We’ve all heard that after an important audition, callback or meeting it is a good idea to send a Thank You Note. Certainly a wise business decision- a way to keep in touch with your new business contact and potentially grow your relationship with them. However, I think something gets lost along the way when this act of giving thanks turns into a business transaction. Over the years I’ve had multiple students ask me about what their thank you notes to casting directors or agents should look like. While no two thank you notes will look the same, there are a few elements that are of utmost importance to include and one thing you want to be sure to leave out:
THE ACTOR’S CHECKLIST OF WHAT TO INCLUDE IN EVERY THANK YOU NOTE
Whatever you do be sure you are coming from an honest and sincere place when writing your thank you note. We are all people and we all have instincts and can smell insincerity a mile away. Be sure to give yourself the proper amount of time to write your note and find a space to sit and think back on your meeting or audition experience. Try to find one or two specific things that you are really grateful for regarding your audition/meeting experience. If you can’t think of any, you probably should not be writing that specific note.
Your thank you note is your opportunity to reach out to that new person in your life and begin to build a connection with them. Try to include your voice or personality in the note in some way. Give the person on the receiving end a taste of who you are. A few examples of how to include this are:
– Choosing a note card that reflects your own personal style.
– Allowing your humor or personality shine through in the text of your note.
– Mentioning something specific about the role or audition that spoke to you as an artist.
This goes back to the idea of sincerity. Know WHY you are sending a thank you note in the first place. Whether it is because the person you are writing to has taken the time out of their day to consider you for a role that you’ve been chomping at the bit to play or because they helped you discover your song in a new way – have a specific purpose for sending the note. If you were at an open call with 300 people and they were typing and you got typed out-this could be a situation where you either don’t necessarily need to send a note OR you might find that you really appreciated the efficiency of audition- that is your call to make and really depends on your personal experience of the situation.
Once you’ve included Sincerity, Connection and Purpose into your note, the rest will generally take care of itself. You may want to mention something specific about your audition to jog the person’s memory and put a face to a name but as long as these key elements are in place you’ve got a great place to work from.
Now that we’ve taken a look at what we want to be sure to include. Let’s discuss the one thing you want to leave out of your thank you note:
Let’s talk about Thanksgiving.
When we write a thank you note, it is an act of giving. We are giving someone our genuine thanks for their generosity , their time or just for being who they are. So many times we get lured into the trap of thanking someone with an expectation or hope that we will get something back in return: another audition, an agent referral, some feedback etc. See what it feels like to send a thank you note with the the pure intention of thanking the person for the experience that you shared with them. I guarantee you will feel better for it and will most likely begin to build a more solid relationship.
Kim Stern is a co-creator and owner of The Broadway Warm-Up along with Deidre Goodwin. She is also a private voice teacher and vocal coach in NYC. Kim is the editor of The Broadway Warm-Up Blog. For more information go to: www.broadwaywarmup.com
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