How to Submit Yourself via Email to a Casting Call

If you are submitting for a role, please read this post! Important career DOs and DON’Ts!

So, my dear actor, you have your hands on a breakdown, or a casting call, or whatever, and now you are going to submit yourself via Email. Below are things you can do which will make you more “cast-able” in the eyes of the producer, casting director, director, and anyone else who wields power when it comes to whether or not you are called in for an audition.

HERE WE GO!

1. Read the breakdown carefully to determine if you are a good fit for the casting need, then follow the instructions of the posting.

2. In the subject line of your Email, unless you are told otherwise, put the name of the character you are submitting for, along with your name. Perhaps like this: “Submission for the role of LANCE (David S. Hogan).” Again, unless you are told otherwise.

3. In the body of the Email, state which role(s) you would like to be considered for. You should be submitting for roles which you can theoretically play. Know thyself, actors, especially physically, and submit appropriately.

4. When it comes to your headshot and resume’, do not send a link to a headshot, resume’, website, etc. Send a digital headshot, since that is what is typically requested. – 500KB or less should do. Now, this does not mean that you should not also provide a link which provides other information and content about you, just be sure to first do what was asked. Oh, and while this may seem obvious, please send a headshot which looks like you. If you look considerably different from your headshot, mention it, and send a second image to reflect your current look (say, you are sporting some facial hair or a new haircut).

Now, this is kind of a branding issue, but your Email handle should not be crass or foul, and cutesy Email handles might not be taken seriously either. Remember, this a business, so addresses which look more like [email protected] are more desirable and more professional than [email protected] Remember, this is a business, and producers want to work with professionals.

And, here is when you DO NOT submit at all:

  • If you are not available for the dates of the audition, shoot, show, or rehearsals.
  • If you do not fit the description of the character.
  • If you are SAG-AFTRA and it is a non-union project. This is a *rule* which does have an exception. If you are in the union, you *might* be able to help a non-union project turn union if you can help them with the paperwork. This is especially appropriate if you know the producer and they REALLY want you for the role.

Final thoughts:

  • Read the posting carefully, then reply with your submission and any questions. If you ask questions which can be answered in the post, then you will not do yourself any favors with the casting people/producer. You will be wasting their time.
  • Spell check.
  • Do not send pictures of your body scantily clad (I am sorry that it has to be said).

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Responses

  1. How do I explain to a casting office that my weight will be changing from time of submission to time of audition due to health/personal things or for a role.

    First time submitting for a role.

    No idea what I’m doing.

    Please help.

    1. This is a tough question to answer, but I can tell you that when you submit yourself or are submitted for a role, the casting director/casting team will expect you to look like your headshot. Use the contact form to Email me for a one-on-one coaching, and good luck!

  2. I am an acting student and I am looking for an agent but i have no idea on how to write to them. How do i start, what do i say to make them interested in me

    1. You need to do research about the agencies you want to apply to, then find out how to submit to them. Typically, submissions include headshot, resume’, and cover letter. Thanks for the question.

    1. Yes. If you value your relationship with your agency, then yes. Unless you have an agreement about pursuing your own work, I imagine that your agent expects to be kept in the loop. Thanks for the question.

    1. There is no hard and fast rule, but usually a week. Sometimes longer. If you know when auditions are, then you might have a better idea about whether or not you are being considered for an audition. A general piece of advice: submit, then move on. And, always keep track of your submissions, auditions, bookings, etc. Thanks for the question.

    1. You can learn how to become an actress, for sure. It takes a lot of dedication and work, but we have seen many inexperienced actors do well in the business, with time and effort.

  3. I sent in an email and they answered me back asking if I am available, then I answered saying yes and haven’t heard back should I email them back asking if they are going to still need me? The filming is this Monday.

  4. How do I ask a casting director for an audition of my agent has already submitted me for it and I’m still not getting anything back?

    1. It’s not good form to contact casting directors directly. Let your agent handle that for you. If you were submitted by your agent and not selected, it’s out of your hands. Have a meeting with your agent if this becomes a trend. Maybe you need to update your headshot? Your reels?

