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Secret Agent Man

Accept Your Career Changes

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Accept Your Career Changes
Photo Source: Pete McDonnell

Change is scary. It represents the unknown. We build our lives around the known and when that’s taken away, it freaks us out. But life has taught me that change is one of the few constants in this world, so we have to learn to deal with it.

Let’s look at change from an actor’s perspective. You spent the last two years trying to sign with a respected agency, and you finally did it. To achieve this goal, you attended countless workshops where you met every casting director in town. A few of them hired you. That helped fill in some of the white space on your résumé. You also studied with respected teachers who are known to the industry. When the time was right, you asked for referrals and you got them. A few meetings later, you signed with a boutique talent agency that was high on your list of companies that could jump-start your career.

Life is good.

And now, without warning, change has kicked down your door and is waving a gun in your face! 

It turns out that one of your three new agents has left the company. And the guy who jumped ship is your point person, the agent who signed you. He’s now working for a much larger agency, and he’s not bringing you with him.

What does this mean? Will the others keep working for you? Are you going to get dropped?

The truth is you have no way of knowing, because you’re too far removed from the source. So you have to start calculating your odds. If you’ve been booking, you’re probably safe. If you haven’t, several factors can determine your future.

Hopefully, you nurtured relationships with all your agents, not just the guy who signed you. Did you make an effort to get to know everyone, or did you limit your communication to one person? The answer to that question might influence what happens next. 

Now take a look at your list of auditions. Figure out how many came from each agent. Is it just about even, or did your point person do all the heavy lifting? If that’s the case, he may have been the only one excited about you and now that he’s gone, your future could be in jeopardy.

There are so many variables. And guess what? There’s more change on the horizon.

The agent who left has to be replaced, so at some point another agent is going to be hired and that person will inherit the existing client list. He’s also going to bring in a lot of new actors. That means some of the current clients will have to be dropped to make room for the new ones.

When an agent is hired, he spends his first few weeks sitting down with the existing clients. These meetings are very friendly, but make no mistake: You’re being judged. When you leave, the agent will express his opinion to the rest of the team.

So make sure the meeting goes well. Don’t come across as a needy actor. Make an effort to connect, especially if you’re concerned about your future.

If you survive this unexpected change, you should feel pretty good about yourself. The agents obviously think you have potential. Make sure you prove them right.

And if you end up getting dropped, take a few days to blubber into your pillow. Then accept the facts. You don’t always get to be captain of your change ship.

Remember, you got this far once. You can do it again. So start planning for a better and brighter future, one full of stability and a lot more change.

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