• Katrina Cook

Why Deadlines are Important!


Once again we approach another video audition return deadline. While the majority of talent do actually pay attention to deadlines, there are still a suprising number of talent who think that the video return deadlines do not apply to them.

No matter what time I set the deadline, am or pm, midnight or noon... someone will be late.

Most popular (and widely overused) - technical difficulties. Or the other popular one "I thought the date (or time) was (something else)."

If I had a nickel for every person who said they had technical difficulties uploading their video, I'd be a millionaire and living on an island somewhere. So while this may be a valid excuse, it's way over-used. This should be one of those things (like traffic) that you , as a professional actor, plan for.

It's not that I don't understand technical difficulties, as I have tons of them myself, being a low tech savvy person. But I also don't wait until the last minute to attempt to finish whatever needs to be done. I have a deadline to meet. And I WILL NOT MISS my deadline, for you! If YOU can't meet a deadline, does that mean you will not be able to be on time to set? Does it mean that you think you are such a brilliant actor that we should all sit and wait on you? Things we think about .... seriously. Does it apply to you.... probably not. But the thoughts cross our mind.

They ask their agent to call me, they call me, they email me, their agent emails me.... and some actors are so persistant they call / email repeated times to make sure I received their call/email.

I set a deadline for a reason. And I don't feel that I am being unreasonable, or rude if I decline to accept a late video, or decline to respond to late submissions.

First of all, a professional actor is busy ... I know that. We love working actors, because if you are working, then it means you must be doing something right. So this is why we accept hotel room video auditions on your cell phone!

But a professional actor also must keep a calendar. And unless you are actively on set shooting the entire time span between the video audition request & deadline, then you should be able to set aside time to film the video. (If you have interest in the role.)

I don't ALWAYS require professional videos, and everyone should know how to take a video using your cell phone. If you don't, it's time to learn.

If you know you will encounter issues with getting the video done, but you do have interest in the role, then you should email me right away and ask for an extension. I'm not totally unreasonable, but unless you have really good credits or demo reel, then why should I wait for you? New actors ... sorry .... but don't ask for an extension. This is your training period. If you can't do this one, try the next one.

Let's look it at from my side of the Casting table ...

Let's start with the client. They have the final decision. Whether this is the Director or a third-party client, they don't usually have barrels of patience, and would like to see their options yesterday!

CLIENT & DIRECTORS DEADLINE:

Let's say we are dealing with a third-party client, they ask the Director when they can see options. The Director wants to be able to review the submissions first, so they need at least 1-2 days to review these videos. The Director comes to me, and asks me how fast we can have the videos to them.

CASTING DEADLINE:

I need time to receive the videos, review the videos, and sort them into various phases of casting, narrowing them down until I have the best 10 videos per role. This usually is a 3-5 day process depending on how many videos I receive. I know that I need a cushion of at least 2 days before the Director's deadline. And I also know that I need to receive at least 100 videos per role to give a good solid Top 10 selection to the Director.

How long would it take you to watch 100 - 3 to 5 minute videos? Per role ... 5 roles ... well you get the idea.

TALENT DEADLINE:

Based on the deadline I have with my submissions of this Top 10 list, I create a deadline for the talent. I try to give you at least 2 days. But sometimes I just don't have more than that. So when you have longer than 1 week and you send me a late video, then I don't have patience for that. I am more understandable if these are fast return videos (48 hour tapings).

And just a fun fact - if you or your agent calls me more than 2 times about a certain audition/role/project , then I automatically assume you are too high maintance, and unless you have stellar credits, and an amazing video, the Director will never know you exist. Sorry --- but if you can't respect my time, then why would I respect your submission?

I hope this helps you understand a little bit about why I set deadlines, and why you should give yourself a cushion when resubmitting.

GIVE YOURSELF AN ALLOWANCE so that even if you have technical issues, the internet goes down, the power goes out, your computer crashes, or any other random thing that could happen (and most likely at some point in your acting career - will happen),... despite all the reasons that could make you sweat, get frantic, and miss the deadline ... if you give yourself enough cushion, then it won't matter. You will still make it. And then you can relax.

And.. just for fun .... go to youtube and watch 500 3 minute videos, and then let me email you the next day asking you for feedback on "Susie's video" ..... now you know where I am coming from...

Thanks for reading !

Now don't miss that deadline!


#ActingTips #SubmissionTips

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