It’s no mystery that loads of actors submit on projects that go out on Actors Access, Casting Networks, any of the other reputable actor submission sites out there — and that’s on top of any of the agent and manager level submissions that are going on for the projects that are kept more exclusive.

(I’ve talked about the numbers many times — four of my favorite times are here, here, here, and here, for your reference.)

And actors seem to love to focus on the long odds, the steep climb, the vast numbers. The crazy shot they’re taking every time they submit. Truly, it does look baffling… those submission numbers… those long odds to even end up on the “selected” list, much less landing a coveted audition.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 8.53.04 PM

Click to enbiggen.

And then after that, there’s the callback. I’ve already talked about the conspiracy of yes — all the things that go into an actor getting cast. Woof! That’s a lot, right?

Actors spend so much time taking a look at how often they submit, how often they go out… but the ratio I wish they’d spend more time focusing on is the one that comes with getting รผber specific on your type and brand, your targets, and connecting ONLY with those very specific folks… strategically.

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 8.56.12 PM

Click to enbiggen.

Because when you get very clear on your type and brand, when you identify your primary targets, and when you strategically set out to intersect with them — showcasing at every turn the work you’ve created that displays your right-fit-ness with exactly what it is that they cast — there’s a whole new ratio that emerges.

It’s one that has you going out less frequently (GASP! I know! Horrors! How *dare* I suggest you not fling yourself all over town in every direction, several times a day!) but instead going out with more purpose. Submitting less often — in a very targeted, focused, strategic way — therefore going out less frequently, but getting called in by those target buyers to tell stories you were born to tell…

…and improving the hell out of your callback ratio. And eventually, your booking ratio.

This is how you move up a tier, baby. You get purposeful in your tactics.

Start now.

“But Bon,” you may declare, “beggars can’t be choosers! I’m JUST starting out. I have to take *any* role!”


No you don’t.

And the sooner you get out of the mindset of struggling artist, the better. You’re building your brand from the ground up, and the earlier on you set the tone for your entire lifetime of storytelling, the better.

Get specific. Be strategic. Because I want you to move up farther, faster.

Let’s do this, shall we?

Wanna be sure your tools *and* your mindset are in peak form? Let us get you in gear with some FREE training right now!

Woo HOO!

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

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  1. Kate Kennedy May 7, 2018 at 4:58 am

    Hi Bon! Are the numbers listed above the ones a casting director or agent sees in their version of a casting site? Or are those numbers we should be tracking in our audition journal? Just wondering if people have access to how many times we looked, submitted, auditioned, booked on their end. And, if they make assumptions about us (our tier, materials, talent, etc.) based on those numbers. Thanks, Kate

  2. Bonnie Gillespie May 7, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Hi Kate. The screengrabs I shared are from the casting end, where we can see how many people submitted, how many we’ve selected, how many we’re calling back — this is all a part of our interface.

    What I’m asking YOU to keep up with is how shrewdly you submit so that you’re not needlessly frustrating yourself by feeling like you KEEP submitting but “never get called in.” When you’re far more strategic about how you submit (when you’re not being a spaghetti slinger), you’re being more purposeful and you’re going to see your ratio improve.

    Seems to me you’re asking if one could be (or could have been) a spaghetti slinger and get away with it.

    Of course you can. To imagine that casting directors — people who are facing tremendous stress to get a job done on a very tight timeline — are taking the time to analyze how often ONE particular actor submits, gets called in, gets called back, and books is to show a complete lack of understanding for how a casting director’s life looks and feels.

    As the saying goes, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

    This seems like actor mind taffy to the extreme. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just submit in ways that feel aligned with who YOU are and where you WANT to be, tier-wise. You know when the lower-tier behavior of spaghetti-slinging needs to be left behind. ๐Ÿ˜‰ And if you’re worried we’re going to somehow judge you for having once been lower-tier enough to submit on everything, you’re mistaken. We don’t have that kind of time.

    That said, we know the actors who SUBMIT ON EVERYTHING. And they convince us they’re right for nothing, because clearly they want us to believe they’re right for everything (which isn’t possible) and that stench of desperation show through without even looking at the stats. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Relax and do good work, Kate. You’ve got this!

  3. Kate Kennedy May 7, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Hi Bonnie, Thanks for the info. Itโ€™s always interesting to learn more about casting POV. I promise I am no spaghetti slinger. Iโ€™m hyper vigilant about submitting based on brand, type and the stories I want to tell (thanks to your book!!).

    Iโ€™m in the process of building up 5-10 non-union theatrical credits before writing-producing-acting in a SAG short to get my card. I live in sF and am repped here, and am trying to time my move to LA. I suppose I have attracting an LA manager and agent on the brain, and was simply asking if booking ratio matters to them.

    It occurred to me to ask if casting, managers, agents can access a different version of my profile on the back end to get a sense of my booking ratio on the site, e.g., my total submissions, vs. total auditions, how many times I got called back, etc. That would be interesting data.

    I think if that snapshot existed more actors would be careful about what and how they submitted for work. Make sense?

    See you this summer in GIGFTNT!




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