In which I lay down, once and for all, how to get yourself in the casting room

And since listicles are still all the rage, here we go:

If I ask for clips or reels, do not send me your headshot without a clip or reel.

I get it. Actors Access asks that you pay to put a clip up there. But this is your career, and I can tell you it IS a worthwhile investment. Probably more worthwhile than some of the classes you take. Because I NEED TO SEE AND HEAR YOU. And if you really can’t swing it, look up my email address and email it to me. Now, I don’t need to be added to a Constant Contact list, I don’t need updates from you, but I do need to see your video so that I can be convinced you may be right for the role I’m casting.

If I am looking for an 18-yr-old woman, and you are a 57-yr-old man, please do not submit for that role.

Chances are, I’m going to see your headshot and not — as you had planned — write a role for you. I just won’t do it. The bigger point is SUBMIT FOR ROLES FOR WHICH YOU ARE TRULY APPROPRIATE.

If you know I am casting or shooting in a certain city, and you live nowhere near that city, tell me that you are willing to travel and work as a local.

Let’s review what “working local” means in the film and TV industry. It means you are able and willing to pay for your own transportation and lodging. It means you will not require per diem. If this is not possible for you, or part of it isn’t, do me the courtesy of telling me that. Believe it or not, my producers need to know this. If you live in California and I’m shooting in New York, and you can’t pay to work as a local, please do not waste your time. It’s not that I don’t like you, it’s that movies have set budgets made way before the casting period that we have to adhere to. Unless you’re a celebrity, it’s just not gonna happen.  That being said, many actors consider travel a business expense, and write it off on their taxes (smart).

If there is something that would make you stand out, like FOR REAL, for a particular role, use the note feature or include that information in your email.

I read notes. I love notes. It doesn’t take me long to read notes and sometimes I find useful information in there, such as the website where I can find your reel, or that you are able to work as a local. Again, don’t bombard my inbox, and I don’t need your life story, but leaving a note is a good tool for you.  Here is a sample note that would work well:
“Hi, you can find my reel at http://www.myreelisgood.com. I can also work as a local and speak the foreign language required for the role fluently.”
Boom. That person is in. Here is a sample note that would not work so well:
“Hi, Thank you for considering me, I’m soooooo excited to audition for you!” 
Huh? You don’t have the audition yet and you provided no information that helps me decide whether you should or not.

The bottom line

I think it helps to understand how the casting process works. There are a TON of submissions. Imagine a wall with 1,000 pictures that are the size of your nose. Yeah. That means we have to work quickly and decisively. I don’t have time to google search you, I don’t have time to watch an entire episode of ANYTHING, and I don’t have time (unless it’s a very hard-to-fill role) to personally write you and beg [again] for your video clips.

WE WANT TO HIRE YOU.  We really, really do. Please just keep these tips in mind to make it easier for us to really see you and what you can bring to the project.

 

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