Secret Agent Man: Naughty or Nice?

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Photo Source: Robert Wilson

Dear Santa,

It’s been a long time. I hope this letter finds you well.

Here’s a thought. Maybe it’s time to get an email address. Sending you an actual letter every year is a pain in the ass. Have you seen the post office? It’s on the verge of extinction. The people who work there look like extras from “The Walking Dead.”

Anyway, I’m a little concerned about my behavior over the last 12 months. Have I been bad? I don’t know. You tell me. You’re the one who claims to always be watching. But let’s be fair. Behavior in Hollywood cannot be boiled down to right and wrong. There’s a lot of gray in this town.

In my defense, most of my so-called “bad deeds” were committed for the greater good. Am I wrong when I steal an actor from a smaller company if that theft creates major career advancements for the actor? Is it bad to lie about a client’s ability if that lie results in an amazing audition that could change the client’s life? Is it a sin to fall asleep during a workshop if the sound of my snore inspires the untalented actors to do better next time?

Look, Santa. Let’s cut to the chase. I’m not sending you an endless wish list this year. I’ve kept it simple, just like the plot of a Michael Bay film. And none of this is a dealbreaker. I’m open to a little back and forth.

So keeping that in mind, here’s what I’d like to find under my metaphoric tree:

1. I want five magic emails I can send to casting directors during pilot season. These emails should have the power to make the reader do anything I want. And don’t worry, there’s no moral issue here. I intend to send those casting directors a list of all the clients they should read. This will increase the number of pilot auditions on my desk and decrease the number of drinks in my liver.

2. I went through four assistants this year. None of them could handle the pressure. So please send me your best elf. Those little guys are really efficient and I want one.

3. I’d like some advanced alien technology that would allow me to beam demo reels directly into the brains of casting directors. That should help me get a jump on those jerks at the big agencies.

4. I want six cans of manager repellent. I know that’s not a thing, but you’re stuffed with the Christmas spirit so I’m sure you can make it happen.

5. The traffic in L.A. has become impossible, so I want you to take away one-fifth of our population in a Rapture-like event.

6. I want Scarlett Johansson. (This one is nonnegotiable.)

7. And last but not least, I’d like my innocence back. I remember what it was like when I first started working as an agent—the future was wide open. But over the years, actors have sucked the life out of me with their self-destructive behavior and acts of betrayal.

That’s it, Santa. Now let’s get to work. And remember: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours. If you come through this year, especially with No. 6, I’ll help you find a home for that reality series you keep talking about. “Santa Gone Wild” sounds like a winner to me!

(I’d like to wish all my readers a wonderful holiday season. Enjoy the time off, make merry, and I’ll see you in January.)

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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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