An Agent’s 8 New Year’s Resolutions for Actors to Consider in 2023

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Photo Source: Spencer Alexander

It’s time for my favorite end-of-year ritual: making resolutions. At this point, I have it down to a science. My first list deals with personal goals, like taking an anger management class and accepting that I’ll never be an astronaut. The second list is about my career as an agent, which has goals ranging from increasing bookings to seeking out new actors to sign or steal.

What about you? Do you have your own list? If you don’t, I recommend you start one. Making resolutions is an incredibly effective way to keep your career on track. 

Here are a few I wish all actors—including the ones I represent—would make, written in the first person. These are based on personal experience, which explains my need for anger management. 

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1.  I will stop sending my agents five takes of every scene in my self-taped auditions. They’re busy people, and they don’t have time to review that much material. From now on, I’ll start exercising some self-control and limit my choices to two.

2. I acknowledge it was a mistake to send my agents all of the headshot choices from my recent shoot. There were 950 pictures in that file, and that’s a whole lot of me. Next time, I’ll narrow it down to my top 100. (I feel more considerate already!)

3. Not consulting with my agents before signing with a manager was a mistake. They’re part of my team, and I should have given them a heads up if I was thinking about adding another player into the mix. If I had spoken to my agents first, they might have presented me with some great options of their own.

4. I will remember that COVID-19 restrictions are still in place for most productions, and actors have to be vaccinated and boosted before anyone will hire them. I will also remember that the vaccines I get have to be approved ones, like Moderna and Pfizer. The shot I received at the Discount Vaccine Emporium doesn’t count.

5. I’ve been in the same acting class for five years. That’s way too long. I will leave my comfort zone and start searching for a new teacher who will challenge me in fresh ways. Taking this step will impress my reps and increase my ability to get booked.  

6. I will learn the definitions of terms like “local hire” and “fluent speaker” before I toss them around like cheap salad.

7. Oh, no! I forgot to get my agent a Christmas present. What a freshman mistake. I bet all the other clients remembered to get them a little something. I’ll have to make this right next year.

8. I just realized that I don’t really know much about my agent, so I have no idea what I should get him for the holidays next year. Does he drink? Does he like coffee? Does he enjoy anything other than work? I resolve to learn more about the human being who is responsible for my career. 

I hope these suggestions serve you well—and feel free to add your own resolutions. There’s no reason we can’t make this a team effort. Have a fun and successful New Year! 

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 29 issue of Backstage Magazine.

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Secret Agent Man
Secret Agent Man is a Los Angeles–based talent agent and our resident tell-all columnist. Writing anonymously, he dishes out the candid and honest industry insight all actors need to hear.
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