Tom and Maria have a new addition to their family – Meet STAR the Victory Theatre Pup! Part terrier, part Pyrenees, with just a sprinkling of Diva in her temperament, she’s three months old and growing like a mushroom. She loves sitting in the audience and watching the actors work on stage or hanging out in Maria’s Monday night acting classes in the Big Vic… but she upstages everyone with her lovable antics whenever she visits The Victory! She truly is our little STAR. xo
Brette Goldstein gave us permission to share these, her comments, She’s a well-known Casting Director. I surely couldn’t have said it any better. Best, Maria
You’ve auditioned for a casting director. You received a good response. Now what? Here are some do’s and don’ts on following up:
- Send a thank you note. If it’s an email or a card, a short and sweet message of gratitude is always nice to receive. I am still a sucker for handwritten cards. If you feel like you’ve got a good read on what a casting director would like, choose a card that they might actually save. Years ago, an actor gave me a thank you card that I had on my bulletin board for the next two years because I loved the art and bright colors. We cast her in four projects during that time. Subliminal? Perhaps!
But do not send a thank you with an “ask” (unless absolutely necessary). The downside to email thank you notes is that I am more and more often asked for something…and often with a deadline. Yep, a deadline. Don’t be that guy. Go ahead, send a link to your reel or most recent short film, commercial, clips, etc., but please try to avoid asking for feedback, a quote for your website, a recommendation for representation, etc. When I have a good meeting with a potential client/producer, I follow up by thanking them for their time and consideration. An ask can come at a later time.
- Know and keep track of how individual offices like to receive follow-ups. I am great with snail mail, and would prefer it to email. Other casting directors are, thankfully, greener than I, and hate receiving postcards.
But don’t overdo it. Follow up after an audition or meeting with a thank you. Reaching out every six to eight weeks minimum after that is a safe bet.
- Send email newsletters, with permission. I recently booked an actor in a commercial because her MailChimp newsletter popped up on my screen as we were casting. It does work. A friend of mine has very funny updates with strange and useful tips one can use in everyday life. I love his emails newsletters.
But don’t bombard me with bi-weekly newsletters or send them to all of my email addresses. Don’t post your updates or links to your most recent trailer on my Facebook timeline or message me on Facebook. Again, that’s my preference. Keep a database of how other casting directors like to be kept in touch with.
- Respect boundaries when it comes to drop-ins and phone calls. Do not pop into the office unless otherwise invited.
- Invite us to see your work.
But do not invite us to see something that perhaps you’re great in, but isn’t so great overall. I met an actor at a workshop. He did a great monologue and I loved his energy. He then invited me to absolutely everything he was in and bombarded me with emails and requests. I went to see one of his shows. The play itself wasn’t very good, nor was he. Be very discerning. I was “uninvited” to a show over a decade ago…an all-female rendition of “Romeo and Juliet.” The actor that invited (and later uninvited) me was playing Mercutio. I was excited to see her performance. After the first preview or two, she removed my ticket from the box office, saying that she’d rather me sit at home and take a nice bath than come see her show, which she wasn’t proud of. She felt good about her own work, but knew the show overall wasn’t up to snuff. She trusted that I already loved her work and would keep her in mind. I have never forgotten how cool that was. I stayed home that night. And took a bath.
- Find clever ways of getting industry pros to your show, without breaking the bank, of course. Way before John Lloyd Young won a Tony for “Jersey Boys,” he invited me to see an incredible production of “Spring Awakening” (the play) in a basement on the Lower East Side in NYC, which at the time was a little more sketchy and very far from my apartment. The company paid for my taxi. I went. I loved it. I still call the actors in for auditions, nearly 15 years later.
But do not expect industry pros to schlep a good distance to see you in a show. As more actors are self-producing their own content, there are more and more opportunities to work and get your work seen by industry professionals. Patience is difficult but worth it.
- Focus on building collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships with casting directors. Do not expect casting directors to spend a great deal of time with you in person, on the phone, or over email “managing” your career, no matter how much they like you. I can’t tell you how many times I have picked up a check after giving advice for over an hour. It can be an energy drain.
The bottom line is: Think of auditions as both an opportunity to perform and as a job interview. You wouldn’t make demands after either. Following up simply and professionally builds relationships.
Do not be needy. If you think of interactions in this industry as—to a certain extent—dating, and you think about how those who are successful with dating function, you’ll be more inclined to show us your best self and detach from the outcome.
Like this advice? Check out more from our Backstage Experts!
WHAT THE CRITICS are saying about “On The Money” by Kos Kostmayer, directed by Tom Ormeny now playing at The Victory Theatre Center Fridays & Saturday at 8 PM and Sundays at 4 pm – NOW EXTENDED through March 30, 2014!
