Which is more important – Acting Ability or Social Media Popularity? Before the advent of social media, acting ability and talent landed you roles. In today’s world, however, directors and producers have the ability to instantly assess your popularity, via social media. Now, more than ever, gaining an online presence is important, but is it more important than acting ability? In reality, both factors can be equally important to casting directors when making decisions. Classically, it has always been about talent. Without strong acting ability and a well-written script, a production may be prone to failure. The emotion that the actors portray is what captivates and keeps audiences coming back for more. Rarely will viewers continue to watch a show with feeble acting. If your acting ability is dynamic, gaining a fan base should come naturally. Your acting ability comes first, but how you promote and market yourself to get seen is the second half of the equation. Assessing an Actor’s or Actress’s Popularity In today’s industry, directors and producers are inclined to assess an actor’s social media popularity, along with their talent. If an actor’s abilities are strong and they have interesting social media pages, they may have more internet followers and an established fan base. An actor with an established fan base, can help draw people to your production. Today, production companies want actors to Tweet, Instagram, Facebook, and You tube, etc. to help promote their television shows or films. Directors may be prompted to look at your online popularity, solely to see how many viewers you can bring to a production, despite your acting ability. Even if you are not the most talented actor, if you are entertaining and likeable and have thousands of followers, that can be extremely valuable to the production company. In fact, this has led some directors and producers depending on the parameters of the movie or TV project to make decisions based largely on social media following. Recently I worked on an independent feature film and when casting the younger talent for the movie, the director was mainly interested in how many followers each of the actors had on their social media pages. We actually ranked the actors in order of who had the most followers and that was how the director decided who he was going to make offers to. Obviously, your best chance at landing a role is still building a strong, diverse acting foundation that will help you get the part. With that in mind, bolster your chances of getting a role (and getting yourself seen) by having a positive internet presence. Whether a director casts you because of your talent, your number of followers, or both, you have still landed a role! Now you have to deliver the part!