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Secret Agent Man

Saving Souls for a Percentage

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Saving Souls for a Percentage
Photo Source: Jonathan Bartlett

Demons are everywhere. They hide in darkness, waiting for a soul like the one inside your creative heart. Some live under your bed, knowing you’re weak when you’re at rest. Oh, these beasts know how to conceal themselves. They’ve had centuries to learn. You’ll never see them in the unforgiving light of day, but I can assure you, the demons are real. They’re hungry. And they prey on actors like you!

Last year I had a startling revelation. The money wasn’t pouring into my office anymore. Bookings were harder to come by and our top clients were getting snatched by larger agencies, companies with initials in their names.

I’m used to a certain lifestyle, so it became imperative that I find a way to supplement my income. One option was to become a workshop whore, signing up for as many as possible so I could pocket extra cash for watching boring scenes. But despite what you’ve heard, most agents aren’t vampires. We don’t enjoy sucking the blood out of people like you. I wanted to find a way to help actors while making a few bucks on the side.
That’s why I became an exorcist.

My new life began nine months ago when I was driving home from a weekend up in wine country. The freeway was busy, so I was traveling on the back roads, hoping to save some precious time.

As I approached the outskirts of Los Angeles, I came across a young man on the lip of a towering bridge. Tears were pouring down his face. He was about to make a permanent exit, stage down.

I slammed on the brakes, and my Audi skidded to a stop, mere yards from a spot that would soon mark the end of a human life. As I jumped out, I noticed a stack of headshots scattered on the ground.

“Stop!”

The young man turned, and our eyes met. He was desperate, scared. I took a step forward. “Who are you?”

The young man cried out, “I’m an actor!” I told him to get me a menu. The joke went over his head.

He then explained that after spending two years in L.A. pursuing his dreams, he was convinced he had no talent and it was time to shuffle off this mortal coil.

His choice of words surprised me. He was quoting Shakespeare. Curious, I picked up one the headshots and glanced at his résumé.

“Wait a minute, kid. You went to Juilliard. You’ve worked with the best theater companies in New York. Why would you doubt yourself like this?”

And that’s when I saw the demon. It was right behind his eyes, laughing, aroused by the poor actor’s pain.

Moving quickly and on pure instinct, I ran forward and pulled the young man away from the brink. I screamed my powers were sanctioned by the Association of Talent Agents, and I commanded the demon to be gone. As it left the actor’s body, I saw a sneer on its twisted face.

That night I saved a young man’s life. Now I’m an exorcist for hire.

Just last week I had to confine a character actor to his bed so he wouldn’t sign up for cheap plastic surgery online. The poor soul was convinced his lack of leading-man looks would prevent him from having a successful career. So I surrounded him with life-size cutouts of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti while I read aloud from Stephen Tobolowsky’s new autobiography. The ritual worked. The actor is now working on a regular basis.

So beware these demons. They always whisper the same words: “You’re not good enough. You have no talent. You’re going to fail.”

If you hear those voices, call me right away. And remember—I’m not just Secret Agent Man. I’m also an exorcist for hire.

Happy Halloween!

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