Businesses uncertain

“In the current environment, businesses can find it difficult to predict their long-term staffing needs,”
This statement was made by a specialist recruitment  manager back in 2009. A news item in January of this year, 2013, indicates this sentiment is still pervasive in the business community.
A perfect solution is to hire temp/casual staff and a perfect place to find those staff is Action Actors.
The work life of an actor is one of independent contracting, so they know how to slot into a role often at short notice and accept when it is over. Throughout the years I have had many of my friends tell me they could never live with the insecurity of income and work that they have witnessed as being my reality. If you wish to be an actor it just comes with the territory. That is why Action Actors has had over 250 actors join our database, it gives them one more avenue through which to source their temp and casual work options, which of course allows them to pay their bills and be available for any auditions or casting and performance opportunities should they arise.
It seems a perfect fit both for employers and actors, and best of all when someone needs a job done, by hiring an Action Actor they are in fact supporting the performing arts by supporting the performing artists. So no need to stress over predicting long term staffing, solve the problem by hiring an Action Actor.

Dogfooding Action Actors style

Bruce the ambassador

doing my bit for my bank account and for Auckland Transport

Phew, I can buy groceries this week! I just finished two 4 hr shifts of work as an Auckland City Transport ambassador.

I have to confess, after 25yrs in the acting fraternity I continue to find myself surprised at the continued presence of my vulnerabilities/fears.

Temp work has been my life blood as far as raising 3 kids and paying the bills goes during my ‘career’ as a performer. I would estimate about 80% of my income during the last 25yrs has come from non acting work, this includes hosting radio shows, painting houses, landscaping, builders labouring, character based promotional/branding work, crayfishing, tour bus driving and guiding, MCing, production managing… the list goes on! ( watch the video on the home page of the website)

The one constant amidst this array of temp & short term contract work has been what could almost be termed a fear of being locked into one thing! The bizarre by product of being a casualised worker is that many times I have also yearned for a full time job, a nice steady predictable income. However if you get bitten by the acting bug often you end up being willing to sacrifice the security of income a steady job offers and take a punt on pursuing the dream, but you develop a sense that you have to always be available at the drop of a hat for the call up.

Since I started Action Actors with my business partner Anthony, it has been a blessing that we have been able to offer some of the temp work opportunities that his company PeopleMax generates, to Action Actors personnel. PeopleMax has a contract with a major council organisation and at times they requires very large numbers of staff out and about for a few days keeping the public informed of developments in a particular aspect of Auckland City infrastructure.

I have taken on some of this work myself and it has been a great form of what could be called dogfooding ( according to wikipedia, dogfooding “can be a way for a company to demonstrate confidence in its own products”), however the best part is that once I fill in my timesheet, I get a deposit of money into my bank account. By biting the bullet and committing to a particular shift(s) of this work, I lock that time off and let go the fear that I should leave myself available, …just in case the phone rings and it’s my agent calling about the big job!

If you would like to earn some extra income, check out the job opportunities being sent out, bite the bullet and have a go, its a great form of temp short term work and it’s money you would not otherwise have, to spend on … dogfood if you have a dog!

Corporate training potential

Now with close to 80% of NZ actors as members, Actors Equity hosted a fantastic strategic planning day a couple of weekends ago. I highly recommend Phil Darkins if you are looking for a facilitator to lead your company or team through a well tuned strategic planning session. Phill created a structure for the day that allowed us all to begin on the same page, with an understanding of what we are part of when representing a work sector as a collective of people. I MC conferences etc and have introduced & listened to a number of internationally renowned presenters & speakers. As a facilitator I consider Phil to have been world class.

I chatted with Phil about the potential to work his superb facilitation into a product with ActionActors to offer businesses, organisations and corporate clients, in conjunction with our superb database of role play, corporate role play and corporate training practitioners. The concept had us both agreeing to continue talking about the options. So hopefully somewhere in the not too distant future, ActionActors will not only be your best choice for exponents of role play, corporate role play,  training personnel, promotions, etc, but may well offer a complete package of corporate training and facilitation.

A phrase that comes to mind is …watch this space.



Action Actors, temp workers Nationwide!

