Something you said on Twitter regarding the casting you’re doing jumped up at me.

When I submit something through Actors Access, I never leave the CD a note. I have always thought with the sheer volume of submissions you folks get that it would be counterproductive, even if you know/have auditioned for/worked with the CD before.

You posting on Twitter confused me a bit. With 3800+ (I think that was the number) submissions, even a quick note isn’t a distraction?

Hoping that you might discuss what you as a casting director see when an actor submits for a project on AA. I understand there may be some propriety issues, but a rough overview might be informative.

Thanks for everything you’ve done for the community, and for the kind words in the past. Hope you have a great 2011.

Ed Green

Thanks, Ed. I love this question. I think, when a casting director enables the notes function for electronic submissions, actors should definitely take advantage of that option. As I said in my Order of Operations column a couple of weeks ago (and at Twitter while I was going through submissions to choose our selects):

Good notes include quick (because we only see the first little bit, so you want to show us it’s a GOOD note from your first few words, so we’ll click to read the rest) mentions of how we know each other, similar work you’ve done before, experience with the producer, referral from the director, a special skill that is exactly what we need, that you have your CHSPE, that you’ll work as a local hire, whatever! Lots of good stuff can go in those notes, and you really should use notes when the CD gives you access to that little field. And don’t bury the lede.

We don’t like copy-and-paste notes that generically explain why you’d be great for any role. We definitely don’t like notes that start out, “Dear sirs.” If you have the chance to show your attention to detail, do so!

And if you don’t have anything to say, that’s okay too. The majority of submissions do NOT come with a note. Since we’re just skimming the first few words, generally, it’s just fine to submit without a note, if that’s your thing. I answered a Your Turn a few years back about this too.

Reminding us we’ve met before is great, especially if it’s been a while since we’ve seen you. But let’s take you and me, for example. You know I know you. I’ve called you in before. Gave you great feedback and would have cast you had the decision been up to me. We also correspond at Hollywood Happy Hour. That’s a good amount of history to have, so you never need to remind me that we’ve met. Sure, you could drop a, “Hi, Bon!” if you wanted to, but that’s totally up to you. But let’s say we go two or three years between meet-ups or connections. Using the note area to say, “Read for you in 2009” or something would be great. Even better to mention the project and how close you came.

You should know, though, if we’ve opened up notes, we’re probably not going to see your use of them as “clutter” for us. We’ll skim, maybe open a few of them up, and if you’ve used the opportunity to update us on something (“Out of town on your callback dates!” or “New haircolor!”), that’s great. And if we don’t know you at all, this is your chance to do a very short-and-sweet, on-brand intro that helps us clearly GET you, which can only help us understand how best to cast you someday.

Oh, and as for you, Ed… I’ll see you this week at prereads!

bonnie gillespie

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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