Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Really? Who are you?

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I got another of these mysterious fan letters, although this time they actually left an address for me to send to (which I have redacted.) So this time I tried looking his email address up on Google and was interested to find that they’ve left the same comments on people’s guestbooks. Here is what he sent me:

To Whom it May Concern,
I enjoy Ms. Cronican's work and I am wondering if I may request an autographed photograph. Thank you for your time.

Regards,

Dale Rehm

We have a fabulous houseguest (@alpower - you Twitter folks will understand what to do with this...) who gave a great hypothesis about why people send these requests: Perhaps they troll the internet looking for up-and-coming actors, in the hopes that they will become famous one day. And if we send them signed headshots, perhaps they can make money off them. What a brilliant concept. Not brilliant for us, the actors, but brilliant for the autograph hounds.

Maybe I’d make more money if I did it their way...


UPDATE (1/6/10):
Today I got another autograph request from Dale, with no acknowledgment that he has asked me in the past. I checked my web stats, and the way he reached my website was by typing "aea sag resume" into Google. My website was found on PAGE 30 - kind of a long list to search for the purpose of seeking autographs. Weird!


UPDATE (5/1/10):
Oh... this just keeps getting better and better! I just received an email from someone named William Dale, and he says (copied verbatim- all spelling and grammatical errors are his):

"Dear Ms. Cronican,
In March of 2009 you wrote a piece on your webiste titled 'Who are you really?'. I believe I am the individual you noted in that piece. To spare you the lengthy details, in late March of this year I came to learn that someone had gained access to one of my email accounts and had been using it for various purposes. I am embarrassed and sadenned that it took so long for me to realize that; for you and others were impacted by this. This past month I have taken various measures to prevent this from happening ever again. I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to you and others for any inconveniences this has caused. While you certainly don't owe me any favors, I am wondering if you would be willing to modify that blog and it's responses by either removing references to my last name or by only using the initial of 'R'. As mentioned earlier I am very embarrassed and distressed by all that has transpired and again I am sorry. Thank you for your hopeful understanding of this matter.

My humblest apologies,

DR

I don't, for one second, believe his story. Sure- he was kind and seemed reasonable, but there were too many red flags in his communications for me to take him at face value. So, this was my response to him:

"Hello- and thank you for your email. Since you have suggested that someone unscrupulous has been emailing actresses using your personal information, I think it is even more important to warn people about these emails. So I will not be removing the name "Dale Rehm" from the post, nor will I adjust the name to just a first name or initial. However, I will be posting your email, in its entirety, to the blog so that my readers can see what you have said.

As you may know, I have had multiple individuals send strange requests for headshots, and in an effort to warn others I have written blog posts about anything I found to be fishy. What you may not know is that on several occasions, I have received follow up emails from the "real" individual to say that their identity has been stolen and could I please alter or remove the post. I personally find the fact that you are now saying the same thing to be, well... odd. It seems odd to me that there are criminals out there stealing people's identities for the purposes of asking for autographs. It also seems odd to me that only since "late March of this year" you are seeking to clear your name, since it has been well over a year since I received my first autograph request from "Dale Rehm." (Strangely, I also received a second request from "Dale" in January of 2010.) Finally, another thing I find very odd- in your email, the FROM field says that your name is "William Dale" but you signed the email "DR." It makes it difficult to know who I am REALLY talking to.

I hope that what you are saying is true- and that the incessant requests to actresses by "Dale Rehm" will stop. For that reason, I'll happily post both your message and my response on my blog.

My very best, Erin"


I also have had a bunch of other experiences that I recommend being wary of- click here to check out my posts about them.


Erin Cronican's career as a professional actor and career coach has spanned the last 25 years in New York City, Los Angeles and San Diego. She has appeared in major feature films and on television, and has toured nationally with plays and musicals. She has worked in the advertising & marketing departments of major corporations, film production companies, theater magazines, and non-profit acting organizations. For more information, please visit http://www.erincronican.com.

17 comments:

  1. I'm Googling the same guy because my 51-yr-old character actor husband got the same request in the mail via his agency. He laughed at the thought that someone was waiting for him to get his 'big break', so not sure what that does for the theory. Couldn't help noticing that everyone else he contacts is young and much prettier than my hubby.

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  2. LOVE these stories. Keep 'em coming!

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  3. Funny! I just got the same request and was Googling him too when I came across your website. He actually sent the request to my personal email. Scary!

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  4. That's why I post these on my blog- I want to make sure that those who are searching are able to find information. Glad to be of help, and thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Thanks for posting this. That guy just contacted me with the same request, which I found really strange seeing as most of the work I've done has been on stage, states away, and not available online. Creepy creepy creepy. THANK YOU for the heads up.

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  6. You got it! =) Thanks for stopping by...

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  7. I got his request as well and Googled him. Glad to be in fun company!

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  8. It IS fun company, isn't it? =) Thanks for reading- glad I could be of some help!

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  9. Hi Erin,

    I just got the same creepy request. I haven't done any acting work worth noting so i googled him and came across your blog. Thanks for posting!

    -Beverly

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  10. I just received a similar email from Dale Rehm. I’m all for pleasing my fans, but unless they have picked me out of a film at a film festival, or looked for me in very small roles on TV, I don’t see how I could be that well known as yet. Very strange. The thing is, when do you begin agreeing to sign autographs? After you think you’ve achieved a certain level of success or when you think you might have become a household name? Most autographs are anonymous anyway, signing on the street while you’re taking a walk or out to dinner. This man included his mailing address. Who is to say he truly is not a fan and doesn’t deserve an autograph? For me, it’s hard to say. A couple of years ago I received an email from someone saying he was a fan of my work and I sent him my autographed headshot with no return address. I haven’t heard anything since, and I can’t know for sure if he was truly a fan, but hopefully with my good intentions I’ve made him smile.
    JHA

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  11. Yep- it IS hard to say what is genuine and what is not. I think it is awesome that actors like you are taking the time to research folks who reach out to them- making educated decisions is the backbone of a solid career!

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  12. He's emailed me twice this year, the last was just yesterday. I've emailed him back and have asked what it is that he likes about my work.....I'll let you know if he replies :)

    Peace, love, & rock-n-roll

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  13. Great question to ask! I look forward to hearing his reply... =)

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  14. I am tripping out. I just received the exact same email from Dave Rehm and googled him and got this. I was doubly freaked because my name is Erin as well and I thought it might be some weird Erin obsession. ha! Now that I see it's a lot of people, I'm even more curious. I am a little freaked out to send my signed headshot. And he sent it to my personal email as well which is freaky.

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  15. Add me to the list, I got his email too.

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  16. Me, too--just got it yesterday. Would love to hear if he replied to Jessica's query...

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  17. wow...just googled david rehm b/c I got a request for an autograph. (It went to the email from my acting website). Thought it odd so I googled and here I am with the rest of you! :) However, unfortunately not until after I just wrote him back saying..."thanks but are you sure you want an autograph and why? I havent done anything that big yet"? LOL! Hmmm...this is entertaining! Thanks Erin for making this blog! Too funny! :)

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Thanks for commenting- YOU ROCK!


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