What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Expect From Your Agent

Photo Source: Spencer Alexander

So you just signed with your first agent. Congratulations! That’s great news. Now let’s discuss what you can expect and what’s expected of you.

When actors start working with their first agent, they expect a flurry of activity from Day 1, and that’s rarely the case. It takes time to get a new client out there. We have to figure out the right fit from a casting perspective. That means finding the correct type of part for you in terms of age and type. Speaking realistically, I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of auditions during those first few weeks.

So what can you expect? Well, you should start seeing activity after the first month. If you don’t, there could be a problem. A friendly check-in might be in order. Just keep it pleasant and nonconfrontational. “Where the hell are my damn auditions, you bloodsucking freak!” is never the right way to go.

When you finally start receiving auditions, they should feel like they’re right for you. If you’re sent out three consecutive times to play a character 10 years older than your true age, there could be a disconnect between reality and the way your agent sees you. This isn’t a big problem; it happens all the time. Like I said before, we have to figure out the right fit for each of our clients. So the key here is to communicate your concerns.

On that same note, if you made it clear during your first meeting that you’re not interested in doing nudity and those first few auditions involve you dancing on a stripper pole, this could be a warning sign that your agent isn’t really hearing what you’re saying. Again, a friendly check-in might be needed. And leave out the “bloodsucking freak” part.

READ: “SHOULD YOU DO NUDE SCENES?”

Now, here’s what you can expect in terms of the nuts and bolts of receiving auditions. I prefer to call clients first, because that gives me a chance to discuss the details with them. But sometimes I’m in the weeds, so I allow my assistant to make the call. Either way, we’re both available to answer any questions you might have. Remember, it’s in everyone’s best interest that you have all the information necessary to perform well at an audition.

Other agents prefer to just email out the details without calling the client first. I guess that’s fine. Just make sure you read the email and attachments carefully. And please don’t forget to reply with a confirmation. That’s really, really important.

Now this brings up the F-word—no, not fennel. I’m talking about feedback. Actors often want some after every audition. This is a major pet peeve for guys like me. There just aren’t enough hours in the day for every agent in town to call every single casting director for feedback on every single audition. So please trust that your reps know when it’s appropriate to check in with casting and when it’s not.

That takes us to your first booking. When the offer comes in, I will call with all of the deal points. Make sure you write them down. And please ask your questions before giving me the go-ahead to close. Once that deal is closed, it’s almost impossible to go back and change it.

Now let’s go make some magic! (And money!)

Like this advice? Check out more from Secret Agent Man!