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April 25, 2008

Dear Bonnie,

(I hope readers will enjoy this composite sketch of my email inbox, today.)

Dear Bonnie, How can I submit on the films that you are casting? Thanks.

All of my breakdowns go out on Actors Access. Feel free to submit yourself electronically on the role for which you're best suited. And leave a note! We love notes. Thanks for your interest.

Dear Bonnie, I don't have an agent. How can I submit on films you're casting?

I put all of my breakdowns out on Actors Access, so you can submit yourself to me directly, without an agent or manager on your team. Thanks!

Dear Casting, I don't live in California. How can I submit on your stuff?

Actors Access is worldwide. Feel free to submit yourself and mention in the notes section of your submission whether you are a local hire to the area in which the film is shooting.

Dear Bon, I don't have an Actors Access account. How can I get my materials to you?

We are only pre-screening actors via Actors Access at this time. While it's free to have an Actors Access account, you will need to spend either $68 for a year's membership to Showfax (which also gets you unlimited sides downloads) or two bucks per submission. Thanks for your interest!

Casting, What a rip off! I'm not spending money to line your pockets just because you refuse to consider actors via email submissions. You suck.

I don't receive a penny of your submission money. Nor do I receive any kickbacks for choosing one of the electronic submission services over another. I prefer Actors Access because it's where all of my breakdowns, my submission history, my audition logs, my actor deals, and all of my correspondence regarding five years of projects lives. It's also really easy to use and costs the actors very little. I like having all of my submissions in one place and my producers like having one, simple interface from which we can all share a look at the submissions, notes, demos, and session videos. I refuse to consider email submissions because they are not convenient, nor do they help me keep all of my projects in one place and share the information with the production team.

Greedy Bastard, Why won't you let me mail you my headshot?

Knock yerself out! I have a large bin of headshots waiting to be opened by my intern. I do not look at hard copy submissions for specific roles on specific projects because I do all of my casting electronically via Actors Access and Breakdown Express (the agent and manager side of Actors Access). I'll review your materials during my next bit of downtime between projects, assuming my intern hasn't already reviewed and tossed your materials (because she knows what's lacking in my casting files, as well as what I have an abundance of, in terms of type, age, credits, etc.).

Why won't you look at my hard copy headshot for THIS project? I don't want to spend the two bucks on Actors Access!

Um, you do realize that it costs you money to print a hard copy headshot, print a resumé, staple the resumé to the headshot, print a cover letter, address an envelope, and put postage on the dang thing, right? Is your calculator working?

You need to see me for this project. Give me your address so I can FedEx you my materials.

I do not want you to FedEx your materials. Spend the two bucks and submit yourself electronically. I will review your submission via Actors Access and Breakdown Express, along with all of the others. A FedExed submission sits in the same bin as the rest of the mailed materials, which I do not review until I have downtime (assuming my intern hasn't tossed 'em by the time I get that downtime). Save your money. Don't FedEx me anything.

Dear Casting Director Who Hates Actors and Isn't as Accessible as She Likes To Think She Is, You suck. You should let people mail you stuff. Or FedEx. Or drop off.

Do you really understand what you're suggesting? That somehow a CD who puts all of her projects out on Actors Access is not as accessible as the rest of the CDs out there? Okay, think it through. There are hundreds of CDs who never list their projects on sites or services that are accessible to actors. Yes, actors "gain" access to these listings, but they usually have to buy that sort of thing on the sly and then, if it says, "electronic submissions only," then what? What do you do? Try to "crash" the system somehow by doing a drop-off or mailing and hoping that'll work?

Hey, believe me, I know that it DOES work sometimes, so I'm not saying that's an awful plan! But I am saying it's one that costs you more than the little $2 submission on my Actors Access-listed breakdown, right? Because most people are paying for these stolen casting notices (and sometimes key info has been CHANGED, rendering them worthless), and then there's the money for the hard copy submission materials, and if you're dropping it off, well, there's gas money and parking and all that jazz. And that's all for a "maybe get seen," since the CD was looking for electronic submissions only, and may just do like I do and keep your stuff in a bin 'til whenever there's free time. (Note: There is never free time.)

