Hey Bonnie!

Thanks again for your wonderful columns. It’s like a secret little treat I get to devour each week. If only more actors knew about it, we’d have a lot more informed actors out there. Wouldn’t that be interesting?

I have a question for you. One of my films is in a film festival in Hollywood. I live in the South. It will be showing at the end of March. Is it worth it for me to go all the way out there? Is it important that I’m there? I haven’t really read anything that talks about making big trips to see your film shown at a festival. I would love to hear your feedback on this issue!

Thanks so much!

Brittany Joyner

Hi Brittany. Thanks for reading, and for your kind comments. It seems I get an email every day from someone “just discovering” my columns, so I’m always glad to hear from a longtime reader (and I don’t disagree that this is a “secret” somehow, among actors), and hey, eventually, we’ll get around to everybody being better informed and prepared, right? Just takes time. 😉

Now, on to your film festival. First, congratulations! Second, this is such a great question!

My initial thought is that it really depends on the festival. How prestigious is it? Is it one of “the bigs” or a “wee one” here? And then, my follow-up question is, “How good is the film?” And I mean that in terms of showcasing your talents. Does it do a good job of presenting you to the industry? Are you really proud of your work in it (even if it’s in a supporting role)? And, then, probably the most important consideration is this: It depends on the film in the festival. Is it in a competitive category where lots of people will go see it? Is it screening multiple times throughout the festival or just once, at 10am on a Sunday in the smallest screening room? Will there be a cast and crew Q&A after one of the screenings, where you could really make the most of your time as a panelist in front of people who just saw the film? Will there be afterparties that are well-attended by industry pros so that you can do some networking?

And beyond the cool stuff that happens at and immediately after the festival, could you plan to take a few meetings with agents or managers or do some generals with casting directors while you’re here? If your ultimate plan is to move to Los Angeles and pursue acting work here, could you find a way to make this a reconnaissance mission of sorts?

Even if you can’t do any of that stuff, if you have the money to spend on the trip, can afford to take the time away from your life and career back home, and know you would have a blast being here to support and promote your film, then do it! Certainly, maximize the potential for something really great coming from this investment, but even if it’s just a quick trip out to see yourself on the big screen in Hollywood, that can be pretty sweet too.

Have fun, should you choose to make the trip. It can all be really exciting, even if it’s not the grand, red carpet thing you might fantasize about. Good luck, and let me know what you end up doing and — if you come out here for it — how it went!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000844.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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