Mike Moreno runs The Actor CEO Podcast and ActorCEO.com, connecting thousands of actors worldwide to industry pros, tools, and resources that help them treat their career like a business filling the gap between training and building a sustainable creative life. Backstage and Casting Networks have both rated the podcast as a “top podcast for actors.”, Mike contributes articles to Backstage, OnStageBlog, and StageMilk and also teaches industry business and marketing classes in drama schools around the country and coaches creative professionals online. Now is the golden era for creatives, and Mike is helping to ensure actors lead the way.

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Actor CEO’s Mike Moreno on Treating Your Creative Career As A Business

Hello and welcome to episode 72 of Sing! Dance! Act! Thrive!

I’ve been a guest on some amazing podcasts lately so I wanted to shout out some shows that you should check out. Plus I always think I’m much more entertaining and provide more value on other shows than on my own. I think it is because of the great questions the hosts ask me.

To hear how to market your music so that you attract fans listen to the Dare To Be Seen podcast. The importance of knowing your why before marketing what you do is the focus of the All Things Vocal podcast. On the Profitable Musicians podcast, I talked about the importance of sharing your unique story to genuinely connect with audiences. I talk about Personal branding and goal setting on the Art Talk podcast and social media marketing on the Out To Be podcast. I was also a guest on the Actor CEO podcast with today’s guest Mike Moreno where we talked about publicity and branding for actors. You can check out all of these episodes and more at https://dianefoy.com/media

Today’s guest Mike Moreno runs The Actor CEO Podcast and ActorCEO.com, connecting thousands of actors worldwide to industry pros, tools, and resources that help them treat their career like a business filling the gap between training and building a sustainable creative life.

Backstage and Casting Networks have both rated the podcast as a “top podcast for actors.”, Mike contributes articles to Backstage, OnStageBlog, and StageMilk and also teaches industry business and marketing classes in drama schools around the country and coaches creative professional online.

Now is the golden era for creatives, and Mike is helping to ensure actors lead the way.

[00:03:18.050] – Mike Moreno

Hey, thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it.

[00:03:21.140] – Diane Foy

So you’re your podcast actor. Oh. How many episodes are you on now?

[00:03:27.620] – Mike Moreno

Oh, goodness. I think at the time of this recording, we are almost at two hundred where I think one hundred and eighty nine maybe that are actually in the can so to speak. And then. Yeah. And we’re about to cross that two hundred mark. I’m super excited about. It’s been going for about four years now and people seem to be digging it.

[00:03:46.550] – Diane Foy

Yeah. Usually when I was even just starting my podcast I would like Google after podcast music podcast and yours always came up for the ,acting podcast to check out. That was really cool. And so tell me about some of your favorite guests that you’ve had on because you’ve had some amazing guests. And what lessons did you learn from them? Any cool stories?

[00:04:11.240] – Mike Moreno

Oh, my goodness. Well, there’s the I think my podcast is unique in the sense that I don’t just talk to actors. I’m not really a talk show. So a lot of people would like to come on the show and say, hey, you know, I’d love to share my insight from my experience, from the acting career and all that. And it’s very exciting. A lot of people have some great experience, but I try to extend beyond just the actors to the decision makers, casting directors, filmmakers, producers, many of whom might be actors in their own right.

[00:04:46.370] – Mike Moreno

Writers, directors, all sorts of people who are in the industry who see it from many different angles. And I think that perspective is incredibly helpful. So having John Badham on the show as an example, who’s a great director, Saturday Night Fever is one of his big films. John Travolta, out into the mainstream, so to speak, started his career. He’s been doing so much for a long time. He’s written a couple of books. He was on talking about the latest update to one of his books, but his wealth of experience on set working with actors was incredible to tap into.

[00:05:25.250] – Mike Moreno

And one of the things that stuck with me from having a conversation with him was how he teaches directors right now at the university that he works at. And a lot of young directors, he says they just they can tell you everything from the sun to the moon about camera lenses and the equipment and the lighting and all that sort of stuff. But, gosh, they can’t tell you the first thing about actors. They just don’t know how they work for the most part.

[00:05:55.790] – Mike Moreno

And he says even ven those who get a little bit more experienced in the filmmaking business, let’s say talking to actors about in a way that makes sense to actors in order to move things forward is one of the more challenging things for them. And he says so it’s important that actors understand that as well. Right, that they know that everyone there, of course, is there to do the same job. We’re all there to tell the story in the best way possible.

