July 9, 2021

Episode 79

- Max is in lockdown and Sam is busy moving but there is still projects to update you on
- A strange request from an old project
- Its lockdown land but Max still gets an audition request
- Another shoot involving a car brand

- Interesting request to delete previous work
- MAX had the courage to put his prices up. 
- Social Media for Actors

Episode Page

An Add Kulcha Production


Max Belmonte 00:02
Welcome back to Two Unemployed Actors, I'm max and yes, we're noticeably without Sam this
week. For those of you listening to last week's episode, he is moving and can't even find his
desk let alone his microphone so I shall plow on without him and also under strict lockdown.
New South Wales is in week two of what is now a three week lockdown. So still get some
voiceover projects happening got a couple of acting gigs but obviously they've been pushed
back because everyone's abiding by the lockdowns. Armed, fully vaccinated, I just hope
everyone else hurries up and gets fully vaccinated so we can get back to some sort of normal.
In the meantime, though, I've got some stuff to update you about I had really interesting,
really, really interesting requests come through. You might remember last year, I was on a
shoot for a hardware company here in Australia. And it was a whole day shooting three
different DIY, you know, do it yourself handyman sort of videos where I'd present and explain
you know how to build, I think it was an outdoor kitchen, a herb wall, herb garden, pardon me,
and refinishing a chest of drawers, three things that I absolutely have no idea what to do. And I
was just happy not to hurt myself. Fortunately, Art Department were fantastic.

They were two guys there who knew what they were doing, and basically did it all as you know, the magic of television. And I'd sort of come in and finish up a bit and do my piece to camera. It was like it's a really, it was a good set, good crew, decent budget. So it looks good. It was edited really well.
The sound was great, lighting, like it's all you know, spot on wasn't a low budget by any means.
Just the copy that was being written was sort of being written on the fly. So I'd sort of okay,
read a paragraph, and then speak it to camera. While I'm pretending I know what I'm doing. So
there was a few days in there on a couple of moments, but I got there. I shared it when it came
out in January and shared it on social media and put it on the YouTube channel. Gave them you
know, got them a few views through my sharing. And hadn't thought of that since really.

Coincidentally, I put it on my Instagram yesterday, just a mash up of bits and pieces from it,
that I had scheduled to put out anyway. But I had a phone call from the Producer/Director who
said look, it was actually an email, a phone call, left a message and then said, you know, look,
I've got a message was I got a request from the hardware company in this case Mitre 10, that
they notice that I've got the three videos on my YouTube channel, if I can remove them. And I
got the message of mine it's bit strange and need send an email through as well with a link
going look, you know, they've asked if you can remove it at really strange because I mean, if it
was a huge national advertising campaign where everything's thought through like a 360
degree campaign by that I mean, and marketers love that term, you know, it's going on
television, it's going into print, it's going on billboards, and outdoor it's going into online and
lots of stuff if there's a campaign that's quite cohesive, and everything's timed perfectly to
complement each other, then fair enough, they might exert some control because you know,
we don't want the online component to go on at this time. It has to go on at that time and we
don't want to pre-empt it and lots of stuff Well there might be teasing something or launch but
far from it.

This is a DIY video that's going on their website like you have to be looking on their
website for this tutorial to get it they haven't shared it certainly not advertising because if they
were I'd have to get usage fees and it's not like they're Louis Vuitton or something I mean this
is, we're talking about a national hardware brand on an online DIY video explaining, I do these
voiceover all the time these explainer videos and yeah they live online and you know they get
two and a half people viewing them but like really strange I've replied back and gone yeah, and
I all I did was switch it to private. I didn't delete them I just moved it to private because by
deleting them anything I'd previously shared those links would be unusable and I don't want to
send my followers and that to dead ends so I just and go through and delete posts and I mean
come on, not paying me for that.


So I I just marked the YouTube videos to private took me five
seconds and I replied an email going Yep, done. No dramas. Just tell them I've given them a lot
of views. And he's replied back going yeah, like it's really strange request. It's a very strange
request, you know that they don't want to advertise certain content that they've paid to, to
produce really weird, really weird.


Anyway, that was interesting. It's the first. And although I've
been locked down, I still like, I did another audition, it came through the agent for something
and it's great having a try, if when you can get your acting toolkit to include lights, it's just so
easy. I've got my two Newer lights on a stand, my tripod on a stand for... my tripod is a stand,
Jesus makes my tripod for the for a camera or phone. And I just basically put my phone into a
rig, the microphone plugged into the phone, put it on top of the tripod, turn the lights on, and
there I go night or day, whatever, I've got a consistent good lighting setup. It was during the
day I adjusted the lights a little bit and you know, move them to the right spots or the entropy,
five seconds, you know, and then I'm straight.


