Thursday, 31 May 2012

Secret Agent Man

I recently came upon a new challenge in actor-world…the ominous task of finding a new agent! For me, this was the first time I had actually gone through the process of submitting for agents (in the past I had met agents through my school or performances they had seen) and the process went something like this: Sit down, find agents in town I’m interested in working with, put together packages and get mailing…and then sit longingly by the phone with a spoon and a jar of Nutella. If you’re currently looking for an agent, a good place to start is - they supply a full list of local agencies, along with their respective websites. Another good resource is IMDB Pro…it costs money to register with them, but it is totally worth it because you can look up each agent and see who they currently represent! As for the mailing itself, make sure you look at the website of the company you’re sending to carefully…they will often specify if they want a physical mail in, or an email submission, as well as what materials you should include. Lastly, perhaps the Nutella suggestion was not so helpful. Put the jar away and, I don’t know, hit the gym or something like that. I guess its better to be in tip top shape when getting your career going…. Ok fine, have one more spoonful and then continue on the proactive path ;) My search was pretty successful, I received a fair amount of interest and set up some meetings. The meeting thing itself is pretty interesting. A huge part of this for me is deciding what to freaking wear and wondering if my clothes might have fit better had I given up my Nutella addiction a little earlier on. Then you leave work early (thanks work!) and drive across town and park a good 6 blocks away from your destination…that is, if you have a fear of parking like I do. The first meeting I had went great…I think what made it a successful meeting was that we had both done our research on each other and knew what we were looking for out of the other person. She had me, at one point, do some sides from a commercial (a Cover Girl commercial…so finally, all those years of watching America’s Next Top Model came in handy!) which threw me off a little bit, because I had submitted demos to her already, but I was glad she was interested in more of what I could do. I’m also pretty sure Ms. Jay would have said it was a ‘hot mess’…but whatevs. Another meeting of mine didn’t go quite as well. I think one of the most important things in these situations to remember is to be a good listener. You have to, at least try to, read the other person because, even though it’s pretty key to be yourself, you have to know your audience (actors, yes?) and what they’re looking for out of you. This one person was very hard to read, and I think we never clicked at all because of that. In the end, he made me feel like I had wasted his time…even though he was the one who called a meeting with me, I was the one who drove an hour to get there and in the end, he wasn’t really looking to sign someone like me. It was a good reminder for me that the agent-actor relationship is a business partnership…so while it is important to do your best to impress an agent and be the best for them, you want to make sure the person you sign with is going to be a good fit for you too! Which is how this story ends…my last meeting was the light at the end of the tunnel. This agent and I had a lengthy phone conversation the day before meeting, and so we knew that getting together in person would be worth our time. When we met, we both shared our professional backgrounds, and I found that we had a lot of the same values in regards to the industry. I felt able to share my goals - ambitious as they are - and he answered all of my questions. In the end, we signed on the spot and I am very happy to report that I am a new member of David Whitmey’s roster for Moving Pictures Talent!!! I am super excited to get going and start auditioning! So that’s all for now from this, Easy, Breezy, Beautiful, Cover Gi - nope. Can’t do it with a straight face.