This very common phrase throws actors for a loop often! You are not alone. This vague sentence can be very daunting: do they mean my full reel and headshot and resume OR do they want to see my commercial work and my portfolio of looks? Ahhhh my reel and headshot are OLD. OMG I don’t have a reel!!!!!
Let me talk you through it. In my experience, this is a simple request for a reminder of you/your work to be sent to someone’s inbox. This is not someone testing you on your actor-business to see if you have all your ducks in a row. It’s not that deep.
A huge rule of thumb to keep in mind: everyone is busy and gets a lot of emails. Therefore, it is NOT COOL to send large files to someone who did not specifically ask for them. So…what does that mean for sending someone footage + photos + document resumes?
This is currently the only reason I keep a website up and running. I have had managers in the past tell me that wasn’t necessary and that I could utilize my money elsewhere. However, I disagree. Although my site isn’t fancy or crazy cool, it holds all my reels, recent headshots, resume, and contact info all in one place. To me this in invaluable! Mine is via WIX although I love Square Space a lot more (Wix customer service blows).
Now when someone says “oh yea, send me your stuff,” I don’t panic about what I have or don’t (because I allow it to backlog on the site a bit) and I don’t get concerned about sending large files to a busy person’s inbox.
So maybe you don’t have or want a website. Your call! So the next possible option is keeping easy links to your things accessible for when the time rises. For example, whatever platform you host your reel on (Vimeo, YouTube, etc) have a link to that + a link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder that contains only a few recent headshots and your resume (you can also have your reel in this folder). If you don’t have a reel, send a link to a recent work you have done. And ta-da, you now have footage, headshots, and your resume accessible to update at any time and also super easy to send in a small email (remember, no large files unless requested!!). Also, a lot of these services are totally free. Winning.
Ok, fine. You don’t like any of the previous options and you also have no film to show or reel pieces whatsoever. Then here is the alternative. Have a small sized photo, maybe 300 pixels or less, saved on your computer and labeled simply, “Sam Valentine Headshot 2018” or something like that (NEVER send someone an attachment that is SamV1657o293723o…that’s just amateur hour shit). And attach your (also properly labeled) resume in a PDF (you can save it in this format in something like Pages). And that’s it! Do not mention your lack of film or reel. If someone wants it, they can ask and you can say you’re working on it currently. Thats ok!….but also be working on it. (Should I do a post on what makes a good reel? Let me know).