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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth It Is to Get a Form Letter

Posted by on Wed, Feb 20, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Like a lot of reporters, I get some unusual mail: Letters from prison, letters from drug people, letters from folks who want to stay anonymous and/or don't trust email, letters from all kinds of people I didn't used to correspond with before I started working at a newspaper.

actenvelopeUSE.jpg
  • the envelope

So I thought nothing of getting an envelope with no return address. Just another day on the farm.

But the letter inside confused me:

actletterUSEMOD.jpg
  • the letter

As the addendum says, this is "a form rejection letter," presumably sent by an actor who auditioned for Middletown. But why did the actor send it to me? I don't see anything wrong with it. It's one of the most polite rejection letters I've ever read—I wish I got rejection letters like that.

I tried stringing the first letters of each sentence together, but that only spelled "TIIT MWAM." What is up with this letter?

 

Comments (14) RSS

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1
I bet you do get more than your share of odd correspondence. Your work's got a plainly purposeful amount of noise you mix in with your signal. Stylish for sure, but it must sometimes give hope to the lightly deranged that in you they may find, if not a kindred spirit, at least a friendly ear. You should do a regular "mailbag oddities" feature.

How great that someone sent you this. An actor, sure, but not a self-seeking one - no return address or name? Someone who respects your being one of the few left standing being paid even a penny to keep up with local showbiz, who thought you'd find it interesting.
Posted by gloomy gus on February 20, 2013 at 8:14 AM · Report this
PassMeMyCane 2
The first part of the second paragraph is a string of business cliches that gives me a headache. "[D]ecisions must in the end be made going forward"?! Perhaps the actor is counting on you to wield your mighty pen to scourge the writer.
Posted by PassMeMyCane on February 20, 2013 at 8:38 AM · Report this
Tracy 3
I second the notion for a regular "mailbag oddities" posting.
Posted by Tracy on February 20, 2013 at 8:41 AM · Report this
4
Whatever happened to "Don't call us; we'll call you"?
Posted by cheakamus on February 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM · Report this
Mahtli69 5
We look forward to seeing you again soon... LIES!!!
Posted by Mahtli69 on February 20, 2013 at 8:57 AM · Report this
6
It's polite, and that's what I don't like about it. I hate it when people pretend they like me. I'd much, much rather they'd be honest about it.

"Thank you so much for auditioning. You're a fine actor and we were impressed with your take on the character, but we've decided that you're not quite what we were looking for. Thanks again and best of luck going forward."

Something like that. You don't have to pussyfoot with all this artsy actor babble and indirect, apologetic "decisions must be made (we're so sorry!)" stuff. Just say it and say it straight, you know?
Posted by floater on February 20, 2013 at 8:58 AM · Report this
7
Oh Margaret, you are wasting your life in theatre. Clearly, you were born for a epic career in corporate communications.
Posted by Mr. Happy Sunshine on February 20, 2013 at 9:06 AM · Report this
gttrgst 8
Obviously you shouldn't audition during a blackout. It's okay that you didn't get the part, but you should at least admit you tried.
Posted by gttrgst on February 20, 2013 at 9:44 AM · Report this
Callie 9
The fact that it's a form letter is fine. The stamp at the bottom right seems a bit excessive and unnecessary though.
Posted by Callie http://www.facebook.com/Klosetnerd on February 20, 2013 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Cracker Jack 10
You suck.
Your choices suck.
Your voice sucks.
And you're too short for the costume.
Posted by Cracker Jack on February 20, 2013 at 10:38 AM · Report this
COMTE 11
@9:

It appears the "stamp" was text cut-and-pasted onto the letter by the original receiver, not by ACT or Ms Layne.

And, frankly, as most actors can avouch, getting ANY kind of response back from a first audition, even if it's a mildly generic rejection such as this, is something of a rarity; there are plenty of theatres/directors who wouldn't have done even this, so it actually bespeaks a level of respect to the auditioner, which I would think most would sincerely appreciate.
Posted by COMTE on February 20, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Wandergeist 12
You might want to check your meds: it's possible you're Ambien-ing your way to auditions without knowing it -- and failing those auditions (literally "sleepwalking" through a part is rarely what they're looking for). But by all means keep trying: every actor at every audition needs to be able to look around the room and think "well at least I have a better shot than THAT guy."
Posted by Wandergeist on February 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 13
"He can release you from the process..." Wow did they have the person in chains? Are they hipster kinksters over there?
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on February 20, 2013 at 12:45 PM · Report this
dangerousgift 14
I'm just sorry you didn't get the part.
Posted by dangerousgift on February 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM · Report this

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