Spotlight covering letter

  • Alessandro De Marco

    Actor

    Hi everyone

    Can someone give me a suggestion on what should I write as "message for casting directors" when i apply for roles in Spotlight ? At the moment i do not have an agent, therefore i apply for those positions myself, but i always struggle when it cames to leave a message in the actual box.

    Is it a general message that can be pretty much the same for every application, or does it have to change everytime ?

    What shall i write in there ?

    Thank you all for your time.

    • 25th Sep 2017
    • 6494
    • 7
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    The answer to this is very simple, but possibly not very informative. You write whatever you think you can that will win the casting director's interest in seeing you for that particular part. That may mean pointing out that you have an appropriate look, skills base, past experience in similar roles, posting a link to a showreel (if you have one and that's not yet hosted by Spotlight) etc. etc. Although I don't do so myself (because my agent tends to apply on my behalf), I believe you are very limited in the amount of words you can use for a Spotlight application anyway, so you may not be able to say much about anything. You then proceed to wait and see if a casting director wishes to take things further (in honesty, on the basis of a breakdown that has been released across the board, they are most likely to judge whether they wish to bring you in or not on the basis of a) your headshot and b) your credits, because they won't have time to worry about details - but a covering letter that might point out, say, a special skill that would interest them or regular experience in the same sorts of roles might be what gives your application the edge).

    Writing something generalised and vague is, however, absolutely NOT the thing to do - it just implies you can't be bothered to pay attention to what the casting is actually for, and address your talents to the casting director's concerns. Given that, as I say, you may only be allowed to write a paragraph or two anyway, it's hardly a lot of effort to write something specific to sell yourself in the cover letter!

    • 22nd Apr 2011
    • 1
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Lee's absolutely right that the headshot will be the first thing and then a specific skill relevant to the casting that would give you a headstart over others should be mentioned. Try to get yourself a showreel up together as soon as you have some footage, that's the thing that CD's will often use to sort through the applications. Often they'll just plump for considering actors with a showreel. You have lovely headshots, with a very distinct look which should be very castable, so prioritise doing some good quality shorts and sticking a basic showreel together to show your acting skills. I'm sure that would make a huge difference. Particularly if you have a lovely Italian accent, as I suspect you may... :)

    • 22nd Apr 2011
    • 2
  • Claire Dodin

    Actor

    Hi,

    I've never needed to write a note on Spotlight because I have an agent, but what I do on other sites is use bullet points so it's fast and easy to see for the CD

    Note that I don't know for sure that it is the right thing to do, this is what I would like to have if I was casting.

    For example, for an action movie with fight scenes I'd write:

    "Native French, fluent English, combat trained, available on shooting date"

    • 22nd Apr 2011
    • 3
  • Paul F. Knight

    Actor

    Hi Alessandro, whenever I audition for I always state what highlighted to that particular role in the first instance and include what abilities and qualities you have that you make you suitable for the role in question. One final thing always have confidence and belief.

    • 22nd Apr 2011
    • 4
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Alex, I think when a CD gets responses on Spotlight they only see the first 10 words of what you write (unless they click on you to expand your details) so make it punchy and to the point.

    Spotlight do "Spotlight Mondays" where you can book a session with them (for free I think) and ask them all sorts of questions about how best to promote yourself and how to construct your CV and your covering letter. Might be useful.

    And email/text/poke me and let's grab coffee. It's been way too long since I mocked your accent :)

    Cx

    • 23rd Apr 2011
    • 5
  • Alessandro De Marco

    Actor

    I really appreciate all your comments, and i have found them very useful... The reason i did ask the questiins in the first place is that i do receive a substantial quantity of emails every day and, by reading them through, i found quite a few i could be suitable for, and then i find it a bit hard to customize a message for every single position, but as lee said, if that is what need to be done, then so be it..... :):)

    Colin: lets catch up soon. I'll back in london after the 9th, so give me a call and we can meet up somewhere for a coffee..

    Again, thank you all for your help. I reallly appreciate it !!!

    • 23rd Apr 2011
    • 6
  • Alex Cordrey

    Actor

    What a casting director will see if they use the spotlight submission page to flick through actors, will only include the first few line of that submission box. I reckon twenty words max.

    For big productions and films they may care to look at that message further. But for commercials, day roles etc they basically only want a bullet point or two, flagging up a relevant skill or aspect. E.g. 'Have played similar role on screen. Excellent at accents. Has scar" or whatever.

    A commercials CD said to me that whilst minimal is best, something in the box is better than nothing, even if it's just when applying for a comedic role 'good comedy', for example.

    If you're applying for a dream role and really want to tell them why you're right, maybe worth saying more (or maybe keep the submission box short but temporarily putting a relevant strap line about something you've just done on your page), otherwise, succinct as poss.

    • 25th Sep 2017
    • 7