Career Acting Tips - "Good Followup - It Matters" - Beverly Hills Playhouse

Good Followup – It Matters

Are you in a funk because of the audition you think you just blew? The agent who didn’t sign you? The part that seemed as if it was yours, you read for it six times, various Important People seemed to wink to you in the waiting room – and yet it went to someone else?

Throw shit at the wall, scream in your car, cry, sulk, indulge in a sundae, and then knock it off and do the following:

Write a polite and professional followup communication. In a e-world where receiving a handwritten note has become like a having a unicorn walk up to you, I might suggest breaking out the ol’ pen and thank you card, and work up a hand sweat. But the world is as it is, and if you think speed is of the essence, or you don’t trust the physical delivery, a nice email or, god forbid, Facebook message, will suffice. (I got a nice followup from an actress recently who auditioned for a play I’m directing – and even though it came on bloody Facebook, the fact is it landed, I received it, I appreciated it.)  Thank them for having seen you, express enthusiasm for the play / film / agency / project in question, and send it off. Try not to be clever or cute – just write a simple and forthright acknowledgment of the opportunity.

Not only will this help get you out of your sulkitudinous funk, but it does everything to increase your chances of being seen again for a different part later on. This shit matters. Professionalism and an upbeat sincerity does a lot for creating the relationship. Obviously each audition or meeting has the immediate hoped-for result of a job booked or agent landed, but the other result you’re going for is a longterm professional relationship. I’d bet most actors who seem to book more effortlessly than others will tell you that it was on the X’th time they met that casting person that they finally got the job. Not trying to be pollyannaish, but I think people instinctively want to help others, and good followup can help cement your presence in their minds, and they’ll gravitate towards rewarding the professionalism. So the “no” you received this time around can become a very important “yes” down the road, but you need to build the road. I’m overextending the metaphor, but good followup is the pavement for that road.

Bonus thought: When you go in for an audition with a casting director, you’re meeting someone hired by the creators to screen talent. The actual communication you’re having is with the directors, writers and producers – through the via of a CD and the camera they’ve probably set up. So write a followup communication to the director / writer / producer of the project as well: “I had the pleasure of reading for your project the other day and had a great time – good luck with it!” or something along those lines. Can’t hurt, and may well help. Those individuals then get entered in your database of people you’ve met, even if you haven’t done it in person – you’ve met in the creative universe: your talent as an actor has met theirs as story creators. Log them and continue to communicate.


3 thoughts on “Good Followup – It Matters

  1. Mark Gantt

    Nice AB. You’re completely right and I needed to hear that again. We sometimes take the ‘lesser than’ position as the actor and it’s bullshit. Straight communication from one professional to another. Nice work.

  2. Loretta Weeks

    Hi Allen, Just came from an audition that was a billion people cattle call. They lined us up in rows of 6 per roll of the camera. The casting director jumped up and stopped the audition to come over and shake my hand and welcome me back, as well as thank me for the notes I had sent for the past few auditions. One actor stopped me after the audition and asked if I got to her facebook page or something. “Nope, just wrote a note.” to which they asked…..”by hand?!”

    what you write is true!….thanks!

  3. Ajarae Coleman

    Spot on. I write thank you notes to casting directors, associates, assistants, etc. (whomever I encountered) after all my auditions. People love it. I’ve also started writing notes to administrative assistants who help me schedule meetings with managers, producers, filmmakers, etc. It seems these assistant-type folks aren’t accustomed to being sincerely thanked very often, so it’s nice to do it, and I’ve found it’s generally a lot easier to score that follow-up meeting.


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