How To Create a Following One Raving Fan at a Time by Alexia Anastasio

ALEXIA ANASTASIO – ACTRESS/ARTIST/DIRECTOR

 

 

What has been putting the fire in my belly recently is, simply put: taking action toward my goals and what I want. That’s what women in the entertainment industry have to work on: communicating better and manifesting.

We have all heard stories about manifesting one’s dreams. But how? It’s hard enough to have that breakthrough, and it seems that we all play the waiting game. Instead, I’m going to tell you what has served me.There are only barriers if you think there are barriers. If you go headlong into your art, yes you may crack your head open, but you may find that it was a risk worth taking.

Let’s try a few scenarios for taking action:

Action Item 1:  Create daring and interesting work. Take risks in your art and be as open and relatable as possible. Get really specific with your WHY.

My example, I asked myself: Why do I make films?

Adventures In Plymptoons! (now on Hulu), my first feature documentary, I put together because I wanted to learn and show artists a success story, animator Bill Plympton and how he survives and is a full time artist. He was a great example of someone who is daring with his work and makes a living from his art. Bill’s studio in New York employs 90% women artists (and always has been true) to make his animation come to life. People who found out that I directed Adventures In Plymptoons! were shocked to find out that a woman was directing, and in the piece you can see just how many women shape Bill’s life and work. Like Bill, I must get up ever morning and create. That is what a creative person does. And guess what? Why? Because it is a must. So when you come to your WHY and the answer is clear – I MUST – that empowers you. No more excuses. You have to create it. Now you MUST show it to the world. Yes, I admit, this scares me, too. But your audience will notice that need.
Action Item 2:  Get your movie in front of an audience any way you can.

Getting my film into over 40 film festivals was no easy task. The stumbling block: not being shy about it.

 

I attribute my success to timing and being personal. Meet with each person like they are the most important person in your process — because they are. Cherish them and remember their name. I have genuine interest in them. I do. Feedback is everything and it guides me in everything I do. I like to know my audience.

Action Step 3: Set up your own screenings in your hometown. It’s your pond!

I got the most fulfillment out of showing my film in my hometown cinema. People who have watched me grow up came to support my efforts and wanted to see me succeed and watch my film on the big screen. I got flowers and even did a performance with an improv troupe that I am part of called Playback Theater Long Island where we performed the audience reactions to the film.

Sometimes it’s an uphill battle for creative women … NEVER GIVING UP is something people will TAKE NOTICE.

 

My next film is a very daring one about love, emotions and the heart inspired by the poetry of D.H. Lawrence. The film is called Little Fishes.  I am happy to report that I went into this project with more of a collaborative spirit than I ever had before. I am putting myself out there (as the star of the movie) being more vulnerable than ever before.

 

I realize that I have to “serve my audience” and  “serve myself” as an artist, actress and filmmaker. I must be true to myself and that will grow my following. The lesson that keeps coming up again and again for me is that there is never going to be a magic formula. It will always come back to craft.

Do you have something to give? The audience will give back even more than you expected without you expecting it. I guess that may be some type of magic.

 

BIO:

Alexia is an artist, actress and filmmaker who has starred, co-directed and co-produced many independent film productions. Alexia draws, paints, enjoys doing collage work and photography. As an actress she was recently featured in feature film Supernaturalz, HBO’s Bored to Death, VH1 “If you like…” commerical and Vetiver “Everyday” music video.  Alexia started experimenting in film about 12 years ago while she was attending SUNY Purchase. She made many short films some experimental narratives and documentaries, started her own art, music and film festival, CAMP Festival. She has worked for many directors, festivals, distribution companies and even an independent cinema. After working behind the scenes on many independent shorts and features, she edited a feature documentary, Vampira: The Movie, associate produced, The Wild World of Ted V. Mikels, produced and starred in mockumentary, 7 Deadly Sins: Inside the Ecomm Cult and helped promote and sell the movies at horror and comic book conventions. Not to mention that she also sold her short films. That is where she discovered that their was a profound connection between fan and filmmaker. Her current film, Adventures in Plymptoons! is a feature documentary which has been playing all of the world at film festivals including Annecy International Animation Film Festival, San Francisco Documentary Film Festival, Dok Leipzig, Bend  Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival and Flip Animation Film Festival. She has also recently mentored a young filmmaker, Dana Farley with her first documentary film, Beyond the Noise, My Transcendental Meditation  Journey where Dana interviews and is interviewed by filmmaker David LynchAlexia’s latest project ‘Little Fishes’ is now on Indiegogo!

Be sure to catch Alexia’s prior Film Courage article:

THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB ON SET

More images are on my Instagram and the Indiegogo Little Fishes gallery!