I know it can be frustrating for actors out there. You submit yourself, but never hear anything back. You get discouraged and you try to find a way to make yourself stand out and get the attention of that casting director who is working on that project that you know you’re perfect for. Even if you’re at the end of your rope, please heed this advice: always follow submission guidelines. There is this little publication called Call Sheet (it used to be called Ross Reports) This publication contains the contact information for most casting directors as well as the submission guidelines for each office. The information is readily available, and frankly it really annoys me when actors don’t follow the guidelines.
In my office, we don’ like snail mail submissions. This is stated in Call Sheet and on the Destiny Casting website, and yet every day we received 40-50 submissions in the mail (most of them addressed “Dear Client” or even more infuriatingly “Dear Sir”). I’m not your client and I’m not a dude and your envelope is headed straight for the shredder. Other offices do want mail submissions and there are explicit instructions found in Call Sheet for almost every office. It’s really straight forward. If the guidelines say “no calls” then don’t call (unless someone from that office has called you specifically and you are returning a call). Casting offices are very busy and we don”t have the time to field hundreds of calls every day.
So now, I’m sure you’re asking… How do I get a casting director’s attention? The answer is simple: do good work. Casting directors, associates, and assistants are out watching theatre and movies every day. I watch every single scripted TV series that shoots in the New York metro area (sometimes I’ll fast forward through the bad ones just looking for new actors, but I still watch!) If you’ve been a series regular, guest star, or costar on a scripted NYC series in the past 5 years, I’ve probably got a file on you (I promise I’m not a stalker!)
So, please don’t call my office or send me mail submissions. It’s nothing personal, we just don’t have the time to field all the phone calls and if we sorted and filed all of our mail we would have to hire another person simply for that task. For every other office, follow their guidelines and personalize your submissions for each office. When submitting to a casting director who works in theatre, don’t drone about the commercials you’ve just done: just focus on your theatre credits. A savvy actor knows when to follow the rules and when to break them (and if you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a time to follow them.)