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.

The views expressed by the guests are their own and not that of SAG-AFTRA. Any mention of products or services does not imply SAG-AFTRA’s endorsement.

Moderator National Board Member and NextGen Performers Committee Chair Ben Whitehair and a panel of social media all-stars for a conversation about staying connected and sustaining creativity in the age of social distancing and virtual everything.

"Social Media for Performers: Beyond the Basics" italicized top centered. PTEOE logo and NGP logo stacked on top of each other on right.

Join social media expert and National NextGen Performers Committee member Ryan Walker for a tutorial on social media for performers looking to move beyond the basics.

PTEOE Logo on left with SAG-AFTRA NGP logo on the right with "Social Media for Performers: The Basics" in black italics across the bottom all on a white background.

Join host SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President Rebecca Damon, SAG-AFTRA Secretary-Treasurer Camryn Manheim and National Board Member and National NextGen Performers Committee Chair Ben Whitehair for a primer on social media for performers.


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