IMDb STARmeter: Actor Joke or Career Jump-Start?

Arrows

Did you know that Domhnall Gleeson is the #1 IMDb STARmeter ranked actor for being a Taurus? Your either thinking, “Who???,” “What’s my astrological ranking on IMDb?,” or better yet, “Yeah, so what? I’m a Virgo.”

You’ve probably seen more than once in your social network newsfeed(s): “My IMDb STARmeter rank is…”

No one cares. Honestly. If you do, then your deluded ego is wasting energies on a website that’s part of Amazon.com’s Internet commerce behemoth.

Aside from actors tweeting that IMDb has placed them six million degrees closer to Kevin Bacon, no one cares how an actor’s extra work pay stubs have raised or plummeted your ‘industry ranking’ as determined by algorithms programmed by a silicon valley nerd. No one except perhaps Amazon.com’s CEO Jeff Bezos banking funds garnered via click-through-adverts and upgraded IMDbPro memberships. And parasites who offer STARmeter boosts (for a fee) to nudge ranking.

IMDb is useful for historical information such as when a Yale M.F.A acting student or TMZ blogger seek the answer to who played Ophelia to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet? (Helena Bonham Carter.)

STARmeter ranking was first offered as free but now is part of a subscription service IMDbPro (i.e. Bezos wants your money). IMDbPro can be of use to casting. The service offers casting the information for an actor’s representation. But casting can do similar via Breakdown Services without an annual price tag. Casting directors are not charged a fee by Breakdown Services.

A marginal number of talent agents utilize IMDbPro for research on projects being cast, plus to spy on competing agencies. Actors could leverage the same via the pay-to-play service but the news is of use only if the information IMDbPro posts is accurate. IMDb and IMDbPro content is often cited in media as being riddled with falsehoods.

On the rare occasion, some casting personnel, and talent representation utilize IMDb to seek an actor’s professional credits but this only occurs when a casting-site data base or Google search of the actor by casting or reps doesn’t reveal a website for the actor. Talent representation and casting is then forced by the actor’s laziness to visit a commercial website that exists solely to generate revenue for its founder and employees; not necessarily the users of the service.

Actors using IMDb as their personal website to digitally promote and catalog their career are ineffective business-actors. Like YouTube, which is an inappropriate platform for placing an actor’s professional history, IMDb promotes many distractions for visitors: diluting and kidnapping attention. On an actor’s personal website devoted to the actor, there’s no competition for attention. On IMDb: ads, links, and articles tease and lure the visitor’s attention away from the limited information the actor is permitted to post. And often that information is involuntarily posted on IMDb isn’t current or correct. (IMDb customer service is infamously known to be deaf to actors’ requests that invalid entries be deleted or corrected.)

Far too regularly I and my casting colleagues receive e-mails from actors with a hyperlink to their IMDb page accompanied by the actor’s STARmeter ranking. Business-savvy actors (especially actors with representation and longevity) provide casting with hyperlinks to their own website. Each actor is a business. A profitable business has a website dedicated to their product and/or service(s) free of superfluous distraction.

An IMDb STARmeter informs nothing of skill to purveyors of talent. A computer generated figure doesn’t make an actor a better-skilled except perhaps in the eyes of the narcissistic actor who favors rankings over skill.

If a STARmeter rank is of value to you, then you’re probably delighted to learn that as of this writing TV’s Tamara Judge is up 18,000-plus. You may or may not be familiar with Judge. Judge is a Real Housewife of Orange County… now there’s skill and talent worth rewarding a number; albeit one too high from zero.

My best,
Paul

 


Paul Russell’s career as a casting director, director, acting teacher, and former actor has spanned thirty years. He’s worked on projects for major film studios, television networks, and Broadway. Paul’s taught the business of acting and audition technique at NYU, and speaks at universities including Elon, Yale, Temple and the University of the Arts. He is the author of ACTING: Make It Your Business – How to Avoid Mistakes and Achieve Success as a Working Actor.For more information, please visit www.PaulRussell.net.

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