How to find the balance between promoting yourself and being pushy
Self-promotion is essential as an actor, if no one knows who you are then how will they ever know to give you a job?
One of the most valuable things to remember when promoting yourself is that there are hundreds of people every single day desperately trying to find actors for their films, commercials, corporate jobs, plays, workshops etc...
You are offering a vital and valuable service to these people and one day they will need you. If you remember this, you should never fall foul of being 'pushy'.
The best way to get on a casting director's radar is to stay in touch with them and keep them informed of what you are doing, in a relaxed and friendly way. Write to them when you are in something, send them a postcard reminding them that you'll be in Silent Witness on Wednesday, tweet them to thank them for seeing you at a casting, know what they're up to and tell them you liked something they did.
As a member of a co-operative agency, it is always the people who are keen, who stay in touch, who remind us who they are that get the interviews.
It's always worth remembering when promoting yourself to theatre companies that a job with them will likely be a long term commitment. Appearing friendly, relaxed, charming and professional AS WELL as brilliantly talented, is more likely to make them think they'd like to spend three months with you than if you bombard them with begging letters and demand they see you. We actors must maintain our dignity...
If in doubt, look at an advertising campaign you have admired, or a product that has come out of nowhere and suddenly made you desperate to buy it every week. Chances are they will have made sure it's EVERYWHERE you look and subtly convinced you it's the best thing in the world without ever telling you that you HAVE to buy it.... Now copy this.