"The possibilities are limitless. All we have to do is get specific and get creative."
I first met James Beaman while working together at STAGES St. Louis on Victor/Victoria. I've always known him as a consummate professional and great actor—so I was quite honored when he came to me for advice on his online presence.
Below, you'll read about James' experience working with me and most importantly, his personal results.
Why did you decide to work with Tony?
First, I saw the positive professional presence Tony Howell created for himself on social media. It just exuded confidence, self assurance and a strong intention. These are qualities I wanted to project. I also knew that social media is where it’s at these days. People find information on everything via the internet—especially via Facebook, Twitter and other sites. As a 25-year veteran of the theatre (with some big goals still to be accomplished), I felt that I needed to learn how to harness the power of social media and Tony was the guy to consult.
What were your hold-ups in working on your online presence?
I think my hold-ups were a too-vague knowledge of how these sites work; a feeling of being overwhelmed by the choices available to me, and not really knowing how I might benefit professionally as an actor by using social media. Tony had all this knowledge and a very unique perspective on it all. He did a detailed study of everything I had online—including my website, which I built myself, and helped me to see how to make things cohesive, streamlined, and attractive.
What are one or two key things you learned from working with us?
I think the thing that stuck with me the most was the idea of always projecting one’s "best and truest self" in everything one puts out there. We tend to forget just how public social media is. And many actors are Facebook friends with numerous people in the business who may know them only via what they see on the site. I realized it is very important to only post things that come from a positive, personal place, and that are reflective of me on my best day, at my best. I also learned that it’s not enough to just promote, promote, promote. It’s important to offer interesting, informative, heartfelt and entertaining content in my posts. I have a bright, witty personality and I needed to always be that guy, consistently. The other thing I learned was the idea of “rich content,” understanding that people have shorter attention spans and are more likely to watch a video, for example, than read a lot of written material. This inspired me to do a 12-part video blog as I prepared for the role of John Adams in 1776, with each segment lasting only 3-4 minutes and filled with lots of interesting content. The series was interesting enough to be run on BroadwayWorld.com and it brought me to the attention of a wider audience. The work I did with Tony made me much more aware of each and every thing I post online.
What responses/results have you received?
The response has been very gratifying. I am projecting a likable, smart, positive persona that is still authentically me, and people follow me on social media because of it. I also have used my website and other online sites to share my career and it makes a huge difference—people in the profession know what I am up to, and nothing attracts work like WORKING! I have done five significant roles in the past 10 months, all first time engagements at top regional theaters.
It is hard to say if the social media stuff has been the cause of an upswing in bookings, but it certainly has helped me to get out there the work I am doing and project a presence that says, successful working actor.
What are you currently working on or towards?
I continue to work toward making my Broadway debut. I have a great deal invested in making this happen, and I feel that the more I work in good parts and the more I connect with people in the business, especially on social media, the more I put myself in a position of attracting that opportunity.
What’s your advice for aspiring artists?
My advice for aspiring artists is to cultivate a sense of empowerment in the way they negotiate the course of their careers. All too often it feels like the actor has no real power in terms of how he charts his course… it seems casting directors and agents and other people have all the power. But we can influence how those employers and their representatives get to know us and what we do by being as specific as possible about who we are, what we are about, what kind of work we love doing and what we do well. Social media is an incredible outlet for these messages. We can share our work in a second; we can blog about something we are passionate about in our own, authentic voices; we can put our personalities and personal philosophies out there just by carefully selecting the way we express them on social media—and we can attract like minded people to us. The possibilities are limitless. All we have to do is get specific and get creative.
Where can we find you online?
You can find me online at www.jamesbeaman.com, on Facebook and Twitter (@JamieBeaman), on Pinterest (where I have really fun dramaturgical research boards for several of my latest roles), LinkedIn, and on YouTube where you can view my video blog, “Becoming John Adams” and all my performance videos! You can also read my blog, The State of My Art, at beamanstateoftheart.blogspot.com.
I absolutely adore, Jamie—I mean James!!! If you're interested in an acting coach, I would highly recommend him. For rates and availability, contact email@example.com.