      Good luck!
      David

  5. There is a casting call and they didn’t include any information as to when the submission is needed by, so how long would you say a person has to submit from the day the casting call notice is posted?

    1. Hello! Get your submission in ASAP. If the casting director/producer is seeing hundreds of submissions and, hypothetically, only sending on 25 to the director, it’s important that they see yours early on in the process.

      1. Hi I have a follow up question to the “how long a person has to submit their audition”,I don’t have everything that they need (headshots,resume, audition video) on hand. So it’s been taking me awhile to get it together, this is the end of the second week since the casting call has been posted, and I was wondering if two weeks is way too long to wait. Regardless I’m still going to submit it, but I’m just asking for myself to have some peace of mind/ get an idea of how the process of choosing an actor works. Thanks!

        1. Yeah, I imagine you are too late to be considered for that project. Sometimes a casting call will have a submission deadline, but if not, I suppose you can consider it open-eneded. Either way, it’s important to get your information to casting ASAP. For future projects, I suggest storing all your marketing (headshots, reels, resumes) on the cloud, so it’s easy to access.

          Good luck!
          David

  6. I have an agent but I see projects that I would like to be submitted to. Should I ask my agent to submit me for these auditions or is it ok to submit myself and inform my agent of my self-submission?

  7. Hello,

    I want to audition for a role for this big upcoming film. I didn’t know about it until recently, and after calling the casting directors office, they said that they are still accepting submissions to them as Filming is going to be delayed, and gave me an email to send it to.

    I emailed them my audition by finding the script from other audition videos online.

    Instead, should I call back and ask if its possible to be sent the audition criteria so that my submission won’t seem as unsolicited? They asked for peoples headshot and resume a few months back to determine whether they’d receive an audition.

    My audition was not of quality, the sound had a small buzz in background, and I want to basically do it over as I missed a few things.

    Let me know your thoughts

    Thanks!
    Dana

    1. Hi, Dana. Sorry for the delay in my reply, we were out of the country. I could not re-contact them. You will have a lot of audition opportunities, and this one was one of the many. It’s a numbers game. Congrats on sending it in, and I am glad you learned how to make your next taping better through your experience.

  8. Hello David,

    I send in my audition video to a casting director for a pilot and received an email back saying it was sent to the director for consideration. Should I send a thank you email to the casting director even though its just been a day since the reply? If so, what should I say?

    Thank you!

    1. I think in this case it’s fine to say a quick, “Thanks” or “Cheers” in an Email reply to the message you received from the casting director. It would also be fine to not reply at all. Your tape was submitted, now it’s time to move on and prepare for the next opportunity. Good luck, and keep it up!
      David

  9. Hi…I’m non union and shot a commercial last year. I haven’t seen nor heard anything about the commercial. I’ve sent numerous emails to casting, but no response. How long, after you shoot a commercial or print will it reach the media? I don’t have a reel and that would have been a good one. Thanks

    1. Thanks for the question. Usually, it’s up to the actor to hunt down their spots and other materials for reels. I certainly do not recommend bothering casting directors about it. Was it a booking through your agent? Did you get to know any other folks on the shoot you can check in with? Do you know where the commercial was supposed to air? Best of luck!

  10. I have some serious questions. My son is 16 years old, and passionate about acting, very involved in theater. They are filming a movie here and casting calls have been made, asking for headshot, resume and link be sent via email. Im scramping to help him. My question, what should be included in resume for someone so young and what is a link? And after reading all these comments…what is a reel?
    Sincerely,
    Mother of great actor-to-be

    1. Hi, Brandy. Thanks for your question. First off, don’t fret! Second, you are amazing for supporting your son’s artistic goals. Your son’s resume should should reflect his acting work history, his acting education, his stats and contact info (height, weight, email address, phone #), and his special skills. Here is an example of an acting resume for your reference. A reel or a demo reel, is a video sample of his on-camera work, and it’s no big deal if he does not have one yet, especially if he has only done theatre up tho this point. I am not sure what they are looking for when they ask for a “link.” It might mean a link to his reel which might be on YouTube or Vimeo, or, perhaps, a link to an online casting profile. My advice: Send in his headshot and resume, and see what happens!