[00:06:24.620] – Mike Moreno

And we all bring different tools to the table. But when you get a direction from a director and it doesn’t make any sense, maybe, or they’re there speaking in a way that maybe you think is too pedestrian or are telling you how to do it, perhaps it has nothing to do with you really actually as the actor, which is quite a relief, I think, especially under those pressured circumstances being on set where time is money. They are just running up against challenges sometimes on how to communicate best with you and the skill set that you have and how you translate the information in the story and on the script through your instrument to be able to do it best.

[00:07:09.620] – Mike Moreno

And I think that that’s a big relief, actually, hearing that as an actor, hearing other actors, hearing that going on, it doesn’t really matter what level of production I’m on. I know that this director has so many other things going on and so many other things in their brain that they’re trying to process. I am a part of that. And the communication that we have or the communication we could have should facilitate that part of the storytelling, what I can do.

[00:07:37.640] – Mike Moreno

But it may they may not know how to go about it. And it’s OK for me to this is another thing that he says. It’s OK to ask questions. Right. Step up and ask a question, get some clarity on something. There’s not time for rehearsal usually. But if you’d like to get some clarity on how the shots are going to look, if you’d like to get some clarity on maybe a moment or whatever, there’s no reason why you can’t ask these questions and open that dialog.

[00:08:04.100] – Mike Moreno

But I do think it’s important then to for the actor to then hear you’re not maybe going to get necessarily the answers that you would in an acting class. Let’s be clear about that. So coming prepared and having done enough homework to translate what the director is saying to make it work for you and give it a shot, it’s just to take. Right. Give it a shot then I think is the best way forward. And that was that was super helpful.

[00:08:26.720] – Speaker 1

Yeah, it reminds me of, like one of my favorite books is the four agreements, and one of them is like one don’t like don’t take things personally. But my favorite is have the courage to ask questions instead of assuming because assuming is kind of the core of every misunderstanding that’s ever been. So it’s really a good reminder to ask questions, don’t assume.

[00:08:56.990] – Mike Moreno

Yeah, absolutely. And I’ve had a lot of wonderful guests on the show not to not to put the other to say this on the other side of the table, I guess I’ve had Wendy Braun on the show. She’s currently on Atypical on Netflix and has done a number of projects, I think almost one hundred at this point. But she a great actor and she speaks about this whole process that we go through in self tapes and auditions. In fact, we’re very familiar with when going into auditions, being prepared enough to do something in one or two takes.

[00:09:36.200] – Mike Moreno

And in fact, she says when you’re hired, you are the expectation is you’re bringing your game at a high enough level that you are there to deliver what is being asked of you in one take. Usually it does not happen that way. Right. But that is in some ways the expectation and that is the level of your game that you’re bringing. Right. That you should be bringing. You should be prepared enough to nail this in one take.

[00:10:04.340] – Mike Moreno

Certainly, if you’ve got under five lines, certainly if you’ve just got one scene or whatever, that’s the goal. Right. It should be clear enough. You should have all the answers and you should have done enough preparation to be able to do that in one take. Then if there’s an opportunity to ask questions, if there’s some flexibility, if there’s some adjustments being made, if maybe something’s happening that’s unexpected, find great. Open up that dialog. Like John says, ask those questions, get some clarity.

[00:10:29.690] – Mike Moreno

So again, what we can do it in the next take, right. So that there’s not these assumptions or or lack of understanding. But the way Wendy focuses this point is that actors who are doing so many self tapes these days and most of that, I assure you, is not going away, there’s that opportunity is going to be here in a strong way for a very long time, which is fantastic for creators, but. You should have that same preparation when doing the self takes, right, because it’s just a good muscle to build, it’s a good muscle to build so that you’re ready on set.

[00:11:06.420] – Mike Moreno

It’s a good muscle to build so that if you’re going to in person audition’s, you’re only going to get one take. You might get some adjustments, but that’s it, right. Your self tape is really no different. Build that same preparation muscle, that same skill set so that you’re not shooting 10 takes of your audition. Right. You’re doing it so that you’re ready to go in one or two takes and great. You got it.

[00:11:31.260] – Speaker 2

You made your choices. You feel strong about it. Send it.

[00:11:35.630] – Diane Foy

Yeah, that’s really great advice. So what inspired you to start the podcast and are you still acting yourself?

