Ready to become an actor or become an actress? Join now to apply to open casting calls. Here are some great tips to get you started.

Don’t have an agent, but still want to get into major auditions? It’s possible to get into those auditions without an agent if you market yourself directly to casting directors.

The best way to market to a casting director is by regular mail. If you can get the attention of the person who opens the mail, a casting director just may call you to come in for an audition.

When marketing yourself to casting directors via mail, keep the following in mind.

• Appropriateness – Most casting directors specialize in certain kinds of casting. If you are an aspiring film actor, do not market yourself to casting directors that only cast commercials. If you are looking for theatre roles, don’t market to television casting directors. Make sure your submission is appropriate for the casting director.

• Mailing Envelope – Your first impression is your mailing envelope. Usually, an assistant will open the casting director’s mail, then sift through what the casting director will see and what he won’t. A casting office may receive multiple envelopes from actors every day. Send a clean, new mailing envelope of the correct size for the contents.

• Mailing Label – Do not handwrite the address on your mailing envelope. Even if you have good handwriting, a handwritten mailing address/return address is not professional. Print the mailing address and return address on a mailing label using black ink and a simple font of appropriate size for the label. A nicely typed mailing label will make the good impression that you treat acting as your business.

• Addressee – Do your research! Never misspell the name of a casting director or casting company. Make sure you have the name of the correct casting director, not someone who left the company four months ago. In addition, include the name of an actual casting director on your mailing label and not just the company name. If you just put the company name and not the name of a person, whoever opens the mail will usually toss it since it technically belongs to no one.

• Cover Letter – Don’t just put your headshot in an envelope and send it off! Always include a cover letter on nice heavyweight business stationery/paper. Don’t use notebook paper or cheap copy paper – remember you want to present the impression that you treat your acting as a business. Never handwrite your cover letter. Typed (with appropriate sized business font) is always best on stationery with a nice header. If you don’t have pre-printed stationery, make up some on your computer. Include a header with your name, e-mail address, website (if you have one), and a 24-hour cell phone contact phone number. Don’t be cutesy – stick to business. Address the letter to the person you addressed the envelope. Be brief, simple, and direct in telling the casting director why you are writing. If you are interested in auditioning for a particular role, include that in your note. In addition, include any special skills or qualifications you’d like to highlight, the names of anyone who recommended you mail the casting director, and end with a short conclusion. Run your computer spelling and grammar check and have a friend read your letter before mailing it.

• Sealing – Don’t make your envelope impossible to open. Gluing, excessive taping, and especially covering the metal fastener are quick ways for your envelope to end up in the trash. Some casting directors receive hundreds of submissions from aspiring actors. An assistant will give up after fifteen seconds of struggling to open your envelope.

That’s it! Just add your professionally done headshot and resume to the envelope then mail it out to casting directors.

Now that you have all this advice, get started by becoming a member and searching Los Angeles Casting Calls or New York Casting Calls