TV Target List Tips: Combine Logic And Passion For Your Best Results

TV Target List Tips by Dallas Travers

One of the best ways to build a relationship with casting and help them get to know, like and trust you is to reach out to them consistently over a period of several months.

You might think of this as marketing, but let’s define what that really means. Marketing is simply sharing who you are and allowing other people to decide for themselves whether they want to connect and work with you.

So, before you even dive into this process, there’s the important step of choosing which casting offices you’re going to pursue.

This is a decision that warrants some thought and research because your goal is to work as smart as possible. If you’re a young teenage jock type, for example, it might not make sense for you to pursue shows about political intrigue. There are so many more roles for your type in family drama.

In the same vein, it’s a good idea to find out how accessible the casting director makes him or herself. You may discover that a particular casting office won’t attend workshops and only casts indie films once a year.

Knowing details like this can help you use your time the most efficiently.

Here are three quick tips to narrow your target list down for the best results.

Go For The Low Hanging Fruit
I often tell actors to go for the “low hanging fruit,” especially when they’re just starting out and want to build their resume quickly. “Low hanging fruit” means shows that cast co-stars and guest stars regularly because of the nature of the genre. This most often looks like procedural dramas like cop, doctor and lawyer shows.

The catch is that if you don’t feel passionate about these types of shows, it can become difficult to stay focused in your pursuit. You may find yourself falling off track after only a few months.

Follow The 80/20 Rule
It’s important to balance your target list so you can stay engaged with your ultimate goal.

The low hanging fruit is important because it can generate results quicker, so I recommend that about 80% of your target list consists of these kinds of shows.

Then you still have that extra 20% for your heart connection. These are the projects that you’re super stoked about, whether or not the odds are in your favor. This is where your passion lies and having them on your list will keep you motivated.

Keep The List Manageable
In this case, bigger does not equal better. Keep your list small, so you can really target the people you want to meet. I recommend starting with between five and ten.

So if your list has five CDs, follow the 80/20 rule and choose four low hanging fruit and one dream project or favorite show. If that doesn’t feel like enough, choose two heart connections and three low hanging fruit.

Don’t forget that casting directors also work on multiple projects. Though they may be casting a show with limited co-star opportunities right now, you just don’t know what their next project might be. So why not start building relationships now with the people who work on the types of projects that inspire you most?


How have you focused your list of people you want to build relationships with? Have you implemented the 80/20 rule? Share your experience in the comments below.


3 Responses to “TV Target List Tips: Combine Logic And Passion For Your Best Results”

  1. Hi Dallas! I have a question. Once you reach sending your stuff to a CD 7-12 times, and you haven’t heard a response, do you move on? When is it time to stop targeting someone?

  2. After seven touches, if you haven’t heard anything, you might consider adjusting your list.

  3. Yvette Rodriguez says:

    You are so on target…….I love the work that you’ve done to help actors. Now I can see the light!

    You make everything much easier to follow. Thanks for the “blueprint”.

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