1. Get their name right
If you’re emailing an agent or casting director, make absolutely sure you have his or her name right and that of the company. Few things are more off-putting than approaches from careless people who get it wrong.
2. Be polite
“Dear Fred (if I may?)”, is safer for a first approach than “Hi Fred” to someone you don’t (yet) know and who may be much older than you and professionally respected. Similarly, in a first email, end with something fairly formal such as “yours sincerely” or “best wishes”. After that, you can follow the style of any answer you receive.
3. Be direct
Say what you mean without presumption or gushing. Use accurate standard English (not text speak). Say who you are, what you can do and what you’re asking for – politely but directly. Be honest and keep it as brief as you can.
This article was originally published in The Stage newspaper on 31 July 2014.