THE ACTOR’S LAUNCHPAD
Whether you have an agent or not, I would strongly suggest that you are out there booking your own roles. Don’t sit around waiting for things to happen, get out there, take control of your own career and make them happen!
Step 1- Finding Roles.
The first thing you need to do is to find roles. Here are some suggestions of where you will be able to find roles to apply for:
Casting sites (see part 7 The Actor’s Launchpad)
In acting/film related Facebook groups
On the social media pages of casting directors and film makers.
Search using hashtags on Twitter.
Step 2- Are you right for the role?
Read the breakdown thoroughly and only apply if you are suitable. Be brutally honest with yourself here and don’t apply unless you-
Fit the look of the character they are looking for.
Are within the playing age.
Possess any skills they require (at a high standard).
Are available on all dates.
Can get to the audition/call backs bearing in mind the dates, travel costs and time it will take you.
Are available on all shoot dates.
That you are willing to work for the stated pay.
Have a valid passport (and can get a visa if applicable) if overseas.
Step 3- Write a cover letter.
Here are steps to follow when writing a winning cover letter.
1. Take your time!
Never rush a cover letter. This piece of text could be the difference between you being called in for the role or not.
2. Personalise your application.
It’s very obvious when actors are just copying and pasting the same cover letter for all applications. I’ve had so many in that had no relevance to what I as casting whatsoever. It screams ‘I’m not bothered about this project’ which may not be true but that’s how it comes across.
Have a template ready by all means- you don’t have to type the whole thing out time and time again but there are part of it that you’ll need to edit to suit the role you are going for.
3. Research the company.
Would you apply for a job in any other field without researching the company? Hopefully not… The same applies here. Let them know that you do actually know who they are and have seen their previous work. Do you like what they’ve made previously? If yes, tell them. If no, well why the bloody hell are you applying? Move on to the next role.
Also- use people’s names whenever possible, and not the company name.
4. Show enthusiasm for the project.
They have put their heart and soul into this project and want to know that you share their enthusiasm. Tell them what you think about it (unless you hate it in which case you should probably not apply…)
5. Take out unnecessary wording and keep it short.
You don’t need to start with “My name is Bill and I am an actor” (especially if you’re not called Bill- that would just be weird!) because you sign off with your name anyway and you are obviously an actor.
Also don’t use the word versatile- they don’t care if you are versatile, they want to know you are perfect for the role they are casting for.
When you have finished writing, review your cover letter and see if you can cut it down while still getting the points across that you need to.
6. Don’t tell them why you want the role… Let them see why they need you!
MOST applications from actors state how much they want the role but most show no inkling of why the project needs you. Step into the shoes of whoever is casting for a minute and think about the following…
What do you have that makes you perfect for this role?
What do you have that they need?
What sets you apart?
Why would your involvement be beneficial for the project?
7. Show personality.
Professionalism does not mean being robotic. People want to work with people- use the same language in your cover letter as you would in every day life.
8. Include links to showreel, Spotlight link (or CV) and website (if you have one).
Finally, check your spelling and grammar and you are ready to rock!
Write an example of a cover letter and post it in the tribe group.