*sigh* Every time I put out a breakdown, it’s the same thing. Thousands of gorgeous, wonderful, fantastic submissions made through the breakdown itself, as directed… and dozens of wannabe actors who make me weep for what THEY are doing to the reputation of “actor,” with their rampant unprofessionalism.

Now, I’m not worried those people are going to get their feelings hurt with this week’s article; clearly, those wannabe actors don’t read anything that might help them be more professional. That’s why I know I can call them wannabes. They refuse to ACT like professionals, which is Actor Darwinism at its best.

With each breakdown I release, my inbox (and every inbox the actors can find that may be associated with anyone on Team Cricket Feet) is pounded by actors attaching their headshots, resumés, modeling comp cards, demo reels, and whatever else they can use to prove they’re “legit.” The emails begin, “Dear casting director,” and include a sob story about how “something is wrong with my Actors Access account” or fail to even acknowledge that the way they were invited to submit was via the breakdown, as posted.

While I love the email or tweet or Facebook wall post with a note of, “Hey! Saw your breakdown. I submitted. Thanks and happy casting,” the Facebook wall post that says, “Hey! Saw your breakdown. Inbox me if you’d like to give me an email address to which I can email you my materials,” just makes me stabby.

As Nancy Wolfson says, “Never give an opportunity-provider homework.” It’s not because we’re lazy or incompetent. It’s because there are thousands of actors doing it RIGHT — providing us with everything we asked for in the breakdown in exactly the format we asked that it be delivered, and they’re not trying to run game or figure out how to “stand out” as the special flower they clearly must be, nor trying to save a freakin’ two bucks for the submission.

Think about that. If you’re unwilling to subscribe to Showfax so that your Actors Access submissions are FREE and unlimited for the year, you’re teaching the buyers that you’re not serious enough about your acting career to invest $68 in it. If your reel is not uploaded to your account — even if we *are* willing to check it out at YouTube or your personal website — you’re teaching the buyers that you don’t see your acting career as your BUSINESS, and since it’s just a hobby, you keep your only copy of your reel at a site that specializes in cute animal vids.

Sure, there may be some casting directors out there who LOVE direct-to-email submissions (I don’t know any, and you’ll recall I interviewed hundreds of casting directors for years before becoming one in 2003), but when a breakdown goes out and the submission instructions are “submit through Actors Access; include footage,” your decision to save the two bucks and tweet a link to your reel to the casting director doesn’t get you in the mix. It gets you labeled as a wannabe.

Talk about brand management in the exact wrong direction!

Be a pro. Equip yourself with the bare minimum tools required to compete in a ridiculously competitive industry. There are already so many obstacles to being cast. When YOU add to those obstacles due to lack of professionalism, don’t you dare blame anyone but yourself for your lack of success.


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/001669.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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