Inviting agents to see my performance

  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hi everyone,

    I am in the process of approaching agents for (new) representation and as I am currently in rehearsal for a play -

    'Who Will Carry the Word?' at the Brockley Jack Theatre. October 18th-29th, 7.45pm. (shameless plug!)

    I'd like to include this in my cover letter and invite/offer the agents comps to see me in the play.

    Should I simply mention this and say I would like to offer them comps and see if they bite OR go ahead and send them material tickets (which don't exist yet)?

    Any guidance on this process would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks All!

    • 23rd Sep 2011
    • 6726
    • 5
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    For a start, I am not quite sure how you would include tickets physically unless you are in charge of the box office distribution as well.

    The standard practice, as far as I have ever known is, is, of course, to include the fact that you are currently in something that the (potential) agent may come and see in the body of the letter - they are within their rights to come and see you in it, to turn you down and ignore the offer, or, often these days, to apologise for not being able to attend, but to offer you an alternate way of maintaining correspondence if they are interested in you - arranging a meeting, or asking for a showreel to be sent. But they will always appreciate the fact that you have written to them with something in hand, because it shows that you work, and are, in consequence, already a better prospect than an actor who talks the talk but cannot walk the walk!

    The offer of comps or concessionary tickets is standard; most agents, if interested, will place a return call or letter with you, and simply expect you to arrange the comps through the box office for the nights they say they plan to attend. You must always ascertain with the box office exactly how many concessions you are entitled to, before you start issuing them right, left and centre, but most people work on the assumption that the offer of comps is just that; an offer that may or may not be taken up, and should there be ten concessionary tickets you need to provide, then you will have to negotiate that bridge when you come to it.

    I think physically sending the tickets smacks of desperation, as the majority you write to *won't* necessarily choose to come and see you - agents like to allowed agency (no pun intended!), and making them feel you are forcing them into attendance, rather than offering a reasonable choice, is probably not a good idea.

    But above all else, if you aren't physically printing the tickets yourself, then you don't have control over their distribution anyway, as far as I can see, unless I'm missing something in your question!! No box office in their right mind is going to allow you to fire off tickets willy-nilly if it's costing them to print, and they want to guarantee that the *maximum* number of seats remain available for paying customers, rather than having them tagged 'out of bounds' on behalf of speculative ones. If you are, in effect, your own box office, then this might be different, I suppose.

    • 22nd Sep 2011
    • 1
  • Nigel Peever

    Actor

    If you are being very selective and only inviting the one or two agents that you really want to represent you, then it might be a weird gimmick that might work! and might be acceptable to whoever is in charge of the tickets to allow you half a dozen or so. But it's odd, not usual practice and probably unlikely to succeed any more or less than the usual invitation.

    I just remember handing out 2 comps each to all the 30 odd shopkeepers who were kind enough to put up posters in their windows for one of my shows once, we kept half of the stubs on the door so I can say with absolute certainty not one of them came!

    • 22nd Sep 2011
    • 2
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Nigel makes a good point - which is that if you are being highly selective about who you invite, you may not be sending many covering letters out (and hence, accounting for many tickets) anyway. And, in my opinion, it is better to be selective in these matters and choose who you are writing to wisely (i.e. agencies that seem to have a 'you' shaped gap on their books, whose casting interests seem amenable to your current project and so on, if you can) than to bombard with a non-specific mass mailout, but I know that different contexts call for different responses. Sometimes an entire company can share a mass mailout between them, and so on.

    • 22nd Sep 2011
    • 3
  • Sam Lucas Smith

    Actor

    I'd say if you're being selective, then as mentioned it could be a bold move that might well pay off!

    Give it a shot!

    In the more broad spectrum though I'd say leave it at offering comps. As you no doubt know, it's a very small minority that take up invitations / representation requests - so send out as many as you can... Law of averages and all that.

    Best of luck!

    • 23rd Sep 2011
    • 4
  • Nigel Peever

    Actor

    What would happen if they all came and all bumped into each other on the night?

    "Oh hello, what are you doing here?"

    :-)

    • 23rd Sep 2011
    • 5