One of my students writes:
"I am doing a mailing and was wondering if it's beneficial to mail to different agents at the same agency, or should I just pick one per agency to mail to? I don't want to overload them, but if they are different agents...not sure how it works.
Also, I have the same question about theaters ... should I mail to just one person there or multiple ones? I have met one of the casting directors at an Off-Broadway office, but would also like for the main CD to get my headshot/resume. Would they be sitting around like thinking, “Why do I have 10 headshots from this one girl?” Or do they keep them all separate?
Help! Any feedback would be helpful."
Hello! Thanks for your email- this is great question and one that I am sure many actors have.
The official answer is "it depends."
Different offices have different filing systems- some industry folks maintain their own files within an office (meaning that they do not share) and some share a central filing system. What I usually recommend is to do some research to find out which person tends to work with your type more often. It certainly doesn't hurt to mail to everyone, but with the cost of printing and mailing, plus the time it takes to put mailings together, it may not be cost effective to mail to everyone. Once you find out who is more likely to cast your type, you can hone in on them and make sure they have your materials at their disposal.
You mentioned that you have met one of the casting directors- good for you! It is a great idea to get in front of these folks to show them your work in person. Go to as many EPAs or open calls as possible. If they have good reputations as teachers, consider taking an audition technique workshop from them. Create a Google Alert for their name and keep an eye out for events where they might be speaking. These are just a few other ways to make an impression so that when you do your mailing, you have some mutual history behind you.
Hope this helps- let me know how it goes!
UPDATE: Just found this great question by an actor, which was answered by Secret Agent Man of Backstage. Check it out here. (Note: at the time of this update, the only response to the question was by the agent- I cannot verify the validity of any other answer posted...)
Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has done national tours of plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. To learn more, check out http://www.theactorsenterprise.org.