Acting Up: Every House Has a Back Door


Sunbeam Castle by Rachael Towne on Flickr.

I hear actors constantly talking about not being called in by a casting director. I feel their frustration and know the amount of energy they’re putting toward meeting casting directors and getting on their radar.

If there’s a project you want in on, reach out to the producer, the writer, the director—go in though the back door:

1. Make a list of 5-10 writers, directors, producers, and casting directors that are telling the kinds of stories you want to be a part of.

2. Spend some time on IMDB to see what they currently have in pre-production. You’ll see that most of the time they are working with the same group of people. Submit to them directly.

3. Use the KTL factor. People want to hire and collaborate with those they know, trust, and like (KTL)—who else would you want to be in the trenches with? But how do you raise your KTL factor with someone who doesn’t know you? 

  • Reach out via Twitter and other social media platforms. Check if they have a blog or newsletter and subscribe to it. Cultivate a relationship through sharing content and talking about their interests—engage with them. 
  • Set a Google Alert for their name and attend a panel or workshop they’re speaking at. Don’t be shy, introduce yourself.
  • If you send out a newsletter (I like MailChimp), ask if you can add them to your mailing list. That way, they’ll find out what you’ve been up to and you’ll be certain they’re interested in hearing from you.




nywift New York Women in Film & Television supports women calling the shots in film, television and digital media.

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