Contacts vs Actor's Yearbook

  • User Deleted

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    Hi,

    I'm just about to invest in one of these publications and was wondering which one people seem to prefer? I know Contacts is the industry bible so to speak but I understand that the Actor's Yearbook contains more categories of contacts and some advice articles too. I could just get both but will I imagine they largely duplicate each other.

    Thanks in advance,

    Robin Forbes

    www.robinforbes.com/

    • 23rd Dec 2010
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  • Torya Winters

    Actor

    I find that Contacts has more details for things like agents and theatre companies, but the yearbook is a really interesting read. I would advise you to go to Samuel French or a similar bookshop if possible, and have a look at both to see what would suit you better. Both good books!

    • 20th Dec 2010
    • 1
  • Julia Sandiford

    Actor

    Hi Robin,

    I agree with Torya - have a browse and see which you prefer!

    Have to say personally although Contacts is the industry book, I've never really round it useful as all up to date contacts can be found on the internet. I do like the Actor's Yearbook a lot, for the advice and more detailed description of named contacts and when in the year it's most useful to get in touch with companies for work.

    All the best,

    Julia

    • 21st Dec 2010
    • 2
  • User Deleted

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    Sorry but you need both!

    • 21st Dec 2010
    • 3
  • User Deleted

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    Sorry but you need both!

    • 21st Dec 2010
    • 4
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Investing in both is always a good idea because they serve (slightly) differing purposes. 'Contacts' is basically the standard directory i.e. it tries as hard as possible every year to list as many of the postal and website addresses, telephone details etc. for as many industry professionals and company setups as it can, and there is nothing else in the marketplace that can hold a candle to its completeness. But it is worth remembering that anyone who wishes to pay to advertise in 'Contacts' and can prove basic credentials can advertise in 'Contacts', so whilst it lists virtually everyone who is of significant moment within the industry, it also lists many individuals and companies that aren't - and there is no obvious distinction made between them.

    One of the benefits of the Actors Yearbook, in my opinion, is that it only tends to list the highly reputable organisations and individuals who operate within the industry - and it gives detail on otherwise obscure matters, such as whether or not an agent or casting directors office remains open to unsolicited submissions, or in what seasons a repertory company is interested in receiving speculative applications to join the company. This is highly useful information that is not made available in 'Contacts' - and one of the selling points of the 'Actors Yearbook' is that it makes this information readily available. It is, however, very selective in its inclusions. In essence, 'Contacts' is a directory and the Actors Yearbook, does, as its title suggests, act more like a 'yearbook' or 'almanac'.

    There also tends to be vast amounts of information available for further reference on the web these days (and the time when total reliance on paper directories was necessary appears to be long gone) - virtually all of this is more extensive than will be found in any of the trade guides, and can include e.g. provincial theatres' homepages, the website of the Casting Directors Guild (complete with Casting Directors CV's for many cases), professional photographers pages, showcasing examples of their work and so on. But it is often the reference in e.g. 'Contacts' that leads you to the website easily (and saves you time initially googling for something you are unsure of the details of), so there is a kind of 'trade off' between the two competing formats, paper and electronic.

    • 21st Dec 2010
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    Just so - leeravitz has given an excellent explanation of the nature of each and why you ideally need both.

    • 22nd Dec 2010
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  • User Deleted

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    If you are new you may benefit from reading Actor's Yearbook once, for the articles. After that, Contacts will do you.

    • 22nd Dec 2010
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  • User Deleted

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    Thanks very much for all of your advice. I've added both to my Christmas list.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy 2011

    Robin Forbes

    www.robinforbes.com

    • 23rd Dec 2010
    • 8