      I hope that helps!
      David

    1. Hi, Sam. Thanks for the question. I don’t think you need to send a follow up Email. In all likelihood your materials were received, and if you didn’t hear back from casting, it probably means that your submission (headshot, resume’, etc.) did not give them a good enough reason to call you in this time. I have worked as part of a casting team before, and we always get a ton of submissions, even for the most minor of parts. I know that it can be frustrating when we don’t hear back after we submit, but keep pushing forward. On to the next opportunity!

      Good luck,
      David

  11. Hi. The casting company asked for only headshot and contact information. Am I supposed to include other details too? Like resume and height, age, etc?

    1. If you are sending your headshot electronically, I advise also sending a PDF of your resume’, which will have all the contact info they require, as well as your experience, special skills, training, etc.
      Break a leg,
      David

  12. Hi, the casting call lists five days for auditions by appointment only. If I’m only available for three of the five days, is it still OK to submit, letting them know I can only audition certain days? Thanks!

  13. Hey, I have no experience in acting but I would love to pursue it. I’m fresh and my feet aren’t wet yet. Do I have any chance being that I am inexperienced? I have so many questions and I don’t know where to start. I would really appreciate your advice. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Prestion. Thanks for your comment. I suggest getting in touch with a reportable acting coach or school in your area. They should be able to answer any questions you might have, and get you started with classes or coaching.
      Good luck!
      David

    1. Hello! As actors, we have to be careful about coming across as too needy or requiring high maintenance. In this case, I don’t see anything wrong with a quick “Thank you!” reply. I would imagine that the CD will “contact you” if they are interested in auditioning you, so if you don’t hear back, just move on to your next thing. I am assuming that your marketing materials are all professional and up to date…but if they aren’t, that might hold you back.

      Good luck!
      David

        1. Hello, Jayla. This sounds like you saw a posting that was more of a general call with no specific character breakdowns? If you are interested in the project, I suggest submitting a couple of headshots and your resume’. That should give them some information about how to potentially cast you. It’s a bit unusual what you describe (a casting call without breakdowns), but I am no longer surprised by anything in the biz.

          Best of luck,
          David

  14. Hi David!

    I emailed some photos and a bit about myself to the casting director about 2 weeks ago now. They said ‘we’ll be sure to get back to you if being considered.’ I have changed my hair colour a little since then and didn’t know whether to contact them again but don’t want to seem pushy? Can I email you directly?

    Thanks!

    1. In this case, I imagine that this project has already been cast, so I would not contact them again. And, yes, you can Email me directly.

      Good luck!
      David

  15. I was given a few casting director’s name to contact with my information (headshot, reel and resume), however I’m having difficulty finding their email addresses online… and thats probably for a reason. So, is it better to submit my things via mail or email?
    Thanks,
    Angela

    1. I think you are correct in assuming that CDs don’t often publish their contact info online…Can you imagine how many unsolicited materials that they would receive if that info was public??? In your case, I am assuming that you are attempting to contact CDs that are open to receiving materials from unrepresented actors, and if this is the case, I would say Email is probably the best way to make contact. I will encourage you to find local talent agent representation so your agents can reach out on your behalf.

      Best of luck!
      David

  16. Hello David,

    I’m a non union actor and don’t have a agent and I want to audition for this particular role for this big upcoming film. There’s no casting information about the project online, but I did manage to find the casting directors email address online on a website ran by past. Do you think it’s ok or acceptable to send them a request for an audition for a particular role in the film and don’t have any representation?

    1. Hi, and thanks for your question. If you subscribe to the “nothing ventured, nothing gained” philosophy, then I imagine that you already know the answer to your question – so, SEND IT! However, I will tell you, and you probably already know this, but this industry is exceptionally competitive, and the casting director will already have a ton of (probably too many, honestly) submissions to sort through from talent agencies. I imagine that unsolicited headshots will end up in the recycle bin.

      My advice: do all that you can to secure representation in your market, so your agent can submit you through proper channels to projects like this.