Action Actors, Andy Nicholson and Azziz Al-Sa’afin bringing attention to Rail Safety Week


August sees another couple of milestones for ActionActors – we now have nationwide coverage of Actors who are also keen and capable part time or contract workers.  A recent promotional opportunity for a leading chocolate brand saw Action Actors put their hands up for character promotions in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Character promotions  are the ideal type of promotional work for our talented workers and capitalises on their prime skill set.  This week as part of the Kiwi Rail, Rail Safety Week campaign we even had two action actors touring Auckland, Tauranga and Hamilton with their Kiwirail client in the challenging promotional character role as “train crossings”.  You can see more of this colourful, bell clanging and lights flashing role on our facebook page.

We’re also had personnel painting the interior of a house for a property investor, promoting a new energy ice tea beverage at the recent home show, gardening, house cleaning and doing admin.
August also sees our database growing to well over 200 contractors looking for part time or temporary contract work.
So when it comes to promoting your product or service, getting a fill in for the sick barista or hospitality worker, getting someone to look after the kids, painting your new property etc etc, check out our talented database and select one or more of our people for your job that needs doing, by workers who perform.

Media exposure for Action Actors

Having just had the 156th Action Actor loaded into the database, it is high time to get out there and generate the work. It has been really pleasing to see that even without a huge amount of promotion we have generated tens of thousands of dollars income for a number of the personnel who have been putting themselves forward for the work offered.

So it is fantastic to see that after a brief session with a media consultant, Louise Pagonis, we have been able to start generating media about Action Actors. I have had wonderful feedback about an article that was in the NZ Herald Work  section yesterday Thursday May 17th. This has also generated a couple of enquiries. Now to convert those enquiries to actual opportunities!

There are also articles in the NZ Business magazine May edition, and the Westpac Bank Love Red magazine.

It all adds to my belief that Action Actors will one day be a major source of income for NZ actors.

Thanks Becky, and Madant

It was great to get our first unsolicited request for a quote to have an Action Actor work for a day at a company called Radiate Sound Ltd. The job was also our first request for a Reception/Administration person. It was the kind of job we were not sure if we would be approached about, so it was great to get the approach and also be able to sort out an agreement. A huge thanks to Beck Kuek who secured the job. I saw Becky at a function we both attended a couple of days later and I asked if she would be kind enough to send us a testimonial. This is what Becky sent through in response to her day with Radiate;

“One of the hardest parts of being an actor is finding that balance between maintaining a job that pays the bills, and landing those jobs that fuel our careers. Action Actors offers exactly what every actor needs; flexible, temporary, obligation-free work to help keep the money coming in while we continue to pursue the profession we love. My first job with Action Actors was superb, and the process of booking the role and getting paid was surprisingly straightforward. The best thing about Action Actors, though, is being given that long-awaited feeling of respect and understanding that we so often miss out on as actors. I urge every actor to sign up to Action Actors, because it’s tough enough in this industry without having to worry about a “real job” and that next paycheck.”

Thanks Becky for your generous words and well done on stepping up and doing a great job. I met today with a contact I have about strategies for generating some publicity for Action Actors, so lets see how that goes over the next couple of weeks!, hopefully it translates into job offers starting to flow through the portals!

The photo with this blog shows two Action Actors at the Ellerslie RaceDays, thanks Madant for the work.

Action Actors in action @ Ellerslie RaceDays


Action Actors are over 100!

Melissa Fergusson weaves her magic

Melissa Fergusson weaves her magic

“ActionActors is 100!”

Well when we say we’re 100, it’s not in years, in fact we’re barely 100 days chronologically speaking – however since transforming the idea of creating a unique database of elite temp contractors & Brand Ambassadors called Action Actors, into a reality we already have well over 100 experienced actors on our database. We always said 100 would be our minimum number of contractors listed before we started promoting the service to businesses and its happened in perfect time for the Christmas rush!

The idea?…find temp contract work for actors, a unique and talented subset of the general population. Utilise their key attributes;

  • Passion for what they do
  • Awareness of the people around them and the situation/scene they are part of
  • The ability to communicate with clarity and commitment
  • The ability to adjust that communication and improvise, if and when needed
  • The ability to listen and to respond accordingly
  • The ability to stay focussed on the desired outcome

We can confidently state Action Actors probably have the most talented database of temp contractors in the country who are looking for work to supplement their acting and performing careers.  The people on board with Action Actors have experience in many different arenas, however summer is a time when all sorts of brands are vying to stand out from the crowd. Action Actors brand ambassadors will help you achieve that outcome.

