Same Letter for Multiple Submissions?

Hi Bonnie,

I have been pretty excited lately, almost as if I just woke up to real life. Because of you, a light went off and I have been furiously reading your stuff and writing — or should I say rewriting — everything! My child’s resumé, cover letter, and a letter I am working on for you. I am a slow writer, as I go over things way too much. That is my style. I had one important question. I am trying to be creative in his cover letter and I have to say the genuine personality is beginning to shine through. It’s also way more fun to be able to be free like that. Instead of having to be gray, monotonous, and redundant, I have added color and true expression. Plus it’s a lot more personal, and therefore real. I am also more comfortable being authentic; they are people just like me anyway.

The question is: Can you send the same letter out to all the agencies? It would be faster, yes, but it seems generic. That’s why I need to ask. I don’t do generic, at least in other areas of my life. If I had to write a different letter to everyone, it would take me quite a bit of time because I can’t just sit down and do it in a day. I’m the person who gets a Hallmark card, writes out the letter on a different piece of paper, makes sure I approve what it says, and then transfers it over to the card. I know you send clone resumés. But the cover letters? Right now I am searching for representation for my son Thomas, who is six. If you’ve written about this subject already, it just means I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I will! Well, that’s it for now. I have a lot of enjoyment writing you. You have helped bridge a gap between something that once seemed impossible to another that has some hope. You save people a lot of time, money, and headaches I’m sure, because your advice is so darn accurate, and, since I’ve found it I do thank you every day in my thoughts. And I am very grateful.

Sincerely,
Kathryn Rydz

Hi Kathryn,

Sounds like you’re having a blast writing Thomas’ letters. That’s so cool! Soon, he’ll be ready to join in on the fun. 🙂 Meanwhile, let’s get to it. Can you use the same cover letter for multiple submissions? Absolutely!

That said, you know I would always recommend that you do such targeted marketing that we’re not talking about doing a mass mailing ever. Mass mailings feel like mass mailings. We know we’re being sold to without any consideration for who we are or what we’re working on. For casting, it feels general and sometimes desperate, as if the goal is getting work not letting us know how you solve a problem your research shows you we have. For representation, it feels, well, general and sometimes desperate, as if the goal is getting representation not laying down roots for a mutually-beneficial relationship that will last decades.

So, before you set out to do your mailing, do your research! That’ll make your letters both easier to craft and easier to customize. Even if you just change one sentence per letter, you’ll be changing it based on what your research has shown you about that particular recipient. Hopefully that will satisfy your need to feel that you’re doing something special for each letter, while keeping you from reinventing the proverbial wheel just for the sake of always mixing it up.

I wouldn’t worry too much about letter similarity being a turnoff to the recipients. We know we’re not the only CD, the only agent, the only manager, the only showrunner, the only producer, the only director, etc., you’re approaching with a mailing. (And if we are the only one, that’s cool too!) You’re advertising to your potential buyers. That — by its nature — must be somewhat broad in scope. Raising it to an art form is all about doing research and getting specific in what you do.

Good luck and have fun! I look forward to receiving mail from you and Thomas! 🙂


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/001164.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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