Name: Susyn

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/susyneliseduris

Personal Blog: www.susyneliseduris.com/blog

Bio: Susyn Elise Duris is a film, TV and stage actress living in Los Angeles. Follow her filmography here.

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    Blogging From A Script Reader’s Eyes

    June 14th, 2010

    In addition to being a Film and TV actress, I am also a script reader. A script reader (or story analyst), usually hired by the script development team of a production company, is paid to read screenplays and then write about what they have read, this output is called a coverage. The coverage serves as a grading system, to rate screenplays. Screenplays are usually given one of three ratings: Consider” (the screenplay has promise but revisions are necessary), “Pass” (there is no interest in pursuing the screenplay), or “Recommend” (the screenplay is good and recommended for possible production). The better the rating, the better chance a screenplay will have of being produced.

    You should consider your business blog post to be your “script” of the day, week or whatever frequency you use to blog.

    So, what screenwriting tips can bloggers utilize to get more bang for their buck and ultimately get more readers and become a “Recommend”?

    1. You use good writing technique in your blog posts.

    Do you use good grammar? Have you reviewed your post for typos prior to publishing?

    The use of good grammar and good spelling in your post says you are a professional – you care about yourself, you care what you put out there and you care that a reader has an enjoyable reading experience.

    2. Your blog posts tell a strong story.

    Does your post have a beginning, middle and end? Do you engage your readers? Do you draw them in? Are they emotionally invested in what you have to say? Are they left wanting more?

    Your writing should keep your reader interested, engaged, emotionally invested in what you have to say. You want to answer “why should I care?” in your post. In other words, answer what’s in it for them.

    3. Your blog posts have a focus.

    When I write notes to screenwriters, I am notorious for writing this comment: “only introduce elements that keeps the reader engaged while moving the story along”.

    This means to have a focus.

    Screenwriters use an outline to direct their stories; bloggers should have something similar so they can stay on track with what they want to say. Your writing should always be clear, concise and travel a well thought out path.

    4. Your blog posts are unique or have a unique take on something.

    Stand out from the crowd and introduce something your readers haven’t read on other blogs or don’t expect from you. Steer clear of the predictable. Keep your readers on their toes.

    5. You use Humor in your blog posts.

    This isn’t about having a stand-up routine. This is about having a light side. We’ve all heard the term “Lighten Up” in our lives. Even with serious subjects, keep a light-hearted focus. This is one way of really engaging your readers and keeping them coming back for more.

    Using screenwriting techniques in your blog posts to strengthen your writing is another way to really connect with your reader and keep them coming back for more.

    2 Comments "

    What Actors Can Teach Us About Tweet-Ups

    April 13th, 2010

    I think many of us have heard about Tweet-Ups that are forming from relationships developed on Twitter.

    I keep missing the Pittsburgh Tweet-ups (I never seem to be in town when one is going on), I missed a couple of LA Tweet-up’s over the past year, but I was able to finally attend a recent Tweet-up, this one was a Tweet-Up for LA Actors.

    When I went, I already knew some of the actors as I had worked with them or knew them personally, knew some from online relationships we had developed, knew some via their Twitter name and met some great “tweeps” (peeps in Twitterease) at the event.

    I was really impressed by the organization of the event and genuine fun we all had at the event.

    Because of this, I felt inspired to share with you things that actors can teach us About Tweet-Ups.

    1. Take The Initiative and Go To Your Target Audience. Make the effort to research your specific target audience for your event, and offer compelling information that your audience would want so they know you are a trusted source and they could get something out of your event.

    2. Provide Event Details Early and Regularly. Since Twitter only allows updates of 140 characters or less, the Tweet-Up organizers sent updates in advance of the event – the update was in the form of a link to a website where you could go to get the event details and be able to RSVP to the event. That’s exactly what I did – I got the info, RSVP’ed and put the info into my iCal. Then, the Tweet-Up organizers tweeted regularly reminding everyone about the event. The reminders were enough that people would remember about the event, but not obnoxious to discourage them from attending the event. There is a fine line between good promotion and tacky promotion.

    3. Be Ready to Cultivate. I don’t like using the word “networking”, it seems to have a negative meaning these days and implies schmoozing. The Tweet-Up organizers immediately created an environment to cultivate relationships:

    -They had a bowl to drop your business card so you were on their list for future Tweet-Ups.
    -They created specially-designed name tags to list your Twitter name (@susynandfolsom is mine, by the way) and let’s face it – most of us knew or met each other by our Twitter names, which was a great way to remember each other.
    -Because the event organizers were clear about the event beforehand, everyone knew what to expect and it made chatting about a variety of topics and meeting new people all the more easier and effective.
    -They provided such a great environment that everyone wanted to follow-up with each other and stay in contact. In fact, I ended up following many new tweeps and many followed me.

    4. Be Grateful. I think the best part of the event was knowing how grateful the Tweet-Up organizers were that we were there.

    I get invited to many events but the ones that make me feel good – the ones that make me feel like the organizer planned it just for me and wanted to make sure I enjoyed it – are the ones I treasure most.

