Whether it’s on the stage or in front of the camera, the spotlight is where you feel at home.
You’re an actor who can breathe life into any character and learn the most complicated lines.
But when it comes to writing your cover letter, even the most seasoned actors can feel like they’re performing in a language they don’t speak.
Try as you might, your acting skills and know-how just don’t translate well onto the page.
Don’t worry. We’re here to give you the script to success.
In this article, we’re going to cover:
- The Anatomy of a Winning Actor's Cover Letter
- 5 Steps to Writing an Award-Winning Actor Cover Letter
- 3 Essential Cover Letter Tips for Actors
Ready to break a leg? Let's get started!
Actor Cover Letter Example
5 Steps for the Perfect Actor Cover Letter
Now that you've seen what a great actor cover letter looks like, it’s time to write your own.
You just need to follow a few simple steps:
#1. Put Contact Information in the Header
Let’s start your actor cover letter from the top, the same way we would start your resume. Your cover letter’s header is where you should include your contact details.
Here's what this section needs:
- First and Last Name. Make sure your full name shines at the top.
- Professional Title. Match this with the specific job you’re after, whether it’s “theater camp counselor” or “background actor”.
- Email Address. Keep it professional by using a combo of your full name. Quirky high school emails won't cut it. (e.g.: email@example.com is okay but firstname.lastname@example.org is not.)
- Phone Number. Make sure it's accurate so that directors can reach you easily.
- Location. Usually, your city and state/country are enough. But if you're open to relocating, mention it in your cover letter and resume.
- Relevant Links (optional). Share any relevant links, such as performances or social media profiles that showcase your talent.
Now, let's talk about the hiring manager’s contact information:
- Company Name. Mention the production company you're applying to.
- Casting Director's Name. If you can find it, great! Check the audition notice, the production company’s website, or their relevant social media.
- Location. City and state/country details are crucial, especially for international productions.
- Email Address (optional). If you've got it, include it.
- Date of Writing (optional). Adding the date you penned your letter gives it a nice, professional touch.
#2. Address the Hiring Manager
Once you've sorted out the contact details, it's time to address your actor cover letter properly. No more of that generic "To Whom It May Concern."
A personalized greeting makes a much better impression—if you do it right.
So, let's start with some research. Check the casting call, the production company's website, or their social media profiles to identify the hiring manager. Find their name and, if possible, their email address.
Once you do, address them professionally. You can use “Ms.” or “Mr.”, followed by their last name. But if you're unsure about their gender or marital status, simply use their full name. For example:
- Dear Mr. Rodriguez
- Dear Alex Rodriguez
And if you can't unearth any information about the hiring manager, just address your letter to the establishment or production company as a whole:
- Dear Casting Director
- Dear Casting Team
- Dear Company X
#3. Write an Eye-Catching Opening Statement
Hiring managers rarely take more than a few seconds to decide if a candidate is worth reading into.
So, you need to make your actor cover letter stand out from the rest at a single glance. This is where your cover letter’s opening paragraph comes into play.
Start your actor cover letter by introducing yourself and why you’re interested in the role you’re applying for. Expressing your passion for the industry and the specific production is always a great way to lead.
Before writing your actor cover letter, you should always research the production you want to be a part of. The more you learn about your potential employer, the better you can emphasize your compatibility with their artistic vision. This signals to the hiring manager that you're not just casting a wide net for any role out there—you genuinely want this particular role.
Your noteworthy achievements or acting skills are a great way to stand out from other applicants with similar backgrounds. Just briefly mention something that’s aligned with the requirements for the role. For example, if they’re looking for someone to take the starring role in a comedy play, mention the relevant acting techniques that would help you excel at the role.
But make sure you don’t go into too much detail here. Your opening paragraph should be a trailer for the rest of your actor cover letter. The objective here is to spark the hiring manager's curiosity and motivate them to dive deeper into your story.
#4. Use the Cover Letter Body for the Details
After you’ve caught the hiring manager’s attention, it’s time to deliver your best performance.
The body of your cover letter should delve into the details of what makes you a great choice for the role you’re after. But be careful not to make the common mistake of just repeating your resume.
This section of your actor cover letter is meant to showcase your professional talents and qualifications in a way that leaves a lasting impression. Shine the spotlight on any significant achievements in the acting field and use the casting call for inspiration.
Tailoring your cover letter to the requirements behind the ad is crucial. Read the casting call carefully and emphasize skills and experiences that align with the production's needs. For instance, if you're vying for an athletic character in an action-packed production, highlight your experience with stunt work and your other physical skills rather than your improv talents.
And remember to let your enthusiasm shine through your words. Convey your genuine excitement for the role and your unwavering confidence in your ability to contribute to the production with your unique acting skills and experience.
If you want even more inspiration, check out more cover letter examples in this article.
#5. Wrap It Up and Sign It
Ending your cover letter is like taking a final bow on the stage. This is your moment to make a lasting impression on the hiring manager who just read your actor cover letter.
Knowing how to wrap up your cover letter shouldn’t be underestimated. First, write a conclusion that briefly summarizes why you’re the ideal fit for the role. Highlight those unique talents that set you apart from the rest of the candidates and express your confidence that you can contribute to the production.
After summing up your strengths, it's time to give them a cue for the next act—include a call to action. Invite the hiring manager to engage further with your application, whether it's for an audition or a discussion about your potential role.
Lastly, it’s time for your curtain call. Choose an appropriate closing statement and follow it with your full name. Like so:
Please don't hesitate to reach out to me via the provided email or phone number to discuss my application further. I eagerly await the opportunity to delve deeper into how I can contribute to your production.
And if you're looking for an alternative to "Best wishes," here are a few other lines to consider:
- Warm regards,
- Respectfully yours,
- Thank you for your consideration,
3 Essential Acting Cover Letter Tips
Now that you've got the gist of writing your actor cover letter down, it’s time to give it a final polish.
Just follow these cover letter tips to up your game:
#1. Match Your Resume
Giving your acting application a polished look can give you an edge.
Just matching your resume with your cover letter can present you as an organized and diligent candidate.
Align your text and contact information neatly on the page, maintain consistent font styles and sizes throughout your entire application, and set the page margins to the standard one inch on all sides. While you’re at it, remember to adjust the line spacing to keep your cover letter under one page long.
Or Use A Cover Letter Template Instead
Need a quicker solution?
Developed with input from hiring experts worldwide, each of our templates ensures that your actor cover letter meets industry standards and looks stylish. Your application will be ready in no time!
#3. Proofread The Final Draft
You can have an amazing actor cover letter and still get rejected because of one tiny mistake that has huge consequences.
And that mistake is not proofreading your cover letter before sending it. In fact, nearly 79% of hiring managers will outright reject an applicant because of typos or grammar mistakes. That’s a huge risk to take just because you’re too lazy to proofread.
Read your cover letter carefully and keep an eye out for any mistakes. Then try using a spellchecking tool like QuillBot. Run the text of your cover letter through it several times, then check it one more time yourself.
Don’t risk letting a typo ruin your chances of getting a call when you’ve worked so hard to finish your cover letter.
And you're ready to write that stellar actor cover letter!
We’re sure you’re all set to land the starring role you’ve got your heart set on.
But before you step into the spotlight, let's recap some highlights from our guide:
- Your actor cover letter should mirror the look of your resume to project professionalism. Just use our online resume builder and grab a matching cover letter template to craft yours.
- Make sure your contact information is accurate and professional. Avoid using any outdated or playful email addresses that might make you look immature.
- Use the body of your cover letter to weave in any skills, training, or experiences that are relevant to the specific role or production company you're applying for. This way, you can paint yourself as the perfect candidate for the job.
- End your cover letter with a heartfelt sign-off, including your full name at the bottom. It's the final touch that delivers a memorable application.