[00:11:46.640] – Mike Moreno

Yeah, so the podcast has become a major focus for me. It’s growing at an exponential rate, which is really exciting. And what’s really cool is that it has offered me opportunities that I never really even dreamed of. I mean, I’m writing for backstage now. I write for stage magic as well. There’s going to be something really awesome happening in New York City at the end of the summer and twenty, twenty one, whoever is listening to this, which is also super exciting things that I just couldn’t do in the past, even as an actor and a producer and things like that, that I was already doing content creator.

[00:12:21.200] – Mike Moreno

But about four while five years ago, I guess at this point I started the podcast right around the time that I had my son. So now my time was no longer my own and I couldn’t say yes to some of the gigs that I was taken before. I couldn’t do a four hundred dollar theater gig. I couldn’t go out of town for two weeks on a shoot or something, depending on the size of the project and the production. So I had to balance my time in a different way, which gave me this amount of time to start devoting to a project like this.

[00:12:53.150] – Mike Moreno

And what was unique, I always give my wife credit for this. She had poked my brain for a while saying You should start a podcast. I’m like, what should I what in the world would I talk about? Right. And who would care? But the value of particular conversations that I had in grad school I thought were so useful to me as a professional performer that maybe it’s those conversations that are actually the ones that actors should be having and could get a lot of value out of.

[00:13:22.460] – Mike Moreno

I often say that 50 percent of my training in grad school was at the bar because I was in a program that could bring in professionals from around the country and around the world. And I would sit down with them and pick their brains. I wanted to talk to people who were five, 10, 15 steps ahead of me and learn what was happening on the ground. Right. What do I need to know? And the Common Core of those conversations was that you had to treat it like a business.

[00:13:47.360] – Mike Moreno

That’s what was going to sustain you over the long run. Whereas when you’re in school, sometimes you think other the agent holds all the cards right. There are gatekeepers in this industry that I have to somehow either get lucky enough or maybe there’s a big break at some point that allows me to be valuable enough. Right. To this industry that I can start making my own decisions and feel like I have some control. And the reality is you are that from the beginning, you are that from the beginning.

[00:14:15.650] – Mike Moreno

And that is something that I have truly learned over the course of one hundred and eighty almost two hundred episodes here at this point from these industry pros that I’ve been talking to, that is true from the get go, and it’s true now more than ever in terms of streaming and all this content and social media and the access that we have to audiences and telling such a diverse level of stories. It’s exceptional, and so the gatekeepers aren’t there anymore, holding creators back, and now actors get to empower themselves.

[00:14:48.440] – Mike Moreno

And probably one of the strongest ways and more strong than they’ve ever had before and really step into their own and start to build something right from the beginning that they have total control over.

[00:14:59.960] – Diane Foy

Yeah, why do you think that so many artists, actors, they’re reluctant or they feel like is it that they don’t think they need to? What about those? I’m thinking of those actors that I just want to create those because I just want to create I don’t want to deal with the business. Listen, I don’t want to do social media.

[00:15:23.040] – Mike Moreno

I explain it to me. Yeah, I know. To relate it to exactly what you focus on. And there’s so many parts of that that actors will then pin up on the wall of of their excuses, essentially as like, oh, well, this is not this is not the craft. So I don’t want to have to deal with that when in fact it is it is the business. And that’s what allows you the craft. Yes. Which allows you to do the thing that you really want to do.

[00:15:46.820] – Mike Moreno

So I don’t think and listen, I connect with that because I felt that way. Right. I felt that way at times. Certainly coming out of a conservatory type program, certainly coming out of training where you I’ve done nothing but focus on the craft so much. And that takes such precedent and priority as it should at that time. I’m not knocking any training institutions. You should get training. You should have this high level skill. But you should never forget that you are stepping into show business, right?

[00:16:19.460] – Mike Moreno

Show business. It is a business. And every other person you encounter that you bring your craft to is a business in their own right. The producer is in business for themself. So is the director. So is the company making and distributing the film. So are the casting directors. What are we confused about here? Everybody else is a business. Everybody else has needs that they need to meet, right? Everybody else has a budget and hopefully goals where this business grows.

[00:16:52.580] – Mike Moreno

Right. And yes, they all have a skill set and craft, as do you, but they are a business and they are working with other businesses. And the moment you start to see it that way, I believe you actually relieve a lot of pressure off of yourself. Right, because now there are many things that you don’t need to take personally. You now have a much longer time line in front of you. You can see it from thirty thousand feet up and go, oh, there are so many other players.

