Weissman Brunson Management, New York and Los Angeles
on't talk, do. Be ready when the manager has an appointment. Get a BlackBerry or the like. Confirm appointments immediately. Have pictures printed and ready to go. Keep in class. Stay in shape. Have a life. Listen to the manager's instructions at all times. Talent is paying for our time; use it.
Don't be late for anything, ever. If you think you are going to be, call the manager immediately. Don't ask to change an appointment unless absolutely necessary. Read the trades. Call immediately after an audition to relay how it went; it helps when following up. If [you're] lucky enough to have the script prior, read no fewer than five times. Be prepared for auditions. No winging; leave that to the birds. Get sleep, not drunk.
Letnom Management and Productions, New York
etwork, network, network. There are only so many hours in a day that a manager has to work on their roster of talent. You are the eyes and ears of what's going on in your community through friends, colleagues, acting coaches, etc. Find out what the buzz on the street is. Keep up with current events in the industry. Find out what your friends are auditioning for and what's out there, and then let your manager know what you're interested in. There's a good chance that you've been submitted already, but if not and your agent has overlooked you for the role, we can always follow up.
What's really, really important is that you have the appropriate tools ready and available for your manager and agent. Make sure your résumé is updated. Make sure that your headshot actually looks like you. Make sure the presentation is nice when you send out your portfolio. Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct and that there's no mustard dripping off your résumé. Take pride in your portfolio appearance.
Follow up, be on time, and present yourself in a professional manner. You have to think of an audition as a job interview. Whether you're auditioning for a pilot or a film, you're not going to show up in a tank top and boom-boom shorts. This is something the talent should know without having to hear it from their manager. Make sure you have an appropriate voice message on your phone. There is nothing worse than calling an actor or performer and getting a message with disco music or their dog barking in the background. Make sure it's easy for the industry to contact you. Check your emails and telephone messages often.
Talk to your manager about your career and where you want to go. Be open with them. Recently we had a client who hosted a design show for many seasons, and we had been sending him out for other design shows and projects. He finally came to us and said, "I want to do something else now." He is now auditioning for feature films and television shows, but had he never come up to us and told us what he wanted, we would have kept submitting him for the design world. Don't be afraid to speak up and let your manager know what you want. You need to be the captain of your own career and steer your boat into stardom.
D/F Management, New York
ctors should always be willing and able to maximize any and all opportunities. For example, when an actor participates in a reading, a workshop, or lands a great part, spread the word. Make a list of specific people you want to have see your work, and invite them. It is important to never treat any of these opportunities, especially legitimate jobs, as inconsequential or as a favor done. One never knows who will see your work or when they will see it and ultimately what door may open.
TalentInk LA-NY, Toluca Lake, Calif.
fter [the actor] has signed on with a manager, the manager should give them a list of things to be done—and they need to be done yesterday. In other words, don't dawdle. Show your interest and intent in your career and making it go forward. If you are already listed on LA Casting and Breakdown Services, make sure you call them immediately and transfer over your representation to your current representation. If [the manager] asks you to put up additional pictures, pop for the $10 per picture and get them up as soon as possible. It's their tool to sell you; make sure they have what they need to get the job done. Check in with them once a week, later in the day, to say, "Hey, just checking in to see if you need anything from me or how I might be able to help you." Don't ask, "Is there anything for me?" If there was something for them, they would have received a phone call. But it's important also to not just go away. I have a couple of clients who, if I don't make time to call them, I don't hear from them at all. That's not necessarily a good way to have a two-way street with your representation.
When you make a connection with an agent or a manager and they show interest in representing you and you have an appointment set, make sure you show up, or have the courtesy to call and state that you've had an issue of some kind and you cannot make it and could you reschedule. One young gentleman made three appointments with me, and today was his third strike—he's out. I will never see or hear from him again. He didn't have the courtesy to call and cancel or show up or even send an email. Yet he begged and pleaded for a third chance to come in for an interview. This is a business; it's not play.
If you make a contact with someone, don't say, "Hey, I met this fella from HBO, and they really like me and want me to come in for an interview." Get their business card; get their name and telephone number. Don't call your representation and say, "I made this great contact, but I have no way of knowing how you're going to reach him." That doesn't help.