But okay, let's look even beyond those hundreds of CDs who don't put their stuff out on Actors Access and examine the dozens of CDs who simply pick up the phone, call their favorite agents, say, "I need a such-and-such," or, "Send me your top ten gals," or whatever, and there is NEVER a breakdown, NEVER even an indication that there is a project "out there" until it's too late and you've missed your shot at it.

Is THAT how accessible you'd like me to be? You'd like me to call my coverage reps at each of the agencies and just let 'em know I have a new film, send the script over, ask for their top pitches, take some meetings, and then cast the dang thing without ever being open to a non-union, non-repped, direct-from-actor submission? You'd like me to STOP being open to actors whose reps aren't hustling on low-budget indies (because there's no huge commission to be earned) but who know I love their work, so they have the opportunity to submit themselves directly to me? No more putting the script out on my casting website for all to read, so if there's a part in it for you--wherever you live--you can take your best shot by uploading an audition for me at the Cricket Feet Casting group at YouTube.com?

How "accessible" would you recommend I be, then? Since my current level of accessibility isn't working out for you?

It's not enough that you can read the breakdown? Read the script? Self-submit, no matter your location, union status, or representation status? And all that for free, free, and then two bucks for the last part of it? Not enough for you?

Well, damn. I guess I do suck, then.

Dear Bonnie, You DO suck. I hope your movie sucks as much as YOU do.

Ooh, that's perfect! I hope that too!!!!!

Inaccessible Casting

Posted by bonnie at April 25, 2008 5:59 PM


Dear Bonnie,

I happen to know that not only do you suck, you suck good.


A basketball through a garden hose, chrome off a trailer hitch, and ice through a stir straw

Posted by: Hal at April 25, 2008 7:39 PM

Damn straight!

Posted by: bon Author Profile Page at April 25, 2008 7:54 PM

I just have one thing to say:
Will u casted me in a fulm plz? Just let me know when you want me to Fedex you my resume.
Thank you. I have a real good feeling about this already.

Posted by: CJC at April 25, 2008 11:22 PM

and then, when you DO get it in the mail, it's a photocopied b/w headshot of said actor wearing nothing but a towel and a resume of extra work displayed as "featured"

Posted by: Amy at April 26, 2008 3:57 AM

LOL out loud. Did I ever tell you about the girl who submitted to my theater group's auditions two inkjet-printed digital photos of her doing model poses in her bathroom - complete with shampoo bottles and loofas all over the floor and counters, and a giant fish-aquarium-themed shower curtain as the backdrop?

Posted by: Cole Matson at April 26, 2008 11:30 PM

CJC--Yes. And good for you. ;)

Amy--You KNOW it.

Cole--OMG!!!!!!! That's the BEST! I'd keep that in the "What Were You Thinking?!?" file for sure!!!

Posted by: Bon at April 27, 2008 6:26 PM

Hi! I've never done any acting at all, really, but I live in LA and its just rubs off on ya, ya know? And I'm *sorta* in show business. I'm a pole-dancer. I just KNOW I'd be perfect for your film. If you would send me your address, I could send you some GREAT snapshots of me in my Pole-Dancing routine....they're really HOT!! Or, better. I could hand deliver them and we could meet and talk about my career and the possibilities of working with you. I just know you are the one to discover me. Please?

Posted by: Deb at April 29, 2008 2:23 PM

Pretty heated thread. I just wanted to make 1 comment. I am a union actor and have submitted on and off to Actors Access for well over 5 years. I have NEVER and I mean NEVER received 1 call from anyone off that site. I estimate that I have spent well over $1k with their $2 submission charge. IMO Actor's Access or ANY site that charges you to submit or casting directors who tour the country charging for workshops are just out to make money. The only serious way to work as an actor is to get a GOOD agent (only a handful in LA or NY) who can put you in front of the right CD's at NO cost. Almost everything on AA is non-union anyway. These are people who have no respect for actors anyway and would rather pay actors nothing or next to nothing for their productions. STAY AWAY FROM NON-UNION GIGS IT ONLY UNDERMINDS THE UNION.

Posted by: Teri at August 21, 2009 1:52 PM

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