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Actors: Self-Submitting Basics (Read this even if you think you know)

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As an actor I’ve done my fair share of self-submitting. Your agents don’t catch every single role
you may be right for or maybe you are just starting out or new to town and want to start meeting
casting directors. From the actor’s point of view you want to put as much info out there as
possible so people will think you can do anything but as a casting director you want to narrow it
down to as few people as possible that fit the role.

I’ve been going through recent submissions for a casting notice I posted and realized from a
casting point of view I can help you up your chances of getting an audition or booking a job by
giving you a few key things to look at on your profile for submissions. A lot of these may seem
like common sense but you’d be surprised.

  • Get great headshots that look like you. Sounds like a no brainer, right? I don’t know
    how many crappy headshots I’ve come across where I just want to send the actor an
    email telling them their headshots are awful and they need new ones.
  • If you have multiple photos have a theatrical, a commercial, some skill shots (if you are
    a basketball player a photo of you playing basketball or in your jersey), a 3/4 body photo,
    and a full-length photo
  • Don’t post multiple photos of the same look and wardrobe from the same Photoshoot –
    it’s redundant and a waste of your money even if in one photo you are smiling and in one
    photo you are serious and the next photo you are goofy – it’s just boring for casting
    directors and we move on and stop looking at them
  • If you change your hair color update your photos and don’t leave the photos of the old
    color up unless you are going to hide them from your submissions – 4 out of 5 times I see
    those pics and say man – they should have kept their old color
  • DO NOT LIST EVERY ROLE WHERE YOU WERE AN EXTRA – We Can tell!
    Unless… maybe you are just starting and have literally nothing else!
  • Make sure you fill out your resume and post more than 1 photo – and upload your
    resume also. I will never understand people that pay for a profile and pay to submit but
    give you no information about them and their previous jobs or training… write
    something?!! You would be surprised! What real-world job would you apply for without
    any info on your application and just a modeling shot of you in front of a tree?
  • If you are submitting for a role that requires a specific skill make sure it’s listed as well
    as any training or awards on your resume, your profile, in the notes, etc —- don’t submit
    for a specific skill if you have no training in that skill it’s a waste of time for everyone
  • If you are asked to do a self-tape or voice audition do it as quickly as possible – make
    sure lighting is good and that you aren’t in a noisy area but record it on your phone as
    soon as possible because if you wait for the deadline to get everything perfect you will
    possibly miss out on the callback or booking because they will have found enough good
    people to bring in before you
  • If you are asked to do a self-tape do not send a link to your website or a link to a similar
    video – there are actors willing to do what’s asked of them so why would we want to
    work with an actor who can’t do the minimum asked of them?
  • Use your notes section to only say things relevant to the job – people say the weirdest
    things in their note box that have nothing to do with the job – like stating their religious
    beliefs and so on? Why?

Hopefully you find this helpful for the next time you are self-submitting. I know casting directors
appreciate you doing these few simple things. Book all the roles! I’m rooting for you – we all
are!

Stephanie Pressman

About Stephanie Pressman

Stephanie Pressman is an actor, producer, host, model and comedian from Atlanta, GA. Born into a family of performers she started acting and modeling professionally as an infant. She has worn many hats (figuratively and literally too) some of her favorite productions include co-founder and editor of Fashionably Nerdy, creator and moderator of the SPARK Your Creativity (female creators) Convention Panel, Co-Executive Producer of Stalking LeVar, founding member of The Show That Shall Not Be Named (Harry Potter Themed Improv Comedy), and most dear to her heart being a mother. You can find Stephanie on social media @StephPressman