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Comp Conundrum

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Dear Tombudsman:

I was wondering if you could give some advice on inviting agents and CDs to a musical showcase in April. We have a really nice flier being made up, and I was hoping to mail it with my headshot, but some people told me just to send a postcard with the info. It's a big production with full orchestra, and I got the lead. Is it more enticing to send the flier, too? Also, the show starts Apr. 13. When do I send the invites?

Also, the theatre company doesn't pay for comp tickets, so I'll be paying out of pocket. Should I invite everyone I can and hope it doesn't get too expensive (and hope they don't want guests)? This is all new to me.

Tom

New York, N.Y.

via Career Chat at BackStage.com

Dear Tom:

I think a flier is always preferable to just a postcard. First off, agents and casters get tons of postcards, so a flier is all the more unique. Secondly you can get more information on a nice flier than you can on a postcard. Thirdly it just looks more like an invitation to something. Its makes sense to send the invites about a week (two at the most) before the opening performance. I'd also consider a follow-up call a day or two before but only for people you know well or have worked for.

As far that no-comps policy, that could get costly for you, but how many invites are really going to come? If it's like most shows, you'll get a handful of the industry people you invite, so if the tickets aren't too expensive it still might be a worthwhile investment for you. Maybe you can get your fellow cast members to pony up some of the fees, as they'll be benefiting from any industry folks as much as you will.

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