6 Ways to Stay on the Right Side of a Casting Director

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Photo Source: Photo by Hanny Naibaho on Unsplash

Casting directors are like the little man in Emerald City. They hold the magic key to eternal happiness! OK, well not quite, but they’re still quite important in any actor’s career. Every actor knows or should know, the importance of making an excellent impression and staying on the casting director’s right side without too much communication, endless emails, and oversharing. After all, no one likes a stalker.

There are ways to get noticed and stay on a CD’s right side for the right reasons. It’s about being tactical rather than desperate. It’s about ensuring you give a professional vibe rather than an amateurish one. It’s about being creative and clever rather than stalky and needy.

Want a few ideas? Here are some ways you can ensure a CD will want to see you againor perhaps even want to get you in the room for the first time.  

1. Update them about a new job.
Perhaps you’re about to hit the West End or an Off-West End with a three-week run of a show. Let the casting director you want to keep in touch with or their assistants know and offer them a complimentary ticket to come along and see the production. Or, if you have a premiere coming up and you have a significant role, perhaps you can ask your producer if you can get a few extra tickets so you can invite the CD along. Just make sure your part is worth the CD’s time to come to see and make sure they’re free tickets. These are the people you should be using your comp tickets on.

2. Send them updated material.
Feel free to send over a few, about three or less, small resolution versions of your final edited new headshots. Maybe even send just one or two contrasting pieces and let them know you have more on your CV and attach a link. The same goes for other things like your new showreel. You can send them an email with it, but make sure it’s no longer than four minutes and that the email is just as short and succinct. They don’t need an essay. There’s nothing wrong with reaching out with useful updates like this that could help them hire you again.

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3. Send a thank you.
If you booked a job with a CD, why not send them a thank you note or a small gift? It’s a lovely way to say thank you the right way and they’ll remember that small gesture. You don’t need it to be a huge expensive gift and you certainly don’t need to send them your CV link or website again. If your name is on the envelope, they’ll know who you are.

4. Offer to do something useful.
Offer this without asking for anything in return. You aren’t helping anyone if you’re just trying to get something back. You’re simply offering to be useful. For example, perhaps you know a few producers and directors looking for a casting director. Consider introducing them to your casting director contact.

5. Offer to be a reader.
Can you be a reader at some point? A number of CDs have regular readers who come in and help them when they need actors to read sides for their film or TV auditions. While they mostly use their regulars, if you think you’ll be great at staying neutral, at not offering unsolicited advice, and not getting in the way, you might make an excellent reader and could offer your services. Who knows when they might be stuck and bring you in?

6. Occasionally share a CD’s useful advice.
Of late, it’s become quite trendy for CDs to share their thoughts on all things acting and about castings on social media, with Twitter being one of the go-to platforms to do so. You can learn so much from reading a CD’s insights, not to mention, even agree with them from time to time. Just remember the earlier sentiment. No one likes a stalker. Don’t like or retweet every post they write or you’ll get noticed for the wrong reasons. I’ve heard CDs say this before. It’s creepy. But there’s nothing wrong with agreeing and adding your personal convictions from time to time in an earnest way. For some prolific Tweeters check out Amy Hubbard, Shaheen Baig Casting, Shakyra Dowling, Daniel Edwards, and Daniel Eskinazi Casting

At the end of the day, casting directors are human. They care too and they want every person they bring in to be “the one.” They want to discover new talent and create stars! It’s likely you want the same so you want to impress the socks off of them. Just remember, your job isn’t to be besties with a casting director. Your job is to impress the hell out of them by doing a great acting job so that they’ll call you back again and again.

*This post was originally published on June 19, 2019. It has since been updated.

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Angela Peters
Australian actress and voiceover artist, Angela Peters writes an award-winning blog, www.actingbabe.com alongside coaching actors in the business of being a professional actor. She has studied method acting in Australia and clowning in Paris (Ecole Philippe Gaulier) and when not doing film work, she also spends lots of time doing voiceovers for the likes of “I’m A Celebrity,” BP, Singapore Airlines, Macleans, PPS Mutua,l and Dyson, plus hundreds of others.
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