A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Respond to a Casting Call by Email.
Today's digital world has made it easier for actors to contact casting directors and apply for a role directly.
You can easily find casting calls throughout the web and social media and apply for that role via Email.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to respond to a casting call by Email and things you can do to improve your chances of getting cast:
Research and Thoroughly Read the Breakdown of the Role
Before you submit your resume and Headshot, research what the production company is searching for and thoroughly read the role breakdown.
Ensure you are the perfect fit, as they will clearly describe the type of person they are looking for and the filming dates.
Do not apply to something you do not fit the description for. Casting directors must filter through thousands of headshots and resumes, and submitting your information to something that does not apply to you makes their job more difficult.
If you fit the casting requirement well, follow the posting instructions.
The easiest way to ensure that your submission is immediately dismissed is by ignoring the instructions in the casting notice.
So carefully read and follow the instructions on the notice or posting.
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Address the Subject Line With the Name of the Character or Position You Are Applying for Along With Your Name
In the subject line of your Email — unless you are told otherwise — put the name of the character you are submitting for, along with your name. Perhaps like this: "Submission for the role of KATNISS (Joy S. Meyer)."
Properly Address the Email:
When the casting call includes a contact name, make sure you address that person in your Email and use the right gender and correct spelling when doing so, for example, Ms. Doreen Marie Miller.
These small details give potential employers a sense of who you will be in a casting session and on set.
Ensure you send this from an address you check often, and if you will be away from Email, provide another means of contact like a cell phone number. At the end of the Email, be sure to include your name and a warm but professional closing, such as "Thank you" or "Best regards."
State the Role(s) That You Are Applying for in the Body of the Email
In the body of the Email, clearly state the role(s) you are applying for and why you would be a perfect fit for the project or what makes you eager to join the production team.
Also, remember to include any details requested in the breakdown, like your weight, height, and size of your shirt, pants, and shoes.
Attach a Headshot and Resume to your Email
Do not send a link to a headshot, resume, website, and so on. Rather, send a digital headshot, which is typically requested and should be 500kb or less in jpg format and viewable in the body of the Email, and your resume in PDF.
The Headshot should look like you, but if you have a new look that reflects a significant change, such as a change in the color of your hair, you can send a second photograph to show this. These pictures should be taken by a professional or someone good at photography so that you look your best. Some organizations are fine with selfies or self-taken pictures, but this will fail to pass for many.
You should be fully clothed in both photographs.
The Acting Resume should stand alone from your professional resume as they are considered two different things in the entertainment industry. So, take the time to write a resume on your acting experiences. If you need help with creating an acting resume, research it online.
The file name should be your full name: first_last.jpg. If you send more than one picture, add the numbers 1 and 2 to the file name. If you have a long and complex first or last name, you can simplify it by replacing it with an initial. Long, complex file names can complicate the process and crash browsers. Your name should appear at the bottom of the image and be readable. This will help the casting staff if materials are separated.
This does not mean that you should not also provide a link that provides other information and content about you; just be sure to do what is required first.
Your email address should reflect your professional self and not include graphic or unprofessional language or ideas:
This is a branding issue, but your Email handle should not be coarse or foul. Remember, this is business, and producers want to work with professionals, so your address should be as professional as possible.
It should look more like email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ask questions: if you have any questions or concerns, don't fail to address them in your Email. It is often considered rude to quit a project later because you failed to ask the casting director earlier for more information.
However, refrain from asking questions that are addressed in the original post. If you do so, not only will you be wasting their time, but you will also not do yourself any favors with the casting people/producer.
DO NOT submit:
– If you are not available for the project dates, that is the auditions, shoot, show, or rehearsals.
– If you are SAG-AFTRA affiliated and it is a non-union project. This is a 'rule' which does have an exception. If you are in the union, you 'might' be able to help a non-union project turn union if you can help them with the paperwork. This is mostly appropriate if you know the producer and they want you for the project.
– If you do not fit the description of the character. Especially if you are so significantly different from the description that your casting would change the nature of the story.
For example, a 24-year-old actress submitted for a 68-year-old grandmother role. Casting notices are written specifically to filter submissions, and ignoring those filters will not endear you to anyone in the casting office.
By following all these rules and instructions when you apply for a casting call, you have a greater chance of being noticed and getting a callback.