A few days ago, the following voice mail was left on my phone:
"Hi, my name is [redacted]. I'm an artist, specifically an actress. I called to set up a meeting with you. I have a specific vision on the kind of career I want to create and the kind of artist that I am. And I would like to sit down and talk with you and see if you share that vision. Part of that vision is just being an actress of integrity, honesty, character, and honest authentic communication. If that's something that resonates with you, you can call me back at ... "
In case you're wondering, no, I did not call her back, and no, I'm not exaggerating for effect. Every word of that paragraph is verbatim. I'm sharing this drivel because I want you to see the kind of nonsense that lands on my desk every single day.
To be honest, voice mails are rare. Most of these hopeless pitches usually arrive in the form of an email. My inbox is stuffed with them. I wish there were a way to keep my address private, but the trolls at IMDb have made that impossible.
Here's a recent example:
"My name is [redacted] and I am an actress/writer and a member of SAG-AFTRA. I'm known for my expressive face, comedic subtlety, and layered emotions. Tracey, the vitamin man at Earth Bar, told me I have hungry eyes. I think I have a hungry soul."
I wonder if she knows that Tracey's hitting on her. "You have hungry eyes." What a great line. I'll have to try it next time I see Emma Stone.
Here's another doomed email:
"At this stage in my acting career, I find myself in need of not just a good agent, but also the best agent. I feel confident that you fit the bill. I know that you will not only assist me in obtaining great rolls, but will also guide me and help me make good mutually beneficial decisions."
Rolls? After receiving this email, I was dying to send him a gift box from Cinnabon. Sometimes, there just aren't enough hours in the day.
Are you enjoying these? Good. Here's another one that made an impression:
"Hello, my name is [redacted]. I will be moving to the Los Angeles area this winter and am seeking theatrical and/or commercial representation. I am an Atlanta-based actor and have been working steady for the past 5 years in TV, commercials, and independent film. I feel as if I have reached my potential here in a smaller market and am looking for a new challenge. My hope is to find representation and hit 'Pilot Season' this year and find my fit."
I don't understand what this actor is thinking. Why would I sign someone who doesn't even live in Los Angeles? It's not like we're lacking for actors here. It would make a hundred times more sense for him to first move, get established, and then start searching for representation.
Besides voice mails and emails, actors have now discovered a brand-new way to bother me. It's called Facebook. You wouldn't believe how often I get "friended" by actors I've never met. Do they really think I'm just going to welcome them with open arms so they can hit up all the casting directors on my friends list?
For the record, I rarely return unwanted voice mails or emails, and I've never responded to an actor on Facebook.
Let's close with one of my favorite emails. It's from an actor I've never met or spoken to:
"Hi, this is [redacted] again. Sorry to keep bothering you, but I was wondering if you received my last few emails that I sent about setting up a meeting."