[00:17:21.250] – Mike Moreno

There’s so many other opportunities, there are so many other angles, there’s many chances to build professional relationships over the long term and that those things pay off in really big ways. We hear those stories all the time. Those relationships pay off and all of that does take time. You don’t have to break out and have a career in the next two to five years. And if you don’t, you’ve failed. That’s that’s not a business plan. Most businesses are looking at it from the long term.

[00:17:52.810] – Mike Moreno

So I think you when you start to think about it that way, you’re not only alleviate some of that pressure that that oftentimes as an artist, you can you can put on yourself to have success, mostly because you’re basing that those ideas on other people’s opinions who don’t really know how this business works. And then secondly, you can also take some of the tools and lessons and groundwork that so many businesses and startups have done before you and learn from that and apply it directly to your business where it applies.

[00:18:28.570] – Mike Moreno

Actors are already very familiar with this, right? There are skills and techniques and practices and and tools that you might use that one actor might use to memorize a script as opposed to how another actor memorize a script just as an example. OK, well, that’s what works for them. Who cares what works for them? Do what works for you. Right. But if you can hear all these different tools, here’s 16 different ways and how to memorize a script.

[00:18:53.620] – Speaker 2

OK, well, I’m going to try five or ten of them. And then next thing I know, I’ve got two that really do work for me and someone else has a handful that work for them. Fantastic. But this list of tools is available to you, right? This information is out there. My podcast is one of those resources that is providing the information so you can hear it and go, ah, I’m going to try that. I’m going to use that and see if that works for my business.

[00:19:17.110] – Mike Moreno

Someone has already done it. And now if it applies, great. Keep it move forward. If it doesn’t put it aside, find something else and move forward again. There’s no ego or personality attached to this. You are building a business and that is your primary function over the long term is to grow that.

[00:19:34.570] – Diane Foy

Yeah. And it’s just being aware and doing research like I think my superpower is resourcefulness and it’s being resourceful because you could say, oh, I don’t have money to go to business school or whatever, or hire a coach to further my career. But there are tons of podcasts. There is tons of free resources. Oh yeah, there’s tons of stuff online. And you just put in the time to learn it and listen to it. And the podcasts are great because it’s like you’re getting to eavesdrop on a really cool conversation.

[00:20:10.930] – Mike Moreno

Oh, one hundred percent and things like clubhouse and other places I do live. I do and I do live every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern on the actressy channel. There’s so many resources out there and especially in the pandemic times and probably in the post pandemic times as well. Experts have made themselves available. Industry pros have made themselves available at a scale unlike any other time in our business. You should be taking advantage of that. There’s a story I have of a guy who’s actually about to be on the on the show, an actor by the name of Mike Dolfi.

[00:20:48.070] – Speaker 2

He’s done a number of commercials. That’s sort of where he started off. And he’s recently been on some shows on Netflix as well, some sitcoms there. And he was telling this story the other day in a room and clubhouse saying that when he was focusing on commercials, when he decided that that was going to be his thing, he stepped out and did everything he could to find as much information on it. To the extent let me be clear that he went out and found that there was a video series from some commercial actor who had done this great series, but it was only available on VHS.

[00:21:25.810] – Mike Moreno

He found the vhs tape on eBay, went and got a Vcr player, which, of course, he did not have to watch this video. Why? So that he could extract, like we said before, the two or three pieces of information out of this entire set series or whatever that worked for him that were useful. And he did find some useful information in that. And now he has this great core fundamental info that he can use to build that part of his business.

[00:21:54.820] – Mike Moreno

And it became a very successful part of his business. Write some commercials can make you quite a lot of money if they run for a while and then are done under the right circumstances. So that’s great. That allows your business an enormous cushion, right, to take these other risks to go out and work on other things that may not pan out as quickly. Right. But but do, in fact, build your skill set and build your craft and build your business and build relationships so he could.

[00:22:20.390] – Mike Moreno

Do that because he went and found that information, he got all these books, he read them right. He took classes and he found some VHS tapes somewhere that was actually incredibly helpful. But that’s because he decided to do the research and committed to it.

[00:22:34.950] – Diane Foy

That’s totally what I would do. I’m that person that will find that video.

[00:22:40.360] – Mike Moreno

That’s amazing.

[00:22:41.140] – Diane Foy

And that’s someone out there like, oh, I don’t know, I can’t find this. Sometimes I’m like, look, there you go. Yeah, but the more you do it, the more it doesn’t take as much time. You know, it might take someone else hours and you’re just like easy, because that’s what I do all the time is research. And it’s there’s so many great opportunities out there and alse, so. How did you grow your podcast audience, how to give me tips for that of how did you kind of build your audience?