So I could just focus straight on the copy, I had
the loose script written down just as a guide, and use that for the first few takes and then just
dropped it and went and gave them a few different ones. And it's keep the rig set up, run
upstairs, edit it and didn't need to do anything else to turn the lights off. And like it was done in
half a day. You know if they say, and that's another point too, if if they say look, you've got to
close of play. The next day in the business day, the next day, I don't leave it until the next
day's afternoon. I'll get cracking on it in the morning. It gives me lots of time to play if there's a
tech issue or something.


But with the setup I've got it's really easy just to go in and focus on
acting, and not have to focus on tech and oh my god, the lights weird, or the mics, the sounds
weird or whatever. And just on my phone like you know, get HD files, it's great. You don't need
something super sexy, it's just to give them an idea. And I've never had a tech issue. But you
know a bit of a buffer because guaranteed that time when something's urgent is going to be
when there's tech issue, but anyway, and I'll give it to them before lunch. It gives a look if the
customer x is going to play they mean ASAP. They don't want everything coming in at 4pm. You
want to give them confidence that they're going to get enough to recommend to the client,
they're not going to struggle to find six or 12 or however many they want to put forward. And
they do notice for those that get them in consistently early, rather than those that are on the


It must make it easy for them. Because they've got the same things to consider as well.
Like I not just finding the right talent and recommending them but also taking shoots in what
sort of stuff. So auditions still happening. The corporate job, the one where they thought
because I did my audition on the piece that they provided of the corporate guy telling a racist
joke, and apparently did it so well that the guy that the producers like said they were worried
you were too racist. And he's like, no, no, it's just good acting he's is he's got to be able to do
the apology scene. So that Job has been pushed back a week and a new ones dropped in my
lap. Something I sent ages ago might have been last year for a job, you know, car brands,
obviously, it's a production company does a lot of car work. By that I mean, videos for car
brands, this one's actually for a brand global brand. And it'll be for like a walk around. So you
go to their website, and you go before you go to configure the vehicle, you'll get like a walk
around, it's a big four wheel drive thing.


So I'll have to go off road and stuff. And you know, let's
go for a drive sort of thing. And there's like a 360 degree cameras set up. And you can have a
look at the vehicle as it's going off road and all that sort of stuff. And I'll give us sort of a tour on
the key features and benefits. Look, it'll be fun. I love my cars love my driving and getting paid
to do it's even better. So that'd be great. That's the only thing with those things. It takes a bit
longer for the tech setup, because they're using fancy cameras and you know, it's got they've
got to give a 360 degree view and everything's got to be seamless and all that sort of stuff. So,
but that's fine. It's a day shoot, nothing too taxing good money. And actually, that leads me to
another point if we push back for the pandemic, but one thing I did that took a bit of courage of
far from my imposter syndrome of 40 years ago. I put my prices up. I put them up on for
voiceovers and to presenting to camera so have a right for presenting to camera for a
corporate setting. Like a corporate explainer video for five minutes it's certain right and you
know Presenting for like, for example, the car one.


So it took a bit of courage. But I was
particularly with, like I had a client I've worked with before, in a presenting capacity, asked me
if I can put a quote together for various voiceover components for explainer videos and
whatnot. And very separate, there's a couple of things there, I'll put my prices up, since I did
the presenting. So I'm kind of bit worried that it may be a little bit too much. But then also, with
the presenting it was for this not for publication at all, just for presenting to camera, a video
that they could show for potential investors to get in, you know, to get better. So it's still like up
work. But it's, it's like a pilot, and I did have a really low rate for that book, obviously, there's no
usage rates at all. So it's going to be different, it's going to be like, it's, you know, it's small
rate, and then suddenly, you know, there's 600% increase for voiceover. But I look, you know, I
even I'm second guessing myself, I'm putting the invoice together before I sent it, I'm still
second guessing. But I'm like, you know, I'm at this stage now where I can give something to
the client. And there's really less than 10% chance they'll have to come back to me and say,
Can you pick up on this word? Or can you do this? Or can you, you know, a bit faster, any sort
of direction like that normally, it's lately 90% of it just Yep, great, we've got it easy, you're paid.
And I think, you know, a difference from getting someone on Fiverr. And getting someone who
has a professional setup, and, and has professional union or above union rates, you know,
you're gonna get that, that extra level of professionalism.


