|Austin-Bergstrom International Airport|
by Darbi Worley
My name is Darbi Worley and I am an actress here in Austin. The purpose of this (hopefully) monthly column is to help those of you without "real world" business experience learn how to effectively market your product (thats YOU, by the way). I certainly do not know every trick in the book, especially relative to Austin, since Im new to the talent pool here, but I do feel qualified to speak to the subject of sales and marketing. I think a little background info on me is in order to help you understand why. As such, thats the subject of my first columnME!
I acted in my first show when I was 9 years old and was bitten by the acting bug HARD! I did a ton of theatre growing up, always in at least one show, sometimes two at a time. Until I learned to drive, my poor parents spent more time driving me around to rehearsals than living their own lives. They actually sold their house and moved to another town so that I could attend the high school that had the strongest theatre program in our area. I worked and worked at being a great actress, but always as a non-pro. I finally got an agent (a horrible agent who was really a fashion agent, but thats another story) when I was about twenty. I worked some jobs during my last couple of years of college, but never got to audition for much of anything interestingremember, I was working with a fashion agent (and Im 54" on a good day!!).
I sat by the phone and waited for my agent to call me with those great parts, but my phone was strangely quiet. I managed to add a few commercials and a couple of film credits to my resume, but I figured that there simply wasn't enough work in Minneapolis to make a living and that LA was the place for me! Upon graduation, I hit LA for a week to scope it out and look for a job teaching aerobics. I couldn't get home fast enough! LA scared the hell out of this Minnesota girl, with its sprawl and pollution and gorgeous, but unhappy and mean people. I promptly got job singing in a band and working as a studio vocalist and gave up acting altogether.
Eventually, I decided music wasn't right for me, either, and, after a stint as a horse trainer, I found my way into the software/Internet business. I talked my way into a sales job, read every " .for Dummies" book on the market, worked incredibly hard and within four years, had increased my income by about 6 times over. I hardly knew how to turn on a computer, much less how they worked, when I entered the industry, but I simply decided to "figure it out" and I did. Selling I became second nature and
After years of crying my eyes out every year at Oscar time, I finally decided to go back into acting. This time around, Im approaching things in a whole new way, focusing on the business rather than the creative side. I believe that my acting career is very similar to a growing businesshence the name of the column, Darbi, Inc. Over the next few months (at least and maybe longer), well be looking at the development of an acting career as compares to the birth and growth of a company. My intent in this column is to give you some ideas about marketing yourself, as well as business-based concepts for staying motivated and reaching for excellence. My hope is that you will find it valuable and inspiring! Best wishes for a successful month and well talk again in April. Ill close the way I close each of my communications to my sales reps .now, go sell something!!!