[00:23:19.520] – Mike Moreno

Yeah, absolutely. So first of all, having a focused message is very important. Right. And this is true of actors to you. Your type is your focused message. Right? This is the thing. This is the message that I put out there. This is what people can resonate. This is what I authentically bring. And so having the business message was useful because not everybody was having that conversation. So now I had something unique that I could shine a light on.

[00:23:47.740] – Mike Moreno

And people who were interested in it could come over and go, oh, this is something I’m interested into, something I’m going to stick around for. People who did not want to seek that information out, knew exactly what it was about and could go somewhere else. There was no juggling. There was no confusion about what Mike Moreno was doing with the actors, that podcast. So then growing. That was just a matter of getting that in front of the people who thought it was useful and interesting.

[00:24:12.950] – Speaker 2

And I’m still doing that right. I have found over the over time that there are people in other countries that think that that is useful. Right. The Canada is certainly the second biggest country that listens to the show. And then it’s the U.K. and then Australia and then it’s India as well. Right. So there’s a lot of people in those markets that end up focusing on the business side, understanding that is a place where they don’t have information.

[00:24:39.080] – Mike Moreno

And the information that we provide is actually pretty useful to across the world, actually, in many ways. So finding out, OK, so where are the where’s the conversation being had that is similar to mine, right. Like you said, doing that research, how can I then bring up my conversation as well? Not at all in inserting myself in someone else’s conversation, but supporting what they do. So finding folks who are having those conversations on social media, supporting what they do through the channel that I have that already has that conversation.

[00:25:12.140] – Speaker 2

And then if there is a moment, if there is an opportunity in a group, in a chat, in a thread, on a feed and a comment to also recognize what I do and what I’ve brought to the conversation, or point out something that was said on my show that actually reflects back what they are saying here in their conversation. Then I can do that right. And I do it sparingly and I do it professionally. And I respect everyone’s time and space.

[00:25:40.040] – Mike Moreno

But there’s no reason why I can’t stay up, stand up and say, yes, I’m also having this conversation or we’re talking about this on another level or we’ve got a different angle on this. And this is if you’re interested in this conversation here, I think you’re going to like what’s going on over here. And that can be done across many different channels. Right, whether it’s again and clubhouse, whether it’s again on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, wherever it might be, and then, of course, reinforce that with the content that you put out.

[00:26:08.930] – Mike Moreno

Right. The podcast is the main source of content that I put out. Anybody can listen to that anywhere. Through whatever podcast player you might have access to, but then I know that people are not always going to have 20, 30 minutes to sit down and listen to something and digest it in that way. So I can take the highlights of the conversation and put them out in smaller bits of content through social media, through a variety of ways, through just written quotes, right through video, through audio.

[00:26:46.750] – Mike Moreno

And then, of course, I can also if there are conversations and topics that resonate, I can then write content about that. Well, now that can go out via email, that can stand alone as some blog post. And then eventually, I’ve also been knocking on these doors of these other publications who only write like backstage and say, I can write this information to I can come at it from this angle. So now I’m taking the information that I’m learning from the podcast and I’m repurposing that in different ways to build up a larger audience who is aware that this conversation is even being had, that there are valuable bits to it, and that Mike Moreno is a place where they can go if they want to find out more.

[00:27:29.740] – Speaker 2

So that’s how I’ve been doing it.

[00:27:31.390] – Diane Foy

I think that also relates to it made me think of there’s a lot of actors and artists and they’re like, oh, I just need to get on that casting directors radar. I need to just all these people need to do things for me. And I think it’s really you need to turn that around and go, what can you do for them? And that’s kind of how you could build relationships is. Nobody, I’m sure, casting directors and agents, they get so many messages of like people pitching themselves, but maybe you could come at it from another direction and just kind of start conversations without the pitch and figure out how can I help this person?

[00:28:18.010] – Diane Foy

How can I be a resource for this person?

[00:28:20.480] – Mike Moreno

Absolutely. Yeah. And now, again, in this space where there’s so much content going on in the world, be it written, audio, video, all sorts of different media. There’s more opportunity than ever for you to share the expertise that you have as an artist, as a creator, as an entrepreneur, as whatever, in whatever other things that you might be doing as someone who has overcome maybe certain challenges, as someone who has many different stories to tell a diverse actor from a diverse background in a unique market and a small niche, like whatever this conversation is, there’s many different stories that make up who you are, not only as an actor, but who you are as an artist.