And that extends to usage as well.
Like, if I'm doing an IVR, like a phone system recording, yeah, my rates a bit above the
average. But you also get me saying you can use it for an X amount of period for that rate. And
that get that rate also guarantees that within that period, I won't be covering up on a
competitor, as well. So, you know, and they can come back to me down the track, and I can do
a pickup or two included in that rate as well. So, you know, I was a bit hesitant, but I sent the
quote away, and, you know, next day, yeah, Max, go, go for it approved, the quote is approved
and like, you know, so just, I just needed that extra nudge. So I put my rates up. It also means
that when I'm looking for work outside of the agent, obviously stuff that comes through the
agents have a certain standard and a certain minimum above. Because they're gonna make
their cut, and I'm not going to do it on dollar 50 or something, it's gonna be a decent job,
decent project. So I have a minimum for like a national television commercial, what I wouldn't
do below. And that's what the agent pushes.

And if I'm looking for work outside of that direct,
like, whether it be corporate stuff at the agency doesn't get, I'm now looking from a new sort of
minimum above. It means I'm sort of applying and sourcing fewer. But when I you know, it's
fewer, bigger, better, right? So fewer, bigger, better, more professional, bigger crew. You know,
if you look at my presenting to camera show reel, you know, even the mitre 10 hardware, the
difference between that and I think I slipped in something from a cleaning company that I did.
And obviously there's more of the mitre 10 and less of the cleaning company because the
cleaning company was like crew of one you know, he's a camera guy, it's setting up the lighting
and I'll do my piece down the barrel. And and versus the mitre 10 shoot where you've got a
dedicated lighting, dedicated sound, camera and art department, lots of stuff on set. And you
can see the difference. You can there's, you know, you get what you pay for. So there's more of
me going for those jobs, then the lower budget stuff, and I think you know, I'm at that stage
now. Fortunately, you know, I'm able to get consistent work across voiceover presenting acting,
I can afford to be able to do that.

That's one thing right without having a survival job. And the
second thing is it just helps you look like when if you look at my presenter camera showreel
now versus my first one. It's just looks like chalk and cheese the difference would also have
been doing well I'd be taking advantage of locked down by spending more time in front of the
computer. I just updated the website, stuff was a bit funky, some links, you know, weren't
working and font wasn't coming through in certain places and updating bits and pieces of
headshot and stuff like that, especially with the Two Unemployed Actors website. And there's
something else that I've, I've been revisiting. It's my social media. So we know and it for those
of you been listening for a while now you know that we're big on social media. And that is, you
know, something that casting directors now they will Google your name, what comes up, you
got to be sure that what comes up represents you in a good light. It's authentically you. And
because there's only one of you. So be authentic. It's easy, right? And try to pretend to be like
everyone else on an over Photoshop, every Instagram post, so you have the latest. I don't
know, what is the latest craze on the latest pose or something or whatever they're really doing
latest filters or something, you know, you want it to be authentic.

And if you're not sure, if it's
gonna represent you in a good light, if you're not sure if it's the right sort of quality, then don't
do it. Don't post it. But having said that, I'm up to something like 1500 followers now on
Instagram, and I'm pushing Instagram because it kind of works. So I've got a Facebook page for
me privately. For my friends a Facebook page for Max, the actor. I've got an Instagram and a
Twitter. The Twitter not pushing so much. It got 30 followers. Look guys, go and follow me on
Twitter. But I'm not pushing it as much. It's not as big certainly in Australia. Instagram, I'm
really pushing and I'm trying to do like you know, a post a day of have got something decent to
post don't post and stories ad hoc on that. So what I've done to try and get more organic
growth and more followers more engagement, not just buying followers and that sort of
garbage because you can so see when when someone's done that, you know they've got like
20,000 followers, but there's only like one comment on a post that well hello, you know, yeah,
it's Banville. So I'm using an agency. And I paid them the first payment yesterday. And I'm just
going to track and see how we go there. So next week, I'm going to spend a bit more time on
social media, just a refresher on what's working, what hasn't worked for social media for actors.
And I'll give you more details. It's not a paid, they're not sponsoring, marrying or that so I'll give
you an absolute reality of authentically what is actually happening, the credible. What's
working, what hasn't worked with this organic growth challenge I've set for myself through this
agency. So stay tuned. Like, subscribe, tell your fellow Acting buddies. Next week, it'll be all
about social media for actors, and particularly this growth platform. Is it going to work or not?
Or is it just another way for people to get money out of actors rather than making money from
their work? Interesting. You're listening to Two Unemployed Actors I'm Max and you'll hear me
next week. Bye.