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  Getting a Great Headshot
  Photos vs. Lithos
  Mailing Tips
  Why postcards?



Mailing Tips

The following tips will help you best utilize our mailing labels. As an actor, I follow these guidelines when I do mailings. No matter what your experience, take a minute to read through these tips. I think you'll find them very helpful.

About our labels:

You may see duplicates of some casting directors when looking through our labels. That isn't a mistake. It's because some casting directors cast different projects out of different offices. We include the address for multiple locations because it gives you the choice of which location to send to. In general, the first address would be considered the main address for the CD.

The Basics:

When you send a headshot and resume, you should avoid putting your personal information on it. You never know who may see the submission. Never put your home address on it. You should also avoid putting your home number or cell phone number on it. Many actors have been plagued with crank and harassing phone calls because a headshot got into the wrong hands. I suggest you use a service, a voicemail box with a pager or a separate phone line.

Postage for the standard headshot (9" x12" envelope that weighs more than one ounce) is .57. You can buy .57 stamps at the post office and will save quite a bit over using 2 .34 stamps for each envelope. Postage for a postcard is only .21, but it can't be larger than 6" x 4 ½", so keep that in mind when design your postcard. You don't need to put a return address on your mailing, but if you do don't use your home address. Get a PO Box or use your office.

If you can get your mailing to weigh in at one ounce or less, it will only cost .45. The only way I know of to do that is getting a litho and printing your resume on the back, not on a separate piece of paper and stapling it to the headshot. Most printers will print on the back of a litho.

Consider postcards over the standard headshot and resume. Postcards are less expensive to make and to mail and they don't need to be opened. They have a much higher chance of getting seen than the standard manila envelope submission. You can be very creative by using your laser printer to put messages on the back of the postcard.

Photos vs. Lithos:

There are two different schools on this. Photos look better and lithos cost less. Period. Some say the difference in price is worth it, some say it isn't. If you are sending a mass mailing out, lithos are fine. If you are sending postcards, lithos are perfect. If you are sending a smaller, more targeted mailing, then it's a call you have to make. I like photos better. It's your calling card and it needs to stand out.

Mass Mailings :

Sometimes an actor feels they must send a large number of headshots and resumes out to every casting director in town. Having worked in casting director offices, I can tell you this is a long shot. Generally, you must be extremely good looking or a unique character type to get attention this way. Having said that, I realize that if that as aggressive actors, you will most likely not be swayed by that argument.

If you are going to send "cold" headshots to all the CDs, I would recommend that you think about just how many submissions a CD gets everyday and think of some way to make yours stand out from the crowd. Nothing extreme, but something to get them to open it. Perhaps a note on the outside of the envelope. Perhaps a smiley face. Perhaps a different color envelope. Perhaps a "log line" of who you are. I have a friend who uses the following log line - A cross between Danny DeVito and Jason Alexander. Something makes it stand out and entice the assistant to open it.

Promotional Mailings:

When you are doing a show or have something airing that you want people to see, a promotional mailing can help increase your visibility. In most cases, I would recommend using your hit list (see below), but sometimes actors want to do a mass promotional mailing, like above. If that's the case, consider the message and packaging. As with mass mailings, you need to send something that is different and will catch someone's eye. Also consider postcards as an alternative.

Targeted Mailings:

Targeted mailings increase your chances of getting a call. Every actor may have the ability to play a variety of types. But that ability doesn't help much until you are a recognizable name. In most instances, you will be cast on who you ARE not what you can play. Knowing your type is invaluable. Are you naturally serious, funny, odd-looking? Are you a lead or a character? What makes you stand out? What are your natural tendencies? These all tell us what our type is.

Once you know your type, you need to make certain your headshot and marketing materials reflect this. YOU are the product and you have to market it to the people who want to buy it. If you know your type, you can see what shows and movies are casting people like you. That is where you have the greatest opportunity to get called in and ultimately cast.

Make a list of the CDs who cast your type and target them with your mailings. Your first job is to try to move them into the Hit List mailing section below by getting in front of them through generals, CD workshops or other creative ways.

If you are mailing to this group, you again need to do something different to get their attention.
Our labels are alphabetical by last name so you can easily find them.

Hit List Mailings:

The most effective use of mailings is a targeted "hit list" mailing. A Hit List contains casting directors who know you or your work, who have worked with you in the past, who have seen you at a CD workshop, who have called you in to audition or with whom you have a relationship with. Part of a continuing relationship with casting directors (CDs) is to keep them apprised of what you are doing, new headshots, new agents, hot auditions or anything else that will show them you are still here and actively pursuing your career.

This type of mailing should be done every one to two months. Usually they should be a postcard mailing, with a new headshot send no more than once every 6 months.

Single Mailings:

If you need addresses for single mailings, they are available for free on our web site at http://www.laactorsonline.com/tool-cddata.htm. That will take you to our searchable database where you can search for individual CD addresses at no charge.


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