The Actor's Detective

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions

Since we launched the Actor's Detective last week and announced the upcoming publication of our weekly newsletter, we've gotten lots of questions about our product.

First, this blog will be dedicated to posting free helpful tips, hints and advice for actors and performers.

Our newsletters, available for purchase each week, will be filled with more than a dozen hot leads (The "Glengarry" leads, so to speak) and will assist smart actors in boosting their marketing efforts and their careers.

As each newsletter is published, we will make an announcement on this blog.

As for the questions, here is a copy of the F.A.Q. page from the first issue of the Actor's Detective newsletter. If you have any questions of your own to add, please email us at We love hearing from actors that are committed to bringing their careers to greater heights.

Q: Why should I buy the Actor's Detective newsletter? How is it different from all of the other sources of casting information available for free out there?

A: By the time most of the free casting notices you find in the trade papers appear, it's already too late in the process for you to make an impact. Thousands of your peers have seen the same information listed and are submitting at the same time you are. You can be lost in a big pile.

At Actor's Detective, we use our long time industry connections and insider sources to find out about projects in the early stages of development, long before they are handed over to casting directors and breakdown services and appear online.

In each weekly Actor's Detective newsletter you will find more than a dozen "hot" leads with detailed description of these new projects. Even better, we provide what almost nobody else does: Direct contact information for Producers, Directors and other major industry players so that you can write to them and put yourself into consideration early in the process.

Even if you did know what was coming up, finding the names and addresses of the right people to contact would take up hours of your valuable time to research. The Actor's Detective team does that work for you. Each issue is like your secret shortcut to all that vital information.

Take it from us, it will be some of the best money you ever spent on your career.

Q: Am I allowed to write directly to the Producers and Directors you list in the Actor's Detective newsletter? Won't they get mad at me? Won't it hurt my career?

A: Writing a simple, business like letter outlining the skills and qualities you can offer to a prospective employer is never wrong. Again, as long as you approach it professionally you are not crossing a line. This is, after all, a business and you are a business person with a product to offer a client. In this case the product is your talent and the client would be someone producing an entertainment project.

They will not get mad at you. To the contrary, people who have used  Actor's Detective leads in the past (before we started publishing a newsletter) have been commended by some of  the Producers and Directors they have written to for taking the initiative and being proactive in their careers. Some of the letters resulted in bookings, some have not. Even the ones that haven't were not wasted, as they managed to open up a dialogue with major industry players and add one more person to their network of contacts. (A network actors serious about their careers should be trying to increase every day.)

Q: What should I say in my letters? Should I include my headshot and resume? Should I mention that I got the contact information from The Actor's Detective?

A: Each letter will vary depending upon the project and the duties of the person involved. Each actor also has their own talents to promote, so there is no "right or wrong" way.  If you'd like to see some templates for letters that have been successful in the past, be sure to read "The Actor's Detective Guide to Writing Industry Contact Letters."  (available soon for free on the Actor's Detective website)

You can include a copy of your resume in the envelope if you'd like, but we suggest a simple letter in a standard #10 envelope, leaving the 8X10 headshot for later in the process.

It's not necessary to mention to the Producers and Directors that you got the information about their project from us. They actually don't care where or how you found them. The important part is that you seem to them like an actor who does your homework to help advance your career and that you are keenly aware of what is going on in your own industry. They don't need to know that you took a shortcut to get there.

Q: Should I contact every lead listed in your newsletter? Do these major industry people really read letters from actors? What kind of response rate should I expect?

A: We make no guarantees, of course, but the more letters you write the better your chances for success. Some leads/roles might not be a perfect fit for you, but we suggest writing anyway as these projects are in early stages and you might put yourself in consideration for roles not listed or created yet.

A well composed letter is the least intrusive and most respectful method of contacting someone in this industry. (Which is why we do not publish phone numbers or email addresses. Occasionally we will publish a Twitter handle, as those are public newsfeeds.) Whether your letter will get in the hands of the person it's intended for, again we cannot make guarantees, but if you put together a letter that is professional, from a business person to business person perspective, it will most likely be read.

Responses will vary. You are a salesperson and all sales is a numbers game. The rule is generally a 10% response rate. (Put simply, if you write ten letters, you will average one response. Write one hundred letters, you can expect ten responses or so. Sounds like a lot of work for little return, but in a business where booking one major job can earn six figures, the work pays off.)

Q: How accurate is your information? 

A: Our researchers at Actor's Detective strive to confirm details and addresses before we publish any leads. Things can change in the interim, though. If, for any reason, a letter is returned to you by the post office for invalid information, send us an email at and we will reimburse you for the postage.

The leads we are offering in each weekly issue of the Actor's Detective are the golden "Glengarry" leads for actors. (If you don't know the reference, watch David Mamet's brilliant film "Glengarry Glen Ross" ASAP.) We make sure that they are of the highest quality and that they are linked to high profile projects, not student films, background work  or independent films.

We're certainly not trying to cut out the job of the casting directors or agents, but we feel that by putting information in the hands of those creating and shepherding the project itself before casting begins, you place yourself in a better position for success, boosting your marketing and networking skills in the process. Why not appear on the radar before everyone else in the business arrives there?

The Actor's Detective: We Do The Research So That You Don't Have To

No comments:

Post a Comment