[00:29:06.640] – Mike Moreno

If you can tap into those stories and find places where you can tell those stories without even necessarily speaking as an actor, you now open up opportunities to boost your visibility and create content that you can then go back and share with the people you’re looking to build relationships with. There are not many casting directors that would maybe get a email from an actor who says, check out my article in Entrepreneur magazine or something, right? Yeah, that’s that’s unique.

[00:29:40.450] – Mike Moreno

Or maybe there’s some industry trade magazine that is a little bit more tied in to the entertainment industry, for instance, that you happen to write an article in or you happen to contribute content to. That is not specifically about you as an actor, but now that gives you an opportunity to speak as a professional in the entertainment industry to other professionals just from a different angle. Not everybody wants to hear that you’re an actor all the time, but it can be useful to you to open up other conversations and again reinforce this idea that you are an actor, but you’re also an entertainment professional.

[00:30:17.200] – Mike Moreno

You are a professional in this industry that everybody else that you want to build relationships with is involved in as well.

[00:30:23.950] – Diane Foy

Yeah, and everyone has different interests and life stories and everything to draw on. And I think that’s another thing I see performers doing often is like, well, I have Instagram for my acting career, but then I might have a like a private Instagram for my friends. And that’s, you know, and then they’re acting. One is just acting, acting, acting. And I’m always like, combine them, let us into your world, let people into your world share more like maybe every five or six posts is you as an actor there.

[00:30:57.220] – Diane Foy

You tell me what else you’ve got going on. And that’s what draws people in, is your stories, your experiences, your unique take on things and behind the scenes, behind the scenes of your acting career, what would happen when you were on set? That’s the stuff that kind of draws people in.

[00:31:14.950] – Mike Moreno

Absolutely, and that is a place, a playground, if you will, or rather a test bed where you can test all of these different stories that you bring and see what does, in fact, resonate. Maybe you are comedically gifted in some ways or just have a funny take on certain things. And neither do I mean, there’s all sorts of versions of this, whether it’s voices or faces or just commentary or creating content of some way. Tik-Tok is obviously a great example of a place where that truly excels.

[00:31:50.350] – Mike Moreno

You might find then people like your take on these types of things that has nothing to do with you as an actor. Right? You’re not out there on your Instagram. I will wait one second while my camera turns back on, you’re not out there constantly promoting yourself as an actor, you’re you’re bringing another side of who you are as a human being. Or maybe it’s a, I don’t know, more down to earth than that. A little bit more grounded.

[00:32:15.330] – Mike Moreno

Maybe there are things that you care about causes or something like that that you’re drawing attention to. And maybe people dig that conversation. For instance, on stage blog is a great example of a place that has, first of all, spoken about many things, certainly in the theater world, but in acting and professional performance world at large, but has recently really found a strong resonance in talking about equality and equity when it comes to the world of theater and diversity and standing up for what are truly the right morals really of theater and where we go in the future and making sure that people pay attention to the messages and the voices that are necessary that have built this over the long term and will build it in the future.

[00:33:09.660] – Mike Moreno

That has become a strong message for that platform and for Chris who writes those blogs. So that’s great. Well, now he knows that, of course, it’s something that he’s passionate about, but he found that there was an audience out there that was absolutely passionate about it as well. And now that’s where the stories are going. Those are the stories that are being told. That’s the conversation that’s being had. And there’s a lot of opportunity there to do that on social media and find out that like, oh, there are other sides of me.

[00:33:37.950] – Mike Moreno

There are other sides of my experience, my job, my craft, my creativity that I can explore through these many different channels and actually create other stories and other opportunities to have conversations that do support me as an artist, but don’t necessarily, first and foremost feature me as an artist. And that is a very savvy way to think about diversifying your business capability in the relationships and conversation and more importantly, the attention that you can hold of people.

[00:34:10.890] – Diane Foy

Yeah, and it really just shows your it shows your personality and it shows you chose what you stand for. You can’t be afraid of offending some people and you don’t want to be the every guy. Right. You might you know, some people might be turned off by whatever stand you take, but the people that get you will get you. And that’s what you want, is to attract the people that are really going to appreciate what unique things that you offer.

