A cover letter is another essential thing in the actor’s package. It is very wise to have more information before you start writing your first cover letter. Perhaps some of these tips will help you create the right impression and sign up with an awesome agent who helps you build your acting career. Let’s dive in.
You can write your cover letter as a traditional letter or email (which is more common). Before you start, please do research and find out potential specific guidelines for submissions to agents. Some of the agencies have their own form or specific rules for new submissions. Check them out before you start, and FOLLOW ALL THE RULES THEY ASK YOU. You will avoid your letter being ignored or heading straight into a spam folder.
Do research about the agency you want to submit to
Based on which path you want to go, do research and determine which agents are the right for you. If you want to do theater, look for an agent focusing on casting theater plays, and want to do just commercial? You know the drill now.
Catchy email title
Be creative and specific in the email title, which is catchy and says the email’s purpose. Unfortunately, most of the agencies are requesting to write just the word “submission,” so do just that if they require it.
Address person by name
Write the letter to the specific agent, don’t use “To whom it may concern.” Be specific with the person you want to speak to. If the agent doesn’t feel you are the right for him/her, they will pass the letter to their colleagues.
Talent agents are busy people, so they don’t have time to read a Stephan King-styled essay about your life and career, full of unexpected situations and funny stories. You can slowly release these stories while building your relationship with your agent or writing a book about it, but a cover letter is not the right platform.
One to two paragraphs, or 30 seconds of the reading is enough.
Keep it short, interesting and specific.
Writing about yourself
I found it useful to write down the main points you want to say and then refine what is worth telling and what is not. Here are some questions you can ask yourself – What is your most crucial success as an actor? What skill, movie, or performance are you most proud of? Have any acting-related education? The biggest names whom you have worked with? Any awards, festivals, or workshops?
Point out some cool stuff you are or have been a part of, even it’s not an Academy Awarded movie. Mention your appearance in web series or your Youtube channel. Don’t be afraid to put your personality into the letter.
Show them you are proactive and hardworking by showing stuff, not just saying it. As it is supposed to be short, don’t use filler words. Be specific.
I’ve worked with “the production” on “the movie” and won “the award” on “the festival”.
If you are an immigrant, as I am, don’t forget to mention your visa status. If you don’t have your visa for working in the industry, don’t even try to write a cover letter to an agent. Deal with your visa first.
What type of representation are you looking for?
You should know your focus in the industry and which way you are willing to go. Do you want to do just a commercial? Or do you want to be in front of a camera and working just on films? Or is your passion to work in TV productions? Be specific and don’t want anything and everything. Acting is business, and as with any other business, it has to be focused and specific. You will grow slowly and attract more and more opportunities, but be specific for now.
Be honest, but not just in a cover letter
When you sign up with the agent, you will be partners in the business, and you will start building a relationship. So all the lies you said before will come to the surface in due time, but usually, it will come even earlier, and you won’t sign up with an agent at all. Don’t try to sound better than it is. Agents are usually very clever people, so don’t even try, you will damage your reputation and the acting world is small. Try to be as much YOU as you can. It is easier to connect with honest people.
What do you want to achieve?
Mention what you want to achieve in your acting career. What are your goals? And why is this agent the right person to bring the dreams come true? Why do you feel the agent can help you?
Show them you are proactive and hardworking by doing stuff not saying it.
What else to include
Your email address and phone number.
Optional aspects to include
When you have your own website, you will create a better professional impression, and they will see you taking yourself, and your career seriously.
Youtube channel or related project.
If they are considered important for an agent to know, or you don’t have anything else to use, mention it there.
THREE CLEVER TIPS
- Don’t include any attachments but instead, add links for them. You will avoid the email going to a spam folder, and the downloading of the email won’t take long.
- Create your own email signature with social media buttons, it will look more professional.
- Send the email in the business hours. You will get more chances the email will be open. And also, you don’t want to bother your potential agent in their free time.
Before you send it
Double-check the letter, make sure you wrote the agent and their agency’s names with the right spelling, and you don’t have any grammar mistakes.
Make sure you include all the material you should. All the links are working, and the agent can easily access your material, such as headshots, a resume, a demo reel, and your website/portfolio.
Break a leg with finding the right agent for your acting journey.
About the author:
My pursuit of artistic perfection extends beyond the stage and into the world of film. Represented by agent Jill Kabush at Dorothy S. Management, I am actively seeking opportunities to make my mark in the industry. Though my creative interests are diverse - including DJing and illustrating - my primary passion lies in acting. I received rigorous training at the Vancouver Academy of Dramatic Arts and have since performed in prestigious theaters such as Theater Around The Corner, Moravian Theater Olomouc, Theater DiGoknu, and Mlada Scena II. Through unwavering dedication and hard work, I continue to hone my craft and push myself to new heights in pursuit of artistic excellence.