This is going to be a blog with only one very important message- clean up your social media or make your accounts private or take it down.
With so much social media content available and products/companies/clients being afraid that they will hire an actor that has posted pictures that the product deems inappropriate, it could cost you a job. Colleges have been using it for years to help decide on who they are going to accept. Especially if two students are neck and neck, social media can help in making the final decision.
If you are an actor, especially commercial, union or nonunion, you need to present yourself as perfect.
No political views, no drinking pictures, no retweeting things you may feel strongly about …..nothing.
Pictures of food ( no logos or brand) just a picture of great looking dinner. Pictures of flowers. Maybe a birthday cake. That’s about it. Little things like taking a picture in a restaurant such as Taco bell with the logo showing and you audition for Chipotle …. Far fetched but why take the chance. Don’t promote products if you’re job is to get paid to help advertise and sell products.
You need to overthink everything. Every audition is like a job interview. Most companies, whether it’s a job as an accountant, school teacher or actor are running social media background checks. I’m not saying always, but with the amount of commercials I cast, it is happening more and more. When you are asked for your handles or account names that is what they are using it for.
When Beth Melsky Casting asks for that info we tell you exactly why. Nobody has ever refused because it’s hard to believe that a picture of you at a bachelor or bachelorette party holding dollars bills would matter to anyone, but sometimes it does.
A ton of pictures of you drinking can lead to the conclusion that you have a drinking problem or you party too much. If it’s available on the internet they want to make sure that you have an image that won’t tarnish their product, branding or image.
Whether it’s related to the product or not, sometimes doesn’t matter.
These data systems can find everything and we have no idea what might or might not bother them. If you really want some form of social media, contain it to close friends and family.
Is any of it worth it ?
You want to talk politics on twitter… don’t. These are frustrating times but you don’t know who’s reading or what their beliefs are. Try old fashion conversation. You can support causes and things that are important to you without retweeting everything. These are hard times and believe me, I spend so much time controlling myself. Vote, vote vote…. That’s a way to use that energy.
No director is looking at your social media to see if you can act. They are actually googling you instead. That is used constantly to see what you’ve done. You don’t want them to find things that could change their opinion, or be misunderstood. If you’ve played a murderer, or have done a nude scene … too much info. Let them ask if they want to see something in particular. If you are doing commercials you need to think about what they see when they google you. It can work in your favor or against. I booked a girl recently because she needed to cry. She had a Vimeo video showing a great performance. Let them ask. Don’t offer too much and don’t put commercials up. Nobody wants actors that are over exposed in commercials. That’s what websites are for. Another touchy thing, stand up comedians. If your act is too racy or political it may scare them. If I was a stand up and my act was working for me then make that your priority and hope for the best. You need to judge was most important and hope for the best.
Commercials are held to a very different standard since you are endorsing/selling a product.
We are in crazy times with no boundaries and no privacy.
As a casting director I worry that at some point a company hiring me might decide to do the same thing, look to see if I have ever said anything negative about them.
I have a business Instagram and a business Facebook and a business Twitter and it’s used as a casting tool. We only post things that are breakdown related or a gift we are sent as a thank you or …maybe a full waiting room if we have had a busy week.
All SAG commercials are automatically under an NDA. Meaning you cannot talk about the product or content of anything that went on at the union audition or if you book the job; on the shoot.
Actually not sure how many actors are aware of that rule. It was added in the last contract.
My advice, union or non union, go in to every audition regardless of what’s it’s for assuming you are under an NDA.
I can’t imagine why anything is worth the risk.
This has become a big issue and every time I have to run these checks I hold my breath.
You don’t realize how far back they can go and sometimes people don’t remember things from 2, 3 or 4 years ago.
It’s sad it’s come to this, but I can tell you first hand… companies have been caught with their pants down. Someone sees someone they know in a commercial and emails the company. Then the company checks their social media and finds something that causes them to take the commercial down. Believe it or not, I’ve been blamed along with the agent for not knowing.
Better to be safe and avoid. We lived forever without social media so we should be able to figure out a safe and non controversial way to enjoy it.
Always something… right ? Unless you just want to live your life as an “influencer” stay off social media. No up side.
Beth Melsky ☺