How to get contact details for casting directors
There are a few different resources out there for getting the contact details of all the casting directors you want to contact. Here is a list of the best ones I know, but feel free to ask other people to see what other information they might know.
One of the best resources has got the be the CDG – or the Casting Directors Guild. They have a website which is at http://www.thecdg.co.uk/ and their list is full of all the most prominent casting directors in the country. They also have a list of all the casting directors on Probationary membership of the CDG (take that to mean ‘up and coming casting directors’), and even some information if you wanted to join the CDG, or how to become a casting director, should your career might find that it wants a change of path. Each casting director who is a member of the guild is listed, as well as – for the vast majority of them – their contact details, email address and or postal address, and sometimes a link to their CV as well.
You can also find many casting directors details in Contacts, the book published by Spotlight every year which serves as the directory for all things related to the performing arts industry. Here every one should be listed, as well as again all their contact details that the casting directors want published, and any other information, such as if they are based at a specific company, ie, Wendy Spon being the head of casting at the National Theatre, for example.
And finally one of the best ones I’ve come across is The Actor’s Yearbook 2014 (or whichever year it is published). This book contains tons of useful information for the actor, including all the usual directories of theatre companies, agents, producing theatres, showreel companies, who to write to for bursaries, and many articles and commentaries written by the relevant practitioner to give you an insight into their profession. But of course the section we are after is casting directors.
First they give you an introduction to the role of the casting director, and then the entries. Each one provides the name, contact details including phone numbers, email address and address (again, if they want this information published, which sometimes they do not), and a bit of information about the kind of things that they cast, such as pantomime, touring theatre, commercials only, etc. Then they give you the details about how best to contact them and when; for example to only contact them if you’re in a show, and do so 2 weeks or more in advance (they do see many shows, and are very busy). They will tell you how they accept submissions, what to include (almost always your CV, a photo and a covering letter), and whether or not you can email, send things only by post, or vice-versa. Sometimes as well, they will also tell you if they might run general auditions or workshops in order to meet new or up and coming actors as well; as said, check each entry and it will tell you all you need to know.
Finally, another good way to find out about casting directors is to simply talk to other actors out there. They will be able to tell you about ones they have auditioned for, what they were like, what they might prefer in a casting, and how to best behave to give yourself the best chance. Of course if the person you are talking to happened to get cast in a project and you are reading for them, try dropping their name as well – it might well be worth a shot, as it’ll connect them to you on a more person level. Do a great job and be friendly and professional, and they might end up casting you as well. Good luck.