Multiple Electronic Submissions

Here’s a frequent topic (both at the Showfax Message Board and when I’m out and about, doing Q&A at speaking engagements): “How do casting directors feel about receiving multiple submissions?”

The answer is simple: We expect it. We assume that you’re doing your job, submitting on everything you’re right for. We assume that your manager is doing his job, submitting you on everything you’re right for. And we assume that your agent is doing her job too, submitting you on everything you’re right for. And, assuming the three of you agree about “what you’re right for,” there’s going to be overlap. We expect it.

“But,” you say, “I’ve heard about so many CDs whose pet peeves include multiple submissions!”

Okay, a couple of things.

One: Asking a CD what her pet peeves include is a waste of time. I had no idea what a waste of time this question was until it was asked of me at every flippin’ speaking engagement and I finally had enough. Of course, I realize that it was one of my standard questions in each week’s “Casting Qs” in my days at Back Stage West, so it’s probably an actor addiction that I helped feed. But let me tell you from the CD-side of things why that’s a useless question.

None of us will have the exact same set of pet peeves. For some of us, it’ll be the use of staples instead of glue sticks. For some, it’ll be a montage clip on your demo reel. For others, perhaps a too-tightly-cropped headshot. And others (like me) will go postal if you misspell PRINCIPAL in your credits. We each have our “things.” And you, as an actor, cannot possibly do anything to avoid every single item on our collective list of pet peeves. And trying to do so is crazymaking. Stop it. Sure, pay attention to trends, and when you hear about a CD who feels strongly about something, note it, but don’t go out of your way to find out what it is we DISLIKE. Get us talking about what we love about our job. Ask us what inspired us to go into casting. Do you REALLY need to hear anyone else complaining about actors running late, borrowing office supplies, or spreading germs through excessive handshaking?

Secondly, most folks who have gone on record with complaints about multiple submissions did so back when hard copy was the norm. Our rants about multiple submissions stemmed from both having to open and sort the same dang headshots repeatedly AND fretting about actors having spent money to do something their representatives were already getting a commission for doing. While the surge in electronic submissions hasn’t taken away the latter of those two issues, it really does eliminate the former.

Electronic submissions help us get over the, “Ugh! Not this headshot AGAIN,” thing. How? Well, we’re usually looking at the screen as submissions are pouring in. We can sort by role, by agency, by management company, by the inclusion of a demo reel, etc. Lots of cool in-system tools that make the experience more robust than the old “open a bin filled with hard copy headshots” ever was. Because I may not have responded to the headshot your manager submitted, it’s actually great that you’ve submitted on the project as well. And if I happen to have marked you as a “select” when I was looking at submissions from your agent, when I go to mark you as a “select” AGAIN, the system actually tells me I’ve already selected you.

It’s at this point that I get to decide who I want to deal with: you, your manager, or your agent. No, I’m not going to tell you how THAT part of the system comes together. That’s highly confidential information. Hee!

But my point is — now we’re just talking about a few clicks on a screen (taking place in moments) vs. having to open mail for hours on end and then realizing we’ve scheduled the same actor multiple times via multiple points of contact — it’s just less of an ISSUE than it once was. We always expected multiple submissions. Anyone who was terribly annoyed by them “back in the day” is feeling less pain about them now, that’s for sure.

So, don’t worry much about the “multiple submissions” thing. If it happens, it means that you, your manager, and your agent are all working to get you seen. And that’s a quality problem, I’d say.

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.

(Visited 78 times, 1 visits today)

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.