This has been a hot topic as of late:
“Should I send a ‘Thank You’ note
to the Casting Director after my audition?”
We have heard some Agents and Managers say this to performers:
“Don’t send Casting Directors ‘thank you’ notes,
or ‘thank you’ cards or postcards
after your audition, that’s their job!
Why are you thanking them for
just doing what they are supposed to do?”
To which we exclaim:
They are totally RIGHT!
...Oh, and they are totally WRONG!!!
|#1 - Never Send a "Thank You"!|
First thing's first... you should NEVER send a "Thank You" after an audition... INSTEAD, you should send a "Follow-Up"!
Sending a 'Thank You' to the Casting Director can sometimes feel a tad desperate. HOWEVER, sending a 'Follow-Up' can feel more professional and also level the playing field between you and the Casting Director.
Sending a 'Follow-Up' is MORE than a 'Thank You'; it is a reinforcement of who you are and why they should forge a relationship with you.
Let them know it was great to meet them, but then follow it up with 2 to 3 bullet points of what you are up to. Even include a tid bit of information you picked up while at the audition (i.e. – the Casting Director mentioned during the audition that he was going surfing in Zuma Beach over the weekend).
Therefore, an appropriate ‘Follow-Up’ would be something along the lines of:
In this example, Jane is following-up by first acknowledging that it was great to meet Mark at the audition but then pivots the 'Follow-Up' in such a way to let the Casting Director know important information about herself that could sway the Casting Director into bringing her back. In the above 'Follow-Up', Jane explained that she just finished shooting on another network show (so she can most definitely handle the Co-Star or Guest Star role she just auditioned for), also that she was the Lead in a film which has a screening date coming up that he is invited to, and that she has more material of her work that the Casting Director can see on her website!
When the water is warm Casting Directors feel more comfortable bringing you back (either for the role you auditioned for, or for a different role in the future). That is why giving these 2 to 3 bullet points of what you are up to is vital.
By the way, the humor about surfing at the end of the 'Follow-Up' is the 'button hook' that ties it all together to show personality and to jog the Casting Director's memory about what was discussed during her specific audition.
|#2: It’s Their Job – AND It’s Your Job|
Yes, we agree… a Casting Director’s job is to cast. However, it is your job to be a professional performer. This courtesy, to ‘Follow-Up' spans across all fields - of any vocation.
For example, let’s say you are NOT a Performer. What if you were vying for the position of “VP of Marketing”at Proctor & Gamble? In order to get the job, you were brought in to meet the head of their Human Resources department. Would it be wrong to send a ‘Follow-Up’ note because "that’s their job"?
Heck no - of course not! Neither is it when you send a 'Follow-Up' to a Casting Director. You MUST make the 'Follow-Up' a part of your audition routine.
|#3: Feeding Your ‘Inner Lazy’|
Everyone has a lazy side. You, me – everyone!
We heard a performer get excited about his Manager telling him NOT to send a ‘Thank You’ to the Casting Director because it was “their job” to hold auditions. We could hear the excitement come from his voice saying, “I never thought of it like that before! Whether you agree or disagree – my manager is right!".
It’s funny when people tell you it’s okay NOT to do something. All of a sudden it can feel as if an anvil has been pulled off your chest!
Be VERY careful NOT to feed your ‘inner lazy’. Don’t take one person’s opinion and blanket the Industry with it. No one person is right when they tell you NOT to do something. Which leads us to the next point…
|#4: Consider The Source|
Not all, but some Agents and Managers have an issue with the Performer forging relationships with Casting Directors because they feel they are cut out of the process somehow when it happens.
A good Agent or Manager may get you in the ‘door of opportunity’ of the fantastic Casting Directors they know. However, your Agent's/Manager's concern is that if you create a relationship with these Casting Directors outside of them, then you will no longer need their services.
As a Performer you have got to know that eventually you will move from one Agent to another... and from one Manager to the next. As your career grows your contact list of professional relationships (i.e. – Casting Directors, Directors, Editors, etc.) has got to grow right along with it. Doing so will help you get better representation in the future!
Think about it… if you can go to a prospective Agent at any Agency, pull out a list of YOUR contacts from PerformerTrack and say, “These are the Casting Directors I have great relationships with and these are the ones who bring me back most often.” Then your odds of being repped by them are significantly higher!
If you are discouraged from forging relationships in this business, your career will suffer as a result.
|#5: The Consequence|
What is the consequence of sending a ‘Follow-Up’?
Have you ever heard of a performer NOT being brought back for a Callback or Booking the job because they sent a ‘Follow-Up’?
Is the consequence that you could loose money in postcard postage if you send a ‘Follow-Up’ postcard? Maybe – but that is a tax-deductible expense as a Performer (that you would log & track with PerformerTrack's brilliant Expenses section).
The truth is that the consequence of NOT sending a ‘Follow-Up’ could be devastating for your business.
We feel so strongly about you following-up and the benefits of doing so that we have a 'Follow-Up' area at the bottom of every Audition Form Page within PerformerTrack .
Still don't believe us when we say
it's important to 'Follow-Up'?
One of our PerformerTrack Members contacted us with her story about sending a ‘Follow-Up’ after her audition. She was called in one late Friday afternoon to audition for a major studio film. After the audition was done she went home and realized she forgot to get the names of everyone in the room. She intended to send her ‘Follow-Up’ out immediately on Saturday, but now had to wait.
First thing on Monday morning she called the casting office to get the names of those she auditioned for. Once she got the names, she quickly wrote her ‘Follow-Up’ and dropped it in the mail.
Later that afternoon she was called by her Agent telling her that they liked her audition but “decided to go in a different direction”.
“Oh, well!” she figured “That role just wasn’t meant for me I guess."
Now that would be the end of the story if she DID NOT send a ‘Follow-Up’ postcard. But because she did, this is what happened…
Wednesday rolled around and she got a frantic call from her Agent! Apparently the Casting Directors got her ‘Follow-Up’ headshot postcard and saw the way her hair was styled (her hair was straight at the audition as opposed to curly on the postcard) and said “That’s the girl we want! Have her come in directly to 2nd callbacks this afternoon with her hair curly!”
Good news is that she booked the job! And, that one job has lead her to being cast in many more studio projects (including a recently Oscar-nominated 'Best Picture' film)!
The lesson learned here is that an opportunity (and a whole lot more) would have been lost if she had NOT sent a ‘Follow-Up’.
Well worth it we’d say!
Want more information regarding this subject? Then we suggest you check out the informative short video "Audition Follow-Up: Just Do It!". Click here to access it...