Ah, there’s nothing worse than a RULE shared far and wide with actors (or creatives of any kind) that serves no purpose other than to:

~ exacerbate the power disparity between buyers and artists
~ strike fear into the hearts of sensitive souls just trying to share their talent with the world
~ create more momentum for an us-vs.-them business model


I was tagged by the lovely Vanie Poyey (an LA-based headshot photographer whose first name rhymes with Bonnie; something I will always love that she told me the very first time we connected) in an Instagram post she shared from podcaster “Audrey Helps Actors.”

Here’s the post:

vanie poyey audrey helps actors agent email bullshit

And here’s my response:

I so hate when actors get fed this nonsense and I really hate when well-meaning folks disseminate this stuff and turn it into RULES, cause sensitive creatives to FEAR THE BUYERS, and further create a wedge between the collaborators that are actor and agent / manager / casting director / producer / director / showrunner and so on.
My inbox is something for which *I* have boundaries. I don’t need to force the world to stick to a clock that works for ME. It’s crazy when buyers create actor obsession about shit like this rather than learning their own digital practices that would help them see email they want WHEN they want. We got into this business so we don’t HAVE TO live a 9-5/M-F life. I’ll email you at 3ayem on a Sunday if that turns me on. ยฏ\_(ใƒ„)_/ยฏ
All this post means is ONE person gets updated in my #SMFAninjas show bible as “very picky about how they receive email”. Noted. MOVE THE EFF ON. ๐Ÿ™„

bonnie gillespie response to vanie poyey audrey helps actors agent email bullshit

Aaaaaand my DMs blew up.

Not a big shocker, of course, as posts like this and strong opinions about things like these create LOTS of engagement (and in fact, that’s often a primary motive in sharing such “advice” — they know it’s bullshit but they also know it’ll get lots of shares and comments and huffing and puffing… and that’s good for beating the social media algorithm that otherwise punishes us unless we pay to promote our posts).

But all through my DMs were stories from actors and other creatives sharing about the level of anxiety that stuff like this produces in them.

They TRY to “do everything right” and they WANT to “follow the rules” and all they’re trying to do is get an agent and book work and have their talent out in the world where it can do more good than it does all alone in their souls, unexpressed.

And then they get a smackdown for sending an email on a weekend.



That is a digital boundaries problem on the part of the recipient. NOT YOU. You didn’t text the person. You didn’t show up unannounced at their home. You didn’t mail a life-sized cardboard cutout of yourself to them as a means of promoting your latest booking. You didn’t send a homing pigeon trained to come back to you with notification of an audition the CDs were to attach to the bird’s leg. (All things that have happened, BTW.)

You sent an email to an address that was provided and you did it probably the second you got wind of the opportunity that was potentially at the other end of that email address.

The anxiety whip-up that stems from stuff like this serves no purpose. And some of the worst of it comes from actors who THEN want to go off about how they’re expected to JUMP at any hour of the day or night, any day of the week, turn around an audition on no notice with 10 pages of sides… and then no one even views the damn upload of the self-tape anyway.


All of THAT ranting just further drives the wedge between buyer and seller. Between agent and artist. Between creative human and more creative human.

Here’s what to do when you see a post like this. Ready?

Open your Self-Management for Actors show bible (Don’t know what that is? START HERE and build your own for free. It’s your relationship management tool for running your small business. You’re welcome.), find the name of the buyer who has such strong opinions about receiving emails from actors on the weekend, ADD THIS DATA to that ONE PERSON’s record, and mooooooooove on.

Do not give it another thought.

Do not give your power away like that.

Anxiety is an OPTIONAL part of a creative life. Opt out, y’all.

For real.

All my enoughness-filled love,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Enoughness is an inside job… and sometimes you need a guide to find your way there. Let Bonnie Gillespie get you started.

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  1. Tonya Kay December 3, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    I actually laughed when I read the IG post! Iโ€™ll stop emailing on weekends when casting stops asking for my audition on a Sunday. And actors arenโ€™t even getting paid when we give our weekends away for a self-tape or three. Totally down to do the โ€œno sacred timeโ€ if everyone else is:)

    1. LEIGH ARIANA TRIFARI December 4, 2020 at 5:49 am

      LOVE your answer!!

    2. Bonnie Gillespie December 11, 2020 at 1:57 pm

      Yep. And agents and casting directors aren’t getting paid for that boundary-violation either. We’re all in the same boat and nonsense like that text exchange just drive a wedge we do NOT need. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Betsy Reisz December 3, 2020 at 4:03 pm

    THANK YOU FOR THIS. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป I am one of those sensitive souls trying to do everything right & check all the boxes for everyone. This *resonates.* Much appreciated!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie December 11, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      I’m so glad this helped put you at ease, Betsy. As a rules girl too, believe me, I feel you.

  3. Nina December 3, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    This gives me life! As you say, this business doesn’t know days of the week or hours of the day. And I for one love it! Thanks! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. LEIGH ARIANA TRIFARI December 4, 2020 at 5:50 am

      Agreed, Nina! The ONLY thing this business knows is “RIGHT NOW” . Or more like, “needed it yesterday” LOL!

    2. Bonnie Gillespie December 11, 2020 at 1:43 pm

      Yeah, I never really understand someone trying to apply 9-5/M-F rules to such a 24/7/365 business!! It’s crazy?

  4. Jaye December 3, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    I would much rather get suggestions from Bonnie about managing my show business work than anyone else.
    Good to note in my Show Bible.

  5. Crackerjack December 6, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    This! Also, in the Before Times, almost every creative I know had odd hours. Servers, retail, nannying, etc. do work when you have the time to do work!

  6. Tina July 23, 2022 at 7:03 pm

    While boundaries are individual, agents work 24/7. I have to agree, type your email when you please but hit send on Monday for general communication. If actors can’t follow my instructions on submission guidelines they may not follow instructions on auditions, or on set.

    Be clear about your boundaries, my texts and email notifications come to my phone, I can’t turn my phone off ever. We often get recasting or urgent needs due to covid, so we have to be available all the time or our actors may miss an opportunity.

    I try to do the same, with only urgent casting needs on nights and weekends, and general communication I save in drafts and hit send Monday morning.

    We all need to rest and recuperate and while it’s not a rule, or a deal breaker I can represent my talent better when I have balance. If I hadn’t set boundaries on my time I would have burned out and quit.

    I literally love your blogs, this is personal choice, I list my business hours on my website and have a separate email for submissions.


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