Welcome to week three of the five-week series on Critiques! Thank you to all the rockstar actors who submitted materials for review. We’re all set (read: I don’t need any new content, thanks) and I’m just so excited about how much you’ve all shared!

This week’s critiques are all about cover letters and other letter-like marketing materials that actors use when approaching agents, managers, and casting directors. Just like last week, I’ll share a quick reminder: If you email your cover letter as an attachment (rather than in the body of the email itself), please name the file something professional and descriptive. Sure “agentletter.doc” may be fine on your local hard drive, but once downloaded, it may get lost on an agent’s hard drive. Name your file something much more informative like “firstnamelastnameagentletter2010.pdf” (and yes, we prefer PDFs to Word docs).

One major note I’ll make before diving into the specific critiques is this: Your headshot, your resume, your demo reel, your website, and everything else about your marketing package is all a part of teaching us how to get you, how to cast you. And your cover letter is no different. Why go formal when you’re clearly casual otherwise? Why use “rules” that you were taught about letter writing when they don’t jibe with what the “rules” of your brand might be? Be your authentic self! That’s who we want to get to know. And if your cover letter starts us off down the wrong path about how to understand you, you’re making the already-existing hill steeper than it needs to be.

Once again, we’re in for a visual experience, so here’s the visual! Check back over the next two weeks for the rest of the series on critiques. Wanna see last week’s piece on resumes? Click here. And the first week’s piece, on headshots? Click here. Thanks and enjoy!

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 http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/001159.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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