      Good luck!
      David

    1. Thanks for your question. Well, we know for sure that if you are younger then 18 you should not apply. I see a lot of poorly designed casting calls on the Internet, and it could mean a couple of things: 1. It’s was written by an inexperienced filmmaker (student, etc.); 2. They don’t care enough to take the time to do things professionally. Number 2 is much more of a problem, and would be a red flag in my book.
      Good luck,
      David

  17. Hi David,

    First, thank you for all your answers, that really help!

    I don’t have any reel or experience yet to send to auditions/casting directors, and wanted to know; I know few classics and contemporary monologues, and I’m interested by screen acting, should I filmed myself acting on Shakespeare, or should I picked a film monologue?

    Thank you!

    Sam.

    1. Hi, Sam. I am glad you find these answers helpful! In inspired me to keep engaging.

      Monologues on “tape” can certainly help casting get a sense of who you are, what you can do as an actor, and what you look/sound like. So, I say go for it. I would advise you to stay away from The Bard, as much as I love his words. Stick to a contemporary piece from the theatre, scaled appropriately for the camera, or a piece from Film/TV. Do a bit of research on executing actor self-taping (good light and audio are important), then get to work!

      Good luck,
      David

  18. Thank you so much for your tips! I wanted your opinion on something. I sent in a self-submission a few days ago for a big union project that starts production first week of January 2018 and was wondering what your thoughts are on how fast the casting directors would get back to actors they’re interested in calling in for an audition? They only asked for basic info, a photo of yourself (headshot wasn’t specified), and any acting experience. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Lana. Oh, man. This is a tough one because there are so many variables and no hard and fast rules. The first week of January is a long way off, so in theory, you could hear back in December! My advice: You did the submission – great job! Now, move on to the next thing. If they contact you, cross that bridge when it appears.
      Best of luck,
      David

  19. This is very helpful thank you, but how about the big companies like Disney or Fox or Warner Bros, how do you know when to audition for a big role in a movie, where do they say say something.

    1. Thank you for your note. Typically, without a talent agent, actors do not have access to these kinds of roles. Sometimes I will see audition notices for Extras or Background Parts on Industry Callboards. Check out Backstage.com. I think you might have to pay an annual membership fee to submit for jobs, but I might be wrong about that. In our market, Seattle, we have an casting director who handles background work – https://foregroundbackground.com – and you might have something like that in your area.

      Best of luck,
      David

  20. Sorry for last min. But should i send my audition tape with a link from youtube or directly send it from my Mac computer?

    1. Hello and thanks for the question. Casting will usually specify how they want self-taped auditions submitted (Unlisted YouTube, Password Protected Vimeo, and directly shared video files being the most popular methods). If they did not tell you how to send in your “tape,” I would say either method you mention should be fine.

      Break a leg,
      David

  21. Hi,

    I am a physically impaired actor in Houston, TX. I have been told that I should include my impairments on my acting resume, but I’m worried that doing this may cause difficulties with casting directors, such as not wanting to or being fearful of hiring an impaired actor, what should I do?

    Thanks!

  22. Hi, I was wondering if there if there is some sort of website that emails you when there are casting calls? Thank you!

    1. There are a ton of subscriber-based sites where casting calls are posted. Depending on your area, I advise talking to your local actors, perhaps checking with the local SAG-AFTRA office, and going from there. The most used casting sites in our region are Casting Networks, Casting Frontier, and Actors Access.

      Good luck!
      David

  23. I’ve auditioned for some pretty good tv roles but haven’t booked anything yet. I know the CD’s I have auditioned for are casting some big films and tv shows but I don’t know the specific roles. Is it okay to send an email to CD’s asking them to keep me in mind for a role in the film?

    1. Hi, Mike. Most casting offices appreciate the occasional check in from actors – a holiday greeting card, a post card advertising your next show/film/TV appearance, etc. Outside of that, an actor has to be careful about how they keep in touch. One wants to be remembered, but for the best reasons. If you have a talent agent, they should be in charge (for the most part) of keeping you and your talents in the front of a CD’s mind, especially when the right roles pop up.

      Best,
      David

    1. Hi, Joanna. Thanks for your question. Some jobs are like that – you are hired for the gig, but you have to pay for your own travel and accommodation.

