We Love Y’all

I actually rolled out offer calls on Saturday. Yup. I was so excited to get the “yes list” from producers on this project I’m casting that I didn’t want actors to wait. Okay, okay, maybe I didn’t want to wait. Plus, Monday is a holiday and that would mean calls to agents and managers — for the most part — would have to wait ’til Tuesday, and I just knew I couldn’t sit on the good news for that long!

So, I called actors Saturday afternoon and — after apologizing for bothering them on the weekend — gave ’em the good news. (They all seemed very understanding of and appreciative for the weekend intrusion at that point.)

Then I rolled out C-Mail (email through the Breakdown Services and Actors Access system) to let actors who came to callbacks — and especially those who were our #2 choice for each role — know that we were not able to cast them in this particular project, but that they did a great job and we’ll look forward to bringing them in again.

Since some of that correspondence went through to agents and managers, imagine my surprise when I heard back from several of them within minutes, on Saturday afternoon. (I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised. If producers are working on a Saturday — which means I’m working on a Saturday — of course, reps may be working on a Saturday too.)

The common reply — after “thank you for the feedback” about their clients — was that it’s rare to ever hear the punchline, unless your client is (or you are, if you self-submitted) the actor who has been cast.

Smart actors have conditioned themselves to let it all go, which is very important. Do good work, leave it on the floor, and forget all about it. That’s fantastic. But why can’t we — as an industry — take a step here or there in the direction of being more caring? It’s not hard. It takes just a moment. And I can tell you, based on the replies my “you’ve not been cast, but we’re grateful to you for coming in and sharing your work” C-Mail received, a little bit goes a long way.

When I think about why this sort of outreach rarely happens, I know it’s mainly because of time management (and in rare instances, due to angry whactors verbally abusing the person who delivers the bad news), but actors may believe it’s because they’re not appreciated or even respected, in this process. So, this is my reminder to you all: We love y’all. We wouldn’t keep calling you in if we didn’t. And even though I’ve been doing the “you didn’t get cast, but thank you” call or C-Mail or email for called-back actors on projects for years, I don’t think we should expect to see this sort of thing becoming the norm. And that’s okay!

What I recommend you do, wonderful actors, is trust that we respect your abilities, we treasure you and what you do, we are grateful to you every time you come in and share your gift, and then go ahead and FEEL LIKE you got a thank-you note from us, even if you never physically received one. Remember that NONE OF US WOULD HAVE JOBS WITHOUT YOU, and that’s reason enough to believe we’re crazy about you folks.

Yeah, there are some CDs (and producers, directors, agents, managers, etc.) who really don’t behave like they like actors sometimes. Ignore them. They’re not long for this industry if they walk around carrying bitterness for the population that is the reason they have jobs. Know that everyone who calls you in loves you. You solve a problem we have! Thank you for that. And thank you for helping us try to solve a problem even when you aren’t the solution ultimately hired to solve the problem. Your part in the process is hugely appreciated. We love y’all!

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/001291.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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