What Actors Say vs. What Managers Think!

Every day I decipher through hundreds of casting submissions looking for my next star. Some emails range from 10 seconds, others may take me 3 WEEKS to make a formal decision. I can tell when someone is serious about the business just from the email they send in.

The following are some of the common mistakes most aspiring talent make in their casting submissions. Take notes and implement these tips with your next email!

You say: "Hello, my name is (insert name here), I am a model, actor, dancer, singer, photographer, filmmaker, designer, and gymnast.

We Think: Good God. This applicant has no idea what they want to focus on career wise. Possible lack of time management skills? Too much going on!
Solution: When sending emails to managers and agents, be very concise. If you're looking for a theatrical acting agent -- LOCATE THEATRICAL agents. "Hello, my name is ______, and I'm an actor seeking theatrical representation." -- cut and clean.

You say: "I've been landing all of my work on my own without the help of a manager and/or agent."

We Think:  That's great! Did you make your bed by yourself too?
Solution: This sentence is literally the equivalent of a person saying "Well, I went to the gas station and filled my own tank!" You fill your tank to get from A to B. That's exactly what self-submitting is. You're submitting for roles to get experience and credits to advance your career! Eliminate this from all casting emails.

You say: "I've been scammed before and I hope this is legit."
We Think: This applicant is damaged goods. If they're already doubting us, what is going to happen when we ACTUALLY sign them? Are they not going to take my direction out of the fear of being scammed?
Solution: The industry can become a very shady playing field. Always remember that you are never required to pay anything upfront for representation. As managers, we invest in you. We don't make revenue until you make revenue. 

You say: "If you submit me to projects, I am open to traveling to Los Angeles."
We Think: There are thousands of Actors in Hollywood. 

Solution:  Unless you're a world renowned a-list actor or booking super consistently, no manager or agent is going to take that huge of an investment. Auditions can be very unpredictable. You may receive 2 days notice, or even 30 minutes. Callbacks may be a week later or the next day. The money being wasted to travel could be used towards actually LIVING in Los Angeles. If you don't have the funds to move to Los Angeles at the moment, focus on saving right now and doing small student films. Managers can see your persistence and appreciate it.

You say: "When I was born, I had 3 cats, 2 dogs, and 1 parrot. One was name Eric, One was name Mark, One was name...."

We Think:  Is this applicant looking for a manager, or a friend?
Solution:  Eliminate the life story and needless information. Managers have hundreds of submissions to get through and your story only take away from your talent. Get straight to the point and attach your casting material.

Here are various tips to make the best of your casting application:

  • Proof read your email and make sure your links are active. When you sign a contract with CGEM Talent, you become a direct representation of me and my organization. Evaluate your email before submitting. Make sure all of your links work! If your HTML links are invalid, I usually don't bother to ask you to resend.

  • Resize your pictures. Most agents and manager restrict submissions to a size of 2MB or smaller. Be prepared for emails to bounce back. Play it safe -- keep all photos between 800x1200 at most.

  • List notable references in your casting email. I'm not saying go on a name-dropping spree, but a few helpful references never hurt anyone!

  • Provide your FULL contact information! E-mails are great, but there are times I might need quick clarification with an applicant. List every possible way to communicate with you.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions!