What are mailers? Mailers are anything that actors mail to us or drop off in person (RIP to drop-off days though, at least for now).
They come in forms of postcards, letters, flyers, cards, headshots, stacks of headshots, USB thumb drives, Blu-Rays, QR codes, hand sanitizers, headshots within a retro 90’s View-Master, Starbucks gift cards, post-it notes, bags of candy with your headshot on every wrapper… you name it.
We’ve seen it all.
But is it effective? And most importantly… worth your time?
Casting pros will have a different opinion on this. But let’s consider the reality of the situation.
Many times when you are sending out a mailer for a specific role the office is casting, 99% of the time, it doesn’t get to the office on time. Even if you were to drop off your mail in person, there’s generally some sort of mail filtering system that goes down (especially when dropping things off on a lot). By the time it finally sits on the desk you were hoping for, it’s likely after-the-fact.
Not to mention, with the thousands of submissions we get and hundreds of email pitches/phone calls, any sort of mailer pitch may be considered long after selections have been made from agents/managers. And even if they are non-specific mailers; meaning you just want to be considered for “anything down the road,” that is a big ask for a constantly-consumed casting brain.
We probably won’t remember.
So then… what IS a more effective way to advocate for yourself?
Welp. One thing’s for sure, we’re always on our email. The chances of your reel/new episode clip being clicked on vs. your postcard being opened is actually MUCH higher.
H-O-W-E-V-E-R, there are some rules to this:
1. Please only email offices that have GIVEN you prior permission to email them. Cold emails are not a unanimously accepted ideal.
2. Be INTENTIONAL with your emails. No need for weekly updates. Please. Pick and choose the times you decide to email with great thought and purpose.
3. Personalize your emails!! If your email looks like it’s been sent to 10,000 other people, it smells like spam and will likely be treated as such.
4. Make a good pitch–always send your materials with your email. We can’t remember every person we’ve ever come in contact with.
5. Remember that you are not right for every role. Don’t show back up for every episode, saying that you’d like to be considered for A-B-C-D roles. Again, this is where being an intentional actor comes back into play.
Long story short: Your time is valuable.
Our time is valuable.
So the next time you browse Vista Print for 2 hours, lamenting over which headshot to print on your return address labels, ask yourself if this is valuable time.
Maybe that time would better be spent auditing that new self-tape class? Or updating your reel? Or… sending an email instead.
Most importantly? We might even save some trees in doing so ✌️🌲🌍
#themoreyouknow #TheCastingDirectorsCut #mondaymythdebunkers #saveatree