To quote leading brand strategist Warren Mearns,  “brands do consist of a number of items. Try values, personality, behaviour, positioning and a value proposition, just to start. And their tangible presence can be experienced through people. People are often a company’s most influential branding tool. They sell the service or product, answer the phone, make the presentations and manage relationships; all done in the interests of delivering a brand experience. ”

Having over 100 people on our books is a great milestone and it has happened so quickly which justifies my initial impulse to create such a service.  We now have people with experience in such diverse worlds as medicine, banking, bikini modeling, market research – even Miss India judging!, now lets get them work!

Thankyou, and now for life after RWC 2011

Is that a cup in your hands or are you just pleased to see us!So that was the Rugby World Cup 2011!!! The All Blacks emerged as world champs! One point difference is all it takes for one team to be a winner and the other team to come second or as in a two team game,…last!

A huge congrats to the Action Actors who put time in during the RWC 2011 as Auckland Transport Ambassadors, ( Lucia, Ken, Jim, Eoin, Renee, Kate, David, Scott, Isla, Matt, Simon  ), getting to see and experience the buzz from a unique perspective, and earning income at the same time! Well done also to the Action Actors who took the opportunity to work at the DHL kicking simulator on Queens wharf.

The feedback from clients who have had Action Actors working for them to date has been superb, they now know first hand that when they engage short term contract personnel from Action Actors they are working with people who know how to get on with the job at hand and how to perform the task according to the brief. As much as anything the RWC 2011 was a great platform for us to create a soft launch for Action Actors, to learn about the systems we are needing to have in place. Thanks for your patience. It was a very full on time in the office with my Action Actors business partner Anthony and his wonderful crew of Natalie and Debbie working some very full on days to make sure the job got done, not only for Anthonys company PeopleMax who supplied all the Auckland Transport Ambassadors for the duration of RWC 2011, but also for Action Actors as we came on board in the midst of the maelstrom. We will continue to evolve our processes as each job comes in, but we are learning and confident Action Actors is going to be a great company that will provide some superb opportunities for our talented personnel.

As a brief heads up we were recently able to negotiate a rate of $30/hr for a number of our people on a 7 week promotional tasting campaign for a major juice brand. This was negotiated up from $20/hr when the final brief was sited. Action Actors will always look to secure the best return possible for you.

Again thanks to all of you who got straight into the swing of being an Action Actor, I truly believe we will make a real impact in this market, bring on summer!

Action Actors on Radio NZ

Action Actors was on The Arts on Sunday show on Sunday 18 September 2011. If you missed the show, you can hear it below!

Courtesy of RadioNZ.


Tour of Duty

Just got back from doing my first 8 hr tour of duty as a part time worker / temp worker if you will, as an Auckland Transport Ambassador, informing the citizens around downtown Auckland / RWC 2011 Party Central, where to connect with buses. The bus stops around the Party Central area of the waterfront that have been closed off to allow pedestrian access to the roads in that precinct.
A great atmosphere around town, much more relaxed but still a sense of party happening. Nice to work alongside a nice bunch of people, ranging in age from about 20 to in the 60’s…no I’m not in my 60’s…yet!
Fantastic to see a number of Action Actors in the mix also, earning a buck, putting in the hours using their wonderful skills as communicators to great effect.
Tune into National Radio, The Arts on Sunday with Lynn Freeman this coming Sunday 19th to hear an interview Lynn did with myself and Action Actor Matt Halliday. Matt was fantastic in the interview, a huge thanks to him for coming along.
As an actor and now an Action Actor, Matt has been into a number of jobs already, he is a great example of what I know many actors to be, focused, intent, and bloody talented in more than just acting.
Having met Matt and spent the time I did with him before the interview and at the interview, it truly gave me a real sense of gratitude at being able to set Action Actors up and to work alongside and for such damn fine human beings.
Thankyou to all of you who have jumped on board already, however get your mates to join also and lets make it impossible for employers to go past us as their part time workers / temp workers of choice.
To cap off an excellent day, what a superb game of rugby played by both the All Blacks and Japan, despite the blow out score line the Japanese supplied some worthy moments to a very watchable game of the rugby.

Action Actorman

Action Actorman

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