Music Videos – Good For Actors?

2021 marks 40 years since the launch of MTV, and… Pardon? Yeah, I feel old now too. Despite the fact that it’s been years since MTV actually played one, the music video has continued to be a viable force for musicians getting their music played and heard, having found other such outlets such as enhanced CDs (remember them?), rolling music channels on cable & satellite and, of course, YouTube.

In the 80s, 90s and 2000s, major labels would think nothing of throwing six or seven figure sums at creating music videos. Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ video is still as impactful as ever (especially on Halloween), while Cerys Matthews from Catatonia once complained that the video for one of the band’s singles cost more to make than the entire album it was from. For today’s musicians and aspiring video directors however, there’s some good news: you really don’t have to spend your entire life savings to create an effective music video. In fact, in many cases that might not even work totally in your favour – OK Go have had some truly amazing music videos over the years, most of which are easier to recall than the songs they were showcasing!

For actors, music videos have their benefits too: they present a potentially good opportunity to establish a distinctive character in a short space of time, as well as good on-set experience and being seen by a large audience too.

In previous music videos I’ve played a spectator at a boxing match (good grief that outfit…), a black-eyed man and another with an eyepatch, a protestor, a dancer, a backing singer, and there was that time I wore rags and powder puff. All very random, and good fun with it. One role I get cast as a lot in all kinds of productions is a police officer, and my most recent music video appearance in P Mafia’s Benz Drop (filmed back in March), I was playing one of two plain-clothes officers convinced we’d found our target – but had we?



Last year I did another hip-hop video, for the track Science by Barking rapper Potter Payper, but this time I was on the other side of the law – playing a junkie. Did I look like I was having a good time?



Just over a year ago I also had the opportunity to appear as a record label employee for JME, a familiar name in UK hip-hop for many years, and his track ‘Pr*cks’. I was playing an employee of a rather shifty record label, trying to coax JME into signing a rather awful contract. I count myself lucky that the scene where I was thrown towards a wall only had to be done twice, and the crew and JME were great to work with, taking the time to learn everyone’s names and talk us through what was a tricky scene to choreograph. When it premiered on TV and online a couple of months later, I even got three messages from friends who spotted me!



So while MTV is more focused on the TV part of its name than the M (and how that ended up focusing on teenagers with kids…?) but the music video is, in many ways, a more accessible means than ever of advertising for musicians (thanks to YouTube and the like), and for actors, a different way of using your entire body on screen, relying on movement, demeanour and facial expressions rather than just being guided by words, and all within a few minutes too! Plus, however saturated the market may be with videos, there’s always the chance you’ll be seen by someone who may never have spotted you otherwise. Here’s to the power of music – and video!

Send Me A Message

Whether you’re looking for a voiceover, presenter or an actor; feel free to get in touch anytime.

Let me know what you have to shout about, and let’s shout about it together!