How I Use Social Media

Okay, let me first start off by saying that I am not the end all be all of social media expertise. If I were, I would have 100 million followers and making bank off of social media.

However, I am proud of the way that I have used social media to put myself out there as a person and as an artist. I am proud of the relationships I have built and the people I engage with. And I am proud of how I have helped people gain clarity about using social media.

And so in today’s blog entry, I wanted to share my point of view as to how and why I use social media. A lot of people have expressed to me their fears, hesitations, allergic reactions, frustrations and confusion regarding social media. Some people would rather spend the rest of their lives in hell than log onto Twitter and deal with hashtags, retweets, mentions and why Twitter only allows 140 characters per tweet.

Some people see social media as yet another thing to add to their list of things to do. Some people see it as a cumbersome or unnecessary burden. Or unimportant. Or a waste of time. Many people continue to avoid social media to this day because they don’t want to post pictures of what they are eating at a restaurant (they actually still believe that this is what social media is all about)

I totally get it. I totally get it. I totally get it. I was one of those people who avoided social media like the plague. But then I looked at the word, “social media”, and what it was originally created and intended for: To use media as a way to be social. To use media as a way to connect, listen and engage with people you are interested in. To use media as a way to build exciting relationships. To use media as a way to let people know about you. You control what you want us to know about you.

How awesome is it that social media allows us access to so many people? Direct access to so many people with no gatekeepers involved? Twitter, Instagram and Facebook give us a first-hand, front row access to the people we love, respect and admire. We have access to engage with a writer, a producer, an animator, a senator, a lawyer, a chef, a wrestler, a teacher, a scientist, a musical theater enthusiast, a clothing designer, a dentist, a charity organization, etc.

When I first started using social media, I made mistakes in terms of cringe-worthy posts and a look at me, look at me, look at me approach and more cringe-worthy posts. I am also guilty of posting a few negative rants back in the day. And it’s okay because once I learned about the power of social media and its true intention, I reshaped my approach.

I use social media as a way to engage with people I am interested in. I use social media to stay engaged with what’s happening in the lives of people that I personally know and that I want to know. I use social media to express my voice as a person and as an artist. As a way for people to learn and know a part of me. I realized that I can’t always post about my career. Great, we get it: You’re an actor. You’re a writer. You’re a showrunner. But what other things is Jorge Ortiz interested in? So I find a balance between sharing my artistic journey with things I am passionate about: Madonna, RuPaul’s Drag Race, music, art work, my sense of humor, my points of view, etc.

I use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on a regular basis and I feel that I do a pretty good job of balancing and showcasing both the professional and personal aspects of my life. Again, I don’t have millions of followers (and building a larger audience is the next level of learning and application for me) but I am proud of what each of my social media pages represent. I love that I am able to honestly engage with people I am interested in. I love that I am able to impinge and make honest connections.

I use the word “honest” because social media is about–for me at least–making honest connections. I am following you because I’m interested in what you do. You speak my language. You do what I want to do. I truly want to connect with you. Be honest because people can spot a fake immediately.

I give props and shoutouts to people I admire. I’m clear as to why I’m engaging with them. I respond to things they post that resonate with me. I cheer them on. I laugh with them.

I feel a sense of pride when I look through my Instagram page @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂 because I see the variety and the thought I put into the professional and personal aspects of my journey. And my Twitter too @jorgeortizactor 🙂 🙂 🙂

Connect with people on social media and build relationships. If someone wanted to work with me or target me, they could easily go through my social media pages and find out how to “cream puff” me with at least five different things I am passionate about. “Cream puff” is a term that famed acting teacher and director Milton Katselas created as a way to build and further relationships. When you are interested in targeting someone or getting on someone’s radar, you have to listen first and see what they like and what they’re interested in. Listen to them, do research on them so that you speak their language. In this way, you bring them a cream puff that is thoughtful and speaks their language. The person who receives the cream puff will be touched/impressed/honored/appreciative because you’ve done your research and gave them a thoughtful, connected gift.

I always ask myself, “What do I want to express today on social media? Will it be in alignment with my voice and brand?” I really do give thought to what I want to express and reveal about myself on social media. Many times, I’ll create my social media plan for the week on Sundays (but I still allow room for inspiration to come in as well throughout the week)

What do I want to express? Because truth be told, people are listening to me. People are watching. People are looking. What do I want to express today? Is it on brand? Is it a reflection of who I am? I want to use social media as a way to engage and build relationships. I also want to use social media as a way to share my journey as an artist and the things I am interested in. On the other side of the coin, I also know what I will not use social media for (e.g. I will not talk about politics, religion, etc.) These are topics that I don’t want to present on my social media pages.

So, for those of you who are reading this and have a profound aversion to social media, I hope this encourages you to give it another try. How can you use social media in a meaningful way that adds something to your life rather than it being a burden or a subtraction from your life? What is the voice you want to put out there? What do you want to share with us? Who do you want to engage with? Who do you want to build relationships with?