[00:34:43.100] – Mike Moreno

Yeah, absolutely. And again, the gatekeepers are not there, right, so you start to no one’s saying like, OK, well, you can’t can’t do this. And then how should I say these ten thousand followers that you have now? Well, they don’t count, right? Because what do you mean? If I’m out there authentically and I haven’t got these followers, but I’m authentically sharing a message and sharing who I am and talking about these stories and gaining these people’s attention, and they care about what I do.

[00:35:13.130] – Mike Moreno

They do matter. They do count. They will follow me wherever I go now. And that project may be with you. It may be with somebody else. It might be whatever I choose to draw the attention to that becomes powerful. That becomes a business asset. That becomes something that. Weren’t you already looking for that as an actor already? Right. Weren’t you already looking to build something that drew the attention of people who cared about what it was that you did yet?

[00:35:39.140] – Mike Moreno

You probably were. And now you can do that without waiting for anybody else’s permission. And once you start doing that, it becomes a very strong thing that you can take with you. It becomes a building block in your business and other people recognize that and they recognize how valuable that is to them as well. And so they can start really paying attention to that. And I think it becomes a stronger asset for you as a business moving forward.

[00:36:09.180] – Diane Foy

Wonderful. And one more thing is something that you was in your bio is why are we in the golden age for creative and how actors can take advantage of it?

[00:36:22.080] – Mike Moreno

Well, you know, I think we’re sort of at this point where I would almost say it’s like a second renaissance where the creativity has exploded and it’s always it’s always been there. But now we just have so many more ways of experiencing it. And like we were talking about a little bit earlier, the number of voices that can be heard, the amount of people you can reach, the number of eyeballs you can get get in front of the amount of stories that can be told in whatever form, whatever medium, and so many unique ways and so few people standing but saying yes or no to that being the gatekeepers, more importantly, giving the permission, saying what is valuable and what is not.

[00:37:08.310] – Mike Moreno

Those people are gone. And now that that means that we’re just like everywhere. I mean, that means that Leonardo da Vinci. Right. Who had to do work for the Medicis because they were the people who actually paid. Right for any of this to get done. He had to do work for the churches because they were the only people who paid to get any of this work done. So that’s why he did what he did. But he also did other things that he like to do.

[00:37:32.190] – Mike Moreno

If he was around, he could have all sorts of access to all sorts of different channels right now. Right. And so do you. You have more access than ever before. Actors 10, 15 years ago would have killed to have the type of tools and resources we have. We talked about learning before and research and how you can mine these these tools and and channels for that for sure. You can push your business forward so much faster because of the access that you have to experts and all of this information.

[00:38:01.710] – Mike Moreno

But you can also turn that phone around or whatever medium you’re using. Turn that around and broadcast. Right. Get your story out there, boost your business that way. And that has never existed at this level. And artist specifically, creators specifically can take advantage of that unlike any other time. So I had someone on my show recently who shot a film, and so their film was based around music performance as well, was one of the chief storytelling modes that they had going on in there.

[00:38:36.390] – Mike Moreno

So now the film has an album and is also going has a book being released alongside of it. You couldn’t do that 20 years ago. You couldn’t you would you would have had to have some major production house behind you, some major studio behind you, and be signed to a three picture deal in order to do something like that. The likelihood of you being able to bring that type of brand experience, storytelling, capacity to market was not available to most people.

[00:39:07.740] – Mike Moreno

Now it is available to everyone. It does not mean that everything is good. But if if what you are doing is good, if you practice your craft, if you improve upon it right. Just getting out there doesn’t mean that it’s good. Just because people are you can reach people doesn’t mean that they want to watch it, but you can improve upon it. And if you can then boomed and now you have everything at your at your fingertips.

[00:39:34:380] – Mike Moreno

You have the capacity to take everything that you want to the next level to wherever you want to go. And everything is available to you through these different storytelling mediums. And I think that that’s how can that not be the golden age? I mean, that’s that’s fantastic. We’ve never had that capacity and we should absolutely be respectful of it. But take advantage of it, I think.

[00:39:54.030] – Diane Foy

Yeah, there’s just so many opportunities that people are not taking advantage of. So, yeah, if you’re a creator, start creating your own projects, get with other creators and that will help everyone.

[00:40:07.470] – Mike Moreno

Yeah, absolutely.

[00:40:09.030] – Diane Foy

So what is your why why do you do what you do?

