Good afternoon,

My name is Kelli. I first would like to let you know that I really enjoy reading your columns; they’re very helpful.

Your articles are like YouTube; you read one, then you read another, and before you know it you’ve been reading for about an hour. I hope that didn’t come across as rude; I meant it as a compliment. 🙂

I do have a question for you that I couldn’t find in your columns (I’m sorry if I overlooked it). Recently, I went to a CD workshop. When I asked the best way to stay in touch, the casting director said through postcards. I’m still somewhat new to the acting world so when told to send a postcard I’m not sure what exactly I should send. My apologies if the answer is obvious, I just don’t want to send something that isn’t necessary or useful.

When you have the time to answer this I would love to hear your opinion. Also, thank you for the articles, tweets, and being a great help to actors. Have a great day and I hope to speak with you soon. 🙂

Hiya Kelli! Great question, and I’m more than happy to help out.

Actors often use postcards to stay in touch with folks they’ve met in the industry. It doesn’t cost as much as mailing headshots, resumes, and cover letters in big, bulky envelopes. It’s the type of thing the recipient can quickly check out (and then toss). And it’s fairly easy to put together a mailing of postcards to more than a handful of recipients at one time.

The standard format is a headshot or promo photo for whatever it is you’re trying to get on the radar of the recipient (photo from the set of the last project you booked, cast photo from an upcoming play, poster art for the premiere of a short in which you star, etc.), and then some text pre-printed onto the postcard. This could be your name, your contact info, a fixed update (“Now union-eligible!” “Just signed with a new manager!” “I’m now in the advanced class at such-and-such studio!”), the URL to your website, and such.

Of course, leave room for a stamp, an address label (you can print those from CastingAbout, or create labels from your own database of mailing addresses), and also to handwrite a note (like, “met you last month at such-and-such workshop”).

As for expectations regarding postcards, I’ve written before about seeing postcards as billboards on the side of the road. You’re not expecting someone who receives a postcard to stop what they’re doing and suddenly take action, just because your postcard comes across their desk. Look at it this way: A billboard on the side of the road is to help with brand awareness, so the next time you drive by a billboard for Coca-Cola, the seed is planted. You don’t slam on the brakes and take action. It’s when you’re next in the market for a tasty beverage that you reach for the Coke. Maybe that billboard helped make that happen. Postcards are your billboards.

When CDs say that postcards are a great way to keep in touch, it’s because they do still like receiving some snail mail (not email) from actors and it’s a low-cost way for your to keep folks updated and remind them you still exist, the next time they’re “shopping” for an actor like you in a project they cast. Cool, huh?

Check out this guide at VistaPrint (it’s a PDF) for the “postal safe zones” for printing things on your postcard, as you design one. Here are a few other resources I’ve found for you (there’s a ton out there, but this will get you started): BizParentz, The Actors’ Enterprise, Zazzle, and ActorSite.

I look forward to receiving your first postcard, Kelli! 🙂 Remind me about our exchange here at “The Actors Voice” when you write a note on the card. Woo!

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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