Perhaps when you’re writing to Casting Directors, you are applying for a specific role – this is usually the case. Our previous blog posts have indicated that you should have a ‘reason for writing.’ This is of course, true. Writing a generic letter is not necessarily going to get you anywhere and you should definitely not expect a reply.
But assuming that the Casting Director is only looking at you for that role, is not necessarily accurate. You will have been told or heard many times that CV’s and Photo’s have landed on desks of Casting Directors and they have had a ‘eureka’ moment about somebody being completely unsuitable for the role they’ve applied for but absolutely perfect for ‘something else in the pipeline.’
For that reason, maybe it’s better not to be completely specific in your application but instead, focus on a longer term solution.
What is your goal? Ultimately, it’s probably to land an acting gig and in that case, you should focus on the steps that will help you get there.
If you start by building a relationship with the casting director the chances are, eventually they will see you for something. Incidentally, when theatrical agents’ first start out in their field, they have the arduous task of building great relationships with industry professionals and this is doubly hard because they are not in complete control of the situation. They have to trust that their clients will turn up to castings and do ‘a good job on the day’ and slowly, their agency builds up a good reputation with that particular casting professional.
Your job is marginally easier because you are in control of building an excellent reputation with Casting Directors. You also want a relationship that is mutually beneficial.
Part of the reason that we see the same faces crop up in television programmes time and time again is because the Casting Director knows that these performers bring with them absolute reliability to do a good job. Once you have had your ‘lucky break’ it will only be a matter of time before the same happens to you.
So how do you get that ‘lucky break’?
It’s a complete ‘catch 22′ isn’t it? Casting Directors and agents want professional credits and to get those you need to have ‘experience.’
You do have one trump card in your favour though. Look at where you are in your career. If you’re just starting out, remember that there will be a pool of Casting professionals just starting out too. One day, some of these people will be casting big television roles and if you have worked with them, you will almost certainly be in with a chance of being seen.
At the moment, they are probably casting for the Fringe of the West End, for pub theatre or for the Edinburgh Festival. Get to know these people because they’re on their way up as well. One day not too long from now, they could be casting you in a British film.