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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Making Things As Difficult As Possible - Theatrical Mailings

In this edition of "Making Things As Difficult As Possible" we examine headshot mailings for commercial and theatrical uses. Let the debate begin!!


Andy
Remember a few years ago when everybody had to switch their headshots from black and white to color?
Why did they do that?
To make things as difficult as possible, that's why.
You know when theatre companies switch Artistic Directors or even cast a new show, and they don't keep your headshot on file so you ALWAYS have to bring a new one, even if you have auditioned for the same company 40 times?
Why is that?

Eric
Well, it's because acting, while a noble profession and worthy of the highest praise, is also a cesspool of the worst people in the world who think they are important.
BUT, it's also because no one has learned how to use the Internet.

Andy
Could it be because everyone is just too lazy to go through their files to find the same headshot you have given them over and over again?

Eric
OR maybe people are too lazy to have electronic files of headshots?

Andy
Is it possible that since everyone in ANY position of power in this business has a cell phone that can bring up any picture of you ever taken that they could do just a LITTLE bit of work and find your headshot?

Eric
Of course it is, Anderson. For example...this morning I had to run around as if it were 1979 printing things, cutting things on one of those big paper cutters that look dangerous, taping envelopes together, just to send ONE mailing to ONE theatrical agency. I also sent a corporate resume (for a REAL job) through the email to a contact I have at an office I'd be interested in working at. Time spent for the Theatrical mailing = 10 minutes. Time spent for the Corporate mailing = 0.4 nanoseconds.

Andy
Why do they do that?

Eric
In this day and age, I'm only assuming that they must exist in the past and the only way to get a headshot to them is mailing it through some kind of wormhole.
Or maybe, this is how we are all trained to do it, and like circus monkeys, we are now doing tricks for food pellets.

Andy
Could it be because the system has no reason to change, because they are in charge?

Eric
Anderson, I believe you are a bit too close to the truth.
Look out for snipers.

Andy
Hey Eric?

Eric
Si?

Andy
Have you ever heard of an awesome job come up that you would be perfect for? I mean, just the perfect one, but you hear about it from a friend who is an actor at your same agency and not from your agent?

Eric
Yes, this happens a lot. I will hear about people going to auditions for funny big guy roles and I look at them and say "But you are skinny, and a GIRL."

Andy
Do you ask your agent and they say something like, "Oh yeah, you can go to that if you want."?

Eric
This is such a depressing state of affairs. First, you have to exist in an old world of admin work just to get an agent. Then you realize that your agent will not work for you, because they seem to care about the people that might make them money.
I will do ANYTHING to make money for my agent, Anderson.

Andy
Really? How far would you go?

Eric
Arabian Goggles, brah.

Andy
If you would do that for them, then why won't they send you out for movie roles?

Eric
I'd be so good as a creepy basement dude who kills and eats nubile boys from the local frat house.

Andy
You know what? I think it's time that WE started an agency.
What do we need to know how to do?

Eric
Well, we could take this shit into the future, yo. We could start a website that makes it EASY AS PIE to send in your materials.
No more making actors jump through hoops.

Andy
If we are going to be taking 10% off the top, just to read a fax and call a few dudes to go into a room where they have no idea what to expect, have taken off work for the day, and are absolutely wrong for the part, that seems like the least we could do.

Eric
Right? The whole thing is unfair anyway, so why make people buy stamps?

Andy
EXACTLY! At "Eric and Andy's Talent Headquarters" you will never buy stamps again!

Eric
That's a slogan for the home page, my friend!

Andy
And at "Eric and Andy's Theatre Company" you only ever have to bring one headshot!
You probably won't get cast though.

Eric
Nope...but we WILL scan it into our awesome computers so we can search for it later...even though we really won't do that.

Andy
Unless you are really good looking.

Eric
Then you go into the "Cast Couch.xlsx" database.

-Eric Roach, Anderson Lawfer

5 comments:

  1. But do you have any idea how powerful it makes a person feel to spread out 200 headshots on the floor, match them up in different funny combinations, tape some to the wall, put some in the trash, and walk on the rest, knowing that all those faces in all those headshots are checking their phones every 10 minutes for a call from YOU? It is intoxicating. That is why directors love piles and piles of expensive, earth-wasting paper headshots. And addicts never change.

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  2. Can you please let me know how to propose a show for Eric & Andy's Theatre Company? I can send it through the snail mail if you want. Or I can come to a meeting with beer.

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  3. I sent in my info via snail mail to an agency last year. Like Roach said, it took ten minutes to put the packet together and then obviously a couple days to actually get to them. Then I waited a long six weeks or more for a response. When I didn't get one I sent an email inquiring. The response to my email came in 5 minutes stating that I needed to send a self addressed, stamped envelope with my packet because "that is how they respond". Seriously?

    In addition, I would like to add that I find companies that ask for more than one H/R at an audition to be greedy.

    ReplyDelete
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