Hi Bonnie,

Thank you so much for speaking at Writers Bootcamp on Monday. I thanked you very briefly afterwards, but I just wanted to fully express, and kind of gush, about how grateful I am for finding Self-Management for Actors before I made the move from Colorado.

I had read a lot of books on the business side of acting, some good, most of them, not so good. SMFA was the first book that actually answered the tough questions and offered advice relevant to this decade! SMFA gave me the tools, road map, and confidence to make such a life-changing move!

I’m trying not to be TOO pushy in making all of my friends and professors read this book, but I seriously think it should be required reading! Again, thank you, and thank you for being so open and supportive to actors everywhere.

In my first few weeks in LA, I have run into one question which I was hoping you may have some insight into. I’ve noticed auditions that will be posted on multiple websites. For example, if a breakdown is listed on Actors Access and Backstage, is it unprofessional and/or a waste of time to submit yourself on both websites?

Also, I saw that I can help with selling the 4th edition! So here’s a picture of me and my battered, but beloved copy!

Best,
Caroline Barry

Wow, Caroline. Thank you! You’re lovely! 🙂

First, the Q&A at Writers Boot Camp last week was awesome. Thank you for being there! I’m so grateful to such a fantastic organization for offering free events for actors, and to Jeffrey Gordon for asking such tough, thought-provoking questions about my journey in this industry, so that I could share more about why Self-Management for Actors even exists. That was way fun!

Next, your photo is amazing and I’m building it into our crowdfunding campaign for the 4th edition of SMFA immediately. Thank you. Adorable! And thank you for spreading the word about the book to your fellow actors and your instructors! Slowly, SMFA is making a very big difference, and we hope it’ll continue to do so through this new 4th edition. I’m guessing you’re on my mailing list, so you’ll get word when the campaign goes live. We’d love to have you help get that link out there. 🙂

Seeing the book get added to more and more college and university “required reading” lists is just awesome for me. And as I’m packing my bags this week for Chicago, it’s because I’ll be guest teaching at three university courses that were created BASED ON my book! Holy cats, that’s cool! We’re getting there, Caroline! We really are.

Finally, on to your awesome question about submission sites: In general, if the casting director has put up the casting notice at multiple sites, it means she is open to seeing submissions at all sites where the notice is posted, and you’re not going to be annoying her by double submitting.

That said, on almost all higher-tier castings, you’ll see they’re only posted at ONE site, because the casting director doesn’t really *need* to go looking at multiple sites to find the right actor for the role. Generally, it’s only on the micro-budget projects being cast by the filmmakers themselves that will multi-list, thinking that helps them get access to more actors (when really, all it does is get them multiple submissions in multiple locations from the same population of actors).

Those who’ve been casting a while have their favorite sites to use and generally each casting director has ONE favorite, and doesn’t multi-list. Because this trend you’re seeing is something that skews toward the more “starter level” projects, I’d say these filmmakers will soon learn that they’re getting the same actors submitting in both locations, and will soon pick their favorite of the submission sites too.

Basically, it’s up to you. If you want to be sure they see your submission and it’s not a big deal to submit at both sites, go for it. But if money is a factor and you’re trying to streamline your budget, choose the one site that you feel best about using and trust the filmmakers are going to see the submissions in both locations, since they went to the trouble of posting the breakdown at both locations.

Now, for theatre, there was a time when Equity had a rule that all breakdowns must be listed in a publication like Backstage, in addition to whatever other casting site you might choose to use. Not sure that’s still a rule, but the last time I cast a 99-Seat AEA play, I called to see if Actors Access would suffice, as I didn’t *want* to also have to check for submissions at another location, and I was told that Actors Access was fine. Some play producers may still be posting in Backstage due to the way the rule was written, long ago, perhaps. That’s something to think about.

Wow, that’s a long answer for a straightforward question, huh? 😉 As you know, I’m a big fan of creating and maintaining a show bible on all your industry contacts, so I’d start mapping out who brings you in off what site and that’ll help you learn where your submission money is best spent, too.

Stay ninja, Caroline! And watch your inbox for details about how to help with the 4th edition of Self-Management for Actors. I’m so freakin’ excited to get this baby going!


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/001713.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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