How to Annoy a CD and Lose the Job – enCAST

How to Annoy a CD and Lose the Job

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For actors, the CASTING DIRECTOR (or CD) is one of the most important people out there. The CD is the person who can get you the job, and who can lose you the job.

So if you really aren’t interested in getting acting work, here’s how to annoy a casting director:

the cover email

Dear Casting Director/Boss,

This is a good start, not knowing who the email is addressed to. CDs are very self-effacing and won’t expect you to know their name.

Look no further for your star actor – I am here!

Arrogance. Something all CDs love in an actor.

Albert is the best actor I’ve seen in ages; his rendtion of Hamlet in the Bath was a delight to behold.” – from the West Bodington Free Press, January 1989.

Self-promotion; another thing CDs like. (Don’t worry about spelling/grammar mistakes by the way, it shows you are human which is a good thing and not some nerdy geek which is no good for an actor to be.)

I know your casting for a young woman for a new film (I read about this somewhere but I can’t really remember where I read it, sorry!) but I thought I’d send you my details in case you needed a overweihgt middle-aged man in any of the roles.

Applying for a role that doesn’t exist will certainly appeal to this CD; they like nothing more spending hours looking at actors whom they don’t need, after all most of their days are spent sitting looking blankly at a wall waiting for something to do.

Unfortunately I don’t got my new headshots ready, but if you search for Albert Dumbactor on Google you’re sure to find some pictures of me.

It’s a well known fact that CDs love spending time on the internet looking for actors. The more difficult you make it for them to find you, the more they will want you. It’s that old, treat ’em mean to keep ’em keen tactic which always works.

To give you an idea of my uniqueu acting style, I’ve attached my showreel to this email.

This actor has attached their showreel to the email and it’s huge! If you attach a 50MB video file to your email the CD will remember you well which is a good thing, right? (If for some reason you can’t attach your showreel, make sure it’s sent via an obscure file transfer site as the next best thing.)

It’s in something called CRP format so to view it you’ll need a special video player which you can download from Google. Just do a search for it.

Brilliant. CDs are famous for enjoying puzzles and challenges so be sure to send them your showreel and CV in a strange format.

When that’s installed you’ll need to open it with a password (I don’t want just anyone seeing it please remember this and don’t share it without my explycit written consent).

Good move. CDs are notoriously slapdash with data protection so be sure to remind them every so often that you are on to them.

I’ll send you the password by text message; send me your number for this.

CDs are lonely people and will give their personal phone numbers out willingly to anyone who asks in the hope of actually meeting them one day.

But I’m an actor, so let’s talk about me! Well, I started my career as an actor in…

…and so it goes. Now it’s time to get on to some details about yourself. You are very interesting after all and the CD wants to know absolutely everything about you; they will love you for it… trust us.

don’t forget the attachments

Here are a few tips:

make the headshots big – several megabytes each because CDs have unlimited space on their computers and tablets

professional headshots are a waste of money; they want to see the real you so get your Mum to photograph you in the living room to let the CD know what you’re really like

the longer the showreel, the better – a CD looks at a showreel like a movie so they’ll settle down with popcorn and a huge soda to watch you… because you’re so interesting and talented; if it’s short and to the point they’ll feel cheated

being sad, lonely types, CDs enjoy learning about other people so make sure your CV is long – in fact, the longer it is, the more you must have done and so the better you must be

and then?

At this point one or two foolish CDs will have deleted your application. But don’t let this put you off.

The next step is to phone the CD up and see how the casting is going. This shows commitment on your part. It shows passion for the job.

And since the CD is probably sitting in their office twiddling their thumbs it gives them something to do.

So… don’t be put off if they don’t answer. Phone again. And again. And if you can find it, phone on their private mobile number. Preferably in the evening when they will have plenty of time to talk to you without other work interruptions.

you got the casting!

It’s a miracle! You get a casting!

Don’t mess this up by being prepared. Instead…

don’t learn your lines (we want spontaneity in the casting room)

turn up a little bit late because castings always start late and the CDs will appreciate the little break before you arrive if you can’t come at all, be sure not to tell them so they get a “surprise” tea break in the middle of the casting

when you go into the room, be super friendly with the CD and treat them like an old friend – they like the attention and then tell them that hilarious story about the time you auditioned for Star Wars – it’s a long story but they’ll love it!

And that’s how it’s done…

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