Actor Cover Letter Tips From Bonnie Gillespie

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hi everybody Bonnie Gillespie here with you once again today we are going to be talking about your cover letters I had to do a deep exhale right after I said the phrase cover letters because I know the anxiety that it produces to imagine writing your cover letter and I know that because the number one top seller at the self management for actors store is the mini course called BIOS and cover letters that don’t suck without question this is the number one top seller and with good reason writing about yourself is torture filled it’s something that you immediately go into the brain space of how formal it’s supposed to be you feel like because it is a formal business letter that you have to follow all these rules that you were taught in school which remember school didn’t teach you a whole lot about the acting profession and about your creative pursuit so to default to these things that were taught to you they’re questionable already so let’s keep that in mind but it’s also you have to show your personality while showing that you’re marketable that they can make money off aligning with you whether it’s an agent or manager who’s going to take a meeting with you and ultimately sign you or if it’s a casting office that you’re introducing yourself to or even producer showrunners writers people at all levels of the buyer tiers that you’re trying to introduce yourself to or stay in touch with the cover letter is a a stress inducing element of the entire actors package and it’s one of the reasons I’ve created a lot of tools out there to help you have a less stressful experience with the whole dang thing today what I want you to do is actually get the words that others have used about you involved and here’s how we’re gonna do this we’re gonna do this two different ways one is you’re going to have your best friend right your frickin cover letter because nobody loves you like your best friend loves you nobody adores you like your best friend adores you and if your best friend we’re introducing you to a mutual friend or two if your best friend were the mutual friend introducing you to somebody who’s going to be your new friend your best friend would use words that explain who you are in her life and to this new person your best friend would do a really good job explaining why you’re awesome and doing a little bit of selling because they’re basically writing a letter of recommendation on your behalf with this introduction and so if you think about it that way the kind of cover letter that your best best friend would write about you is one that is going to not necessarily be the one that you send off ultimately although I mean it’s a way to go but what it’s going to do is going to inform you on what it is that needs to be included in your cover letter that you may not necessarily feel comfortable saying about yourself because if your best friend leads off with she’s one of my favorite people on the planet okay obviously you know yes that’s that’s a given um she’s so charming and so much fun and always there to lean on when I’ve got a crisis whoa there’s some rich branding information right there and if that’s not already woven into your materials now you can think about how to include these elements in the cover letter that introduces you to the buyer because these are all important things about how your best friend sees you and I get that you may play a serial killer and so your best friend’s not gonna say oh my god what a serial killer but your best friend could say you may see this guy is a little creepy and with good reason he is the most convincing serial killer you will ever see on screen and that is gold the the way that I want you to approach this is ask your best friend I’m doing this for a class please do me a favor write a letter of introduction on my behalf I’m not gonna send it anywhere it’s not for me to use outside of having an opportunity to get some words and mind some phrases that I may not otherwise come up with for my own marketing so do me a favor and just as if you’re introducing me to you know you agent if it’s somebody who’s in the business and if it’s somebody who’s a civilian and not in the entertainment industry at all then it’s just you know you’re introducing me to an agent and you know what an agent is and so help me you know best friend please doesn’t have to be long doesn’t have to be spell checked it’s not anything you’re ever gonna send out in the world but it’s something that’s going to inform how you then write about yourself in the version of the cover letter that you will let out into the world the second part of today’s work is one that is something you can do data mining on your own without involving your best friend and with this what I recommend you do is go back through your archived emails because I guarantee you people have said amazing things about you you have come home from set and someone has sent an email thanking you for an amazing day and they’ve used words in thanking you for that amazing day that you can mine for use in your cover letter they’re gonna have said things like you helped us stay on budget and on time you were such a delight to work with your professionalism is unparalleled fantastic phrases have already been used about you and you probably got that glowing warmth upon receiving that email however long ago you probably hit reply and said oh my god it was such a blast thank you I can’t wait to work with you again you know you may have had that little extra like oh that just felt so good to have that said about me any moment but did you do anything with it I have a praise folder whenever somebody says something amazing about me which come on they do daily I take a copy of that email and I put it in the praise folder and that way couple things I always have something I can look at if I’m having a down day if I’ve got a moment that is just really slamming me emotionally I can go into that praise folder and immediately find my spirits lifted just by reading these amazing things that people have said about me or my work and then secondly I’ve got words that I can use when describing myself to others because I didn’t make up the words they were used about me and especially as you collect these over time you start to see the patterns and is with all things in self management for actors we go with where the patterns repeat significantly we let the outliers stay outliers but those things that keep getting said over and over and over again damn maybe we should lean into that a little bit let’s use that information let’s turn that into money in the bank y’all so keep a praise folder if you want you could turn this into a praise page on your website but that’s another exercise for another day of the curriculum but for today what you’re gonna do is go through old emails and find where buyers and friends have said things about who you are to them and what it’s like to work with you and to know you and get those words working for you it’s gonna make the experience of writing your cover letter that much more awesome and if you feel like you need more support than that yes of course BIOS and cover letters that don’t suck we’ll walk you through all of it absolutely but for today’s task the two things are reach out to your besties and ask him or her to write you a cover letter no no major stress no criteria you don’t need to tell them how long it needs to be or to whom because you’re not actually gonna send it anywhere and two you’re gonna do some data mining from your archived inbox have fun with this it should feel really good and it should generate a whole lot of ideas for how to get you to the next tier starting with that Rockstar cover letter that you richly deserve until next time stay ninja ha..

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