Networking should not be a chore! It's my belief that a lot of people take online networking for granted. Facebook groups, Stage 32 lounges, Backstage forums... are you using them daily... or at least once or twice a week? If not, why? Why is it that people would rather stay home and binge watch Netflix?
If I could go back in time, I don't know, 20 years, and tell a group of actors they have a choice to communicate with filmmakers from the comfort of their own home, or they can watch 9 hours non-stop of women in orange jumpsuits, I have a strong feeling that a most (if not all) of them would jump at the opportunity of getting to know more people behind the camera. Not that there's anything wrong with OITNB - I <3 these ladies. :)
But I digress. There's a ton of reasons why you should be dedicating 20-30 minutes on networking each day. That is really not that much. Be it Stage 32 or Backstage, there's always someone asking questions and someone else answering questions, why not join in?
#1 - If you know the answer to the question, you get to help out a fellow creative. That's one way to give back to the community.
#2 - If you have any questions yourself, being around people who converse and answer other people's questions will make you more comfortable sharing your uncertainties.
#3 - Sometimes you may stumble upon something you haven't even thought of... an exercise of some sort or a productivity hack. Both people's answers and questions can spark your own creativity.
#4 - You get to meet some cool people. Who knows, maybe you'll make some new friends who live close by, or maybe you'll find a buddy on the other side of the planet who's willing to read lines with you over Skype.
#5 - Most importantly, you open yourself up for an opportunity. It could be a recommendation of somebody you've met, or maybe they themselves are willing to get a new project going and they turn out to be the next Scorsese, Coppola or Kubrick.
Do yourself a favor, join the conversation, and while I have you here, check out what your fellow actors are talking about right now: