If you have video editing skills - or know someone who does, create a compilation of your work and the projects you’ve been in and have it professionally edited. The right music and pacing will show your range in a short amount of time.
It’s important to have a good quality video - ideally, a short one, for the people who are looking for good actors use different devices and have very little time to spend on a single actor website.
An About Me Page
A website would not be complete without describing what you do with good website copy. If you’re just starting out, you can enumerate all the films, series, commercials, and plays that you’ve been a part of. For those who have an expansive career, just include the remarkable ones. You can also insert a link to your IMDb page for the casting directors to confirm your role history. An added option that you can also do is create a designated page with posters of your work with descriptions of the characters you play to give your site variety.
However you’d like to do this, this is the page you can maximize the most to let website visitors get to know your personality and your motivations as an actor. You can treat this space as a shorthand of a CV, but the look and feel would be up to you.
This is an optional page that can go on your actor websites but are super helpful in establishing your credibility and work ethic. Confidently adding a list of the people you have worked with testifying to your artistry and personality shows how invested you are in your craft and how you can add value to a project.
You can go for a video compilation or an individual approach on your testimonials. The pros of doing a compilation include not having to go through multiple videos at a time and is typically healthy for your website performance. The downside is that you’ll have to update it from time to time for every good reference you earn in a project. The good thing about individualized testimonial videos is that you just need to upload the new ones; the downside is that the amount of media could weigh on your website’s response time.
If you don’t want to deal with all that, a simple list with photos is a great tried and tested option. You can keep adding testimonies without potentially compromising the performance of your website, and it’s easier to get a quote than a video from people you’ve worked with.
Your website should match your personality as a part of your overall branding. It has to give the viewers a sneak peek of who you are and what you do without having to reveal too much information or give out unnecessary details.
While the design is always up to you, here’s a quick rule of thumb for what a good actor website design can communicate for you:
- A cinematic look-and-feel can visually communicate your preference to work as an actor while exuding seriousness and mystery. You can do this by playing with the lighting and contrast of your images and background to tell a story.
- Bright colors and smiling photos would make your viewers think that you’ve worked in sitcoms and advertisements. Find a good color palette to make sure that the colors you choose don’t clash or wash out your skin tone.
- Designing a theater-inspired website could be challenging but well worth the effort for a visual that communicates your preference for dramatic and theatrical roles - when done right. Make sure the textured patterns are not distracting especially when viewers scroll up and down your site.
You can read more tips for an effective actor website design to know what else you can add to your actor websites.
Whatever you decide, actor websites are easy to change and modify without learning how to code. You can use free website builders like Strikingly that already have templates for you to start with, with an intuitive service for their mobile version that can make your site responsive to different devices. Click here to learn more about it.