“It’s a barnburner.” Don Shirley, LAStage Times
“… as the noose around Jack tightens, and as, imperiled, he evolves toward the dramatic center, (actor Jonathan Kells Phillips) reveals the strength and nuance that he as an actor is capable of. It helps that (Tony) Maggio’s hoodlum is effectively menacing, and that Jeff Kober’s turn as an oddball customer who keeps returning to the bar – each time a little loopier – plays unpredictably and persuasively. (Playwright) Kostmayer…. knows all about neuroses, fear and obsession, and instills them into his characters and their circumstances with humor and pathos. -DEBORAH KLUGMAN, L.A. ARTS BEAT
“Tom Ormeny’s robust ensemble and taut staging allow the story to sparkle all the way to its melodramatic finale.” – STEVEN LEIGH MORRIS, L.A. WEEKLY
“Magnificently written with rich and visceral characters by playwright Kos Kostmayer and extremely well-coordinated and directed by the Victory Theatre’s own Tom Ormeny… All in all, “On The Money” has an amazing and wonderfully talented ensemble cast! … just go and rush to see this one, you will not be disappointed!” – LORENZO MARCHESSI, NOHO ARTS DISTRICT
“… a very powerful and honest production… The power of this production lies in the strength of its actors and how their stories remind us of our own… we see ourselves in the vulnerability of these characters and that is why “On The Money” is a show every server, bartender, actor, writer, and human being should see.” – FIORELLA MAYORCA, VALLEY SCENE MAGAZINE
“The evening certainly has its pleasures. The performances of the universally strong cast are a big plus, and design elements (D. Martyn Bookwalter’s atmospheric set and lights, Bonny Baldwin’s costumes, Rob Corn’s sound) are first-rate.”- LES SPINDLE, FRONTIERS L.A.COM
“…Tom Ormany, has brought the play roaring back to life with a suite of actors who constitute a smooth ensemble of unique characters… Engaging performances are not restricted to the core group (Jonathan Kells Phillips, David Fraioli, Maria Tomas, Vincent Guastaferro), however; Tony Maggio makes a great bookie; Cara Manuele and Robert Dominick Jones as rowdy patrons are fine; and Jeff Kober as T.C. Hopper is an ominous cowboy who shows up out of the blue.” – LEIGH KENNICOTT, STAGEHAPPENINGS.COM
“… most arresting about Kostmayer’s sometimes ominous, surprisingly hilarious study… is how quickly the conflict escalates… each and every one (of the player) contributing remarkable performances that could define what ensemble acting is all about. Kober and Maggio are particularly arresting in their portrayals, both exquisite veteran actors able to find layers and layers of subtle nuance…” -TRAVIS HOLDER, ARTS IN L.A.
“Currently at Burbank’s venerable Victory Theatre is Kos Kostmayer’s exhilarating tale On The Money, directed by Tom Ormeny. It is a brilliant revelation of human emotion exquisitely executed by a truly stellar cast. This is live theatre at its very best. I cannot recall the last time I was treated to such superb acting at any venue. . . what is currently onstage at the Victory Theatre is without question the best entertainment available in Southern California. . .”On The Money” is a must see show.” – EXAMINER
“It is a play that depicts what happens to good people when they are pushed to the extreme and hit a breaking point. It’s tragic, it’s honest, it’s humorous and it’s dramatic. On The Money features superbly talented actors. . .Never have I seen such a strong cast… The Victory Theatre Center has done a remarkable job with this production. The set is beautiful, the staging is realistic, the script is meaningful and the acting is impactful.” – MADISON JONES, Burbank Today
“Directed powerfully and poignantly by Tom Ormeny! …This is a very strong production that holds the audience under its gritty spell throughout! … This is a totally enthralling play that has a lot to say … Do plan to see it!” – PAT TAYLOR, THE TOLUCAN TIMES
“ON THE MONEY is 100% “Sweet!” – BITTERLEMONS.COM
Just in case you have been missing the press. Wonderful reviews across the board for this special play. Audience reaction is even better – they laugh and cry in the same moment. I’ve included bits below.
Final Two Weeks. Don’t miss this one.
Anita Gates NY TIMES “It is impossible not to love his story…under Tom Ormeny’s lively direction.”
Orla O’Sullivan THE IRISH ECHO “The show stands out from most others this reviewer has seen in years. HILARIOUS, GRIPPING…”
Ronald Gross NY THEATER GUIDE “Our highest recommendation. Brilliantly written and electrifyingly enacted by a master thespian…HILARIOUS – a masterpiece of a monologue.”
Cahir O’Doherty THE IRISH VOICE “Epic tale is FIERCELY FUNNY and INCREDIBLY UPLIFTING.”
Maya Phillips AMSTERDAM NEWS “You may not expect to be transported to Africa by an Irish actor but Johnny O’Callaghan does just that.”
REVIEWS OFF BROADWAY “a great story, told with wit and energy…a tale not to be missed.” WOMAN AROUND TOWN “a winning piece…excellent.” NEW YORK CITY STAGE “RIVETING.” IRISH AMERICA MAGAZINE “MOVING AND HILARIOUS”
Jim Dwyer in the New York Times preview article says “High Piercing Farce…adult libido sloshing all over the place.”
DON’T MISS IT!
The Big Tease was a huge success! The talent was amazing and we are very grateful to every single act who came out and performed. Cate Caplin did a great job pulling the acts together and creating a really beautiful and entertaining show. Huge thanks to Ciao Cristina for providing the food for the reception. And the crew as well as incredible, pulling everything together with very little time. Our talent roster included headline Jay Johnson, host Derrel Maury, and performers Cynthia Beckert, The Chameleons, Palmer Davis, Fay Dewitt, Joshua Finkel, Seth Hampton, Kendra Munger, Jennifer Shelton, Vanessa Claire Stewart, and Ten West. Check out the photos below to see how much fun was had!
Great reviews continue to pour in after the opening of “Who’s Your Daddy?” at the Irish Repertory Theatre this week.
Pick up the Irish Voice this week – they are calling Who’s Your Daddy? “FIERCELY FUNNY and incredibly uplifting…”
And New York City Stage says that “(Johnny) will inspire you to persevere even when others tell you that what you want is impossible.“
And Woman Around Town calls it “unexpected” and compellilng”
Congrats to all of our cast and crew for the incredible opening! Here’s to a great run!
The New York Times has featured a wonderful article that tells the story behind “Who’s Your Daddy?” and Johnny’s adventures in adopting his beautiful son, Odin. The show goes into its first preview tonight and we couldn’t be more proud! Break legs, Johnny and Tom!
Here’s the link to the article: