How To Write a Professional Actor Cover Letter (With Steps)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated September 21, 2022
Published September 7, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Submitting a cover letter as part of your application for acting roles can help show employers your interest in the position and applicable skills. While cover letters are often optional for actors, making an effort to write one can help differentiate you from other candidates. If you are looking for an acting job, understanding how to format a cover letter can help your application materials be more effective. In this article, we discuss how to write a professional actor cover letter, offer tips to help you write your own, and provide an example for your review.
Related: How To Become an Actor
How to write a professional actor cover letter
Follow these steps to help you write an effective cover letter:
1. Review the job opportunity
When you find an acting opportunity you want to apply for, review the job description before writing your cover letter. Identify the skills, traits, and other qualifications sought by the employer. Understanding their requirements or preferences can help ensure that your cover letter addresses the employer's needs and shows you can meet their expectations.
You can also research the employer or their organization by reviewing their websites or social media profiles. This can provide you with insights to incorporate throughout your cover letter to prove your interest in the opportunity. For example, you can engage the recipient by complimenting their most recent theatre production or mentioning impressive news about their organization. Adding these specific details helps you create a more personal connection with your potential employers that differentiates you from other candidates.
2. Offer your contact information
At the top of your cover letter, create a header that includes your up-to-date contact details. Provide your full name, phone number, and email address. This information makes it easy for employers to contact you about the opportunity. When necessary, you can also list your current city and province to show that you're a local applicant. Another optional detail to include is a link to your professional website, online portfolio, or demo reel, allowing potential employers to view your work as an actor. At the bottom of your letter's header, include the date you're submitting the application.
3. Address your letter to a specific individual
Read casting notices or openings carefully to identify the person posting this information. You can address your letter to this person, such as "Dear" followed by their full name. Including a specific recipient in your cover letter shows you made a custom letter for the opportunity, helping you build a more personal connection with the recipient.
If a recipient's name is unavailable, you may look at the organization's website or social media profiles. As an actor, you can also contact members of your professional network who might have familiarity with the employer and know who to contact. Putting forth this additional effort can also help prove your interest in the opportunity and leave a positive impression on the recipient.
4. Introduce yourself as an applicant
The first paragraph can be relatively brief, offering just enough information to demonstrate why you're a good candidate for the role and persuade the recipient to continue reading. Start by mentioning your name, the specific role you're applying for, and how you learned about this opportunity. Emphasize your enthusiasm about the specific opportunity to prove your genuine interest in it. For example, you might mention that you're a fan of the directors' work.
Try to engage the recipient by highlighting a few details about your qualifications. You may describe your level of experience as an actor or mention specific skills or experiences you have relevant to the job. Use the job description to understand what details to provide, helping ensure alignment with the employer's expectations. For example, they might prefer candidates with improvisational training or dance skills, so highlight these details in your introduction. If the posting has availability requirements, mention that you can work within their schedule.
5. Describe your qualifications for the job
Your cover letter can include one or two body paragraphs where you describe your most relevant qualifications in more detail. The details you provide in this section vary depending on the type of acting production you're applying for and the employer's requirements. For example, they might seek candidates with specific skills, such as improvisation, dancing, fluency in a specific language, or physical stamina. Remember to include soft skills, which help show what it's like to work with you.
When possible, provide brief examples of professional experiences that showcase your value. For example, you may mention an award-winning performance or describe your time working in a particular medium, such as television or film. Providing specific examples relevant to the opportunity you're applying for helps prove you can perform this job. Try to show how you provided positive contributions to these roles, as this can impress potential employers and help convince them you might bring the same value to their production.
6. Thank the reader
Start this section by showing your appreciation for the reader's time and consideration. Reiterate your enthusiasm or interest in the job and highlight how you hope to add value to their production. As you finish the letter, include a call to action, such as requesting to set up a conversation or audition. Showing this initiative can help prove your passion for your career and interest in this specific acting opportunity.
Tips for writing a cover letter
You can use the following advice for writing an effective cover letter:
Use keywords: As you review the job description, identify keywords or phrases that match your acting skills and experiences. Incorporate these details throughout your cover letter to prove your alignment with the role and relevant qualifications.
Adjust your cover letter for each job: Sending a unique, customized letter shows your genuine interest in the acting opportunity. Remember to use keywords from the job posting or mention specific details about the employer or organization that impress or excite you.
Keep it concise: An effective cover letter is typically less than a page long, showing respect for employers' time by displaying your qualifications immediately. Use simple language and only include the most relevant information about yourself, making it easier for them to scan and understand your abilities and experiences.
Proofread your letter: Always read your cover letter before submitting it to ensure that it makes sense and is free from spelling and grammar mistakes. An error-free document helps you appear professional and shows you took care in writing the letter.
Ask for feedback: When possible, you may also ask a friend, family member, or colleague to read your cover letter to identify mistakes you might have missed. These individuals can also offer feedback or ideas for improvement to help ensure the letter accurately portrays your personality and qualifications as an actor.
Example of a professional actor cover letter
You can use this sample cover letter as inspiration when preparing your own:
July 14, 2021
Dear Ms. Leblanc,
My name is Stefanie Pelletier, and I'm thrilled to be writing to you about the opportunity to perform in your upcoming production. I saw the casting notice on the website of TO Community Theatre, where I've had the pleasure of seeing several of your original plays. With my five years of professional acting experience and specialized training in dancing, singing, and drama techniques, I believe I could be a valuable asset in your production.
I have loved the theatre since childhood and pursued this passion as an adult by attending Can Performing Arts School, where I honed my skills as an actor. Since graduating, I've performed in numerous theatre and local television productions as both starring and supporting characters. I have read about your collaborative approach to theatre in numerous interviews, and that sense of teamwork is one of the aspects I love most about this career. I believe this collaboration helps create strong chemistry amongst the cast that engages audiences and makes productions feel more true to life.
Last year, I also worked as part of a touring company for the musical "Calder Breeze," portraying the lead role of Melinda. This demanding yet exhilarating opportunity required performing five nights a week at theatres across the country. My dance training and memorization skills enabled me to understand routines quickly with little additional instruction from our choreographer. I believe I can bring these skills to your production to create a high-quality experience for audiences.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I have also attached a copy of my resume and a link to my demo reel. I look forward to speaking with you soon to discuss my qualifications in more detail. Please contact me with additional requests or questions.
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