You're Fired!

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For the last year and a half, the entertainment industry has been trapped inside a perfect storm. First, the writers strike. It lasted three and a half months and cost us over $2 billion in revenue. Then, just as that front started to fade, the Screen Actors Guild hit us hard by failing to negotiate a TV and film contract. This created a second front, the threat of another strike, just as the nation's economy took a nosedive into the toilet. Each of these events was destructive in its own way, but we had to face all three in a very short period of time. It's a miracle we're still standing.

The worst part of this nightmare has been watching people I know lose their jobs. It doesn't matter if you're a production executive or a guy who answers the phone at a prop house. No one is safe, not even us agent types. The word is that once the evil merger between Endeavor and William Morris is done, more than a hundred agents will have to be let go, not to mention the assistants who make them look good. That's a lot of blood in the streets.

I've been keeping track of all this heartache, and I discovered something that really gets me steamed. All the wrong people are getting fired! I'm serious. It seems like every incompetent jerk I know is safe, while good, hard-working people are being shown the door. So to make things right, I'm going to vent my anger by outing everyone in this industry who deserves to get canned.

Let's start with those failed actors who make a living by teaching acting classes. I'm sorry your careers went nowhere, but that doesn't give you the right to compensate for your shortcomings by charging others for the right to learn nothing. I understand the need to be validated, but this isn't the way to do it. So you're fired!

How about the marketing team that worked on The Soloist? I'm talking about the people who came up with "No one changes anything by playing it safe." Really? That's the best you could do? Go home. You're all fired!

The digital world has destroyed the art of photography. It seems like every loser who can afford a camera and Photoshop is making a living by charging actors like you for bad headshots. These amateurs have no concept of lighting or composition, but they do know how to deposit your check. That's something they do quite well. So they're all fired too!

Listen up, Matthew McConaughey: There's nothing good about what you do. You can't keep making crappy movie after crappy movie. You're fired!

Now let's discuss the Keystone Kops of unions, SAG. How does such a historic organization go from being borderline incompetent to a total industry joke in less than a year? The fault has to lie with the people who work there. So I'm firing every living being that's currently employed by SAG, and that includes all the branch offices across the country. You can all pack your bags. The union needs a fresh start before AFTRA eats it alive.

There are a lot of good-looking actors out there who believe they can get by on just looks. (See what you started, Matthew?) They don't give a damn about craft. All they care about is hair products. That's not what acting is about. So I'm firing every damn one of them, despite the fact that none of these people seems to have a source of income.

As for the rest of you, it's been a rough year, but I want you all to stay focused on your long-term goals. The perfect storm is slowly coming to an end, and when it does, there are going to be plenty of opportunities for all of us.
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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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