The Horrors of Rejection

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Photo Source: Spencer Alexander

The day started like any other day. Sign actors, sell actors, service actors. Same old, same old. Little did I know the day would end with yours truly locked in a death dance with the worst form of evil this town has ever known.

The first sign of paranormal activity appeared around 11 a.m. I had just closed a top-of-show deal on yet another procedural when the temperature started going crazy in my office. One moment, the air was boiling hot and the next, it was colder than a Nordic spa.

The next sign was when one of our clients popped in. Normally, we don’t mind actors dropping by to say hello, but this guy comes in every other day. Fed up, I was about to ask him to cut back on the social calls when his eyes glazed over and his voice went flat. “I’m sorry, SAM. I’ve been selfish. Your time is valuable.” And then he turned and left.

Drastic temperature changes in a Beverly Hills office? A considerate client? What the hell was going on?

The brown stuff really hit the fan when I came back from lunch and found the agency empty. As in, where the hell was everyone? And to make matters worse, the power had gone out and the emergency lights were on, casting a red hue over the entire office.

I moved carefully down the hall, searching for signs of life. That’s when a misty figure stepped out of the shadows. Her movements were stiff and unnatural. Then others appeared. More and more. They all looked vaguely familiar.

The woman stumbled over, her eyes deader than the future of network television. “Do you not remember me?” I shook my head and explained that I meet a lot of people in my line of work.

“I am the memory of the first client you ever dropped.”

That’s right! Her name was Lisa something or other. She didn’t book a single job during our year together so I was forced to drop her. And that’s when the other faces around me clicked into place. They were all former clients!

READ: “Are You in Danger of Being Dropped by Your Agent?”

There was no doubt about it. The office was haunted. But by what? It couldn’t just be bad memories. Then every talent agency in the world would be the devil’s playpen. There had to be something else. Something bigger.

As the figures swarmed toward me, I made a run for it. Where the hell was my assistant? It’s her job to help in these kinds of situations!

I raced toward the far side of the office and found myself in the storage area. I had never been there before, and what I found made my blood run cold. Someone had stored all our unwanted submissions in there. The room was packed, floor to ceiling, with headshots and résumés.

This explained everything. The agency was haunted by rejection!

Moving quickly, I found an old rag, doused it with turpentine, and set the whole mess on fire. As the pictures burned, I could hear the faces scream. Then the memories of former clients faded away and the agency came back to life. Nightmare over.

The events of that day still haunt me. And they left me pondering a heavy question: Is rejection evil or is it an act of kindness?

Happy Halloween!

Although rejection is part of this business, it should never be a deterrent! Check out our Los Angeles audition listings!

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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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