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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

What to Put on a Postcard (Submitted Question)

Jarred asks:

When you send out your postcards, what exactly do you write? Do you type it up or hand write them? Do you remind them of how you met every time, or just the first time? I've been courting these agents and I plan on sending them another postcard informing them of my summer employment. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated.

TAE responds:

Howdy! These are great questions, and they really deserve a lengthy discussion. What is important to discuss is not just how to do it, but why to do it that way. But in the interest of time...

The more personal you can make the postcard, the better. Handwriting is great for postcards you do after an audition or meeting someone for the first time, but for general updates it is not always efficient to write them all by hand. Typing, then, is fine. What I do is print the information on shipping labels, and affix those to the postcard. For me, this is easier than putting a postcard through a printer. And then I add a handwritten signature.

Remind them of how you met them in the first 2-3 postcards you send. By your 6th or 7th postcard, if you haven't seen them since the first time, I think it is time to try to find a way to get in front of them again. There are lots of ways to do this- The Network, Actors Connection, a class, etc.

For letting them know about your show, here is the context I would suggest: let them know that you will be gone during the summer months doing two shows (name the shows and the roles) and give them the date you will be returning for work in NYC. And since you will be gone so long and have new credits, it might be a good idea to re-submit an updated resume when you get back into town. In your postcard, then, I might say something like,

"I wanted to let you know that I will be out of town all summer doing [ these shows ] on [ these dates ]. Of course, this means will be unavailable for work in NYC during those dates. But I will be returning on [ date ] and will be ready to hit the ground running with auditions! Just before my return I will submit an updated resume for your files. In the meantime, have a wonderful summer, and I look forward to seeing you again in the fall."

The above is just a suggestion of content- it is very important to use your own words so they get the sense that YOU are writing the postcard, and make sure your personality is coming through.

To reiterate: My suggestion is to make this postcard more about "booking out" and less about your getting cast in these shows. Highlight that you will be gone and mention the shows, but focus more on that fact that you will be back in the fall and ready to audition again. This idea tells them exactly what you want from them (future work) while also letting them know that you are capable of booking shows. Just talking about the shows elicits nothing from them but a "good for you“ which makes it a nice note but not a very effective postcard for your business.

Hope this is helpful- like I mentioned, there is more to go over here but I think you get the general idea. Good luck, and have fun out there!

Have a question? Ask one by leaving a comment or sending me an email and I will answer it in an upcoming blog!

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