WHAT’S UP, GRRRRL? How (NOT) to Respond to a Casting Call

Posted by: on December 13, 2017

Ellie’s emails are always spot on!

SO! You’ve seen a casting notice on the F-books, a friend referred you to a company, or you’ve been using the Googles to find event companies near you. Great! Now for the all-important contact letter.

Now, while circus is a business, it’s not a particularly stuffy one – no need to write like you’re penning a missive to the Queen of England. That said, do keep in mind that this is your first impression – make it a good one! Try to avoid the following (all real, actual examples I’ve received from artists I don’t know personally and have never worked with):

The Overly Casual – “Hey! I’ve done a bit of trapeze, hit me up if you still need people!”

The Super Curt – “Available. $800.”

The Person Without Spellcheck Who Doesn’t Proofread – “Hi! I sae that you wetr casting forn an event, vall me pleas!”

The Person Who Can’t Be Bothered to Send Their Basic Info – “Hi! My website is www.cantbebothered.com.”

Part 1 – How to Contact

If you’re responding to a casting call, pay close attention to the accompanying instructions. Did they ask you to email? Submit via web form? What information did they ask you to include? Follow their directions. Send things the way they want them sent, and include what they’d like you to include. It really is that simple. I know many casting folks who promptly hit DELETE on every single casting submission that didn’t follow the basic directions. They’re not asking you to make a 27 step croquembouche (unless they are, in which case give it a go)! It’s usually a short collection of info that you should have ready to go at a moments notice anyway. If you DON’T have it ready to go, take this opportunity to get your materials together.

If it’s a referral, see below. Make sure you’re sending to that person’s preferred business address, and avoid using social media to contact them if you can.

If you’re approaching a company, go to their website and see if there are special instructions for unsolicited talent submissions. Most companies will have instructions on how to get in touch with them about hiring, or at least a contact page.

If you know the person, no need to be weirdly formal, but do put on your professional hat and make sure you’re submitting all the requested info/materials.

Part 2 – How to Write a Letter

Even an email should be nice and professional when you’re first making contact with someone who may hire you. After initial contact, you can let them set the tone for how casual your communications will be from there on out (when in doubt, always err on the more formal side). Generally speaking, aim for professional but friendly, and try to let a little of your personality show.

Hello (insert name here)! – (SALUTATION)

I saw your casting notice on Facebook, and I wanted to toss my hat in the ring, so to speak, for your upcoming event on May 30th. – (INTRODUCTORY SENTENCE) ** If you were referred by someone, mention it here.

I have been performing on lyra for the past few years, and have both a 6 minute act and a number of ambient sets ready to go. I can also do sets on silks, hammocks, and ambient contortion. I’ve attached the requested demo link, photos, rates, and specs below.  I’m super comfortable with corporate events, and have quite the costume closet! (- QUALIFICATIONS, ATTACHMENTS, NITTY GRITTY) **Keep it short, sweet, & to the point.

Please let me know if you need any more info or materials! I would love to be a part of this or future events. (- CLOSING SENTENCE)

Thank you for your time, (** a little thank you or a friendly sign off is always nice)



And there you have it! A timely, friendly, professional email can put you squarely in the line of casting, and pave the way for a future bookings and a great relationship. Dare to imagine, Laura


Filed Under: Working in Circus
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