Contacting agents

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Can I send out cv and headshots to casting agents/agencies without having a showreel, or does this matter?

    • 21st Nov 2009
    • 3448
    • 6
  • Forbes KB

    Actor

    As a general rule of thumb you shouldn't be writing to Casting Directors or Agents unless you have something to show them, either to invite them to a forthcoming theatre production you're in, a feature film you are in in being released on DVD or the cinema soon or to ask them to view your reel!

    If you have nothing to show them other than a headshot and a CV, they aren't going to take a whole lot of interest in you and you could be seen as wasting their time...a backward step!!

    • 12th Oct 2009
    • 1
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    I would agree with Forbes on that point. For the cost of the DVD copy and postage, you may as well include a disc or at least a link to the spotlight link where you should certainly have a reel.

    • 12th Oct 2009
    • 2
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Thanks guys for taking the time out, your replies really helped!!

    • 13th Oct 2009
    • 3
  • Mia Vore

    Actor

    Edith,

    No it doesn't matter.

    I still don't have a show-reel but I am represented.

    If you don't have a show-reel or are doing a current play then what you can offer them when you write to them is the fact that you have learnt two contrasting monologues both in genre and style.

    Good luck.

    Once you get an agent THEN get your show-reel sorted if you can't get it done before then!

    Mia

    • 20th Nov 2009
    • 4
  • Blake J Askew

    Actor

    Hi,

    I am astounded at all the hearsay about agents and casting directors that goes around.

    It truly doesnt matter if yu do or dont have a showreel.Casting directors are human beings, who like us, ae just as fearful about what the next job may or may not be.

    They need us just as much as we need them. Agents will also happily see your details but just dont expect a response.

    Some agents actually audition clients on a camaera or see pieces etc such as monologues etc.

    I have called CDs up and asked PERMISSION to email them my details. Almost everyone has been lovely and has actually allowed me to.

    Its simply a matter of being sensitive, and maybe even asking the assistant who is usually going to be very efficient and gte you off the phone asap.

    All this fear about casting directors and agents is unneccesary AS LONG as you are professional and polite. IF you have a showreel, do not send it unless they ask for one on the phone, or ask them if you may send it through.

    Treat them as any professional relationship and you will have no problems at all.

    Hope that helps.

    x

    • 20th Nov 2009
    • 5
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    While I wouldn't disagree with Blake's basic points, I'd say the specific aspects of all this are as follows:

    1. Sending out a CV/headshot to a casting director/agent is actually the accepted standard. Sending out a showreel is, in fact, uncommon.

    2. Any unsolicited mail out is difficult to generate interest from. Blake's point is quite right, which is that there is no reason why anyone should question why you are sending a mail out - not only are agents and casting directors human beings, but fielding submissions is something that goes with the territory of their job. The real difficulty, and this I believe is what Forbes, Mark and Splat were referring to, is that most casting directors, in particular, take little interest in unsolicited applications - they are generally concerned with casting whatever project is currently on the table, and therefore looking for specific types, and it is a long shot, indeed, that your casting type will just so happen to meet the criteria for a part they are looking for the morning that it turns up. Almost always, interest from casting directors materialises from response to specific casting breakdowns.

    Agents are a slightly different issue, because they are interested in you as a 'whole' actor, rather than a type, and so may genuinely be intrigued by your details sent on spec. But even agencies frequently feel you are too like someone already on their books, or consider that they cannot field any more clients, or are not interested in your particular skills base because they don't have expertise in areas you specialise in - it is really your job (if you want to save yourself time and money) to investigate which agencies are most suited to you before you send mails to them.

    The other point that has been made, and is valid, is that it often useful to send any unsolicited mail asking for representation/audition or meeting, with a mention of either a current show you are performing in, an online source at which samples of your work can be viewed/link to a website, a mention of a broadcast programme/film that you are currently featured in and might be watchable etc. This at least gives the reader the option of knowing that there is material they can investigate further if they are interested in you as a prospect, and wish to get a better idea of whether or not you actually meet the grade as a performer. Very often, offers of this kind are waived - e.g. I have been offered interviews *without* anyone wishing to bother to come and see me in the show that served as initial impetus for the invite letter - but I suspect people appreciate the offer - at least, it gives them an indication that your work is out there.

    3. Showreels are often not sent out in bulk mail outs. From your point of view, this is because they are expensive and not worth risking sending to those who will do nothing with them. If you are curious as to who/will not be prepared to accept showreel material, the best bet is either to make enquiries directly, or investigate a resource like 'The Actors Yearbook', which lists some of these details. From the point of view of casting directors, showreels are both desired and unwanted - on the one hand, those who cast screen work will be as interested to see showreel material as any other type of solicitation, as they can make casting decisions most effectively from it - but they may still have no time to view unsolicited showreels in the midst of their ongoing work, and don't always welcome the idea that the office is getting filled with showreels that they know they have little time to watch. For this reason, they offer ask that showreels *not* be sent unless requested. As I said to start with, the default is actually *not* to send a showreel with an unsolicited application, but to hold off unless asked to send one - the inclusion of 'showreel on request' in either covering letter or on CV is appropriate in these circumstances. If you prefer to make the rounds before sending anything, and ensure that sending a showreel to certain individuals is worthwhile, then you can do everything in the same mail out.

    • 21st Nov 2009
    • 6