Updated: Sep 9, 2020
Hello Strasberg Actors, welcome back to yet another edition of our newsletter. The third month of the new decade has begun and it feels like we have been living in the year 2020 for a while now.
This month we’re going to look at an aspect of the industry that probably a lot of us have been neglecting in the past (and if you haven’t, I honestly rate you): how to build and keep a relationship going with casting directors.
The Casting Director works closely to the Director and Producer of each project, to understand their requirements and find the ideal Artist for each Role. Therefore CDs can be considered (and understandably so) the gatekeepers to all those amazing projects we would love to be part of. If you have an agent then hopefully you are already meeting the casting offices through them, but being in the casting’s mind can land you a job without necessarily going through representation. (Of course if this happens and you do have an agent, we still suggest discussing with them the logistics of the job in question. It can be useful to have someone who takes care of the contract and negotiates your fee.)
If you decide to start getting in touch with CDs, we suggest doing a little bit of planning first, so that you have a strategy in place to utilise a few times a year.
Here’s a brief check list for you:
1. HAVE A LIST OF NAMES READY. You need to know who you are writing to, their contact details, who they are and what they do. Note down also time you have been in touch before and if they ever responded. To get all these info you need to do your research beforehand of course, resources like IMDBpro and Act On This are great ways to find out all the info you need for a reasonable price.
2. EVERY TIME YOU AUDITION add to your list the name of casting director, casting office and name of the project and which character you are reading for. This way you’ll have something to refer to when you write you message.
3. WRITE EVERY 4/5 MONTHS. Find a good reason to write, you’ll have plenty. Mention if you’ve been in anything recently, send new reel or headshots, write if you think you could be of help for a project you are suitable for. Invite them to a show you’re in, or the screening of a film, or even a rehearsed reading. Anything that could showcase your talent will be extremely useful for them to have you fresh in their memory.
4. KEEP IT BRIEF. Casting directors are busy people, so get straight to the point when you write your email. Make sure to address them personally, then literally keep it to name, location, mention if you’ve ever met before, reason for writing. If you are getting in touch regarding a project they are casting, also mention if you’ve been in any similar productions in the past.
5. HIT SEND!
Hopefully this checklist will be of use: sometimes doing this kind of admin can be quite boring, it can make us feel a bit awkward. We all would much prefer to be rehearsing, on set, or researching for a script of a project.
But don't feel awkward, just do this. All CDs confirm they do read all the emails they receive, they are usually happy to hear from actors, and if they have the time they will check out reels, headshots and even links to short films; especially if they are casting for a project that they think you might be potentially suitable for.
Getting your material out there every few months is one of the things that could help you get to all the rehearsal studios and all the sets you deserve.