Sometimes, getting a choice part isn't all about talent. You may be able to dazzle and charm on the stage, but if your acting cover letter looks like second grade work, then you're less likely to book the job. Bringing your personality, professionalism and experience to the page is just as important as letting your artistry shine in front of an audience. If you are able to capture your reader's interest in the letter, then your talent can take it from there.
Personalizing Your Letter
Get the name straight. It's easy way to ensure that you'll end up in the trash bin instead of on the "yes" pile on the agent's desk is to start off your letter with "To Whom It May Concern." It's important to personalize your letter according to the person who is going to read it. You don't want the agent to feel like one of many, even if she might just be that. Find out the agent's name and be sure that you spell it correctly.
Allow Me to Introduce Myself
You may be tempted to choose an unusual font or use purple paper for your cover letter so you can stand out from the pack. Instead, let your personality come through in your professionalism. If you've met the agent before, say it in the first sentence. Let her know where and when you met her and who introduced the two of you. State why you chose this specific agent to query for representation. For example, perhaps she represents an actor with a similar background to yours, or you read an article about her success in a magazine.
The Good Stuff
Even if you've met before, she may not know the main bullet points about your acting career. Fill in the gaps by stating where you went to school, how long you've been performing and what credits you have to your name. If you have an upcoming performance, invite the agent to see it. It's a win-win situation. If she attends, she will get to see you in your element and how well you are received by others. If she can't attend, at least she knows that you are getting work, and there's money to be made in your product.
Making It Happen
Snag the agent's attention by wrapping up strong. Refer to your enclosed resume, head shot and reel. Let the agent know that you are available to meet and then include all of your contact information. Depending on the agent's schedule, it may be easier for her to shoot you a quick email, rather giving you a call. If you have polished, professional profiles on social media networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, it wouldn't hurt to jot them down as well.
Cooper Veeris holds a bachelor's degree in English from Fordham University and lives in New York City. In addition to contributing regularly to various websites as a writer, she has experience teaching different populations and age groups including early childhood, junior high and high school students, and adults living with mental illnesses.