As we are well into the peak busy season, it is time to do a check-up and check-in with our industry fellows! Your Agent(s) work endlessly to get you the best opportunities available, they need you to work alongside them in order to get you to where you aspire to be.
The following are the TOP 13 ways for sure-fire failure
1. Not being available – this is the busy season, just as in retail where there are ‘black out’ days for vacation, the summer is the entertainment industry’s busiest season. Book your vacation for the winter when productions are slower. Be available when your competition is away; its a simple way to increase your success!
2. Not booking out – we understand that the summer months are the easiest time to be with your family – especially the kids. You MUST remember to inform your agent that you are unavailable. Forgetting not only hurts your reputation with casting, but your Agents as well.
3. Scheduling Conflicts – many actors have multiple bookings, wardrobe calls, auditions, and jobs that they are balancing. You must be diligent and painstakingly attentive to your schedule. Casting and Production do not look kindly on ‘oops, I forgot…’ Write everything down, AND have a back up if necessary!
4. Not adding to resume – Your acting resume is crucial. Not only does it show casting and their clients that you are capable of many different roles, it also serves as as reference for your Agent when submitting you to projects. It allows everyone to cross-reference for conflicts and helps avoid legal messes. ALWAYS update your resume as soon as you walk off set!
5. Showing up late – Traffic, construction, and delays are unavoidable. Tourists, sporting events, concerts, weather etc will all add to the mess on the roads. Leave AMPLE time to attend your auditions. NEVER show up to a booking or recall late! Casting emails and calls your Agent when you are late….it is very very unprofessional.
6. Disregarding advise – Your Agents career and livelihood is based upon their roster’s success. They would NEVER give you advise that was counter-intuitive. It is quite literally their job to know the ins and outs of the industry. They have been honing their skills for years, your Agent will only ever tell you how best to get ahead. Do NOT take other actors advise over your Agents. If actors knew best they would all be self represented!
NOT EVERY COACH WORKS FOR EVERY ACTOR DEPENDING ON YOUR LEVEL.NOT EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER IS A FIT FOR EVERY ACTOR DEPENDING ON YOUR ETHNICITY, AGE GROUP AND LEVEL.
7. Relying too much on others – You are self-employed. It is up to you to handle your business and associates with as much professionalism as any executive. You are the CEO of your career; learn as you go, ask for advice when needed but remember at the end of the day, it is up to you to take care of it. Google, learn, watch…whatever you have to do to increase your understanding of your industry.
8. Not investing in yourself – Acting classes, Coaches, self tapes, and industry qualified headshots are required of ALL actors. Not specifically all at once, but as you go. Being a part of a Principal Agency signifies that you are at the point in your career where this is no longer a hobby. You are expected to take yourself as seriously as you expect the rest of the industry to take you.
Your Agent can only rally for you as far as your materials will let them. How can you expect to be chosen for bigger and better projects if you have a weak profile, unprofessional self tapes, and/or a disorganized resume format?
9. Treating the Casting room as a social gathering – An audition is a job interview, not a party. Please remember that the Casting Directors/Associates/Assistants are working. It is their job to be friendly and build relationships, just as it is your job to represent yourself and your agency to the best of your ability. DO NOT forget that you are being assessed for a potential job! No complaining about the wait (casting has been there 10x longer than you have), no discussing weekend plans in explicit detail….and no showing up unprepared!
Casting does not want to chit chat, they are busy!!! Do not use an audition as a time to try to get on a personal level with casting. They are not there to make friends, they are well aware of actors who try to kiss up, they want you to do what you are asked to do and leave.
10. Poor Communication – Communication is key. It is the only way that the relationship between Agent and Talent can work. It is the Agents duty to give all information as quickly and concisely as possible. It is the talents duty to read, re-read, apply said information and THEN ask questions. Always respond to emails sent to you in a timely manner. Within one hour (or less) is the optimal time frame, no later than end of business day.
11. Self Absorbed – Its a harsh label, but … if the shoe fits? Actors must be aware of what is going on around them. Agents are not only handling your booking or your audition. They have many actors taking part in many projects with many questions. Do not bombard your agent with questions that you can easily figure out. Common sense goes a long way and is expected and abundantly appreciated!!
12. Training – At the risk of sounding redundant…train, train, and train some more!! Your Agent is not an acting coach. It is not an Agents job to teach you anything other than the basics of the industry. If you don’t know how to self tape, learn how!! Read, google, watch examples. If you don’t know how to do your resume, learn how!! Read, google, show initiative!!
How can an Agent get their actors in the room if they are busy teaching actors how to do resumes, how to use their iphone for self tapes, how to upload photos onto casting systems. Please do not take up your Agents time with things that you can do on your own….it only takes time away from getting you casting opportunities.
The actor/agent relationship must by symbiotic. Trust needs to be both ways. This way if you have to contact you Agent at 10pm, if there is an emergency, your Agent will actually answer. They know you are serious, they know you would not be contacting them for nothing, they trust you!!!
13. Protocol – All agencies have a set protocol. Rules and guidelines are put in place to help you and them be as efficient and as effective as possible. When actors are confused or have questions, here are the steps (in the exact order) of what an actor should do:
- Read your audition/booking details again: 90% of the time all info is listed. Don’t just skim the email and jump to calling your Agent in the evening because you didn’t read your details thoroughly.
- Email your Agent. It is not an emergency, nothing is on fire, send an email and give the Agent time to answer your question.
- If you do not receive a reply and time is running out, call the office! It may be a simple question that Reception can answer.
- Last resort, call the emergency after hours cell of your Agent. This is a last resort number, this is an “interrupt your Agent’s time with their family” number. Don’t get us wrong, we are on call to you and we are willing and able to deal with all emergencies at any hour!!! Please make sure it is an emergency is all we ask:)