"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Monday, September 28, 2009

Are Actor Drops Worth It?

Oh you know the story: you're a struggling actress and someone tells you to mail your headshot or postcards to casting directors you've never met - perhaps they'll call you in!

So of course I tried it as well. In fact, there are even headshot drop services, where they'll bundle up your headshots and drop them for you! Save thousands of dollars in postage!

And after two months of that, I still got nothing.

So in got me to think, What would I Do If I Were a Casting Director? Well, I'd throw them away. Because most likely they're from actors who don't have the credits and talent I need. And I've got relationships with the best agencies anyway. I don't even have to open these!

I heard an argument from another actress that she does this and she HAS gotten auditions from them. But you're sending them to casting directors you've booked with, right? I had asked her.

So hey, I asked a Casting Associate who has works on True Blood and In Treatment if Actor Drops were a big ole waste of resources and money.

And here's what he said: Most of the time those don't get looked at. Miracles happen occasionally when we're really bored or desperate. Drop-offs should be your last strategy after class, workshops, plays, personal friends, agent, manager, etc. I'm not saying don't do them. Just do them last.

So there you go. You can be optimistic. Go Forth, my friends. Especially if you have a bunch of old headshots you got in bulk and don't use anymore.


  1. yeah they seem really wasteful to me and require a lot of energy

  2. And I've heard the exact opposite from casting directors, so ponder this one, Pinky:

    Casting Directors will most likely toss postcards of people they have never met before, as would you, if you checked your mail and got a postcard from someone you'd never met before.

    However; if you have done a workshop with a casting director, or had an audition with them in the last week, it is a VERY good follow-up technique to send a postcard. It says, "Hey, remember me?" as opposed to, "Hey, want to meet me?"

    Every casting workshop I do, the casting director gets a postcard afterward, usually because in the workshop they told people they will look at postcards of people they've worked with or auditioned in the past.

    Also, VERY IMPORTANT: your postcard should have some sort of personal reference on it and have that message written in ink, not typed. Again, think about it: if you got a BLANK postcard in the mail from someone you'd never met, why on earth should you care? But if the postcard says, "Hi Michael, thanks for calling me in for Cold Case last week, your adjustments really helped! I look forward to being in your office again soon, -- Lira" then it's much, much better.

    Again, this is just what I've heard from some casting directors in the past couple months that I've worked with. (Garret McGuire, Michael Testa, and Sara Isaacson)

  3. I just noticed that your blog referred more to full headshots than postcards, in which case, settle the difference by mailing out postcards with your headshot on them after auditions, etc.


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