To give or not to give? That is the question.
From person to person in the industry, the opinion will vary depending on advice they have been given, their own experience of giving, and/or receiving gifts themselves during the holidays.
A big no-no mentioned by casting directors and agents is giving them homemade goodies. If they don’t have a super close relationship with you where you’ve invited each other over for dinner before – it leaves them wondering if your hands were clean or if the cat jumped up on the counter top and put his paws all over the cooking area, etc. Yikes – I don’t blame them!
They also mentioned they don’t enjoy getting SOooo many sweet treats. While no one can deny they are yummy to eat, too much of them is over kill + they too like to keep a healthy weight about them. ; – )
When I wouldn’t suggest a gift…
The only condition where I would not suggest giving gifts is if you know for sure your agent, the casting directors, or manager has stated at one time or another – they don’t like getting gifts over the holidays.
It comes down to their wishes and wants during this time of giving.
I too don’t believe in giving gifts if you are just doing it from a self-serving place, to kiss booty, and “win” them over in your favor. Oh NO, just to even write that makes my head spin. Trust me, if that is your motivation, they will sense it from a mile away, which puts you on another kind of list of theirs. May they book you AND speak highly of you.
Having worked in an agency, in casting + listening to my representation through the years – I know first hand that all year long, they give of their time, energy, and sometimes their own personal life events to help us book jobs.
So in the season of giving, I say – YES show your gratitude.
In giving, I’ve never received negative feedback in the least. I’ve received nothing but appreciation in return. It ends up being a feel-good for both you and them.
How to stand out in the crowd – ‘ahem your competition…no worries, I’m sharing an affordable way to thank your agent, manager, and those lovely casting directors.
You gotta think outside the box to shine!
Don’t wait for Christmas or Hanukkah to roll around. The perfect time to give thanks is at Thanksgiving. Already missed that? How about start the new year off from a place of gratitude and appreciation. Why not send some love for Valentines?
And the sexiest one is why not send a thank you or an I appreciate you at a just because time – a completely unexpected time and NOT just when you’ve booked something.
Expressing gratitude is a beautiful thang…
Remember first and foremost that while we want, want, want, and want some more to book a job and then some more jobs – your agent, manager, and the casting directors are people just like you and I. They work hard if not harder at times to help our careers move forward. Lets be real, they got bills to pay too!
If you feel you are with the right representation, but you may not have booked as much as you wanted to this year, that doesn’t mean they didn’t shed some blood, sweat, and tears that were filled with their hopes and dreams behind the scenes too hoping you would book.
To honor that, it’s our responsibility to do our part by staying in a class, market ourselves, and be prepared for every audition. To show them your appreciation for their long hours of hard work and most importantly their belief in you, know that holiday gifts of gratitude will not only make their day, but yours too.
We can’t make it to the top alone.
So what to give?! There’s good news…
You don’t have to break your bank account to give thanks! I’m sharing an affordable way to thank your agent, manager, and those lovely casting directors.
If you are just starting out in your acting career and haven’t booked anything YET or aren’t booking enough to splurge as much as you would like to – as they say it’s the little things that matter most. You will receive gratitude in return for just the mere thought of it.
To get your creative + thoughtful juices flowing for gift ideas, here are few gifts I have given in the past that got much approval and put a smile on their faces.
3 Gratitude Gift Ideas:
1. A just-for-them gift
Make it your biz to get to know your agent, manager and the casting directors as much as possible to build a fun + respectful working relationship that could possibly turn into a friendship down the line.
In doing so, you will learn and know exactly what to get them for the holidays that will make them super excited.
A personal gift goes a long way…
When you know what they like, you don’t have to worry if they will like what you are giving them + it’s a great way to show them that they matter and you pay attention to the little details about them.
It’s my fave way to give gifts to my family and friends too.
The unexpected + warm response I got from a casting director…
I’ll never forget the time I gave a casting director a gift card to BevMo for the holidays to say thank you for all his hard work and the opportunities he passed my way throughout the year.
My phone lit up with a voicemail from him of such appreciation. I got to hear a side to his already wonderful personality that I had never been introduced to before – it made me smile from ear to ear to hear him that happy.
You see – he was filled up with joy, appreciation + excitement because he was a lover of wine. ; – )
2. A rejuvenating gift
As I shop for gifts, I always lead from the thought – what will make them happy and feel cared for – what does that person use, like, or need that that will help their super busy days be more relaxing. Remember, they are working hard for you.
Depending on your budget you can gift them anything from a candle to a day at the spa.
As I was shopping in Target last year, I happened to be going through the candle section and I just had to stop and smell them. How can a girl not?!
I came across one that read CALM. I’ll always take a whiff of a candle that reads calm. Then it hit me – “mmmh, I should get this for my agent to help her relax easier while working during THE busiest time of year for agents and casting directors – pilot season.”
I know when I’m writing and creating for The Actor’s Flow – a candle lit beside me is so relaxing and it helps my creative juices flow + I enjoy working even more.
So as a part of her holiday gift – I knew her wine of choice too, I was excited to give her some CALM – not really knowing if she was a fan of candles. Again, I had to think how can I take care of her.
What my agent had to say…
First, she gushed over her wine + loved the smell and idea of the candle. Even though I told her it was for her to burn during pilot season which was coming up the next month, she shouted out, “I’m gonna burn it today!”
Weeks later, when we were on the phone she mentioned that she had her candle burning again. I knew instantly the candle was a home run. We both got to smile that day. It feels good to help others feel good.
3. A practical + biz savvy gift
Giving gifts to others should be one they will enjoy, one that makes them smile, or one they can get good use out of day-to-day.
As long as you are putting them first, you can also use the gift as a savvy fun marketing opportunity for your acting biz – keeping you at the forefront of their minds.
This next gift idea lovelies – I have not given to anyone as a gift yet, but I’m excited to, as I placed my order today. ; – )
This gift idea is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season – to give thanks, show gratitude, + leave behind a savvy memorable gift for them to remember you by – giving them the feeling of hanging out with you and that you two are in this journey together.
Give your representation and casting directors some well-earned cheers with Vista Print’s, fun-filled Coaster Holiday Cards! You can add a photo of a show they cast or just add words of appreciation they can see year ’round like, Cheers to You! Enjoy getting creative, but please NO headshot photos on the coasters remember it’s about them not you. ; )
In the spirit of giving this year, keep it about your gratitude for them.
Know that what you give out comes back to you – sometimes tenfold. So keep any negative, insecure, and selfish thoughts and actions on lockdown. That’s not something you want to experience in return.
Give with joy, appreciation, and gratitude – expecting nothing in return and watch how the year unfolds for you.
Share gifts ideas! Let us know in the comments below, what gift you gave your representation before that they absolutely loved.
As I appreciate all you lovelies – Happy Holidays!