Be Your Own CEO: Why You Should Keep A Spreadsheet

By Melodi Erdogan

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Ahh, the spreadsheet. They may seem like an unlikely pairing, but spreadsheets and acting go together like peanut butter and jelly.

You're starting the year off with a clean slate. With every opportunity that comes your way in 2019, input every piece of information you can to keep yourself organized and track your progress.

For example, let's say you're a new actor trying to find an agent and also self-submitting yourself for projects wherever you can. Create two spreadsheets or documents (whatever floats your boat - both are free with Google Docs and a Google account, so no excuses), and begin gathering information you can find to create a record for yourself. Let's say you submit your materials to agencies - you would create a list of the agency, their primary TV/Film agent, the email you submitted your materials to, the date you submitted, which headshots you submitted, etc, etc. And for projects you self-submit for, you'd follow a similar pattern, also keeping track of dates, roles, projects, casting directors - any pertinent information you can find.

If you're a working actor, it's a similar process. Your resume outlines which projects you've shot and who has cast you in what, but auditions are a different ball game. Maybe you never realized you hadn't booked with a certain casting director until you kept track of how many times you've auditioned for them. Or maybe you never realized you hadn't booked a show on a certain network. OR maybe you never realized how many callbacks you actually attended with or without booking the gig.

All the information you have access to is vital to expanding your opportunities. Having it all organized in one spreadsheet can do wonders for achieving your goals and really focusing your career on attainable, realistic steps. When you get an audition, get excited to input all the information you have into your spreadsheet - the date you got it, what project and role it's for, which network it's on, who the casting director is, who the producers/directors are, when it shoots, and even the date/time you submitted your audition - and if you booked the job, the dates you worked (wardrobe fitting, rehearsals, shoot dates, everything) and your check numbers and payments. Not only will this give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on your craft, but it will also present you with a better overall view of your acting career and help attack areas you know you might be missing.

You thought that if you'd become an actor you wouldn't have to deal with spreadsheets. It's true, to a certain degree. But by utilizing what you have in front of you, staying organized with information, and tracking your progress, you truly become the CEO of your company, allowing yourself to focus on what you're really here for: acting.