And most importantly, have fun! The world is at our fingertips!

You can follow my Instagram and Twitter accounts at @jorgeortizactor

From Dead Last to Top 3!

Am
I talking about being dead last on RuPaul’s Drag Race (You know, the
wildly-addictive, funny and touching reality show that looks for America’s next drag superstar)? Am I talking about the drag queens who get
eliminated on the first episode of every season like
Porkchop, Shangela,

Penny Tration,
Kelly Mantle, Magnolia Crawford, Tempest DuJour,
etc.?

Nope!

I’m talking about being dead last when
my classmates and I in the Professional Development Program 3.0 class
created a comprehensive points system in January 2016 to track our
progression as the CEO’s of ourselves as artistic businesses. The points
system covers many different categories of career administration and
the value of the points varies from one category to the next. For example, putting up
a scene in class is worth a certain amount of points whereas booking a
guest star role on a TV series is worth a higher amount of points. Mailing out postcards is worth a certain amount of points and making an industry phone call is worth another amount of points.

What
I love about the points system is that it gives me an accurate picture
of where I am thriving as an artist and where I am not. Which areas I am
strong in and which areas I need to put more attention on. And you have
to be honest about giving yourself points in the different categories
because it’s an honest look at your career administration. To cheat the
points system in order to be ahead of others only hurts yourself. To
cheat and add points that weren’t earned only hurts yourself in the long
run. We are a business. We punch in and we punch out. The points system
tracks our progress. It’s our profits and loss statements. It’s our
growth statements. No point in cheating.

When we
started tracking our points back in January, I was shocked to see that I
was dead last in terms of points earned. Out of all my classmates, I
was dead last for three or four weeks straight. I was mortified! How
could I, of all people, be dead last in the areas of career
administration?!?!?!?! I’m supposed to be Chasing The George every
week!!!! I’m supposed to be the motherfucking man, careering gaily over
the waves!!!!

Instead, I looked like the screaming man in the famous painting, “The Scream”, by expressionist artist Edvard Munch. The horrors! The horrors!

Instead
of giving up, I decided to focus and study the facts. First of all, I
wasn’t clear about what I wanted 2016 to be about on a professional
level. That was problem number one. Public enemy number one. Without
clarity, my career administration was general and uninspired. I didn’t
have clearly-defined goals to work towards. So being dead last was a
wake up call for me to get specific about what I wanted 2016
to be about.

Once I got specific about the professional design
for 2016, I moved pretty quickly into the second to last position on the overall points
earner list. I was earning more points in different categories and that excited me! The
points system also forced me to administrate and take action in certain
categories that were uncomfortable for me. Categories I had a flinch on.
Why does this section have no points at at all? What am I scared of?
Focus on this area. Confront it. Be a better artist at the end of the
day because I am confronting uncomfortable categories.

As I
gained momentum on my career administration, I continued to move up the
overall points earner list. If I saw someone gaining up on me, I worked
harder and pushed myself further. What risks could I take this week to stay ahead?

On July 8th, we assessed our six-month
progress in class and it was really nice to hear the points list
administrator acknowledge how cool it was to see me move up the list over the
last six months. By the time we assessed our progress on July 8th, I was
in the Top 3! I was positioned at #3!

In RuPaul’s Drag
Race terms, I was the drag queen who made Top 3! I joined the ranks of
past Top 3 Drag Race contestants like Nina Flowers,
Alaska
Thunderfuck, Roxxxy Andrews,

Adore Delano, Courtney Act, Pearl, Ginger Minj, Kimchi, Naomi Smalls, etc. When you make Top 3 in RuPaul’s Drag Race, your career is
pretty much set for life. Top 3 is still a rocking place to be even if
you aren’t crowned America’s next drag superstar (the person who
ultimately comes in at number one) Top 3 is an achievement. These three
have shown consistency week to week on the show and also Charisma,
U
niqueness, Nerve and Talent. C.U.N…

Instead of
being told to “Sashay away”, I was told, “Shantay, you stay”. Or, more
importantly, I told myself to stay and keep fighting.

It was such a gratifying experience to see my hard work pay off.

On
July 8th, the points system got revamped and became more streamlined.
All our points have been reset and we’re all starting from ground zero
again. I hope to be Top 3 again. I’d LOVE to be number one by the time
2016 comes to an end, but I’ll be just as happy with Top 3. Why? Because
being Top 3 is still a cause for celebration. It’s still an indication that the work flow I’ve created and maintained for myself is working. It’s still an indication of how
consistent my career administration is. Having a work consistency that
produces results, that makes an impact and that is in alignment with what
I’m about is more important to me.

And at the end of the day, I
can rest assured knowing that if I make Top 3 again, I can come back for
the All Stars Season…okay, okay, enough of these RuPaul’s Drag Race
references!

(By the way, RuPaul and Michelle Visage, I would LOVE to be a guest judge on a future season of Drag Race! xoxo)