If you are thinking about doing more self-promotion through writing and emailing but struggling to find opportunities to use the tips from last week’s blog then have a look at this list of ideas taken from interviews with actors, directors, agents and casting directors from across the industry.
When You’ve Got a Theatre Job
Invite directors, casting directors, writers, producers, agents, etc; those you’ve worked with, those you’ve auditioned for or met for whatever reason, and those you want to work with in the future but haven’t met. If you are working in regional theatre then target casting departments at nearby theatres.
Offer press night tickets to your agent and ask them to bring and invite people throughout the run (let them know if there is anyone specific).
As the run goes on send a quick ‘nice-to-meet-you’ follow-up email if you meet industry people after the show in the theatre bar etc. and once the show’s finished talk to your colleagues and the box office to find out who has been in.
Make contact with the different theatre departments. Some theatres ask actors to get involved in readings, workshops and other work outside the show they are doing. Don’t wait to be asked; email the relevant department showing your interest. You can take advantage of other facilities and opportunities at theatres while you’re working; for example, check with literary departments to get hold of new plays that are coming up or, if you have your own work or writing you want to rehearse or even present, ask if there is a space you can use.
Especially useful when you have just got a TV or film job and you can’t invite people to see what you’re doing. Send an email with the subject ‘Quick Update’ and your name to casting directors, directors etc that you have had some contact with (either worked or auditioned for) to let them know what you are up to next.
You can also/alternatively do this when your work is due to be screened. The time-gap between getting the job and it being aired means you can send several promotional emails or letters without fear of pestering someone.
Creating and Sending Out Clips
If you have some basic editing skills, record and cut together scenes from your episode as soon as it is aired, then send it to your agent or any casting directors you are targeting at that - ‘If you didn’t catch it last night here are my scenes.’ Agents may eventually do that with your scenes but put it together yourself and you are saving them time, promoting yourself to your agent and giving them up-to-date material they can send out to the industry.
It’s easy, quick, kind and creates a good impression so send a short email to the casting director, director etc. when you get cast to say ‘thank you’ or at the end of the project if you’ve had a good experience.
Coming to the End of a Job: Create a Plan
If you’ve got nothing lined up afterwards take advantage of that mini ‘re-entry’ into the profession; for a few months you’ve been unavailable and now you are ‘new’ again. So write or email to let potential employers know that 1) you’ve been working (great!) and 2) you are now/will very soon be available to audition (really great!).
Reconnect with your agent, let them know what you’d like to be seen for, and send out clips and info about how great your play was or reminders to the industry to watch you on screen in a few months’ time.