This past year has frustrated my every attempt to put on a happy face. All the agents I know took a financial hit in 2020, and that goes double for their clients. Luckily, the industry is moving toward the light at the end of the tunnel—and when we finally get there, I’ll be waiting with open arms.
That said, there’s always something to be learned, even in the worst of times. So I’d like to share some of my resolutions for the coming year, and I hope they inspire you to make some of your own.
- I’ve been working from home for the last nine months, and I miss every inch of my precious office. I used to complain about the commute and the parking structure and the air conditioning that never worked right. Now I feel like a fool for doing that. I will never, ever take my office for granted. (But it would be nice if someone could fix that damned air conditioning!)
- One of the best parts of being an agent is bouncing ideas off your team. I’m the first to admit that I’m not always the smartest guy in the room, so it’s incredibly helpful to have experienced people all around me. Should I submit Gina for this role? Is this guy someone we should sign? What do you think of this contract? That kind of interaction is so valuable, and it doesn’t work as well online or over the phone. So I will never, ever take the staff at my office for granted.
- I’ve learned that the act of appearing on Zoom ages me by about 10 years. Yikes! That definitely has to change. This coming year, I will experiment more with lighting, angles, and even makeup. (Yes, believe it or not, agents are as vain as actors.)
- And while I’m on the topic of Zoom, I will remember that the mute button is a friend that can prevent me from embarrassing myself.
- I miss meeting potential clients in person. I’ve always enjoyed that part of the job. It’s fun to get to know someone as you consider representing them. That in-person energy is a big part of the process, and it’s just not the same when meetings are held virtually. In 2021, I’m going to make an effort to set up meetings in outdoor spaces where we can practice social distancing. That should help me make more informed decisions.
- I used to complain all the time about the lunches I had to share with industry people I didn’t particularly like. (For context: My assistant used to call me “the king of the last-minute cancellation.” Whoops!) Those meals are a necessary evil, because they create relationships that can be exploited for my clients. And now I miss them. So. Much. When the world approaches normalcy, I will sit down to eat with anyone and everyone.
- And finally, I promise to stay positive in the coming year, because there’s really no other choice, is there?
I hope you enjoyed a safe holiday. We still have miles to go in this pandemic mess, but there’s work to be had, so I want you to stay focused. I promise that, one day soon, you’ll be on a set patting yourself on the back for having survived the worst year ever.
This story originally appeared in the Dec. 31 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.
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