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Having an IMDb page is a good tool for actors. So much information about an actor is contained on one site…their bio, agent/manager, credits, demo reel, and photos, to name a few. Further, actors can research others in the business. Many feel it is as essential as having an Actors Access account ( I do feel IMDb Pro is a must for serious actors).

There is another item on one’s IMDb page I didn’t mention, and yet something some actors consider at the top of the list in importance…the IMDb Starmeter. I’ll admit that how it actually works is still a mystery to me. It’s based on some complex algorithm…whatever the hell that is (I was never a math whiz in school). All I know is that the number represents the level of awareness people have with the actor, projects listed, and others involved. The theory is, the lower the number on your starmeter, the more popular you are. It is a popularity contest…no doubt…and, like other popularity contests based on numbers, is subject to manipulation. And therein, to paraphrase the Bard, lies the rub.

Should an actor wish to lower their starmeter number and make themselves look more “popular”, there are a few methods. There are services one can find on the internet that will help improve your starmeter for a price of around $50 to $100 or more monthly. You can also sign on to a Facebook page such as “Imdb and Likes” where, on a quid pro quo basis, actors will open each other’s IMDb page. Of course, one can always get their friends and family to click on their IMDb link every week, en masse.

So…how important is this effort?

Well, my fellow actors…if you pay to boost your starmeter ranking, you are wasting your money and if you join the Facebook pages to click on each other’s pages, you are wasting your time! Why? Read on.

The IMDb starmeter is irrelevant. No one cares, except for the amateur actor. Casting directors don’t care. Producers don’t care.

Boosting your starmeter can work against you. You may have an impressive starmeter ranking, yet your credits do not come close to matching your supposed popularity. This is what one acting coach refers to as "Lunch Bag Letdown". They were looking for a fancy meal based on the starmeter and instead got half a bologna sandwich and a stale twinkie. This does not make an actor look credible.

Bottom line, stop obsessing over that starmeter. Remember, there are absolutely no shortcuts in this business. Let me repeat…THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS IN THIS BUSINESS. You should continue training to keep the instrument tuned.

Below are links from two professionals in the business about this very subject. There are more on YouTube.

Tips On Acting | How Casting Directors Use The IMDB Starmeter Rating to Cast Actors - YouTube


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In my many years in the business, I have met and mingled with many talented, professional actors and other actors who will do anything to convince people they are talented, professional actors. In this blog, I will address the latter.

About 40 years ago, I was in management in the Employee Relations department of a major company. In my position, I was instrumental in the hiring and firing of employees. Many resumés came across my desk from applicants listing their past employment and accomplishments and on occasion, I would come across an applicant listing a past job that was untrue. Most knew I could verify if the person was actually employed by that company, or if they were, I could verify if they were a Vice President, like they listed, instead of the Mailroom Clerk they really were. Most information was easily verifiable, and most applicants knew better than to lie. Therefore, I am amazed by some actors who blatantly lie about their credits and training and think they will get away with it, which is amazing in these times of instant access to information on the web.

I certainly am not a Hollywood A-lister by any means…not even close…however, I have seen some people embellish their resumés to a point that anyone with an average knowledge of our craft can easily spot as fake.

It is strongly suggested that an actor do not list background work on their resumé. However, I have seen actors list their background work as “co-star” which is easily verifiable. Listing a commercial background as “principal” is another faux pas. I have seen a couple of actors list credits as “series regular extras.” Of course, no such title exists and putting that on a resumé clearly screams Amateur.

The Special Skills section of a resumé is another area where being dishonest can backfire. If you list a foreign language, you had best speak that language…fluently. If you list accents, be sure you can speak in that accent. Do you only know how to play chopsticks on the piano? If so, do not list playing the piano as a skill. I played piano professionally about 60 years ago but gave it up very early in life. I can read music and know what keys to hit, but I couldn’t play now if my life depended on it. So, I do not list piano as a skill.

I have known a few actors who will pad their resumé with training they did not attend. This can sink their career if, for example, they list the Travis Technique Master Class, yet when asked by a Casting Director about the Interrogation Process, they have no clue. They might list Meisner training, yet when asked about the Repetition Exercises, they fall flat on their face.

One more thing (and I wrote a blog about it on this site), manipulating your IMDb Starmeter is a dead giveaway. Some actors still believe that boosting their Starmeter ranking will make them look more professional. In fact, if your credits don't match your ranking, it will be clear that you manipulated the number by any number of means, to include paying a website to change it. Of course, true professionals in the industry are aware that the Starmeter is irrelevant (See my blog about the Starmeter with links to professionals who also discuss it).

I will repeat what I have written on other pages...THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS IN THIS BUSINESS!

Casting Directors and other professionals have been “around the block” a few times and know how to spot a fake.

Please don’t be a fake.

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There is an old joke…the origin of which remains unknown but has been ascribed to various musicians such as Jascha Heifitz, Artur Rubenstein, or Jack Benny. A young fellow is walking the streets of New York, stops the musician and asks, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” The famous musician replies, “Practice, practice, practice.”

And so it goes with the craft of acting. I have been taught by some great acting coaches, but a better teacher has been practical experience in community theater and in front of a camera. Practicing the craft has been valuable for me and has given the experience I needed for larger projects. But there is something more.

A typical resumé includes the actor’s training and credits, however, leaves out something that I consider very important in an actor’s repertoire…something that talent agents should know when considering a person for representation or casting directors should know about the person auditioning in front of them. That something is life experience.

What I value most as an actor has been my experiences in life during the past 79 years I have been on earth. As an example, if I were to be cast in a film involving the military, my drama training, though valuable, would not the best teacher. My best teacher would be my experience training combat medics in the U.S. Army, my work in the media supporting the U.S. Marines, my work as a USO volunteer supporting deploying soldiers, or flying in a U.S. Air Force aerial tanker filming the refueling of several military aircraft for a television program, just to name a few.

In the late 1960s and through the 70s, I worked for a major airline as a crew member. This gave me the opportunity to travel all over the world and experience different cultures. I have had breakfast in the Eiffel Tower in Paris and have climbed the Great Wall of China. I have enjoyed the hospitality of people in Europe and indigenous peoples in remote areas of South America.

For several years I was News Director for a radio station and hosted a regional television program. For my work as a broadcaster and local volunteer, I was honored with a proclamation by the city council in my hometown.

There are many more experiences, such as performing at the Hollywood Bowl four years before The Beatles, or flying in a glider and experimental aircraft.

OK…I’ve bragged enough, but I think you get the idea. Should I ever be asked the question by a Casting Director, “Tell me about yourself”, you can bet I have enough to bend their ears for some time.

A word of advice…as an actor, you may be asked in an audition to tell a bit about yourself. Never mention you are an actor and list your credits…they already know this and, frankly, it will bore them. People want to know what makes you unique as a person. Think about all the experiences you have had and be prepared to share them. Perhaps you have a musical talent, have had interesting experiences while travelling, work with animals, or anything else that would make an interesting story. Unless we’ve been locked in a basement all our lives, we can come up with something that would give people an idea of who we are and what shapes our emotions.

Embrace your uniqueness and have fun!

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