Saturday, December 30, 2006

Send thank-you cards for auditions ...

Thank you cards are key in the Biz. They're a way to acknowledge people who spent time with you on your audition or reading, and keep you on their radar in a non-artificial way.

There's a relatively easy, inexpensive way to make your thank you cards stand out from off-the-shelf thank-you cards.

Here's some secret sauce recipe:

  1. Get a box of thank you cards you like at a grocery or drug store (generally cheaper than a greeting card store) -- you can generally get a box of 12-20.
  2. Get reduced copies of your headshot -- like at a grocery/drug store, Sam's Club/Coscos, etc. You can scan your headshot (or better, print from the CD/DVD from your session), and get a sheet of 16, 2"x2.5" photos. Use a paper cutter (not scissors; better lines) to cut them out.
  3. Get a 2-in-1 glue (like Aleene’s 2 in 1 Glue).
  4. Put glue on the left side of the card (for Horizontal cards) or top of the card (for vertical cards) where you'll put your mini headshot and your business card (you do have business cards, right? ;-).
  5. Let the glue dry first, then put your headshot and business card on the spots glue. They'll stay secure, but are easily removable if your recipient wants to. The reason you put the glue on the card, and not on the headshot/business card, is this is less likely to leave residue on your business card.

    You can also ask you agent if you can have some of their cards, and you can place them below your cards.

Voila -- you have 16, ready-to-go, custom Biz thank-you cards, probably for around $10 and a little effort. Buy a book of stamps and save them just for thank you cards, and you're always ready to say, "thank you".

Is it ever too late to give a thank you card?

Probably, but opinions vary.

Send it as soon as you can -- the day after being best, but at least within a week. Two weeks is pushing it. Besides, you should have at least a couple more auditions by them right?

And if I don't genuinely want to send a card?

Ask yourself why you don't' want to send a card. Do you want to work with the person again?

All good questions, but realize the professional courtesy is to send a thank-you card. If you had a particularly bad, abusive, or otherwise negative audition experience, and (justifiably) don't want to work with the person(s) again, don't send a card. Those should be rare cases.

I've heard people say, "I didn't send a card, because I sucked at the audition."

Get over yourself! Send a thank you card, and acknowledge the person for taking out of their day to spend with you. You're sucking didn't make their sacrifice any less.

I've had other people tell me they don't send cards because "that's not me", or "I don't want to come across as kissing up."

How about coming across as lazy? Because I'd argue that's what's at the root of those excuses.

As an aside, thank-you cards should be rigor de jour for toy job interviews (unfortunately, they're not). Auditions are job interviews.

And I send thank-you cards constantly, and not just for auditions. I am so freaking thankful for all of the amazing stuff that happens to me as an actor, I have a lot of opportunity to say thanks -- "Thanks for the encouraging words the other day!"; "Thanks for offering to do storyboards for my project!"; "Thanks for being willing to trade screen printing services for Web site help!"; etc.

Oh, and is this what I do for cards? Not anymore. But my way takes more work, computer savvy, and patience. And I need to save something about which to write later.

UPDATED: A kind reference to this post from voice actor Bob Souer.

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