I’d like to introduce a great service to you all that we all use, and highly reccomend using their products. Brian Vermeire and his team at www.holdonlog.com do great work. The also have great products that every performer, no matter the experience needs to be using. They also have a newletter (we will one day too) that I’d encourage you to subscribe to by going to www.holdonlog.com/pages/newsletters.html.
Here is a recent article from their newsletter.
14 Self-Submission Tips
(From 2 Production Companies) – Part I
By Holdon Log, LLC
Through Holdon Log’s 5 sponsored Meetup Groups, we recently posted casting notices for two of our members who were actively casting actors for a short film and a comedy pilot (and without hesitation they agreed to honor our Copy Provided Form). Beyond the Meetup Groups, these producers were also utilizing the well-known “Top 3” submission services in order fill the vacant roles.
We are thrilled to find out that several of Holdon Log’s Meetup members auditioned, showed up on time, had a great audition and that three of them were eventually cast!
However, in our follow-up correspondences with these producers, we received an earful when it came to their disappointment in how performers are submitting themselves. So, we thought we might share their thoughts to assist you on making the most of your self-submissions.
|The Character Breakdown|
TIP #1: SUBMIT YOUR TYPE – REALLY!
In the breakdown the character descriptions were very clear and detailed. So, our producers asked us why in the world men would submit for women’s roles? We didn’t have an answer…do you?
TIP #2: IT’S A COLORFUL WORLD
If your headshots are still black and white. It pretty much shows that you have not updated your headshot in years and that you do not take your career serious. So, make it a point to have color headshots and make sure that your Primary Photo on these online submission services is in color!
TIP #3: LOOK LIKE YOUR PICTURE
Whoa! Some of our producers were amazed at the number of performers who absolutely did not look like their headshot when they were brought in for the audition. While you may read this, or hear about it all the time there are sill performers who have gained weight, lost weight, changed their hair cut or color, or aged and they have not updated their headshots. If you are 45, you do not look like you did when you were 20. It’s a fact and it wastes time if the producer brings you in hoping that you look like you did when you were 20 and you absolutely do not. So please, please, please be honest with yourself if you need to update your photos. It’s better to not submit until you have photos that represent you, they way you look today.
TIP #4: DO YOU MEET THE SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
The breakdown for the comedy pilot specified that a “strong improv ability” was required. When something as specific as this is noted, it means your resume needs to show that you have that capability — in this case, improv training and improv credits.
We heard from the producers of this comedy pilot that if they did not see any true evidence on the performer’s resume (training, credits, etc.), the submission was deleted. The producers were upset after receiving and reviewing countless headshots and resumes from actors with no improv skills reflected on their resume even though the casting notice specifically asked for it. It was not only a waste of time for the producers, but for the performer as well who took the time to submit.
If you truly don’t have anything reflecting the special abilities that a casting breakdown seeks then ask yourself “why am I submitting?”.
TIP #5: ALWAYS HAVE YOUR CONTACT INFO LISTED
The producers mentioned they were looking to e-mail the performers an audition request, but there were no e-mail addresses listed. Next step, a phone call, and there were no phone numbers listed either.
As the short film was a true indie project (not paying) and the other a pilot presentation (low paying), the producers knew that a performer’s representation would not want to get involved at this level and so several performers were passed on because they had no contact information.
Make sure that if you use one of the online casting services that you have a way for those great independent projects (at low or no pay) to get a hold of you outside of your representation. Remember, you can always turn down an opportunity…but you can’t take advantage of one that passes you by.
TIP #6: CHOICE OF E-MAIL ADDRESS
If a casting director reviews the resume of a potential actor they want to hire and sees that the performer’s e-mail address is “StarvingActor@home.com” what will he or she think of that person? What message does this e-mail address convey? Does it represent a performer who is actively working on their career? The casting director may seriously doubt that this actor could do a great job at being on-time, prepared, professional and take an active stance in helping to promote the project once it’s finished.
According to the producers, e-mail addresses like this were common. They couldn’t believe the unprofessionalism that came through with a performer’s choice of an e-mail address. Some were so self-defeating that the producers said they felt sorry that some folks were already selling themselves short.
Take a look at the e-mail address you currently use for your career – what does it say about you? If it seems overly goofy or unflattering, make sure to utilize a professional e-mail like “MikeSmith@home.com” or “MikeActs@Home.com” for anything and everything performing.
TIP #7 – STALE CREDITS
If your latest credits are from performances from before the year 2000, chances are there’s a reason why you have not been working. The producers said that they decided, in the interest of time, not to bring these folks in. There are loads of opportunities to perform, even at a community level, or just by creating your own projects. The producers said they wanted to see more recent credits.
In the next issue of PerformerNation we will bring you Part II of this very informative article!
We will focus on:
- What to write in the “Special Notes” area when submitting through the top online submission services
- Confirming the audition request
- What to do when a casting notice is re-posted
Until next time – get out there and book some gigs!