    3 Comments "

    Social Media On The Set

    February 15th, 2010

    I just finished wrapping an independent short film of which I am one of the leads, and one of the crew was tweeting the goings on from the set. While I am an avid fan of all things social media and would say I’m quite knowledgeable about the subject, I didn’t tweet or do any blogging while on the set (but be sure to check out my blog later this week for an update on my experience).  

    For my experience, I want to be really available to the director and other actors and be ready to play, I don’t want to spend a lot of time “running lines” because I want to be organic and natural, be ready to rehearse with the director, and I want to spend time getting to know the crew and other cast members.

    However, there are many actors who tweet from auditions or on the set, crew who tweet from the set, casting directors who tweet from auditions, and the like.

    Is there a problem with that? Absolutely not. It is a personal preference. With social media, the sky’s the limit. Twitter is all about putting yourself out there and developing relationships. However, there are some guidelines to be followed when tweeting from the set.

    1. Be creative in 120 characters or less. I think Guy Kawasaki has the most effective tweets today. His tweets are usually under 115 characters and they are effective. He focuses on the reader and their interests and makes sure they have enough room to re-tweet. So, tweeting from the set or auditions? Be clear, be creative in your writing, keep your audience engaged and wanting more, and give them a reason to re-tweet you.

    2. Use care in your tweets. Remember the famous line from All The President’s Men “follow the money”? Well, your tweets follow you. Remember, when you tweet, blog, or post anything online, it’s kind of permanent, so use care in how and what you tweet. It wasn’t too long ago that an actor tweeted from the set of a commercial and got in a lot of trouble. Why? Because the commercial and what was being discussed during filming was confidential and the actor had “leaked” proprietary information in some of his tweets. The result? The actor experienced the proverbial cliché – what comes around, goes around – he was found out and was replaced. The point, which deserves a second mention – use care in how and what you tweet.

    3. Be professional. When tweeting from the set, remember the reason you are there in the first place – you booked the job and the peeps in charge expect you to be professional and deliver on your promise – your ability to do the job and do it well. I recently read a quote from Rebecca Miller, who directed The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, among others, and she said that she expects actors to be “…totally committed to what they are doing” when they are on set. This means being focused on doing the work. Yes, there’s a time for tweeting and a time for working. Don’t let the tweeting part affect the work part – Do your job and then tweet, should the desire set in.

    Yes, yours truly has tweeted from the set – in fact, I tweeted from the set of the latest web series I was in (http://www.marriagetrial.com), but I tweeted at strategic times that didn’t impact my work.

    As we say in the entertainment biz, it’s all about the work…then comes the tweets (I added the last part myself).

    Cheers and success to you!

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    What Sandra Bullock Can Teach Us About Social Media

    January 25th, 2010

    Hi. My name is Susyn Elise Duris and I’m an actor. I’ll be writing a regular column about Marketing and Social Media from the viewpoint of an actor.  

    I have been very impressed with Sandra Bullock during the current awards season. While I don’t know whether she will win the Academy Award for her role in “The Blind Side”, she will definitely be nominated. Thinking about Sandra Bullock and how she has conducted herself through the awards season reminds me of how we should conduct ourselves as we navigate the social media waters.

    Be gratious.

    As she has been picking up the Golden Globe, SAG and other awards for her work in “The Blind Side”, Sandra Bullock has been nothing less than genuinely grateful. Comments like “Thank you for making me proud and just accepting me” at the SAG Awards last night show that.

    As social marketers, it is pertinent that we publicly show our gratitude. When someone shares something that you find interesting, someone retweets one of your tweets, someone reaches out to you, be grateful for that person and tell them so. That one thing will make you feel great, and earn you many respect points. Remember to be genuinely grateful – be grateful and don’t expect something in return.

    Help others.

    Sandra Bullock donated $1,000,000 towards Haiti earthquake relief, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Warren Easton High School, New Orleans’ oldest high school, to recover from the flooding as a result of Hurricane Katrina and she has supported her husband, Jesse James, in his fight to retain custody of his daughter from a previous marriage, to name a few examples of her amazing generosity.

    If someone needs assistance or advice, help them. If someone asks a question, engage with them. If someone puts something out there and you don’t know how to help, retweet them or pass on their request to your friends and colleagues. Share articles or other resources of interest. It’s the right thing to do.

    Be Professional.

    Things that have always impressed me about Sandra Bullock are that she is prepared, she comes ready to work, she’s consistent and she’s engaging.

    When you blog, are on Facebook Twitter, LInkedin or the many other social networks out there, remember to be professional…

    • Do engage with others whether or not they engaged with you.
    • Do set goals with social media – do you know what you want from social media and how you plan to get there?
    • Do prepare how you will interact on social networks? And remember to always have the mantra “how am I adding value today?” on top of your mind.
    • Do show others why you should be trusted and they will have a reason to engage with you. Make it easy for them to help you, remember “Help me help you” from Jerry Maguire? And, remember, to be consistent. The three things that will make you be remembered are being grateful, being helpful and being consistent.
    • Do bring your A-game and be ready to work. Planting seeds and taking small steps today will lead to a great harvest tomorrow. Remember, to pace yourself with your social media play and don’t be impatient or rude when posting.
    • Do remember to edit and review what you say prior to posting.
    • Do have fun.

    Remember to be gratious, help others and be professional and you’ll come across as a social media award winner!

    9 Comments "