How to Stay on a CD’s Radar (Without Annoying Them to Death)

iStock_000009214428_SmallIn a market that seems perpetually saturated, standing out from the crowd becomes a real concern. How will you ever book if you can’t even get in the audition room? If you’re feeling lost and invisible, here are some ways to cultivate a professional personality that will keep you memorable.  

 

  • Don’t Harass Them. It’s so tempting. The 90s campaigns in favor of self-starting and stick-to-it-iveness (has anyone ever agreed on how to spell that? Should we even spell it?) have left many of us convinced that relentless self-promotion is the only way to get ahead. To which I say yeah….but be cool about it. Nobody likes to be overwhelmed. Take the time to find out the appropriate parties to contact. Be mindful of people’s privacy, even that of casting directors. Self-promote, yes, but don’t make a nuisance of yourself.
  • Networking Events. There’s nothing like good old-fashioned face-time. Keep an eye on networking events near you. Go to your agency’s mingles, go to meet and greets, invest in master classes, lectures and workshops. When you come face to face with a casting director or industry professional, keep it classy. Be personal, be honest, and don’t overwhelm them or monopolize their time. Present your best self.
  • Follow Up at the End of the Year. Postcards are a great, non-intrusive way to keep your face in the office without breathing down their necks. Feature new headshots, send a nice, handwritten note updating them on one or two recent projects, and remember to keep it brief and sunny.
  • Put in Good Auditions. Honestly, the consistent production of quality work is still your best bet. Bring your A-game, every time. Even for auditions you’re not right for, or think might conflict with other work, or are filmed at midnight after a 14 hour day because that’s the only time you could meet up with your friend in their sweet home studio. Send in quality tapes and let them speak for you.
  • Theatre. In theatre the rules are slightly different. Take stock of the personality of the theatre community. Often the best networking happens on opening nights of each respective production. Depending on the relationships you’ve cultivated in the community, many times you can email directors, casting directors or even artistic directors personally with a resume, headshot, and audition request. Do your research first. See if the audition has been posted on any sort of breakdown service and make sure you are reaching out to the appropriate parties. Limit yourself to two emails per show. Maybe a general one early when the theatre announces its season, and then, if enough time has passed, a more specific follow up preceding auditions for each show.
  • It’s All in the Details. Remember them. Remember what each casting director likes from an audition and how they interact. Are they warm and casual? Do they favor lots of eye contact in an audition? Any personal matters, pets, annoyances that you can briefly mention at the outset of an (in person) audition to remind them of previous conversations? Be honest and try to cultivate a respectful, professional, yet personal relationship. Keep a journal if you need to remind yourself. Get to know your industry professionals.
  • Be Patient. It takes time to get on a casting director’s radar. Time and a lot of work. Pace yourself, take care of yourself, and commit to being in it for the long haul. It’s a good mindset to create not only for staying visible, but for all aspects of your career.

 

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Rachel Rachel Frawley is an actor living in Atlanta. She holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from Michigan State University (with cognates in Music and Professional Writing) and is an Apprentice Company graduate from the Atlanta Shakespeare Co. She also works as an education artist for local theatres, which have included the Shakespeare Tavern and Aurora Theatre. For more information, visit her website at www.rachelfrawley.com

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