By Jennifer Rudolph
Many of you have read my email about being hired by Natalie Hart from LaPadura/Hart Casting to help out with a role (plus some future ones) on CBS's CODE BLACK. (if you didn't read the email, please see yesterday's below :)
I wanted to address some extremely important points re: self-submissions. They are the hard truths. I often speak about this as Jen, Founder of The Actor's Green Room, but now you will hear it as Jen, the casting director. Perhaps it will land more concretely :)
I say all of this with love.
I have received 1500 submissions so far for the role of GINA. I am calling in 17 people at this point for my session. This is the reality of numbers of nearly EVERY role that is casting. So who are the people who are getting called in? Mostly actors who I know and trust as I have to be able to produce a solid session and show my L.A. people strong choices. I do not have time to waste or gamble with anyone innocuous. I AM calling in a few actors who I don't know/haven't met thus far. These select women fit the description, sold themselves optimally and put together a killer uber-professional SIMPLE submission package. (Hey here's who I am...here's my headshot...resume...link to my reel...and thanks)
Many actors out there think they know it all and are somehow entitled to be given opportunities. When a casting comes along they THEN put themselves out there but upon looking at their materials, they often haven't done any of the backend work which is a red flag. Once I open the email and see this, it doesn't go any further. So what's in there? PS: I am very forgiving...other CD's may not be. :)
All of my emails about marketing yourself like a pro, utilizing your resources and finding an advocate are all justified by what just transpired. You may read my emails and go "yeah yeah yeah" but now you will see the reason why I preach...as I am now speaking as a casting director - not just the founder of AGR.
Meet AGR'r Emilie Bonsant (who I have NEVER met)
Emilie just LIKED a post in the Green Lounge (our AGR Facebook group where I am very active) and I saw her headshot. It captivated me. It spoke volumes. I dig her look and energy for the role on CODE BLACK. I googled her and went to her website: good stuff.
But here's the problem (this is a compliment, Em, and an important lesson :): Emilie is GOOD but doesn't have strong footage on her reel / website so I have no way of SEEING if she can step into her "type" in a way that is on par with network television. She also doesn't have her cell # (OR SHE COULD GET A GOOGLE VOICE NUMBER ) listed so if my assistant were to email her for an appt, would she even get it on time? We can't chase her down. If she was on theactorsgreenroomonline.com, I would hopefully see performance clips (which we shoot at AGR) of her doing scenes exemplary of her "type" and could make an easy decision then. I would probably have her cell # too. THIS is what I am talking about in terms of marketing yourself optimally and utilizing your resources. NOT doing so could cost you a potentially big audition / job / and alienate the industry. We want easy answers (like the Lime seltzer analogy I have talked about). We don't want to guess or wonder. We need to know NOW.
I am going to take a chance on Emilie and bring her in for CODE BLACK. But this is me...95% of CD's would not do this. Learn this lesson now. This is a ONE TIME EXCEPTION I will make.
Everyone: Be findable and market yourself like a pro. Your career depends on it. 2,000 submissions. 20 girls coming in. Be one of them. SO much of your career lies in your hands and you just don't realize it but here it is for you to see. This is a business. You MUST treat it as such.
I urge you. Take control of your career.
If you build it, they will come ONLY works on fertile ground.
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