Learn to Bounce Back When You Drop The Ball
It’s been years since you’ve had that callback for that big casting director. They would think it’s so weird to just reach out to them out of the blue, right? They probably don’t even remember you! Man, you really dropped the ball. I guess you’re going to be working at this restaurant forever...
Raise your hand if your own inner gremlin has sounded something like this before? (raises hand too!) Look, dropped balls are a fact of life. It takes a lot of time and energy to keep up with everyone you can meet at auditions, in shows and during classes.
So, don’t beat yourself up if you’ve lost track of an important industry contact or peer. Instead, learn to pick that ball right up and throw it back on the court.
Here’s what I know to be true: YOU ARE RIGHT ON TIME, ALL OF THE TIME.
It’s never too late to reach out to someone who hasn’t heard from you in awhile. It may feel awkward at first, or that you’re just asking for them to give you something like an audition or a job, but with a little preparations, you can keep the conversation authentic, and not so out of blue.
Check out these 5 tips on getting ready to reach out again.
1) Make the problem the solution.
I learned this trick from Dallas Travers, and it’s a good one. What’s the problem in this situation? That you dropped the ball. So, start with that first to cut right through any awkwardness.
Hey, I know I’ve dropped the ball at staying in touch with you, so I’m reaching out to pick it back up again.
Now doesn’t that feel good?
2) Remind them of something you shared.
Dropping a hint that brings them back to the moment you last connected is a great way to get someone on the same page. Did you sing a song at the audition that they complimented, or wear a dress that they liked? Remind them.
3) Mention a mutual friend.
Everyone is six degrees of separation, right? So, who have you worked with or talked to recently that reminded you to reach out?
4) Mention their work.
Did you see something they worked on recently? Congratulate them and let them know why you like them so much.
5) Don’t ask for anything.
I think it’s really important to just make it a simple reach out. Don’t ask for a job. Don’t tell them how you haven’t worked in weeks or how hard the industry can be. Just keep it about the connection and the gesture.
How? Set the expectation: “I want to keep in better touch, so you may hear from me occasionally. Is this the best way to do that?” If it’s not their thing, give them the opportunity to tell you that, and if so, then respect their decision and move on to the next.
What’s your biggest fear around reaching out again to an old industry contacts? Which of these tips to you have the most questions about? Let me know in the comments below.