by Casting Director, Laurie Records
A multi part series for the not-so-established actor, hoping to improve their career.
Yeah, yeah, yeah… never is a strong word, and a lot of you are going to jump on me for saying this, but, COMMERCIAL ACTORS SHOULD NEVER SEND UNSOLICITED MASS MAILINGS OF HEADSHOTS AND RESUMES TO COMMERCIAL CASTING DIRECTORS. That’s right. No more, “I just moved to town! I just booked a commercial! I just got new headshots! I am in a play! I just finished a class! I’d be perfect for that Saturn commercial you are casting! I have new representation!” (I could go on.) No more. It is a waste of time and money.
Why? No one looks at it. It goes straight in the garbage. Sad, but true. I know they have those cool envelopes with the see-through slot so a casting director can’t help but to catch your shining face. Well, they do see it (or their assistant does, anyway) but that doesn’t stop it from going in the garbage. Same thing goes for driving it over and dropping it in the mail slot, envelope free. Why don’t they look? They do, on the Internet. Save that hard copy for the audition.
There are some pretty crafty actors out there, with some genius ideas to get you to open their envelope. They use a smaller envelope making it look like a personal letter to the casting director, and include a photo, or write “Requested” on the 8×10 envelope. There are tons of tricks to get the cd to open (whatever the size may be) the envelope. But, let’s stop and remember the goal: To get called in to an audition. What are you achieving by tricking the casting director into opening your envelope? The cd opens the envelope. You still don’t get an audition, because it doesn’t work that way anymore. When hardcopy submissions were the norm for casting commercials, it made sense to diligently mail your headshots. Since the process is exclusively Internet based at this point, why waste your precious time and money. And I know you complain about not having either.
If you will remember back to last month, I acknowledged that there might be an exception or two. I know there is someone out there saying that they know a sister of a friend whose boyfriend’s cousin mailed a headshot to a great commercial casting director, and was called in for a national commercial. I am sure this fluke has happened. But that is exactly what it is, and one must consider the cost/risk ratio to decide if it is truly worth it. I believe there are other more cost effective “risks” an actor could take- with better results for less money. Remember, commercial casting directors are using the Internet to cast their jobs. Keep up!
Remember: COMMERCIAL ACTORS SHOULD NEVER SEND UNSOLICITED MASS MAILINGS OF HEADSHOTS AND RESUMES TO COMMERCIAL CASTING DIRECTORS.
Laurie Records, Casting Director