As part of its ongoing exploration of social media, the SAG-AFTRA President’s Task Force on Education, Outreach & Engagement hosted the Social Media for Performers: Creating & Connecting in the Time of COVID-19 livestream on Sept. 9. National Board member and National NextGen Performers Committee Chair Ben Whitehair moderated the panel, which included actor-dancer and BFunk co-founder Shivani Bhagwan, social media strategist and manager Ayanna Henderson, actor-director Chris Naoki Lee (The Terror), model and influencer Yazemeenah, and TSMA Consulting co-founder and National NextGen Performers Committee member Ryan Walker.
Together, the group discussed the shifts they’ve experienced in their work since the COVID-19 outbreak, which led to closed productions, safer-at-home orders and social-distancing practices throughout the country. Although all the panelists spoke about their challenges early on, Bhagwan, Walker and Yazemeenah pointed out the ways their approach to making creative content changed in positive ways.
Said Bhagwan, “[My business partner and I] had to get super creative with making sure that we were staying safe, but then also keeping our business alive. We had to get really creative about where we would film, like dancing on rooftops or in empty garages.”
The panelists also discussed ways to create content consistently and expand creative work into other career opportunities with creative partners and brands. Henderson noted the importance of being engaged with followers, while Lee stressed the importance of building confidence.
“No matter what, people are going to have thoughts and opinions of you. But take a leap of faith and see where it takes you,” said Lee.
Scroll below to watch this engaging livestream. Catch up on previous livestreams in this series, also posted below, such as a discussion of the basics of social media with Whitehair and Walker’s presentation on building long- and short-form content. For more PTEOE livestreams or other panels, visit the SAG-AFTRA YouTube channel.
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