[00:40:13.240] – Mike Moreno

Oh, that’s a great question, Diane. You know, I think I realized through doing this show first it was about information. First I felt like there was a knowledge gap. And I still feel that for many actors coming out of training, I think many actors come to the show in the platform because we’ve got the website actressy. It’s got a bunch of tools and resources on it. And of course, all the social media channels and the email list, they come there for information that they weren’t getting in school or they felt like I did, which was OK.

[00:40:44.310] – Mike Moreno

And two or three years out of school, I’ve been doing what I was what I thought I was supposed to be doing, what I was told I was supposed to be doing. But I don’t feel like I’m getting where I want to be going. I feel like I’m missing some information. I feel like I have a knowledge gap. And so they come for that information, and that’s what the podcast was really built to do, was to be a conduit of that information.

[00:41:09.580] – Mike Moreno

I often say, like, I’m not a guru here. I don’t I haven’t done all this stuff that all for all these one hundred ninety guests or some other that I bring on the show, I’ve done everything that I’ve done right. But I am a conduit of information. I’ve been able to realize the power of the media that we have now and be able to transfer that information from these folks who maybe other people would not have bought their book.

[00:41:29.380] – Mike Moreno

They would not have been able to go hear them speak. Right. They would not have been able to get to the college campus where these folks are doing their lecture or whatever. Right. They just wouldn’t you couldn’t do that.

[00:41:39.190] – Diane Foy

They wouldn’t get on the phone with you for an hour.

[00:41:41.050] – Mike Moreno

They wouldn’t get on the phone with you for an hour. But they were on a podcast for you don’t have fifteen hundred dollars to pay for three weeks of their classes, right? Yeah, but now you have access through this, these mediums to their information and certainly to valuable bits of it for sure. That’s useful. And so that’s what the podcast became, was I was a conduit of information and I felt like that was the way it was. We don’t have this information.

[00:42:06.850] – Mike Moreno

There’s a knowledge gap. Let me fill that gap. Now, I’ve realized it is far more about empowerment. It is about empowering actors and creators at large, because this applies to filmmakers, writers, creators of all stripes, musicians, artists, creators at large have more power and are in control of their creative life more than ever before, as we talked about a moment ago. That’s extraordinary, and I think that many people coming out of training or schooling of any kind, if you’re an artist, you’ve probably chosen at some point to go to some sort of training or schooling to master your craft before coming into the real world in the business.

[00:42:56.110] – Speaker 2

That system hasn’t necessarily given you the tools or the perspective to realize how in control you actually are, to realize how much of a business you actually are to empower you. To come into this career, sustainable, creative life, as I like to point it out and realize that you are the one setting all the the setting the vision and setting the standards and setting where this goes, you are the decision-maker you, as we say on the show, are the CEO.

[00:43:32.290] – Mike Moreno

From the moment you step out, you can bring people on board. Right. You can bring on a sales team, an agent. You can bring on a manager. Right. You can bring on people to take your headshots. Right. A marketing person like yourself, somebody to focus on PR and other types of things that help your business. But you are the decision maker. You are in control of how these people help your business. You are in control of where it goes.

[00:43:58.390] – Mike Moreno

And you can decide I’m going down this path, but I don’t want to do that anymore. Now we’re taking a right and we’re moving in this direction or growing this or we’re going to do this thing for a little while, build up resources and then make a big leap over here. There’s no one to tell you. You can’t. And there’s no there’s no industry right or wrong anymore. There is no one single path to success. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t.

[00:44:21.010] – Mike Moreno

But you are the person who makes those decisions. And I feel felt like that is a much stronger message than what actors often leave training with, which is that now I have to go get someone else who then tells me what to do. I have to go get someone else’s permission to take the next step. I have to go get someone else to see me as valuable as an artist before I can build a business. That is not true.

[00:44:47.710] – Diane Foy

I love that. Also is why I love coaching over consulting, because, you know, consultants and managers, they kind of tell you what you need to do. This is what you need to do. And sometimes it’s it’s what every other artists done to succeed. Where is a coach? It’s it is about empowering. It’s about, no, you’re in control. Let’s figure out what path is right for you. That’s what I love about that. That’s great.

[00:45:15.310] – Diane Foy

Well, thank you so much for joining us and giving us all this great information. And I will leave links to the actor, CEO, podcast and website and any other places you want to send them with your socials.

[00:45:30.430] – Mike Moreno

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s that actor CEO across the board, Twitter clubhouse now Instagram and Facebook.

[00:45:38.080] – Diane Foy

Absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much.

[00:45:41.260] – Mike Moreno

Thank you.