Getting Industry Out to See Plays

Hi Bonnie!

Thanks again for all the love in the website critique! The previous critiques really helped me determine how not to overdo it in regards to my website and resumé, so thank you for having all of those resources in the first place. 🙂

I have a question that I was going to send to you anyway today, so I’ll save an e-tree and put it below:

I’ve met a handful of casting directors in the last year through workshops, and I’d like to invite them to the play I’m in. It’s at a fantastic theatre with a very talented cast, so getting some theatre-lovin’ casting director types in the house would be great for everyone. I’ve sent postcards to all the CDs I’ve met this past year letting them know I was cast, so with three weeks before we open, it seems like a good time to send out all the info.

We’ve been given these gigantic shiny postcards chockfull of show info, but there is room to handwrite one sentence at best. Should I send the postcard in an envelope along with a note, or is “Would love to see you there!” and my name enough? (Maybe also my website address?) I’d like to send the info to a couple of folks I’ve never met as well. Would a me-postcard be better than the official show one? Or send both in an envelope and hope it doesn’t get insta-trashed along with unwanted headshots?

Everything I’ve seen online and in your book says, “send a postcard/flyer” but I guess I’m needy and am looking for more specifics!

Thanks as always!
Jennifer Losi

Okay, first off, yay! Doing great theatre is awesome and for those who appreciate it, it’s win-win. That said, most members of the casting, agent, and manager community will not come out to see your show. It’s just a sad fact. Seeing plays in LA is a big risk, as very little of the LA theatre scene is awesome. (And what’s awesome is really awesome.) But if you can target your mailing to the folks out there who have made it clear that they do love and support independent theatre, you could be well rewarded by making fans out of audience members who are in a position to help your career someday down the line.

I’ve seen some of the postcards like the one you’re describing (with tons of info about the project but no real room for writing) handled with an itty-bitty line of text scrawled in that little writing area or with a big-ol’ sticker of the actor’s headshot and personal note slapped across “less essential” information or over some artwork or whatever. I’ve also seen the envelope tactic used (mailing both the info postcard and a personal one), and the “make your own postcard” tactic, with enough info about the project, but clearly marketing the actor more than the ticket info.

The question really is: Who’s your audience? If your audience is a lot of folks not likely to show up anyway, your goal in doing the mailing is just letting ’em know you’re out there, working, and still around, when they need you. So, that’s a point for the personal postcard method. If you’re targeting people who have regularly made it a point to attend theatre, being a part of the slick marketing campaign that the theatre has already put together is the stronger choice. So it all comes down to research. Keeping in mind, of course, that the majority of what you mail is going to be thrown out without a glance, anyway.

Pair your mailed campaign with email blasts (always using BCC of course) and Facebook event invitations, Evites, etc. Remember, most of what you’re doing is reminding us that you are castable, working, and staying on our radar. If anyone actually turns out to scout you, that’s a huge bonus!

Congrats on the show! Lemmeknow how it goes for you.

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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