      Best of luck,
      David

    1. Hello, Desiree, and thank you for your question. To get onto a TV show, you will probably need to have a talent agent. As far as movies go, there are all sorts of creative people in every city, so it will be necessary for you to connect with those people and share your talent and ambitions with them. In Seattle, we have various local casting callboards and industry meetup events, so I encourage you to look for these types of things in your area.

      Best of luck,
      David

  24. Hi David,

    I currently have an agent, I contacted he about an audition I saw and was interested in for over 2 weeks now.

    Should I go ahead and submit for the role by myself.

    Please help I need some advice.
    Thank you

    1. Greetings. You should definitely find out if your agent submitted you. If they did not, then, yes, submit yourself if they are still seeing talent.

      Best of luck,
      David

  25. I’m submitting for a role with the age range 14-16 I am 14 myself and fit the description quite well, I have my child performer papers what do I put in a resume when I have only done one other professional project and a couple school musicals

    1. Hello, and thanks for the message. Your resume’ will list your stats, contact info, experience, education, training, and special skills. It sounds like you have a few credits (experience), so put that on your resume’, for sure. Here is a link if you need any tips.

  26. Hi David,

    I am an Actor who’s represented and I am personally wanting to submit a monologue/reel which portrays various characters of my choice that i believe show my range, do you think it is a great idea to send it randomly via. email to casting directors?

    Thanks.

    1. Hello, Wesley. Definitely check with your agent, too, but I would say that sending an unsolicited reel to casting directors is an etiquette gamble. And, I can’t really given an opinion on whether you should – it really depends on your relationship with each particular casting director. If you do decide to send a Email with a link to your reel, don’t expect to hear back from them. Here is a recent post from Bonnie Gillespie on the topic of corresponding with CDs, and I am sure you can also find similar articles on the subject if you scrub the Internet a bit.
      Best of Luck,
      David

  27. I use backstage. Com to find auditions but mainly I use the website for the resources such as finding casting directors. I have the casting directors mailing addresses rather than the studios address. I wanted to know if it would be okay if I would send in my resume and headshots to them?One already told me that I could but I wanted to know if it was okay for the others? Also would I need to have a cover letter? I already have one done and got it looked over but I want to have it looked over again to ensure that it sounds good and won’t end up in the trash.

    1. Hi, Samantha. Thanks for your question. I would certainly send a headshot and cover letter to the casting director that invited you to do so. For the others, sure, you can send cold mailings, but I don’t expect that strategy will pay huge dividends. I am assuming you don’t have an agent yet? I would be pursing that path as a priority as you continue to build your resume’ and continue your training. I found this article about interacting with casting directors, and you might find it helpful.

      Good luck!
      David

  28. Hello, I have a question about how to get into film acting. I’m 17 and I have some theatre experience, but I don’t really know anyone in the film industry. It seems like my best bet for getting a role is having an agent to represent me. How do I go about finding one, especially one that will represent teen actors?
    Thanks,

    1. Hello, Shelby. Thanks for your question. Yes, landing an agent is a common goal for actors, but there are typically other ways to find work, depending on where you live. I have seen casting notices on Facebook (which is not a perfect system, mind you), and if you have film schools in your area, you might find audition opportunities in student films. Basically, I am advising you to seek out opportunities for yourself as you start your hunt for agency representation. SAG-AFTRA should provide leads for franchised agencies in your area, so I will link that here.

      Best of luck,
      David

  29. Hello! I do not have an agent nor do I have too much experience, however I emailed the publicist for the writer of this movie that is being produced, explaining that I am not super experienced but that I want this chance because I was so passionate about the move, and other things. She actually emailed me back with the casting director for the movie’s email and told me to send her my info and said goodluck…what am I supposed to be sending her??

  30. Hi David, the casting director said we should attach our profile and contact details, pls what does this entail?

    1. Hello, Priscilla. A lot of casting websites will allow users to create a talent profile, which will include, among other things, headshots, credits, training, special skills, links to videos, etc. I imagine that is what the casting director in question is looking for. If you don’t have a profile, send your headshot, resume, and contact info (Email and Phone#).

      Does that make sense?
      David