The Day-to-Day of an L.A. Agent

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“So what do you do all day?”

I get that question all the time. It’s hard to answer, because every day is different. So to provide you with an accurate answer, I decided to keep a diary for an entire workday. What follows is the straight dope, unedited—except for the names I’ve changed to protect the annoying.

9:50 a.m. I get in every day at just about the same time with a cup of coffee and a bag of hope.

10:10 a.m. I always have three windows open on my computer: The first is breakdowns, so I can jump on them as they come in. The second is Outlook, so I can check emails. And the third is Deadline. That’s where agents go for the latest news in the entertainment industry.

For more entertainment and casting news check out Industry Buzz!

10:50 a.m. I’ve been here less than an hour and I’m already flooded with breakdowns. Submissions are a crucial part of my job. They’re the first line of attack, so they need to get done.

11:30 a.m. A client named Janice just sent me a passive-aggressive email where she explains how much she loves me but she hasn’t had an audition in over three weeks and what’s up with that?

11:31 a.m. There’s a role on “NCIS” that’s perfect for Janice, so I call the casting director and score! He agrees to see her the next day.

11:32 a.m. Janice tells me she’s not available the next day. It turns out she’s working on a commercial and forgot to book out.

11:33 a.m. My assistant convinces me it’s too early to start drinking.

11:50 a.m. Good news! There’s an article on Deadline about a client of mine who just booked a recurring role on a network series. Bad news! My agency isn’t mentioned because the idiot manager forgot to include us in the email she sent the editors.

11:55 a.m. My assistant hands me a brochure about an anger management class.

12:42 p.m. I’ve been keeping track and, so far, I’ve received 12 submissions from actors I would never sign.

1:00 p.m. Agents eat lunch at 1. Anyone who wants to meet at 12:30 or 1:30 is an amateur.

1:30 p.m. I’m having an amazing meal with a lawyer who represents my most successful client. He invited me, so he pays. Them’s the rules.

2:45 p.m. I’m back in the office, and my first call is from one of my neediest clients. He explains that he’s just checking in to see if he’ll have any auditions soon. I agree to ask my crystal ball as soon as I buy one.

3:10 p.m. The count on submissions is up to 17. One of them is from an actor in his 40s who isn’t in the union yet.

3:15 p.m. I tell my assistant to hold all calls so I can spend the next 30 minutes pitching. I usually score one audition for every five pitches.

4:00 p.m. I take meetings with potential clients every day at this time. Most of these actors are referred by someone I trust, but today is different. This is an actor I’ve been chasing. He’s at a larger company, but his point person just left so he’s feeling a lack of love.

4:30 p.m. I crushed that meeting. The two of us bonded over our love of Chicago. He was super impressed because I knew a bar he didn’t think anyone else knew. Will he sign? It’s too soon to tell. He’s got other meetings set up. This whole business is about delayed gratification.

4:35 p.m. Damn, the breakdowns piled up while I was in the meeting. Back to the grind!

READ: “TV Shows Always Filming in Chicago”

5:10 p.m. This is the best part of my job: calling clients with auditions. The only thing that beats it is calling them with offers.

6:25 p.m. The final tally on submissions is 26, mostly from actors with no credits. This is disappointing. I actually like bringing in people from blind submissions if I see a spark of promise in them.

7:00 p.m. That’s it, game over. Tonight, I’m attending a workshop. Tomorrow, I’ll be seeing a client in a play. And the night after that, I have a date lined up with a bottle of scotch and my DVR.

Inspired by this post? Check out our Los Angeles audition listings! And if you want to know more about agents, check out the video below!

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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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