by OAS Team
George Konstand says,
“Branding is An idea made tangible by a human being, instead of a product” and Amy Jo Berman says, ” Think of branding as a message you’re telegraphing to Casting Directors (and others on your target list – Producers, Directors, etc)”
Many in the creative industries are polarised on this subject – either throwing it back to the days of typecasting or seeing it as yet another inevitable change of the world we live in. However, I do believe that “Branding” is one of those things that is better to be understood than ignored.
As actors, we are told by coaches and entrepreneurs alike, that we, “The Actor” are a business. We invest in ourselves, create a cost-benefit expectation for our time, and then (sometimes a lot later then we would like) reap the benefits of our efforts. However, no business in the modern world can survive while being blind to the environment it intends on succeeding in. That, in my most humblest of opinions, is where branding comes in.
I think most of the confusion around the process centres on the word, not the Action, so what is Branding?
Branding is one of those things that everyone is aware of, but not everyone knows what’s going on, much like the definition of ‘Irony’…
Branding is not about making yourself into an idealised version of what you think the world wants to see, more so it is a combination of soul searching and market research to understanding the qualities that make you who you are and using them to maximise your chances for success. “People who embrace their “brand”/type and own it and are empowered are the ones who are booking work. If you’re in denial about your type, you won’t book the job—it’s that simple.” – Anthony Meindl, L.A Acting coach.
So how do we do this?
Firstly, and most enjoyably, watch TV. Find those who you idolise, or those who you have been related to and see what roles they play.
Secondly, ask your friends. Not your nice friends who are your emotional support Labradors, the friends you’ve known since childhood who love you but also love to make fun of you in that way you know is endearing but an onlooker could misconstrued as brutality. Ask them traits are unique to you.
Thirdly, if you’re game enough, ask strangers. In this scenario you get the invaluable knowledge of what your first impression is. It can be in class with those who don’t spend too much time with you, or it can be someone you randomly meet in the coffee shop – although with the last scenario you run the small risk of being spat at – but life’s a journey!
Find you. Get clear on who you are, then own it!